JFK assassination film hoax
A simple introduction
On November 22, 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while traveling down Elm Street, Dallas, Texas, in an open car in a motorcade. Everyone agrees about that.
Many people think that agencies of the U.S. Government have lied about or covered up details of the assassination.
For three decades, people thought the best proof of foul play was a 27-second home movie of the assassination taken by a Dallas dressmaker, Abraham Zapruder. It shows JFK’s head being blasted backwards and to his left:
This seems to tell us that the shooter was in front of the car on the right side, on the “grassy knoll” (small hill) next to Elm Street. But the U.S. Government insisted that JFK was shot by just one man hiding in a building far behind the limousine.
Things get more complicated when we look at the film frame-by-frame. As the bullet hits, JFK’s head first moves forwards:
This makes things confusing. There seemed to be three possible explanations:
1. He was hit by two bullets at almost the same time (one from behind and then one from the front).
2. He was hit from behind, and a jet of brain matter exploding from the front caused his head to recoil backwards.
3. He was hit from behind and some sort of muscle reaction caused his head to fly backwards.
People tried to figure this out for three decades. Instead of clearing up the mystery, Zapruder’s film just made things more confusing.
In the 1990s, researchers started to realize that there was a fourth possible explanation. Zapruder’s film might also be a part of the lies and cover-up that agencies of the U.S. Government had weaved around the JFK assassination!
Scientists examined the Zapruder film. They found that, while most of it looks completely genuine, some of the images are impossible. They violate the laws of physics. They could not have come from Zapruder’s home movie camera.
Zapruder’s film is a very good forgery. It is almost perfect. Some mistakes took almost 40 years to find.
The scientists also proved that Zapruder’s film was not just changed a little bit. The whole film is a fake!
A movie film is just a strip of little photos (“frames”). The fake film was made by cutting and pasting real photos and film frames together to make new frames.
Because the Zapruder film is only 27 seconds long, less than 500 photos needed to be made. The forgers had almost a year to create them, before they were published. This was not difficult to do in 1963 and 1964. People had been creating high quality fake photos since the 1850s!
But what about the people who watched Zapruder’s film in the days after the assassination?
Film experts believe that a real film of the assassination was quickly altered on the evening of the assassination, using machines that could create Hollywood-style special effects (like Mary Poppins, created in 1964). Since the film was not shown on television, no one knows exactly what these people saw. But we do know that they described a film that is different to the film published in November 1964 as the “Zapruder film”!
In May 2003, scientists and researchers presented their latest findings at a conference in Duluth, Minnesota. This has now been described in a book, The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, published in September 2003.
The web pages below describe the best proofs that the Zapruder film is a fake. They describe some of the mistakes that the forgers made.
You can save any of these web pages by going to the File / Save As menu on your web browser. The images and small movie clips shown on each page will also be automatically saved with each web page.
If you want more details, please read The Great Zapruder Film Hoax. It contains much more information about the Zapruder film and its forgery. An earlier book, Murder in Dealey Plaza, has more information about the whole assassination and its cover-up.In the end, you have to decide for yourself what to believe. But don’t just believe what the U.S. Government tells you!
The fast-forward mistakes
In 1963, home video recorders did not exist. The only people who could make videotapes were television studios. Most news footage was taken on film (and processed just like a photo film). Hand-held video camcorders didn’t exist!
Today, we all know what happens when you fast-forward (“picture search”) a videotape: not only does everyone move quickly, but their actions are much too jerky.
When the forgers made the Zapruder film, they needed to use genuine film of the limousine and the people in it, to make it look realistic—they couldn’t just get Warner Brothers to draw cartoons! They cut and paste this genuine film into a new background film of Elm Street.
Some changes could be made. They could cut people out and move them around a bit. They could make copies of arms, legs and bodies, and stick them back together to make them perform actions that the real people never did.
They could also slow down or speed up any action.
You can slow things down by making several copies of each film frame, and changing the “in-between” copies a little bit so that everything moves smoothly.
Researchers think that this was done for JFK, after he emerges from the road sign. He leans over and pulls his elbows up, so that his shirt cuffs appear to wipe his face, and then he just stays there until the fatal shot:
JFK’s wife, Jackie Kennedy, seems to move quite normally. She seems to have been pasted in at a fairly normal speed, coordinated with the actions of her husband.
You can also speed things up. All you need to do is delete some of the frames! When the speed-up rate is changing, you need to change some of the frames a little to make sure everything moves smoothly. It takes skill to do it really well.
Eyewitnesses overwhelmingly reported that, during the assassination, the limousine braked suddenly and came to a stop, before accelerating away again. Some people have also seen another film of the assassination—not yet seen by the public—which shows this stop very clearly. But Zapruder’s film doesn’t show the limousine stopping at all! It just keeps on driving down Elm Street the entire time.
The forgers needed to remove all evidence of the car stopping. Not only would it have shown evidence of shots coming from the front, but people would also have asked why the Secret Service agents stopped the car when the President was clearly in danger.
It was very easy for the forgers to keep the car moving, by deleting more and more frames as it slowed down and stopped, and then less and less at it started off again.
But the four people in the front of the car—the two Secret Service agents in the front seats, and the Texas Governor and his wife behind them—gave the forgers many problems. It was not worth the time and effort to make sure that their motion was perfect, like they had done with JFK and his wife. These other four people would not be the focus of attention. A quicker job of cutting and pasting would have to do for them.
When the film frames had been created, these four people seemed to move smoothly enough when looked at frame-by-frame, or in slow motion.
But when the film was projected at full speed, there were major problems: “fast-forward” mistakes! We will look at some of these below.
The mistakes are so obvious that anyone at all looking at the film at full speed would have known that something was wrong with it!
To cover up the mistakes, the forgers, and those directing them, did three things:
1. They made it look like Abraham Zapruder jiggled his camera around a lot when he was filming. Whenever someone moves in a way that is too jerky, the whole (pretend) camera was made to jiggle. This makes it impossible to follow the detail if it is being projected at full speed.
2. They made sure that the moving film was not shown publicly. It was 12 years before it was shown on TV!
3. They made sure that the film frames published in November 1964 were black and white, and not great quality.
The next danger for the forgers, and those directing them, was that a film expert might “stabilize” the camera jiggles, frame by frame. If this “stabilized” film was projected at full speed, the “fast-forward” mistakes would be obvious!
To avoid this danger, they made sure that any “stabilized” film was only ever shown in slow motion. This is how it was shown on TV, in 1975. It is also how it was shown on a 1997 DVD and video release! Control of the “stabilized” versions made sure that the mistakes stayed secret. (For a couple of decades!)
Using modern computers, it has been possible to stabilize the film and put it back together at full speed. The mistakes are now obvious for everyone to see with their own two eyes.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to show movie clips on a web page at full speed. The clips shown below have been created to run at the right speed, by doubling up the frames. This does not look as good as the full-speed clips.
To really see what the stabilized film looks like, you would need to click here to view an MPEG movie clip. This shows the front four people in the limousine, stabilized, at full speed, for the entire part of the film that they are visible. Your computer may have difficulties playing this clip. If you have a modern version of QuickTime or Windows Media Player, it should work. It is also 3.7 MB in size, which might take ten or more minutes to download if you have a dialup connection! (QuickTime lets you move forward or backwards frame-by-frame.)
We will look at the mistakes in the order that they appear in the film. Some just look ridiculous; others can actually be shown to be humanly impossible, or violate the laws of physics.
The first mistake you should look at is called “Connally’s Hat Trick”. The Governor of Texas, John Connally, was holding his hat in his hand. According to the U.S. Government, he was hit by the “magic bullet” at the same time that JFK got hit in the throat—in other words, when the car is hidden by the sign. This bullet supposedly broke his right wrist. But after the car comes out from behind the sign, Connally does some sort of superhuman hat-flicking motion—with his broken wrist!
(It happens so fast that it almost can’t be seen in this clip—see the MPEG clip above if you really want to see it!)
The second mistake occurs when Mrs. Connally snaps her head to the rear far too rapidly. Just before she does, she turns her head to the front in a more realistic motion:
This might look fast, but compare it to the “head-snaps” of the Secret Service driver of the limousine:
These have been analyzed scientifically, and shown to be twice as fast as humanly possible, even for an athlete trying to do it as quickly as possible!
You might not think that doing something twice as fast as an athlete is all that big a deal. But imagine running a mile in two minutes, or 100 meters in five seconds, or jumping twice as far, or twice as high, as everyone else in the long jump or high jump at the Olympics!
Not only that, but imagine that you managed to keep control of a car even with those dizzying forces on your brain! (Snapping your head twice as fast means the dizzying forces are four times as big!)
Now, as you looked at that last clip, you might have noticed some other weird things.
The most obvious is that, at exactly the same time, all four people lurch forward suddenly:
You don’t need to know the laws of physics to know what this means: the car must have braked suddenly at that time. But if you watch the film, the car doesn’t brake at all!
Scientists have taken careful measurements of the film, to figure out when the limousine was slowing down and speeding up. According to its motion on the film, it is slowing down for a few seconds before this time! Worse, at the time of the lurch, the car starts to accelerate rapidly!
Have you ever been in a car when someone has planted their foot on the gas pedal, and been thrown forward? Of course not! It’s ridiculous! It violates the laws of physics, and it violates common sense.
The next weird thing you might have noticed is that Governor and Mrs Connally both “collapse” to the floor very rapidly:
It’s almost like they were nine-pins, designed to fall out of sight!
According to Mrs Connally, she pulled the Governor down into her lap to protect him, and according to the Governor he then lost consciousness. They never described both collapsing like this. Worse, if you watch the full MPEG movie above, you can see that the Governor gets back up again, and looks over his wife!
It is quite likely that the Connallys had to be “collapsed” out of sight like this because of a photograph that was taken by an Associated Press photographer and published in newspapers around the world within hours of the assassination:
Zooming in on where the Connallys should be, we see that there is nothing visible except a bunch of flowers:
In the actual assassination, there would have been several seconds when the limo stopped, and then accelerated again, during which the Connallys would have dropped down to avoid the fusillade of shots reported by eyewitnesses.
By removing the car stop, the forgers had to make the Connallys collapse in a way that would be comical if the implications were not so grave.
The only way to cover up these mistakes was to make Zapruder’s camera appeared to jerk around wildly at these times, and then to make sure that any stabilized film was only ever shown in slow motion.
By watching these clips at full speed, you can see through the lies with your own eyes!
The blur mistake
Everyone knows that if you take a photo of something moving, it will come out blurry on the photo.
During the assassination, JFK’s limousine was moving down Elm Street as Abraham Zapruder was filming.
Photo experts know that there are two ways to photograph a moving car without it coming out blurry:
1. Move the camera to follow the car while you take the photo; or
2. Use a very fast shutter speed, so that the shutter is only open for a very short time.
Zapruder’s camera had a shutter speed that was fixed at 1/40 of a second. This was too slow to stop the car being blurry.
Zapruder could move his camera to follow the limousine traveling down Elm Street. In most of the frames, the limousine is quite sharp. This means that the background objects are blurry, because the camera is sweeping past them:
Almost all of the frames in the Zapruder film are correctly blurred, like this one.
But in their rush to publish something, the forgers made mistakes. Two weeks after the assassination, Life magazine published nine color photos that they said came from Zapruder’s film. Two of these photos are incredibly sharp:
We will concentrate on this second photo. Notice how sharp the limousine and the motorcycle are, including JFK, his wife Jackie, Governor of Texas John Connally (sitting in front of JFK), and the cop on the motorcycle. Notice the keyhole below the front door handle of the limousine.
Now look at the man in the foreground, with his fingers in a “V” shape. To his left you can see the edge of a black umbrella (just above the back wheel of the limo). In the background you can see a tree. The leaves are sharp against the shaded trunk. Look at the red shrubs behind. You can see many bright spots. Look also at the two men (who, strangely, aren’t looking at the President at all!). Compare them to the people shown in the frame at the top of this page.
Just by looking at it, you can see that there is something wrong with this photo. But we can also use the laws of physics to check that it is impossible. This is the sort of test that would be used in a court of law to prove that the film is a forgery.
The first thing we need to know is how far the limousine moves while the camera shutter is open. We can work this out by looking at the film frames before and after this frame on the “Zapruder” film:
(Note that these images, published in 1997, show a lot of mold damage.) If we follow one object on the limo, like the bright reflection on the “roll bar”, we can see how much the limo moves from frame to frame:
The shutter on Zapruder’s movie camera was open almost half of the time. This lets us figure out how far the limo moved while the shutter was open for one frame:
Either the limo (and everyone in it), or the whole background (and the man and umbrella in the foreground), or some combination of the two, should be blurred this much. It obviously isn’t!
Here are some rough images that have been created to show you how much a genuine frame would be blurred. If the camera was not moving, the limo and motorcycle would have been blurred:
If the camera was moving to follow the limousine, then the background and foreground would have been blurred:
A final possibility is that the camera was moving, but not fast enough to keep up with the limousine.
The least amount of overall blur would happen if the camera was only moving half as fast as it should to keep up with the limousine. This is what the frame would then have looked like:
This might look quite similar to the frame that was published in Life magazine, but if you compare the two, you can see that the Life image is much too sharp:
Watch the face of JFK and his wife; the window frames, tire rims, and keyhole on the limousine; the stripes of the American flag; the fingers of the man that are forming a “V”; the windshield on the motorcycle; the leaves against the trunk of the tree; the bright spots in the red bushes.
Some people might ask: could Life magazine have just “sharpened” the image before publication?
It was possible to sharpen an image in 1963 using "unsharp masks", the forerunner of today's digital equivalent. However, doing this selectively on one part of the image (the limo), and not another (the background), would produce telltale effects at the "joins", unless more advanced film editing tricks were used. There is also no evidence that Life ever performed this sharpening.
Rather, it is most likely that the frame shown in Life magazine is a high-quality forgery, probably created by cutting and pasting together real photographs and film frames of the assassination.
The sign mistake
When you look at Zapruder’s film, a large road sign blocks the view of the President when he first gets shot:
Zapruder’s movie camera was state-of-the-art, but it was not perfect. The lens slightly distorted each frame by pulling out the corners, called a “pincushion” effect. On the film, lines that should be straight end up being bent.
Almost all of the frames of the Zapruder film correctly show this pincushion effect.
It is possible to use a computer to remove the pincushion effect. An example is shown below:
When scientists removed the pincushion effect from the film, the road sign gave them a surprise: it bent and twisted as it traveled across the bottom of the film!
A real sign would not do this. When the pincushion effect is removed, a real sign would just sit there, and line up with the background.
The easiest way to see the bending and twisting of the sign is to flip between two frames of the film: one showing the sign at the lower left of the frame, the other showing it at the lower right. We can line up the backgrounds of the two frames:
The pincushion effect makes the vertical edges of the sign bend in opposite directions for these two positions:
If these frames were genuine, the sign would not flip and flop like this at all.
The changing directions can be seen more clearly if we draw some lines on the images:
The blue lines are lined up with the white wall in the background: the last set of square holes, and the corner of the wall. The orange lines are lined up with the road sign: down the middle of the pole, and just to the right of the edge of the sign.
If the camera was moved between filming these two frames, the sign could shift left and right, or up and down, compared to the background. In other words, the orange lines could shift sideways compared to the blue lines. But the angles cannot change, like they do here. It violates the laws of physics. It is a forgery.The road sign is another mistake made by the forgers. They pasted a perfectly rectangular sign into the film frames, without realizing that they should have included the pincushion effect. By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late: frames had already been published showing the rectangular sign.
The lamppost mistake
To check that the Elm Street shown in the Zapruder film agrees with the real Elm Street in Dallas, Texas, scientists made use of photographs taken in 2002, as well as photographs taken in the week after the assassination by the Dallas police, together with precise survey maps of the area, to construct a panoramic view from the place from which Zapruder said he took his film.
A small-size copy of that panorama is shown here:
The Zapruder film images are overlaid on the black-and-white 1963 photos, which are themselves overlaid on the 2002 photos. The images were corrected for pincushion distortion and perspective effects before being “stitched together” using advanced computer programs.
Overall, the Zapruder film agrees with real Elm Street extremely well. As a whole, the Zapruder film has the correct pincushion distortion and perspective effects.
But there are two things that don’t match up properly.
One is the road sign, which comes out blurry. This is because it was pasted into the film incorrectly, as described on the last page.
The other is the lamppost to the right of the sign. In the panorama above you can see the top half of the lamppost as shown in the Zapruder film. Just to its right is the real lamppost as of November 1963. (Ignore the lamppost further to the left: this is where it had been moved to by 2002.)
It does not matter that the Zapruder film lamppost is slightly to the left of the Dallas Police Department photo. That is explained by the police taking the photo from a slightly different position to Abraham Zapruder. (This is called “parallax”.)
What is important is that the angle of the lamppost is wrong. You can see this more clearly in the comparison below:
If you look at the white wall and the bushes in the background, you can see that the two panoramic views line up exactly. But the lamppost changes its angle.
This is even clearer if we draw a line down the middle of the lamppost:
The Zapruder film shows the lamppost leaning slightly to the right. Even though it is only a small lean, it is something that could not happen if the film was genuine.
The angle of the lamppost is another small mistake that the forgers made. Frames showing the lamppost were published in Life magazine within days. Once that was done, it was impossible to fix the mistake.
To be fair, the forgers had no idea that computers would become as powerful as they are today. Computers in 1964 didn’t do any graphics at all! It took almost 40 years for this small mistake to be found.
This is an example of how modern science can sometimes solve murder mysteries that are decades old. This case just happens to be the most famous murder mystery of all time.
The wound mistake
The Zapruder film seems to show the front of JFK’s head being blasted open by a shot:
Researchers like Stewart Galanor, who were lucky enough to see the film in the 1960s (at a private screening in the U.S. National Archives), believed that this proved that JFK was killed by a shot coming from in front of him and to his right (from the “grassy knoll”), because his head moves backwards and to his left.
In the same way, when the film was first shown on TV in 1975, people were outraged. The U.S. Government’s story—that one man in a building far behind the President shot him—didn’t make sense. This led the U.S. House of Representatives to create a new Select Committee to investigate the assassination.
But even in the 1960s, researcher David Lifton discovered that the Zapruder film not just gives us confusing information about where the shot came from, but actually makes no sense at all!
Lifton was a graduate in engineering physics. He took the black-and-white copies of the Zapruder film frames, published by the U.S. Government, to Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. He thought that Feynman would conclude, from the laws of physics, that the shot must have come from the front.
Lifton was dismayed when Feynman ignored all of the frames except the ones that show the President just before and just after the impact of the shot:
(These are modern copies of those frames.) Even though Frame 313 is blurred, Feynman was able to measure the position of JFK’s head compared to fixed parts of the limousine (like the handle reflection between the Kennedys and the Connallys).
Feynman found that JFK’s head moved forwards at the moment of impact.
The laws of physics then tell us that the shot must have come from behind!
The backwards movement of the President’s head after Frame 313 then became the mystery. Were there two shots? Could there be some other physics explanation for this strange phenomenon? Did the red spray of blood force his head backwards, like a jet engine? Could his muscles have gone into spasm because of the brain damage?
In 2001, scientists used modern computers to remove as much of the blur from Frame 313 as possible. When the two clear frames are laid on top of each other, there is no doubt at all that JFK’s head moves forward:
The movement was checked by yet another method: Frame 312 was blurred by the same amount as Frame 313, and then the two frames were compared. Again, the President’s head was found to move forwards.
You can also see something remarkable in this comparison: the red spray of blood in Frame 313 is clearly in front of JFK’s head. Indeed, it blocks our view of his wife’s face, which can be fully seen in Frame 312!
This seems to again tell us that the shot came from behind. There is no other way for bloody brain matter to be blasted forwards.
But Lifton made a discovery that, for more than two decades, was so incredible that it was not given much credence: the head wound shown on the Zapruder film does not at all match the wound described by eyewitnesses and the doctors that treated JFK in Dallas!
We can see the problem just by going one more frame forward, to Frame 314:
The Zapruder film is telling us that the whole front-top of JFK’s head gets blasted away! There is a huge crater where his forehead used to be, through which we can again see his wife.
This would make sense, if he was indeed hit by a high-velocity rifle bullet from behind.
There is only one problem with this: everyone who saw the President after the shooting said that his face was not injured or damaged at all!
JFK autopsy photographs surfaced in the late 1980s, and showed his face to be completely intact:
Even the skeptics had to agree that either the Zapruder film or the autopsy photos (or both) have to be forgeries.
From the 1970s, Lifton had argued that the bright reddish-white wound which seems to appear and snake up the side of the President’s head, which he called “the blob”, completely disagreed with the descriptions of the head wound given by the doctors and nurses at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital, where the President was taken:
In a thousand-word footnote in his 1980 book, Best Evidence, he argued that this tells us that the Zapruder film has been substantially altered, if not completely forged.
However, Lifton would have to wait nearly a quarter of a century for scientists to prove that he was right.
His hundred-page chapter in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax is a wonderful history of the Zapruder film, and the way it was used to convince the American public, over the past four decades.
The blood mistake
On the previous page we looked at David Lifton’s discovery, back in the 1960s, that the wound to JFK’s head shown on the Zapruder film is a fake.
More recently, scientists have discovered that there is something else about the shot to JFK’s head on the forged film that is fake—and can be proved to be fake: the spray of blood that appears at the moment he is shot.
Film experts had noted that the “blood spray” in Frame 313 looks like it has been “painted on” and then exposed onto a genuine strip of film:
But what tells us that this “blood” is fake is the fact that it disappears into thin air!
If it was real, the “blood” should spread out in the frames after Frame 313, and then land on people or objects in the car. But within a couple of frames, it disappears altogether:
Scientists were able to test whether the blood really did disappear. They analyzed the film frames around the shot to JFK’s head:
Every color picture can be broken down into red, green, and blue light. (If you look closely at your TV, you can see the little red, green and blue lights!) The total red, green, and blue light in each of the frames was measured by computer, and put onto a graph:
The graphs show that the “spray” disappears within three frames, or one-sixth of a second. This can’t happen! Even if you dropped a lead weight from JFK’s temple, it wouldn’t drop into the car this fast!
The scientists were also able to show that the “spray” could not have been moving so fast that it shot right out of view before Frame 314.
But even if the blood could have, where would it have ended up?
It would have gone all over the Connallys, and the windows and interior of the limousine. But a frame published only weeks after the assassination, in color, showed no blood at all:
If this was not bad enough, when the U.S. Government’s report into the assassination was published in 1964, another frame (323) was published, which again showed no blood, but just a huge bloodless wound in the President’s head:
The problem was that the same magazine also showed another frame (311), where the President had not yet been shot in the head:
When the forgers sped up the action so that it would look like the limousine never stopped, it meant that these two frames were only two-thirds of a second apart. Somehow, in less than a second, the President had to be shot in the head, and any blood and brain matter had to disappear into thin air!
The magazine printing was stopped, the printing plate for this page was broken, and the bloodless Frame 323 was taken out. But in a monumental blunder, it was replaced by Frame 313: the first time the “blood spray” was ever published!
It is ironic that two different versions of the same magazine issue caused the “blood spray” problem: a fake-looking spray of blood appears, and 0.55 seconds later it has completely disappeared.
You can also see that the publication of the two images above locked in the “fast-forward” mistakes: all four people in the front of the limousine have moved a large distance in just two-thirds of a second.This shows how difficult it was for the forgers to make the fake film. As the web of lies grew, they got so tangled up that they ended up with something that was so bad that it had to be hidden away from the American public for 12 years.
The hole mistake
When the forgers made the frames of the Zapruder film, they probably thought that they would never have to actually show anyone an actual “original” 8 mm film. All they needed were images that could be published by the U.S. Government.
In the same magazine issue described on the last page, one of the Zapruder film frame images showed the edge of one of the “sprocket holes”: the little holes down the side of the film that the projector teeth grab onto:
Apart from the ridiculously long forearm of the Secret Service agent, nothing seems to be out of order with this image.
It was 33 years before the public got another close look at the edges of any of the sprocket holes. The “original” film was digitally scanned, and some of the images published on DVD in 1997.
When scientists looked at the same frame on the DVD image, they got a surprise:
The DVD showed the sprocket holes for all 486 frames of the film, and researchers had studied and measured them carefully. You can see clearly where the sprocket hole is: it is the white area (a rectangle with rounded corners).
The problem is that, in the 1964 image, the rounded corner of the hole clearly crosses over a bright smudge of light (caused by the way the camera was designed) and runs down to the right of the white area. Between the two is a pale blue area.
This can be seen more clearly when the two images are laid on top of each other:
How can a hole be blue?
It can’t, of course. If a genuine film was photographed (being lit from behind, like a slide or an X-ray), then any hole in the film will be white.
Scientists believe that the forgers created the images by first exposing a photographic film with the frame image (in this example, the limo and Secret Service agent, etc.) as well as the right parts of the next frame and the previous frame that would bleed over in the area between the sprocket holes (the bright smudge of light you can see that goes up to the armpit of the Secret Service agent). Then they created the sprocket-hole shapes by doing an extra white exposure, with just these hole shapes.
This seemed to give nice white sprocket hole shapes, but the forgers didn’t notice that where there was only the “hole” exposure plus the exposure of the dark blue limousine, the result was only pale blue, not white.
By the time the “original” film was scanned for DVD in 1997, the round edge of the “hole” had been changed slightly, so that it looked like the left edge was the “real” edge of the sprocket hole. You can see the change above, especially in the corner where the two edges cross.
What was left was a “halo” around the sprocket hole. Similar “haloes” can be seen on many frames of the film. Researchers in the early 1990s had wondered where these “haloes” had come from.
The frame published in 1964 gives us the answer: the sprocket holes weren’t really holes at all, but “triple exposures” of light. Where there was only a “double exposure”, you don’t get something completely white, but instead a pale version of the object that is underneath.
This is yet another mistake made by the forgers. Maybe they didn’t anticipate how much scrutiny their forgery would get in the years and decades afterwards.But it was good enough to help cover up the assassination for the rest of their lives, wasn’t it?