James H. Fetzer was born in in Pasadena, California, on 6 December 1940. He studied philosophy at Princeton University before becoming an artillery officer in the Marine Corps. He reached the rank of captain before resigning in 1966. Fetzer completing his his Ph.D. in 1970.
Fetzer has taught at the University of Kentucky, University of Virginia and the University of South Florida. He was most recently McKnight University Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Felzer has published over 20 books and more than 100 articles and reviews in the philosophy of science and on the theoretical foundations of computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. He has also worked closely with David Mantik, Charles Crenshaw, Ronald F. White and Jack White in producing books on the assassination of the John F. Kennedy. This has included Assassination Science (1998), Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000) and The Great Zapruder Film Hoax: Deceit and Deception in the Death of JFK (2003).
Felzer believes the Secret Service played a role in the assassination. In the book, Assassination Science, he writes: "I have discovered at least fifteen indications of Secret Service complicity in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, from the absence of protective military presence to a lack of coverage of open windows, to motorcycles out of position, to Secret Service agents failing to ride on the Presidential limousine, to the vehicles arranged in an improper sequence, to the utilization of an improper motorcade route, to the driver bringing the vehicle to a halt after bullets began to be fired, to the almost total lack of response by Secret Service agents, to the driver washing out the back seat with a bucket and sponge at Parkland Hospital, to the car being dismantled and rebuilt (on LBJ's orders), to the driver giving false testimony to the Warren Commission, to the windshields being switched, to the autopsy photographs being taken into custody before they were developed".
The assassination of John F. Kennedy after all, could be explained by a variety of alternative hypotheses, including (h1) that he was killed by a lone, demented gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald, (h2) that the Mob did it, (h3) that pro- or anti-Castro Cubans did it, (h4) that the Soviet KGB did it, or (h5) that his death was the result of a coup d'etat, involving the CIA, the Mob, anti-Castro Cubans, and powerful politicians, such as LBJ, Richard Nixon, and J. Edgar Hoover, and fully financed by Texas oil men and other elements of the military-industrial complex.
JFK was controversial on many grounds, including his forceful actions in support of integration, his attempts to reduce the oil depletion allowance, his opposition to monopolistic pricing policies, his negotiation of a Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union, his failure to support the invasion of Cuba, his resolution "to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces", his decision to withdraw American forces from Vietnam, his placing covert operations under the supervision of the Pentagon, and his brother Bobbys relentless attack upon organized crime. It looked quite likely that he would drop LBJ as his 1964 running mate and, following his reelection, would retire J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI.
Now consider some of the most important findings reported in this book. David Mantik has discovered that lateral X-rays of the President's cranium have been fabricated to conceal a massive blow-out to the back of his head and that a 6.5 mm object has been superimposed upon the original AP X-ray Robert Livingston has concluded that diagrams of the brain in the National Archives must be of some brain other than that of John F Kennedy. A group of experts on various aspects of photographic evidence has found that the Zapruder film has been extensively edited using highly sophisticated techniques. If we accept this evidence on the basis of the studies presented here, then what does it tell us about the assassination The impact of this evidence appears to be considerable. The Mob, for example, would not have had the power to reach into Bethesda Naval Hospital to fabricate X-rays of the Presidents cranium. Neither pro - nor anti-Castro Cubans could have substituted diagrams of someone elses brain for that of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The KGB could not have have had access to the Zapruder film in order to subject it to extensive editing, even if it had the ability to do so. Neither could any of these things have been done by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was in custody or already dead.
None of these hypotheses is consistent with this new evidence, which means that none of these things appears possible. We now have evidence, not previously available, which cannot be reconciled with the truth of (h1), (h2), (h3), or (h4). At least, it cannot be reconciled with those hypotheses when they are intended to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the assassination. It remains the case that, even though the Mob, for example, could not have fabricated X-rays, substituted diagrams of a brain, or edited the Zapruder film, it could still have put up guns or money. That would not be especially surprising.
What, then, about (h5)? I have discovered at least fifteen indications of Secret Service complicity in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, from the absence of protective military presence to a lack of coverage of open windows, to motorcycles out of position, to Secret Service agents failing to ride on the Presidential limousine, to the vehicles arranged in an improper sequence, to the utilization of an improper motorcade route, to the driver bringing the vehicle to a halt after bullets began to be fired, to the almost total lack of response by Secret Service agents, to the driver washing out the back seat with a bucket and sponge at Parkland Hospital, to the car being dismantled and rebuilt (on LBJs orders), to the driver giving false testimony to the Warren Commission, to the windshields being switched, to the autopsy photographs being taken into custody before they were developed, and more.
Perhaps no greater debate has raged in the history of the study of the death of JFK than over the authenticity of a 27-second home movie of the assassination, known as "the Zapruder film". This footage has been described as "the most significant amateur recording of a news event in history". It is surely one of the most controversial. Some students of the crime take it as the absolute foundation for understanding what actually transpired. Others are not so sure.
This book brings together leading experts on the film, including Jack White, the legendary photoanalyst; David Healy, an expert on film production and post-production; John Costella, Ph.D., a physicist with specialization in light and the properties of moving objects; David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., the leading expert on the medical evidence and another authority on the film; David Lifton, a noted student of the assassination and author of Best Evidence; and James H. Fetzer, Ph.D., a professor of logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning.
The evidence that is presented in this volume provides proof that the film has not simply been edited by removing a few frames or by altering the contents of specific sequences (which has indeed been done in this instance) but that the whole film has been created by the use of sophisticated techniques relying upon optical printing and special effects, whereby any foreground can be merged with any background, any specific unwanted events can be removed and any wanted events can be introduced.
Interest in Paine's garage, for example, derives from Oswald having stored his Mannlicher-Carcano, wrapped in a blanket, in that place. But no remnants of having been wrapped in a blanket were ever discovered on the alleged assassination weapon - not the least hairs or fibers - which is very curious, indeed, had the weapon actually been stored there.
The alleged instrument, a cheap, mass-produced World War II Italian carbine, has a muzzle velocity of around 2,000 fps, which means that it is not a high-velocity weapon. Since the President's death certificates (1963), The Warren Report (1964), and even more recent articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association (1992) report that JFK was killed by high velocity bullets, it follows that he was not killed by Oswald's weapon, thereby greatly reducing interest in Mrs. Paine's garage.
Indeed, though it may come as news to the author, many other students of the case, including Harold Weisberg, Whitewash (1965), Peter Model and Robert Groden, JFK: The Case for Conspiracy (1976), and Robert Groden and Harrison Livingstone, High Treason (1989), have also made the same observation. These are not books cited in this study, however, which raises rather serious questions as to why someone whose knowledge of the assassination appears to be so meager would write a book about it.
He does not know that Oswald had a history with American intelligence; that Oswald was being "sheep dipped" in New Orleans; that Oswald was an informant for the FBI; that the "paper bag" story is a fabrication; that Oswald was in the lunch room on the second floor having a coke during the shooting; that Oswald passed a paraffin test; and on and on. A weightly body of evidence substantiates all of these discoveries, but none of them is even mentioned, much less disputed, by the author of this book.
The sources he does cite, moreover, are far from reassuring. His acknowledgments, for example, lists six persons, including Mrs. Paine and her former husband, Michael, Priscilla Johnson McMillan and John McAdams. McAdams has gained a certain degree of notoriety for his one-sided defense of the "lone nut" hypothesis, which disregards overwhelming contradictory evidence, including proof that the "magic bullet" theory is not only false but anatomically impossible.
Priscilla Johnson McMillan, however, is the most intriguing name on this list. It was she who "interviewed" Oswald on the occasion of his pseudo-defection to the Soviet Union; it was she who was selected by the United States government to accompany Stalin's daughter, Sevetlana, when she defected to the United States; and it was she who was chosen to "baby sit" Marina during those turbulent times in the aftermath of the assassination. Her CIA connections virtually qualify as "common knowledge"...
The book endorses the idea that Oswald was responsible for an alleged attempt on the life of Major General Edwin Walker that occurred on 10 April 1963. But there are many reasons to doubt it. The situations were very different: a high-powered 30.06 rifle versus a medium-to-low powered 6.5 mm carbine; a stationary versus moving target; a miss versus two hits out of three. It is difficult to imagine how their varied circumstances could have been less suggestive of a common shooter!
Unless, of course, their politics were similar - but Walker was a right-wing general, while Kennedy was a left-wing president. Kennedy had even relieved Walker of his command in Germany! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that these shootings were not performed by the same shooter. It does provide an opportunity for Thomas Mallon to compose another book. If Lee also had a 30.06, then he had to have stored it somewhere. We can now look forward to a sequel, Mrs. Paine's Attic.
Mallon also asserts that, "Oswald took a bus and taxi back to his rooming house in Oak Cliffs, where he picked up the pistol that he used minutes later to kill the patrolman, J. D. Tippit, who stopped him at the corner of Tenth and Patton". If he were correct about this - Mallon offers no reason for thinking so! - then Oswald must have been the only assassin in history to make his escape by public transportation. He also ignores evidence that Tippit was shot with automatic(s) when Oswald was packing a revolver.
During an interview about his new book, Passion for Truth, on 4 March 2001 with Paul Alexander and John Batchelor on WABC, which lasted seven minutes, Arlen Specter asserted seven claims about the assassination of JFK and the "magic" bullet theory that are not simply false but actually provably false. His assertions and the grounds on which we know they are false are as follows: (1) that JFK was standing when he was hit: provably false. We have more than 200 Dealey Plaza witnesses and 500 photographic records - counting the Zapruder film as one - that prove he was sitting, not standing, when he was killed; (2) that a bullet entered at the back of JFK's neck: provably false in six different ways: (a) Boswell's diagram; (b) Jack's shirt; (c) Jack's jacket; (d) Berkley's death certificate; (e) Sibert and O'Neill's report on the autopsy; plus (f) ARRB release showing that Gerald Ford had the final report changed to make it appear as if the bullet had entered the base of his neck when it had not; (3) that the bullet hit nothing solid: provably false. David Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., has drawn a line through a CAT scan that demonstrates that a bullet entering where this is alleged to have entered and exiting where this is alleged to have exited would have had to impact with cervical vertebra, which means that the single bullet theory is not just false but actually anatomically impossible; (4) that he has "looked" at the X-rays and they support the conclusions of the Warren Commission: provably false. Specter is not an expert on the interpretation of X-rays, so even if he has taken a look (which I doubt), it would mean nothing. Someone who is an expert has studied them repeatedly and has discovered that they have been fabricated in at least two different ways: (a) the right lateral cranial X-ray has been fabricated by imposing a patch to conceal a massive blow-out to the back of the head; and, (b) the anterior-posterior X-ray has been fabricated by adding a 6.5 mm metal-like object to implicate a 6.5 mm weapon; (5) he claims there is no evidence of conspiracy: provably false. That the magic bullet theory is anatomically impossible and that the X-rays have been altered implicates the government in a conspiracy to conceal the truth about the assassination, where the most reasonable explanation for government complicity in the cover-up is government complicity in the crime. (6) he says that we now know that Humes burned his notes: but what is new is not that he burned his notes (which were stained with blood: that is rather old news) but that he also burned the first-draft of his autopsy report (under orders from his superior: that is the new news); and, (7) he asserts that you can't prove a negative: but we have just done so six times: we have proven that Arlen Specter has made no less than six false claims - seven, including this one - during this brief interview.