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The "Unifilmer" Hoax

by Rick Nelson
with Randy Owen

Canadian researcher Rick Nelson, like many others, read the postings about yet another "new film" which purported to show the assassination sequence in Dealey Plaza. Naturally curious, Rick began to run the story down and not wait for the next Internet post. He began by finding the source of the posts--in this case, Western University in London, Ontario, and the poster, a 33-year old graduate student there named Wynn Hamonic. Rick then sent his own "Dear Wynn" posts, and learned the origins of the story--cautiously and gradually.

Hamonic claimed to have seen the film in the United States (Philadelphia to be exact) and that it was all contained on two or three small Bell and Howell reels, which he described, along with the boxes they came in. He was uncertain as to the exact content of the film, as he admitted a lack of understanding of the case, only that it showed the assassination. If given a plat of the environs, he promised he could make additional sense of it. He believed it was taken from within fifty to one hundred feet of the assassination.

He invited Rick to come and meet with him, but considering the distance of several hundred miles, Rick insisted on certain substantive guarantees. First, he wanted name, address, phone number, and any other pertinent data regarding the actual owner of the film, whom he believed to live in the US.

Wynn Hamonic replied that he did not have any of that data, as he believed the owner of the film was well-heeled financially, and traveled a great deal, part of which was to avoid being caught with something like the film, and may also have earned a prison record in the late 1970's. At this point, Wynn began to speak of the owner's serious paranoia, and added the possibility that he would never see him or the film again. He provided a vague description of "Tony," the film's owner, and told Rick of the history of the acquaintanceship: Wynn had been a student in Great Falls, Montana in 1988-89 when he met "Tony," who was interested in chess, and serious scientific mental challenges. Thereafter, they met on every second Friday for chess encounters until 1990. Wynn then left Great Falls and lost contact with Tony until a 1995 phone call from him.

It was suggested by "Tony" that if Wynn was in the Philly area, they could get together and see the film that "Tony" had received from relatives who had shot the footage in Dealey Plaza, and which could now be shown since the relatives were deceased. (Wynn had known of the film's existence in 1990, but understood that "Tony" had not yet gotten it from his older relatives.)

Wynn suggested the weekend of March 16, 1996, as he would be in Philadelphia to see a Flyers game, and a meeting and screening of the film(s) was arranged.
Wynn then began his postings on the Internet, insisting to Rick that his interest in the event was on behalf of Tony, and was nothing personal, although he added that he had received death threats since the time of his initial Internet postings. Oddly, Wynn added, in response to Rick's persistent questioning, that he doubted he would ever see "Tony" again, and that all he wanted to do was round up a group of "professionals" (Wynn's term for private investigators able to outsmart the kind of bodyguards he believed "Tony" surrounded himself with) to seize the film and prove its existence once and for all.

Wynn also mentioned he had a passing interested in a "finder's fee" or anything similar that would pertain. Rick was a good listener.

Rick contacted Randy Owens, a researcher in the area where Wynn was located, and asked him to look into the details of what was transpiring. Randy met with Wynn, who insisted on seeing personal identification, promising it would be checked out, which it was not. He largely repeated the story he had already told to Rick, but added details as he came to believe in Randy.

The first reel of the film he had seen, he claimed, contained mostly family/tourist type scenes, although there was some brief footage of a convention, considered by Randy possibly to have been the Bottlers' Convention held in Dallas the week of the assassination.

Wynn told Randy that the film was in black and white, and later said color; when pressed, he insisted it was color, but after all the years, had effectively faded to black and white. He also stumbled further with the statement that he believed the film was super 8 mm, which Randy checked, only to discover that such film only became available in 1965.

Randy nevertheless allowed Wynn to tell him all about the second reel, which was the film with the shooting on it. Based on photos supplied by Randy, he believed the camera was near Houston and Commerce and later moved to the area of the South Pergola (meaning it was much more than 50 to 100 feet away, as noted earlier). He described a man standing on a platform going right to left, which would have been Charles Bronson, and not Abraham Zapruder. The film showed zooming as the car was on Houston, and Wynn was sure that both the TSBD and the Dal-Tex Building were shown. The shooting sequence then followed, with Mrs. Kennedy on the trunk of the limousine, and people diving for cover. Wynn then recalled a bus "zipping" through the footage, and could not make sense of that until Randy explained that there were press busses in the motorcade. Somewhere in the discussion, Wynn suggested Tony had said he didn't have long to live, and would either get the film to interested parties, hence his allowance of Wynn's posts, or take it to his grave with him.

Eventually, Wynn Hamonic admitted to Randy Owen that the whole story was a hoax. He added that he had done enough research on the story to be able to fake it. Randy knew this was coming when Wynn indicated he had only seen the film once, and most of us recall our first Zapruder viewing, and how we wanted to view the event again and again.

Randy closed his post to the JFK/DPQ with the comment that Wynn Hamonic is simply a pathological liar, who believes he's being followed--but to what end?

Used by permission of the authors. All rights reserved. JFK/DPQ PO Box 174 Hillsdale, NJ 07642

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