FILM FOOTAGE AVAILABLE
The real Jonestown trailer was filmed at many angles. The trailer used in the attack was filmed at just one, but luckily that was in direct sunlight, broadside, and at rest. It’s somewhat at a distance with some blur but direct sunlight, broadside and at rest is otherwise optimal for visuals.
To have the trailer used in the attack at only one angle is a relative deficit, but to view the real Jonestown trailer at many angles is a big plus: Notably, when a feature is verified repeatedly in the real trailer (such as trailer coloration) and the only exception is the trailer used in the attack, it makes a case. There are also features blatantly visible in the real Jonestown trailer that are blatantly absent in the vehicle used in the attack.
OPPOSITE COLORATION (panel 1)
The real Jonestown trailer was dark smudgy green along the TOP edge; light red, pink across the BOTTOM edge. The duped trailer was dark smudgy green along the BOTTOM edge; light red, pink along the TOP edge.
This trailer was misassembled upside down! Remember, the designers of the attack vehicle had to work from photographs but these were removable wooden panels. Even if they were all built in accordance with photographs (see “Who Had Access to the Jonestown Vehicles to Duplicate Them“ in “In Plain Sight”), they would still have to be assembled on the flatbed. This was a visible misassembly — a mistake.
This is all the more certain in that in every one of many freeze-frames of the real trailer at multiple angles, the coloration is consistent. By contrast, the freeze-frame of the duped trailer is the only one where the coloration is the opposite.
Also note that the green top rim on the real Jonestown trailer was clearly not a “bleed” from adjoining green vegetation. To the contrary. Green vegetation lines the top rim of the duped trailer, yet that rim is light red, pink. Conversely, even in freeze-frames of the real trailer which are bordered by light brown wood (i.e., not green vegetation), the top rim is clearly green.
See panel 1 to verify that the coloration of the attack trailer was the opposite of the real Jonestown trailer.
FRONT OPEN ON REAL JONESTOWN TRACTOR (panel 2)
Note that the real Jonestown trailer was filmed at the Port Kaituma airstrip twirling clear around. These are shown in sequence at panel 2. Note that as the trailer rotates from front to back, the space in front gradually opens to reveal no front panels at all. To confirm, the bodies of both driver and the person to his right are visible clear through from the back of the trailer in the last few freeze-frames. Therefore this trailer had to be open in the front.
DIFFERENT INTERIOR COLORATION AS WELL (panel 3)
Panel 3 shows one rotation of the vehicle revealing dark red coloration on the inside front left panel. The next set of pictures on panel 3 show a side angle also revealing dark red coloration, now on the inside front right panel. In the latter, again note that the front is clearly open because the front top edges of the left paneling and right paneling of the trailer, respectively, jut up at different angles.
All of the above pictures were extracted from continuous NBC film footage taken on November 17, 1978 for the arrival of the Congressman’s party. One is more at a distance, another close up but they are the same vehicle in its rotation around the airstrip.
In the duped trailer, by contrast, note the front right paneling slightly protruding frontwards. It is not possible to see for certain whether the front of that trailer is open or closed but we see the coloration: it is bright yellow, perhaps catching the glint of the sun. This means that that trailer either had a closed front (= different from the open front real trailer) or, if it was open, the coloration is a mismatch against what should be dark red (= different wood paneling.)
In either case, it’s a different trailer.
WIDE VERSUS NARROW
THE REAL JONESTOWN TRAILER WAS A WIDE, OPEN-FRONT, UNSTABLE VEHICLE
Note that with the real Jonestown trailer, the combination of an open front combined with a wide vehicle, would necessarily produce an unstable vehicle — neither suited for speed nor mobility. This is not uncommon with farm vehicles; and solutions to stabilize flat-bed trailers are frequently improvised.
We are noting this up front because the next section will reveal that the real Jonestown trailer had an extra hitch, one visibly, verifiably absent in the trailer used in the attack.
Due to the angle at which the attack trailer was filmed, we cannot verify with certainty that the trailer used in the attack was a narrow vehicle, not wide. Common sense would dictate (and no, common sense is not “proof,” but it is common sense!) that any vehicle already verifiably custom-modified for a swift attack, would not deliberately burden the assassins with the liability of a rickety, unstable, too-wide, not-enclosed vehicle that neither favored mobility nor speed.
Nor was that necessary. After all, only the side of the trailer was needed to deceive the victims into thinking “Oh, that’s the trailer from Jonestown!” Only the left side of the trailer, specifically flush left at that, was visible to the victims from the staging point of the attack, not the vehicle in rotation.
However, what we can visibly verify is that special, stabilizing attachments were added to the real Jonestown trailer that were visibly, verifiably absent in the trailer used in the attack. Namely, the real Jonestown trailer had a second added hitch accompanied by two extra underwheels; the trailer used in the attack had a single hitch only, as revealed now IN PLAIN SIGHT:
DOUBLE HITCH VERSUS SINGLE HITCH (panel 4)
THE REAL JONESTOWN TRAILER HAD A DOUBLE HITCH
As already noted, the real Jonestown trailer was notably wide, with no added panels to close off either the back or the front. This was not only not designed for mobility or speed, but was inherently unstable, even wobbly. This was not a vehicle suited to a swift, efficient attack.
Note that although a wooden cross-bar is visible at the back underside of the trailer, at first glance there are no wheels at the front of the trailer, so it is initially unclear how “wobbles” would have been prevented with the vehicle in motion.
Then we note in the real Jonestown trailer viewed flush left (see panel 4) that there are additional wheels — namely, two under wheels (as marked) clearly visible in the area between the tractor and the trailer when that vehicle is viewed stretched out.
Also note that more than one freeze-frame is shown, so it is certain that these underwheels were part of the tractor-trailer, not any object in the background.
Then note in panel 4 that the hitch between the tractor and trailer is a DOUBLE hitch. One hitch was already gripping the underside of the trailer with a long metal bar going down its length. (That one, as we will see, was duplicated.) But either a short stop or any real speed could lurch this trailer upwards in a dangerous manner, all the more so given both the width of the trailer and its lack of stabilizing panels both in the back and the front
Now we see that there is a DOUBLE hitch attached to the real Jonestown trailer. In other words, not just a hitch connecting the trailer to the tractor from the trailer’s UNDERside, but also a hitch connected to the very platform of the trailer, its UPPER side — the two hitches together acting, in effect, like “a clamp,” comprised of the LOWER HITCH attacked to the underside of the trailer holding it up and the UPPER HITCH pressing down onto the trailer’s platform when that stabilization was needed. (See hitches 1 and 2 as marked on panel 4.)
Now note that this UPPER HITCH was divided into links on a rotating circular belt, giving a flexibility suited to either extension or curving around. It is attached to the front upper side of the trailer platform, then curving around to the two small underwheels.
This link construction could curve downwards upon turns of the vehicle but be outstretched when the tractor-trailer was moving straight ahead. That would mean that when the vehicle had a short stop or accelerated to too great a speed, instead of the metal underbar jolting the trailer upwards, the linked upper hitch would exert equal pressure downwards and this inherently wobbly vehicle would stabilize rather than jolting upwards or toppling dangerously to the side.
THE TRAILER USED IN THE ATTACK HAD A SINGLE HITCH
By contrast, the trailer used in the attack had A SINGLE HITCH ONLY, which is visible with proof-positive certainty on the NBC footage (panel 4).
Since the vehicle used in the attack was filmed broadside and with no interceding objects in the background, we can view the entire open area between the tractor and the trailer without obstruction. THERE IS NO UPPER HITCH AT ALL. THEREFORE IT CANNOT BE THE SAME VEHICLE.
Also note that with all that was needed was to deceive the onlooker into mis-identifying the trailer as “That’s from Jonestown!”; and that would be achieved by the long, paneled trailer alone. Hitches would have been a side point. Shy of a camera on site, no one would have ever noticed or found out.
(Note also: Since the opportunity to photograph the real Jonestown tractor-trailer was two months earlier, we have no way to know whether this vehicle had the second hitch attached at that time. See “Who Had Access to Jonestown to Quasi-Duplicate the Vehicle?”.)
Also consider that the trailer used in the attack probably did not require a double hitch. We have only a view from the side, but any vehicle constructed like the real Jonestown trailer would be a liability, not an asset in an attack, being unwieldy, wobbly and slow. The side view of this vehicle was all the victims ever saw, not its width nor any front panels or lack thereof.
Although the width of the trailer used in the attack cannot be definitively proven from the freeze-frame, it is “best bet” that the trailer used in the attack was shaped like a railroad car, unlike the real Jonestown trailer which was more square-shaped. The back wheels and cross-bar would have given stability enough.
Given opposite coloration; an open front in the real trailer with deep red inner coloration, in contrast to the trailer used in the attack; and the visible, verifiable double hitch in the real trailer versus the single hitch in the duped trailer:
THESE WERE DIFFERENT VEHICLES. TRACTOR DIFFERENT, TRAILER DIFFERENT; AND AS VERIFIED IN BOTH “EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATIONS?: THE FBI REPORT VERSUS THE ON-SITE NBC FILM FOOTAGE” AND “EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATIONS?: THE VIEW FROM JONESTOWN,” THE ASSASSINS WERE DIFFERENT AS WELL!