A STUNNING NEW FILM The flame stood out like a beacon of light in a sea of darkness. It was probably the most famous flame in the world, for it honored the grave of President John F. Kennedy. It was November 22, 2063, exactly one hundred years to the day since President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The grave of JFK was mobbed with tourists on that bright, sunny fall day, all eager to see the martyred president’s final resting place. One tourist had a small radio playing softly in the background. Suddenly, a news broadcast came on.
The newsman said, “This is WADC with a special report from Dallas, Texas. The FBI reports that a young man who claims to be the great grandson of Samuel Brandon, one of the eyewitnesses to President Kennedy’s assassination a hundred years ago, brought in an eightmillimeter movie that he claims his great grandfather took of the shooting. The film, which has never been seen before, reportedly shows a second gunman firing from the grassy knoll. If this film is legitimate, it is the first known movie showing another gunman shooting at the motorcade. It would provide conclusive proof of a conspiracy to murder JFK. Mr. Brandon died mysteriously after he told the Dallas police and FBI that he had seen a gunman shoot at the president from the grassy knoll. More on this breaking story tonight at six. We now return to our regular programming.”
The young man standing near the grave was stunned as he listened to the news report. At thirtysix, Sean Zumwalt was six feet tall and 180 pounds of lean muscle. A star athlete in college, he had been on the 2052 US Olympic team in volleyball that had won the gold medal. He had earned the Eagle Scout award at the age of fifteen and traveled all over the world, courtesy of his father, a retired colonel in the Air Force. He had graduated from MIT with a 3.95 GPA in physics and later earned both MBA and JD degrees from Harvard. He lived in Washington, DC and was lucky to be a partner in one of the most prestigious firms in that city. He had grown up in Fort Worth, Texas, and still considered it his home town. Both of his sisters lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and he often flew down to visit them and their families. Every time he went back to Texas, he usually went to Dealey Plaza, where JFK was shot. The assassination both fascinated and troubled him with the unanswered questions over the years.
Sean had purchased an exact replica of the infamous 6.5-mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle allegedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald and considered it one of his prized possessions. The gun had cost him $5,000, and he had wanted it so badly that he offered the gun dealer ten times the actual value just to have it. Like most people who had hobbies, the JFK assassination was his full-time hobby, and had been for some time; he had been a JFK assassination researcher for the last twenty years. Even his close friends joked about how he spent all his time reading, collecting, and searching for items related to the assassination. He had amassed one of the largest private collections of books, videos, magazines, newspapers, and photos. He remembered his father laughing at the absurdity of the lone gunman theory. His grandfather had told him years earlier, “I guarantee you there was a conspiracy that killed JFK. No one could shoot that accurately at a moving target, unless they were an expert shot and the luckiest guy in the world. I ought to know. I am an experienced hunter, and neither I nor my Marine friends could ever come close to shooting like that. Oswald was a loner, a perfect patsy. Why else would Ruby have killed him two days later? Anyone can see that the Warren Commission was a fraud, a complete snow job.”Ever since that conversation, Sean had been obsessed with the crime of the century.
He remembered his father telling him about the release of all the classified data on the assassination in 2039 and how the US government had made a big issue of the fact that none of the documentation proved a conspiracy had existed. It had all indicated that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only man involved.
He thought about all the eyewitnesses who had mysteriously died following the assassination.
Why would so many people die suspiciously unless there was a conspiracy?
If a conspiracy had murdered all those people, then the only possible motive was to silence them.
He suddenly remembered the old proverb: three people can keep a secret if two are dead. It certainly made more sense than everything just being a coincidence. Coincidence could only be believed up to a certain point. Was it a coincidence that Oswald had been to the Soviet Union and married a Russian woman? Was it a coincidence that the motorcade route had been arranged to drive by the Texas School Book Depository? Was it a coincidence that JFK’s brain and other crucial medical evidence had vanished? Was it a coincidence that the assassination happened in Texas and a Texan just happened to take over? Was it a coincidence that over fifty eyewitnesses hear a shot from the grassy knoll?
Everything about the assassination seemed to involve some type of coincidence. It was unbelievable, especially the magic bullet theory. To Sean, that was the biggest joke of all. How could the US government expect the American people to believe that a 6.5-mm bullet shattered bones in Governor Connally and came out almost totally undamaged?
His great-grandfather, Dr. Robert Zumwalt, had been in Parkland Hospital on the day of the assassination and had spoken with one of the trauma surgeons about the tragedy. The surgeon told Dr. Zumwalt that the fatal shot had been fired from in front of the limousine.
Sean remembered his grandfather telling him how the trauma surgeon had died shortly afterward from a supposedly self-inflicted gunshot would, another mysterious death surrounding the assassination.
Sean couldn’t stop hearing the words spoken by Oswald shortly after his arrest in Dallas: “I’m just a patsy!”
He h ad often wondered how the US and the world would be different had JFK lived.Sean was convinced there had been a conspiracy to murder the president. The only question <
em id="__mceDel">was, Who had planned the murder-the mob, CIA, Castro, anti-Castro Cubans? The list of suspects seemed endless.What a travesty of justice, he thought. They killed the president and got away scot-free. If only he could go back in time and prevent the assassination.
Keep dreaming, pal, he reminded himself.
Or was it a dream?
He had read recently about a new institute outside Washington, D.C. that was experimenting with the possibility of time travel. It was known only as the ISE (Institute for Space Exploration) and was connected with NASA.
He had seen the founder of the Institute, Dr. Karl Van Auken, on TV several months earlier, talking about time travel. Dr. Van Auken was a legend in the scientific community. He had won the Nobel Prize in 2050 for physics and research on space travel. He had earned his PhD at MIT and had written several books. A world-renowned physicist and scientist, he had just recently been given the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by the president of the United States. The institute was categorized TS-1, or top secret level one, the highest security clearance any entity could be given, by the State Department. Its work was so secretive that only a handful of people knew exactly what type of research was going on. It was the twenty-first century version of the Manhattan Project.
Sean pondered the possibility of meeting Dr. Van Auken to explore more about traveling back in time. He had a close friend, Vince Bartlett, an old law school buddy, whose father knew Dr. Van Auken. Perhaps Vince could find a way to introduce Sean to Dr. Van Auken.
The possibility intrigued Sean. Even if a person did go back in time, no one would believe him when he started warning of an impending assassination. The FBI or Secret Service would probably arrest the individual and dismiss them as a nut case. The only possible way to convince anyone would be to take newspapers, books, videos, even the Zapruder film itself back in time.
Surely no one could doubt that type of evidence. Even better would be to take pictures of JFK’s
grave, the Warren Report, and a Kennedy half dollar back in time.
The question he would have to answer is, Would he want to go back and live in 1963? Sean
thought of the advances in 2063 that were never dreamed of in 1963. Cancer was cured in 2030,
along with AIDS. Doctors could replace parts of the human brain with computer chips. The
average life span was a hundred and thirty years due to all the great medical advances. The Page 5
greatest medical achievement was the cure for paralysis in 2040. Two American physicians and
a British physician developed a vaccine that totally restored spinal cord injuries. People who had
been restricted to a life in a wheelchair could walk again.
Technology had advanced so far that automobiles were driven with computers instead of steering
wheels. Sean still had his grandfather’s 2043 Lexus that was a dinosaur compared to cars of
American society had become transformed totally from a century ago. The drug problem had
been almost eradicated due to the implementation of two different currencies in 2020. One
currency for inside the U.S. and one for outside the U.S. That had been the brainchild of a wellknown attorney, Rich Sherman, who had written a book detailing the ways to halt the drug
problem. He had received death threats from drug lords but was still living in California.
The greatest innovation for Americans had been the elimination of the IRS in 2044. Every
individual who worked was taxed through a complex computer program. The computer system
for each taxpayer had to be monitored by a CPA. That kept accountants in business.
He kept thinking of time travel as he went home. He would do everything possible to meet Dr.
Van Auken. While driving down the freeway, he called his father in Texas.
“Hi, Dad. This is Sean. How are you doing?”
Ken Zumwalt replied, “Doing fine, Sean. How was your day?”
“Great, Dad. I’m calling to get your opinion on something I have been thinking of for a long
time. What do you think about time travel?”
His father hesitated for a few seconds and then replied, “Are you crazy? What are you talking
“I’m talking about traveling back a hundred years to the day before JFK was shot in Dallas.
Would you do it if it could be done?”
“Well, it can’t be done, so what’s the point of debating the issue?”
“The point is, Dad, it might be possible after all.”
“Sean, have you been feeling okay lately? I’m worried about you talking all this nonsense.”
“Dad, just please listen to me. The ISE in Washington, DC has supposedly been experimenting
with time travel for quite a while. There have been rumors that at least one man recently
traveled thirty years back in time and came back successfully.”
“Sean, to answer your question, no, I would not go back and live in the nineteen sixties, whether
it was to save JFK or not. Look, I know he means a lot to you, but he’s gone. He’s history. He #Page 6
would not be worth risking your life over. If there was a conspiracy, what would keep them
from killing you?”
“Yeah, I’ve thought about it, and I’ve also thought about the fifty-eight thousand men who died
in Vietnam because LBJ escalated the war. If JFK had lived, there might not have been a
Vietnam War or Watergate. Just think how much different our country might be today if history
had been changed.”
“Sean, even if JFK had survived Dallas, he might have been shot somewhere else. He was a
marked man because of the Bay of Pigs, Castro, the CIA, and the mob.”
“I see your point, but it still bothers me that we don’t know the whole truth.”
“Sean, you’re the only guy in the whole country who still cares about what happened to JFK.
He’s dead like Lincoln, so forget about it.”
“Sean, listen to me. For all we know, it was just Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, no
conspiracy. You could be wasting your time trying to expose a conspiracy that never existed.
Move on to more important matters, like trying to find a girl to marry. Your mom and I would
like some grandchildren before we die.”
“Okay, Dad. I’ll just drop the whole thing.”
“Fine, Sean. Believe whatever you want. We are never going to know the truth a hundred years
after it happened. Anyone who might have been involved in that murder is dead. It’s like going
back and trying to look for Nazi war criminals.”
“Dad, I heard something on the radio today about a new eight-millimeter film that surfaced in
Dallas. It reportedly shows a second gunman shooting at JFK from the grassy knoll. Do you
realize this is the missing evidence that people have been waiting for? It conclusively proves a
“Sean, stop for a second and think about this. How come this film just happened to appear after
a hundred years? This is probably a hoax. The person who has it probably faked it or had it
made just to cash in on this conspiracy stuff. You don’t recall the forged Hitler diaries or the
hoax with the Howard Hughes papers? Stuff like this happens all the time. People come
forward with some new piece of evidence, and half the time, it is a complete fabrication. They
are trying to make money off this tragedy.”
“Perhaps, Dad, but I would like to see the film myself before I jump to conclusions. You know a
lot of people had their film and photos confiscated right after the shooting and never got them
back. Zapruder was lucky he got his film developed before someone could take it away from
“Well, son, it is getting close to dinnertime. I better let you go.”Page 7
“Okay, Dad. I love you. Tell Mom I love her too.”
“I will. We love you, son. Bye.”
Sean kept driving and thinking about the new film. It was almost 6:00 p.m. EST when he pulled
into his new home in the suburbs of Washington, DC.
He ran into the living room and turned on the TV. The 6:00 p.m. news was just starting, and
Sharon Shannon, the local anchor for Channel 7, came on the air.
God, what a babe, Sean thought to himself.
“We begin tonight’s news with a stunning development on the hundredth anniversary of the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Today, Alex Brandon, the great-grandson of
Samuel Brandon, provided the Dallas FBI office with an eight-millimeter film showing the
murder of President Kennedy. The film was made by Mr. Brandon’s great-grandfather at the
moment the shots were fired at JFK. According to the FBI, the film clearly shows an assassin
shooting from behind the picket fence on the infamous grassy knoll. Speculation is already
swirling about the authenticity of the film. Mr. Brandon told the FBI that he found the film in a
lockbox with a note written by his great-grandfather. The note said that Mr. Brandon feared for
his life and the safety of his family if he turned the film over to the authorities. He decided to
hide the film and left instructions that his heirs should have copies made and turn the original
over to the FBI. We are going to show this fifteen-second film for the first time ever. Please be
aware that it is a very graphic film showing the assassination of President Kennedy.”
Sean turned on his cyber recorder and began recording the broadcast. The film was extremely
clear. It showed the limousine coming down Elm Street. JFK started to react to a bullet hit. A
second later he raised his hands to his throat. Approximately one second later, Governor
Connally reacted to a bullet hitting him. Then a gunman fired from the grassy knoll and JFK’s
head exploded backward and to the left. The gunman appeared to be dressed as a Secret Service
Sean sat, stunned. There it was the proof of a second gunman for the first time. Not only that,
but this film showed JFK clearly reacting to a bullet hit at least two seconds before Governor
Connally, disproving the single bullet theory. There had to be at least three gunmen shooting.
Sean was angry. If Brandon had shown his film in 1963, the truth might have come out. Now it
was too late.
Sharon Shannon went on. “This new film is sure to reopen the JFK debate again on the
hundredth anniversary. Now for the rest of today’s news.”
I knew it. I knew it, he repeated to himself. A conspiracy. But who had planned the murder?
Was Lee Harvey Oswald even involved? If only one could go back in time and solve the mystery.
I have to pursue this, he told himself. Someone has to find out the truth.