On the conspiracy side of August 16, 1977, we have the claim that a phone call was placed from inside the mansion, that the caller was Ginger Alden, and that she advised James Kirk (of The National Enquirer) to “watch” the mansion (from Kirk’s log allegedly documenting these events, the wording is, “Keep watch on mansion”). Without going over the whole Dick Grob Super Duper Crime Solvers case a third or fourth time, I will again say that there is no evidence that Ginger Alden called anyone from The Enquirer that day (The Enquirer denies that she did), and that the theory behind this call places the caller inside Graceland only because of the caller’s alleged (incorrect) identity. That is, we are told that Kirk believed the caller was Ginger Alden and thus he concluded the call came from “girl at Graceland.” But if we remove Ginger from this fact pattern and look at only the claim regarding this alleged call, we have this: girl called and said to watch the mansion. We have no identity for this female caller, and we do not know her location (no matter what Grob said about the phone records). We only know what James Kirk said, that a girl called him.
Kirk claims that this call came in at 1:30pm. According to the “official” story, this would be 50 minutes before Elvis’s body was discovered on the bathroom floor of his bedroom suite. A call placed at this time alerting Kirk to “watch the mansion” suggests that someone, somewhere knew that something was happening at Graceland, and that this “something” would be a newsworthy event.
If we turn now to the ambulance video, we have dispensed with the myth that the video was filmed by a man and woman visiting Graceland with the Elvis-themed van they painted at their home in Minnesota. None of that happened. So the ambulance video was filmed by an unknown person, and to this day the identity of this person has been kept secret (more on this later). How, though, do we explain the presence of a video camera across the street from Graceland, obviously lacking a specific subject to film, during a time period when it would have been very historically advantageous to be at that exact location with a video camera? We can also dispense with the notion that this was a coincidence, that this person just happened to be there…literally filming nothing in particular for who knows how long…at the exact time that a critically important event was playing out on the property right across the street. This cannot be a coincidence. (If this were a coincidence, the film would not have so many cuts because the person who made the film would not have known what to cut.)
Looking at the 07:23 version of the ambulance video, the footage opens with the Elvis van parked by the front gate. Over the next 90 seconds or so there are several cuts in the film, though the number is relatively small. But when the van is still parked at the gate at 00:15-00:20, notice that something interesting happens: the person doing the filming pans up to the mansion (and also zooms in), as if he/she is looking for something, or waiting for something to happen. At 01:24 the black car is seen changing direction in the driveway, from going straight up the south/west side of the driveway to turning left towards the north side of the property. At 01:34 the camera returns to the van which is now parked near Elvis Presley Boulevard facing south. At this point that same interesting thing happens again: the camera pulls back and then pans to the left and then up a bit and to the right, covering roughly the N-to-S length of the property. The camera is not focused on anything, it’s just panning.
At 01:43 the camera is capturing the trees and part of the lower/middle section of the driveway until the tape cuts at 01:49, at which point the camera captures both the lower front yard and the cars traveling north and south on Elvis Presley Boulevard. The camera does not focus on any one vehicle on the street, but at 01:54 the camera picks up the 280Z and focuses on it. Then the tape cuts again as the 280Z disappears and we see the front of the mansion with the ambulance in the center-left of the shot.
From the beginning of the footage until the ambulance is seen at 01:54, what is the person filming this footage actually doing? Is he/she there to film the van? No. Is there a clear intent of the video? No. Is the camera generally focused on anything in particular? No. So what’s the person with the camera doing?
“Watching the mansion.”
Panning the camera is “watching the mansion.”
Filming the trees and the driveway is “watching the mansion.”
Picking out specific vehicles to film is “watching the mansion.”
It appears that someone was instructed to “watch the mansion,” and someone did exactly that. When the ambulance video is presented as the product of the Elvis van project, you don’t see it as “watching the mansion,” but if you take the van context away and assess the video on its own, that’s exactly what someone is doing: “watching the mansion.”
If James Kirk had been contacted and then instructed to “watch the mansion,” wouldn’t he have taken credit for this footage, getting someone on-the-scene so quickly? But nowhere does Kirk even mention this footage. So it wasn’t Kirk who was involved in “watching” the mansion. Who was it, then? The Enquirer? Nope, they didn’t claim it, either.
[Note: Below, we are looking at this within the framework of the official story.]
And while we cannot accurately estimate the time of these events compared to the “official” story, neither can we estimate when the filming began. Had this person been across the street from Graceland filming for 10 minutes? 20 minutes? 45 minutes? 2 hours? 5 hours? Who knows. But we can safely assume that this person did not just show up literally within minutes of the ambulance arriving. The “beginning” of the video, then, may have been an indeterminate length of film that was removed, and what we are seeing is the final front-end edit.
Another interesting puzzle here is how long it took the person with the video camera to arrive at his/her post. If a call came from inside Graceland, or from a location outside Graceland, with the instruction to “watch the mansion,” the person with the camera would have likely been alerted via telephone, then the equipment would have been collected, then the person would have driven (or been driven) to Graceland to start filming. If a call was placed from anywhere in Memphis at 1:30pm with the instruction to “watch the mansion,” then there was plenty of time to get to the mansion before these events played out. However, the person doing the filming would not have known the “start time” of these events, so he/she likely would have proceeded to Graceland immediately upon receiving the 1:30pm call. This suggests the “beginning” of the footage, prior to the van at the gate, could have been quite lengthy.
Who was instructed to “watch the mansion,” by whom, and why?