EXCLUSIVE: Analysis of the Al Qaeda Beheading Video of Nick Berg

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posted on May, 14 2004 @ 04:56 PM
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Ever since the release of footage showing American Nick Berg being decapitated by terrorists, there has been a huge reaction of shock, anger, disgust and sadness.
However, not surprisingly there have been a number of conspiracy theories appearing questioning the validity of the tape, and because of this I decided to do a little digging into the footage myself.
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Although many of the questions raised about it have been about the actual content, I was more concerned with the actual method with which the footage was obtained itself. It seems to have been done very professionally, but let's first break down the footage shot for shot.

Ok, the video starts and we have a shot of Nick Berg side on. The time starts at 13:26:24 and carries through a few seconds to 13:26:27.

After this it cuts to a complete straight on shot of Nick, seemingly a continuation of the last portion but the time is 2:18:33. That's cut number 1.

This portion carries through until 2:18:43 and then we cut to the main portion of the footage with the terrorists behind Nick. Here the footage time begins at 2:40:32. That's cut number 2.

This is the lengthy part of the footage and it continues until 2:44:42 when he is thrown on the floor and the knife is pulled.

Then we cut to a close up of Nick on the floor and the time begins at 13:45:47. That's cut number 3.

Now this lasts for a few moments as Nick struggles on the floor and the camera man decides to go for an extreme close up which means you can't see anything for a few seconds as the camera shakes like hell. The camera then starts to zoom out but cuts at a strange time at 13:45:52.

It cuts to what looks like the exact same camera and shot but a few moments later at 13:45:59. That's cut number 4.

This shot plays out as they start cutting his throat and lasts until 13:46:33.

It then cuts to what must be a few brief seconds later at 13:47:46 where they lift his head towards the camera. That's cut number 5 and the footage ends after about another thirty seconds.


In order for it to be done this way it could only have been done really two ways:








Method 1

First would be that it's one camera. If that is the case then the changes in time are really weird regardless of edits for time or not. To go from 13:00 approx hours to 2:00 hours approx and back again to 13:00 approx would mean that not only were bits filmed many hours apart, they are also out of order.

This doesn't make sense except for the last bit were it's just jumping forward in time by the space of a few seconds, but one has to ask why there are cuts here? It's hardly to save time, not that much passes. It's also before and after the cutting which concerned me. One person pointed out that this may have been done to make the killers look more efficient, but if you check the times I fail to see how a matter of 1 minute 13 seconds really makes look any more efficient. If you wanted it to look as grizzly as possible you'd show the slow, hard and disgusting process of trying to get through the spinal cord. Maybe they saw it differently though.

Method 2 - Most likely

Because of these weird jumps in time as well as the sometimes unusual cuts, it was most likely done with 2 cameras.

This would explain the apparent major jumps in time near the beginning because maybe both cameras were set to different times.

However this is what bothers me. If it was one of the terrorists who was an "amateur photographer" filming it for his fellow terrorists, why have they used such a professional set up? They have decided to use a two camera angle set up which means that they've edited it afterwards.

Of course they could do this editing on a computer, they wouldn't need a professional editing system but how would a terrorist thug think of using these techniques? It isn't the usual stop and start on your camera when something interesting isn't going on; they've actually done it afterwards for pacing.

This would have to be people with media experience and know what they're doing. Now, if they're professionals and they know what they're doing by deciding to get multiple angles and use editing techniques, why use such poor quality video camera? It just doesn't make sense to me, you might as well go all out.

If they can afford/rob an editing system or a computer to edit the footage on, they can afford/rob professional cameras rather than the extremely poor quality video they used.

One thing is for sure though, the last few shots were definitely the same camera. They've shaved out time between him going to ground, him struggling on the floor as the camera zooms in and out; shaky and unfocused, then between the actual cuttings and finally to them lifting up his head.

What is the need for these cuts? It is definitely the same camera and there is no need to cut for pacing as we're talking a matter of seconds here, there is absolutely no point.

The timing of where the cuts occur also concerns me. I'm not saying this is a fake, but what I have to say for the benefit of discussion is that these would be the perfect spots for edits if you were in the special effects business. The beginning, the act, the effect.

Now if this actually turned out to be true it could mean a number of things. It is not necessarily "America fakes tape in response to the Iraq abuse pictures so Bush can gain support". It really could mean anything, including that they showed Nick alive, killed him humanely and then faked it themselves. They could also have faked the puppet e.t.c. It could mean many things so let's not jump the gun.

It is also possible that the terrorists sent the two separate tapes to the jihad website and they did the edit themselves. Unfortunately though no one has come forward to claim credit for this edit as of yet, hopefully in the near future they will. Yet even if they did they will have to seriously explain why they inserted the cuts where they did. There are still a few question marks over this one.


Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussions
Video Shows Beheading of American Civilian Nick Berg by Al Qaeda Group
Was Nicholas Berg Executed by the CIA?
Nicholas Berg Timeline and Video analysis
Nick Berg and Zacarias Moussaoui Linked
Nick Berg: US PsyOp sacrifice?
Fishy Circumstances and Flawed Timelines Surround American's Beheading
New View on Nick Berg
Is Aljazeera watching us? Re: Nick Berg

[Edited on 18-5-2004 by John Nada]




posted on May, 14 2004 @ 05:05 PM
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hmm idk. There is just something in that video that seems fake. Yeah the cuts and times are odd. But look at the way he acts. It just seems to calm and the way the terrorist act is looking kinda staged. Idk i havent seen the whole video



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 05:16 PM
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Im honestly kinda shocked to see a fairly open minded veiw from SO. (no offense, but feel free to fine me if u desire)
The 2 camera theory is interesting, but seems a bit outlandish to me tho, and it is just ONE of the many glaring problems with the entire episode.



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by aware
Im honestly kinda shocked to see a fairly open minded veiw from SO. (no offense, but feel free to fine me if u desire)


Actually it's my story, I just didn't have time to put it up myself. SO kindly posted it for me, so if anyone's going to get kicked in the balls it should be me.



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 11:34 PM
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The thing I've really noticed is how his head looks like when they're pulling him to the ground. There seems to be no expression on his face and his head and neck just don't look right.



posted on May, 15 2004 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada
It really could mean anything, including that they showed Nick alive, killed him humanely and then faked it themselves.


Yes - either they did that or drugged him. I don't know yet.



posted on May, 15 2004 @ 07:23 AM
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did you analyse the long version or the short version of the video ?
when i started to download the video i first had the bi 19 MB version but when 50% was downloaded the line broke up.
i saved the partly video.
when i did a 2nd download i had only the shorter version of just above 1 MB video and this was just different from the start of the longer version.

as i also listened to the sound of the edited version of the small version it seems the victim was not drugged at all because i clearly get audio that he starts yelling
and this followed by kinda "drowning because airpipe if filled with blood" so as a matter of fact the victim was kiled in cold blood and unexpectedly because when the arab explanation was said i did not see any reaction on his face that he understood what the bandits were saying and what he had to expect after the text was readed !

the arab webpage the original video was on have made a digital version of the analogue version and edited the images by moving scenes or parts of a scene on the timeline before saving their product in a digital mpeg format.

anyway...to bad the video was not showed to the american public uncensored !!
the public have to see what kinda enemy they are dealing with and in my opinion the miltary should do everything to wipe out that enemy in kinda fashion the israelis are doing a very fine job !
>> one way ticket to smithereens
)



posted on May, 15 2004 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE
did you analyse the long version or the short version of the video ?


It was the long version.


Also, could you keep the anti/pro war opinions of terrorists e.t.c. out of this thread please? This thread is just to discuss the technical aspects of the footage, there's plenty of other threads discussing the emotional aspect of it all. Thanks man.


[Edited on 15-5-2004 by John Nada]



posted on May, 15 2004 @ 01:20 PM
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Definitely looks like 2 cameras, one front centre tripod mounted and one off to the right that starts off mounted and gets picked up later for the final shots.

As far as the analysis, I think the failing is this.

how would a terrorist thug think of using these techniques.

Why assume they are thugs? It takes very little experience to do basic digital video editing on almost any home computer. Or judging by the cuts made, even just pressing stop and start on a regular old vcr. They are going to want to gain as much as possible from such a killing, its really no problem at all do splice the footage from the 2 cameras together.

The only real odd cut comes right at the end. From 13:46:33 to 13:47:42 (The difference is 1 minute 13 seconds not just 13 seconds). But there are still possible reasons for this. Most of them boil down to the same reason, crap footage. They might have had trouble making the final cut through the spinal cord. Didn't want to make themselves look like gooses struggling to get it off so they just cut to the end. Or perhaps the cameraman just goofed the shot of the removal. You can't have a blurry money shot so they retook it. There really are a lot of reasons to can that minute and a bit. Those are the most obvious two that spring to mind.

Its a bloody horrible thing to watch either way.



posted on May, 15 2004 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Kano

The only real odd cut comes right at the end. From 13:46:33 to 13:47:42 (The difference is 1 minute 13 seconds not just 13 seconds). But there are still possible reasons for this. Most of them boil down to the same reason, crap footage. They might have had trouble making the final cut through the spinal cord. Didn't want to make themselves look like gooses struggling to get it off so they just cut to the end. Or perhaps the cameraman just goofed the shot of the removal. You can't have a blurry money shot so they retook it. There really are a lot of reasons to can that minute and a bit. Those are the most obvious two that spring to mind.

Its a bloody horrible thing to watch either way.


I'm not sure if this has been brought up yet but, the guy who started to cut off the head (the reader) is not the same guy that finishes the task. That might explain the missing 1min and 13 sec. At the end it's the guy with the red and white scarf on his head that finishes and holds up the head. Probably minor and pretty insignifant but, I just thought I'd throw it in there.



posted on May, 15 2004 @ 07:56 PM
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Would anyone happen to know where to find this Nick Berg video?

I want to see it.



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada
Of course they could do this editing on a computer, they wouldn't need a professional editing system but how would a terrorist thug think of using these techniques? It isn't the usual stop and start on your camera when something interesting isn't going on; they've actually done it afterwards for pacing.

... cut ...

If they can afford/rob an editing system or a computer to edit the footage on, they can afford/rob professional cameras rather than the extremely poor quality video they used.


Just because we classify these people as terrorists, does not mean that they are mindless and stupid. That is a very dangerous assumption that will end up inflicting serious harm on people. The things that they have done are not done by idiots. Calculated efforts. Ifs very dangerous to think they are mindless and stupid, people end up dead that way.

As far as funding, you don't need much money to get 2 cheap video camers, a computer, and the software needed to make a video of this quality. Via ebay you could probably get all you need for under a grand. That is not a lot of money.

The cuts in the video are interesting, if this is not the short version. But it is very plausible that Berg was killed in a humane way, but the video was edited in such a way to make it look as horrible as it did. That is just speculation of course.



posted on May, 17 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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I read on Alex Jones's website www.infowars.com that a gold ring was flashing in the light of the camera from the terrorist that actually did the killing.Isint that totally against their religous beliefs?Also it is mentioned that the killer was a Harvard graduate?Any one have info?



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by twolf
I read on Alex Jones's website www.infowars.com that a gold ring was flashing in the light of the camera from the terrorist that actually did the killing.Isint that totally against their religous beliefs?Also it is mentioned that the killer was a Harvard graduate?Any one have info?


I'm sorry- I'm not sure what it means to have a ring on one hand/finger as opposed to the other in any other society... Can someone please explain?



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 01:44 AM
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Just found these links that may be of interest to you all here:



aztlan.net...

www.propagandamatrix.com...



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 02:34 AM
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My little experience with home video cameras is that the sound is terrible. The men in the video appear to be at least a good 20 feet away from the camera. Yet the sound is coming through quite nicely and doesnt give off that whole echoing effect, as if either sound was edited in later with a microphone. Or a person was reading off camera into a microphone while the person on camera read his papers.

Also, why would real terrorists bother to setup proper lighting? It almost seems like way too much effort was put into making this video. just my two cents.



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 05:44 AM
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My money is on 2 cameras, with audio overdubbing and post production video editting. I did a time analysis of the video last week, and this is what I came up with:

SCENE 1
--CAMERA 1--

13:26:24 to 13:26:27 sitting alone in chair speaking to camera
(3 seconds)
--CAMERA 2

2:18:33 to 2:18:43 sitting alone in chair speaking to camera (no disruption in audio when CAM 1 switches to CAM 2)
(10 seconds)
2:18:43 voices heard (of the person reading from papers in next scene?) just before cam 2 cuts to Berg on floor surrounded by captors
(time skips--21 min 20 sec)

SCENE 2
--CAMERA 2

2:40:03 cut to Berg on floor with 5 men behind him; speaker begins reading message
(4 min 3 sec)
2:44:06 screaming is heard...(where's it from? Men in picture don't seem to be responsible)
(6 seconds)
2:44:10 to 2:44:12 the men grab Berg and knock him to floor (time briefly becomes too blurred to read)
(2 seconds)

--CAMERA 1

13:45:47 close up of Berg being held on floor; decapitation starts (no apparent struggle)
(3 seconds)
13:45:50 camera zooms super close to Berg-too blurred to see anything
(9 seconds)
13:45:59 camera zooms back out-clear view of cutting (why no struggle?)
(1 min 26 sec)
13:46:33 finishes decapitation
(time skips 1 min 13 seconds)
13:47:46 head is removed from body and held up

END

Camera 1--Time between scene 1 and scene 2: 19 min 20 sec
--Time spent filming: 1 min 54 sec
{Total time skipped and used: 22 min 14 sec}

Camera 2--Time between scene 1 and scene 2: 21 min 20 sec
--Time spent filming: 4 min 21 sec
{Total time skipped and used: 25 min 41 sec}


The reason I believe it must have been 2 cameras, is based on the way the time signatures switch from 13 to 2 and back to 13. I don't know how else that could be explained. The other two things that really bother me about the tape are the smoothness of the audio in the beginning of the tape, when Berg is speaking, and the 1 minute 13 sec time lapse separating the act of decapitation from the holding up of the severed head.

Why isn't there a pause or skip in the audio when Berg is making his statement and the camera angle switches? If there is 1 camera recording, then cutting to a different angle, shouldn't there be a slight hiccup in the sound where the cut happens? If they editted the footage from 2 cameras together, wouldn't overdubbing be needed to prevent a break in the audio? Why can we hear someone screaming, before anything is done to Berg on the video?

If they wanted to convey the brutality of their actions, why would they edit out those last seconds, even if they had trouble with the spinal cord? The image of them hacking at his spine would only have served to increase the horror felt by Americans. I doubt anyone would be laughing at their inability to do things smoothly. Why would the "terrorists" give a rat's ass about editing the video anyways, especially in such a professional manner?
The editing that was done is responsible for casting doubts on the authenticity of the video. It seems like that would defeat the purpose of the "terrorists".

Anyways, that is my take on it...

I was also wondering, are the time signatures supposed to be the recording time or the time of day? I assume it must be recording time since Camera 1 is used at the beginning and end of the video, but spans a shorter length of time than Camera 2. Is that right?



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 07:51 AM
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"The most telling evidence that the video of the decapitation of Nicholas Berg was taken inside the Abu Ghraib prison can only be detected by performing a frame by frame analysis. La Voz de Aztlan did just that and some revealing frames came up that are difficult to see if the video is played on normal speed. Towards the end of the video, at frames 9306 through 9368, a person with a US military cap temporarily pokes about a quarter of his left head into the video. His neck, left ear and part of his cap and visor can be seen. We have prepared an animated gif with just the relevant frames that clearly shows this at Animated Photo 7. Look at the right hand side as someone with a military cap, possibly with a second video camera, pokes his head into the video."

This site has been all over this & chasing down the particular oddities. I think the jump suit thing is off, however.

www.aztlan.net...



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 08:02 AM
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awesome find BT! I knew from the start there was something up with this video. awesome!


I'm not sure if it's the start, or the end of that gif image, but it almost looks as if the head on Nicks body looks as if it's superimposed on there. Took a few times, but I caught the cap on there as well. So what does this mean?



posted on May, 18 2004 @ 08:24 AM
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from that clip all you can really see is a partial gloved hand, i do not see a military cap or how the coclusion was made.

in another frame, you see part of a body wearing a grayish color outfit, could be the owner of the hand?





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