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Author Topic: Anyone find Altgens a little interesting if not disturbing? Very Important!  (Read 462 times)

Offline Allan Fritzke

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Altgens was the closest man to the President when the head shot came in.  He said 15 feet away and yet no one wants to talk to him?  There are other strange responses as well when you look at it.   He is an AP reporter and well versed in taking photographs with a manually focusing camera.

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~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - My original assignment was to make a pictorial scene of the caravan with the Dallas skyline in the background and the triple overpass was selected as the site for making that picture, and when I arrived on the triple overpass there was no one up there but two uniformed policemen and one of the uniformed policemen came over to me and asked me if I was a railroad employee and I told him, "No," and I showed him my press tag and told him I had a Department of Public Safety ID card showing I was connected with the AP--Associated Press, and he said, "Well, I'm sorry, but this is private property. It belongs to the railroad and only railroad employees are permitted on this property." And, I explained to him that this was a public event and I thought I would be privileged to make a picture from that area, and he says, "No. This is private property and no one but railroad personnel are permitted in this area."
This is a little extraneous but I wanted to point this out, and I said, "Well, it looks like you have got it pretty well protected from this area because I see you two uniformed policemen on this overpass and I see you have another uniformed policeman on the overpass on Stemmons," and he said, "Yes, and no one is permitted over on that overpass." So, then, I had to decide on another location for shooting my pictures, so I proceeded on across the triple overpass into the parking lot which is just behind the Book Depository Building and proceeded on down to Elm to the corner of Elm and Houston, crossed Elm going--is that east or south--I guess it is south on Houston. Yes; south on Houston over to Main and Houston. That seemed to me to be the most likely spot to make any pictures. Then I could, by advance planning, get away from that spot after I had made a picture or two and run across the Dealey Plaza and catch the caravan again down on Elm as it proceeded toward the triple overpass and probably get some more pictures, and that was my planning.
~snip~

Only policemen were permitted and an exception to railway employees on this private property!  This fully ID'd Altgens was refused right of passage but the policemen were allowed to roam at will on these overpasses!

~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - This would put me at approximately this area here, which would be about 15 feet from me at the time he was shot in the head--about 15 feet from the car on the west side of the car--on the side that Mrs. Kennedy was riding in the car.
~snip~

According to his testimony he is extremely close and no disputing where he was at on Mrs. Kennedy's side of the car.

~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - I made one picture at the time I heard a noise that sounded like a firecracker--I did not know it was a shot, but evidently my picture, as I recall, and it was almost simultaneously with the shot--the shot was just a fraction ahead of my picture, but that much---of course at that time I figured it was nothing more than a firecracker, because from my position down here the sound was not of such volume that it would indicate to me it was a high-velocity rifle.
~snip~

This picture  was taken 1 1/2 seconds after the neck shot counting Zapruder Frames at 18 fps and matching his with Jacqueline's arm position in his photograph.   Maybe just error in his testimony as he said it was just a fraction ahead of my picture?

~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - Well, it sounded like it was coming up from behind the car from my position--I mean the first shot, and being fireworks--who counts fireworks explosions? I wasn't keeping track of the number of pops that took place, but I could vouch for No. 1, and I can vouch for the last shot, but I cannot tell you how many shots were in between. There was not another shot fired after the President was struck in the head. That was the last shot--that much I will say with a great degree of certainty.
~snip~

Here his recount of the first shot has it coming from somewhere's near the "umbrella man" which is a logical conclusion when you look at the President when he grabs his throat.   Again, we can not find any synergy between the umbrella's man position along with the "Cuban" with anything reported by the media to corroborate this.    Clearly the position in the Zapruder film absolutely without dispute shows the umbrella position in FRONT of the road sign.  Part of the umbrella being obscured by the sign when Zapruder filmed it.   Any other photographs always report the umbrella man located behind
a rather elevated sign.

~snip~
Mr. LIEBELER - Because you didn't see who fired it?
Mr. ALTGENS - Because I didn't see who fired it. After the Presidential car moved a little past me, I took another picture--now, just let me back up here--I was prepared to make a picture at the very instant the President was shot. I had refocused to 15 feet because I wanted a good closeup of the President and Mrs. Kennedy, and that's why I know that it would be right at 15 feet, because I had prefocused in that area, and I had my camera almost to my eye when it happened and that's as far as I got with my camera.
Because, you see, even up to that time I didn't know that the President had been shot previously. I still thought up until that time that all I heard was fireworks and that they were giving some sort of celebration to the President by popping these fireworks. It stunned me so at what I saw that I failed to do my duty and make the picture that I was hoping to make.
~snip~

Did he take the picture or not?  It would have been very interesting to see if someone could look at the picture before and after and see if there were any signs of this picture disappearing!   This would have been an absolute give away picture at 15 feet!   No one else was as close as he was to the actual assassin's head shot!

~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes, sir.
I started up the incline with--or, after the officers, because they were moving well ahead of me and I was moving behind them thinking perhaps if they had the assassin cornered I wanted a picture, but before I had gotten over one-quarter of the way up the incline, I met the officers coming back and I presumed that they were just chasing shadows, so to speak, because there was no assassin in the area apparently, but I didn't learn the location of the sniper's nest until I was en route out to Parkland Hospital to continue my assignment and I heard it on the radio, that the assassin's nest was in the sixth floor window of the Book Depository Building.
After that I made a good look through this area to see that no one else had been hit. I noticed the couple that were on the ground over here with their children, I saw them when they went down and they were in the area and laid there some time after the Presidential car had disappeared.
Mr. LIEBELER - They threw themselves on the ground in this grassy area that I have just described previously where you ran across after this last shot?
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes; but they were not hit. I looked at them and they weren't hit by a bullet, so I took another long look around before I started my dash back to the office, and as it turned out, my report was the first that our service had on the assassination and my pictures were the only pictures we had available for a period of about 24 hours.
~snip~

He noticed a family on the grass afterwards that hadn't been hit.  He never makes mention of looking back and seeing a man rolling into the grass beside him.  He sat there for a long time and the observant Mr. Altgens failed to even mention noting him.   Maybe he could have been hit with a bullet too?   That was not for the record!  He also hears about the "sniper's nest over the radio" to point everyone in the direction of the chase!

~snip~
Mr. LIEBELER - You testified previously, I believe, that the first shot that was fired had just been fired momentarily before you took the picture, is that right?
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes, sir; it was so close you could almost say it was simultaneous because it was coincidental but nevertheless that's just the way it happened.
Mr. LIEBELER - When you first heard this shot, did you see any reaction either on the part of the President or anyone else that indicated they might have been hit by this shot?
Mr. ALTGENS - No, sir; and as a matter of fact, I did not know that Governor Connally had been hit until one of our reporters got the information out at Parkland Hospital.
Mr. LIEBELER - As the Presidential car went down Elm Street, did you observe Governor Connally's movements at all, did you see what he was doing?
Mr. ALTGENS - No, sir; my attention was primarily on the President and Mrs. Kennedy and I just wasn't paying too much attention about the other people in the car after what I saw happen. Of course, my concern was about the President and I just wasn't paying too much attention to others in the car.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are quite sure in your mind, however, that there were no shots, a noise that sounded like shots, prior to the time at which you took the picture that has been marked Commission Exhibit No. 203; is that correct?
Mr. ALTGENS - No, sir; I did not--you see----all of these shots sounded the same. If you heard one you would recognize the other shots and these were all the same. It was a pop that I don't believe I could identify it any other way than as a firecracker and this particular picture was made at the time the first firecracker noise was heard by me.
~snip~

Interesting to note that he heard that Connally was first shot when he heard the report from a reporter at Parkland Hospital.  Meanwhile Nellie Connally reports a wound on her husband the size of a "baseball".  Again note Altgens is 15 feet away from the scene!  Long Rifle noise is quite distinctly different  than a firecracker which he feels he is hearing.  He should know as he was in the service before.   (reflected in his testimony earlier that he had served).

~snip~
Mr. LIEBELER - How much time do you think elapsed between the first and the last shot?
Mr. ALTGENS - Well, let's see---I would have to figure it out on a speed basis because they were going at approximately 12 to 15 miles per hour downhill and I would say that all the shots were fired within the space of less than 30 seconds. That's an estimate.
~snip~

30 seconds between first and last shot?  If you look at the frame length between Z-225 and Z-330 it is less than a 6 second interval.  Then discount his picture taken at a full 1.5 seconds after the President grabs his neck and you are now down to 4.5 seconds of time.  During the interview he also mentioned that he knows for sure there were 2 shots and suspects a 3rd in between those.

~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes; clear up at the other end of town because Main Street goes uphill and that made it easy for me to spot the red lights indicating the Presidential caravan then was starting down Main Street, and along about the time the sergeant called for the ambulance, I was looking back up here at the triple overpass and I remarked to the sergeant, I said, "Look at all those people up there on the triple overpass." I would estimate about a dozen were up there.
Mr. LIEBELER - On the railroad tracks immediately over Elm--immediately over the triple underpass?
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes, sir; and I said, "I wonder what the heck all those people are doing up there when they wouldn't let me up there to make pictures?" And he said, "Well, I suppose they are railroad people. " I said, "Well, if they are permitted up there, it seems like they would let me up there just to make a picture." He said, "Well, you know we've got our orders too." So, I just dropped it at that time, but there were at that time---now, this was prior to the Presidential arrival in the Main-Houston Street area that I noticed these people up here.
Mr. LIEBELER - Up on the triple underpass?
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes; I keep forgetting that we are taking the testimony down here. After the Presidential caravan had proceeded down Elm Street, this was approximately 12:25, then, after the President was shot--the car passed in front of me I stepped into the curb area and made a picture of the Secret Service man going to the assistance of Mrs. Kennedy. I made a picture at that time which shows part of the triple overpass but it does not show the people up on it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you notice whether there were still people on it at that time?
Mr. ALTGENS - Yes, sir; there were people up on it and I looked in that direction, but not for a firearm---I didn't really expect any.
~snip~

He notes a dozen observers on the railway bridge but even with his AP pass it was off limits. Next, his photograph does not record that, only the SS man climbing on the back of the limousine.     Adding this to his testimony about 12 people up there makes it known that there is no way anyone could get away with a shot from that direction without it being noted by someone.    However, the way he was talking it sounds like he is talking to the same  policeman as before.  In other words, the policeman has answered him as to why he wasn't allowed there now when he observes a dozen people up there.     Was there a walkway on this bridge and were there people up there?   Were the policemen doing there duty?   It sounds like it would not have been a good safe place to be if a train passed by!

~snip~
Mr. LIEBELER - Why was that?
Mr. ALTGENS - Because as I said before---the way the bullet impact hit the President, it had to come from behind or beside the automobile in order to cause him to move forward a little bit and I didn't expect to find anything up in area, so that is why I was concentrating my observation back in this part, back in the Main---excuse me---back in the Houston-Elm intersection area to see if I could find the rifle.
~snip~

Note he was standing only 15 feet away and he notes the President moved forward a bit.    After this movement which he is very sure is a bullet from behind, he fails to mention the very large rearward movement (about 1 foot) of the President's head moving back against his seat and him lifting his arm in a self defense move.   Absolute NO mention of that but does see a slight forward movement.   Very skeptical of that description which seems it needs to match the story line.   As a reporter,  I would expect he would have uncanny ability to take all the right photos and report accurately his observations.

~snip~
Mr. ALTGENS - Well, I got a copy of the thing---I didn't gather from the article he was quoting me on anything in particular other than to say that I was a witness and I hadn't been called to testify before the Commission or questioned by the FBI or the Secret Service, but I don't think that he really tied any information to me in the course of writing the story, but it was real strange the way the thing unfolded. I had tried previously to get my bureau chief to give me permission to notify the Warren Commission or someone to let them know I had been in the area, not that my testimony would be of much value, but still if it could be of just a little bit of help I wanted to do what I thought was right, and my boss never got permission for me to do that, and that's why I never did step forward, because I had no authority. Really, I didn't feel that I could act on my own. I wanted to wait until someone gave me authority to do it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Well, your testimony has been helpful to the extent that it helps to establish the timing of the shots and I'm glad you gave it to us.
~snip~

As a first hand eyewitness to a murder, you would have thought someone 15 feet away would have been interviewed immediately rather than to wait 6 months for a deposition.   "We will call you when we need you....".     The people in charge of this investigation allowed his photograph (at least the last one) to be released to the public and sent to newspapers across the world.    They were not interested in hearing his story though, even though he was positioned 15 feet away when the assassination's bullet struck the President in the head.      A very bizarre investigation procedure for the killing of the President of the world's largest democracy!   Investigation it seems as required by request and only by permission - well controlled!

 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 04:42:23 AM by Allan Fritzke »

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Offline Joffrey van de Wiel

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Some people believe a crack or hole in the windshield is visible in the Altgens photograph #6. I don't see it, do you? Perhaps I need new glasses  ;)


Offline Barry Pollard

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An open top vehicle going under a bridge is prime opportunity for any "pranksters" to create trouble, Curry is on record with his concerns for incidents like this, that's why it was secured and the only people allowed up there were those who worked there. The cop was just following orders and by sending this photographer back to the street we all owe him a drink. If Altgens was up there he probably wouldn't have noticed anything wrong.
There were two black workers up there, segregated from the others and positioned just the north of Sam Holand, they too/two have their own personal PO to keep an eye on them(or keep them in position w/e). 
First image on Elm does seem to be a reaction, why else would he waste a frame and valuable time when JFK and/or Jackie was not clearly in the shot?
 

Online Royell Storing

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An open top vehicle going under a bridge is prime opportunity for any "pranksters" to create trouble, Curry is on record with his concerns for incidents like this, that's why it was secured and the only people allowed up there were those who worked there. The cop was just following orders and by sending this photographer back to the street we all owe him a drink. If Altgens was up there he probably wouldn't have noticed anything wrong.
There were two black workers up there, segregated from the others and positioned just the north of Sam Holand, they too/two have their own personal PO to keep an eye on them(or keep them in position w/e). 
First image on Elm does seem to be a reaction, why else would he waste a frame and valuable time when JFK and/or Jackie was not clearly in the shot?
 

   Lotta "stuff" surrounding Altgens. (1) Somehow gathered up his gadget bag and hustled from the corner of Main/Houston to his curbside position on Elm & managed to get set up to snap #6 as the JFK Limo reached the Stemmons sign. (Claims to even have taken the time to reset his lens) (2) Disputed his alleged distance from the JFK Limo when he snapped #6, (3) Testified that he Followed law enforcement Up the knoll, (4) Had absolutely No Memory of taking his alleged last pic showing Zapruder/Sitzman/Pergola.

Offline Allan Fritzke

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   Lotta "stuff" surrounding Altgens. (1) Somehow gathered up his gadget bag and hustled from the corner of Main/Houston to his curbside position on Elm & managed to get set up to snap #6 as the JFK Limo reached the Stemmons sign. (Claims to even have taken the time to reset his lens) (2) Disputed his alleged distance from the JFK Limo when he snapped #6, (3) Testified that he Followed law enforcement Up the knoll, (4) Had absolutely No Memory of taking his alleged last pic showing Zapruder/Sitzman/Pergola.

Since Altgens was the closest to the scene, he would have been the witness the investigators would have most certainly have taken a statement from and interviewed.   He is a reporter, carried a camera and had his other picture of the SS man standing on the back of the JFK limo spread throughout the world.   He would have been easily identified as his picture went to newspapers unhindered by the police.   Mary Moorman supposedly had her polaroid picture confiscated.    What made his case any different?  My guess is his pictures were reviewed by the authorities and then certain ones were allowed to be released!

Surely real investigators would have wanted to hear his first hand account at the scene, see the film in his camera - not wait 6 months for the WC!  This witness was standing only 15 feet away.   I would have liked to see his string of negatives to see whether or not the shot he took at 15 feet was discarded from the strip/roll because it was damning and not that he froze and didn't snap the shutter!

I corrected my initial statement as I had some words missing in it.  It still perplexes me that someone that was in the service for part of his life can confuse the sound of a firecracker or motorcycle backfire and match that with a long rifle "Bang".   Maybe he heard a firecracker?   The fact that the #6 picture was taken about 1.5 seconds after the neck shot tells me that he may have not even heard the "neck shot".  It  may have came from a silenced handgun at close proximity to the President .   If you have a sophisticated plot involving multiple people, having a firecracker go off somewhere certainly would distract everyone's attention and point people to look elsewhere away from the real shooter's position!  (still think the umbrella man and the Cuban worked together on that one). 

There is also a very remote possibility that he was more interested in taking a picture of the man in the doorway on #6.   This is not a great picture to capture otherwise.   The picture is good for my investigating as it fixes a timeline between Zapruder's film and this photograph as you can clearly see the position of Jacqueline's white glove in the air.

There was another photographer that day who took a picture of the sniper's nest before the shooting ever occurred and then at the theater where LHO was apprehended.  What a lucky chance that a man could have captured all these items on one roll of film and then disappear himself.   He left a note of permission to the investigators to use whatever they wanted from his film.  He was never interviewed.   Really, it is too good to be true to know beforehand that he needed to take a picture of the sniper's nest and the open window there on the 6th floor and then by chance make it to the theater to catch a photo of LHO being brought in by the police.  Right place at the right time - very uncanny unless someone needed some of these pictures in the "evidence gathering" to make a case.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 05:31:10 AM by Allan Fritzke »

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