(PART 1042)


Here's a bit of info our LN friends always leave out when arguing that the backyard photographs are genuine. From Jeff Carter:

"...both the FBI’s Shaneyfelt in 1964 and the HSCA panel in 1978 concede that a determined skillful forger with access to high quality equipment and then also to the Imperial Reflex camera in evidence, could have faked the backyard photos. Therefore, a categorical assertion of “authenticity” is not possible, and that someone may have superimposed Oswald’s face onto another man’s body cannot be ruled out."


The above is called PURE CTer DESPERATION. There's no other way to categorize such speculation, which would include the speculation of some thief being able to steal Lee Harvey Oswald's Imperial Reflex camera (undetected by anyone), of which there is no evidence at all, and then sneak into the Neely Street backyard for the "fake" photo shoot (of which there is no evidence at all). But many conspiracy believers will pretend it's still a reasonable possibility nonetheless.

This same kind of "outer fringe" CTer speculation and "What if?" game-playing also crops up when talking about Oswald's Carcano rifle too. Conspiracists will pretend that some unknown person broke into Ruth Paine's garage (or wherever the CTers have decided to have the rifle stored, since most Internet CTers refuse to believe the truth about the rifle being stored in Ruth Paine's garage from September to November of 1963), and then the sinister "Let's Frame Oswald" brigade was able to plant the rifle up on the sixth floor of the Book Depository Building (even though no strangers at all were seen on the upper floors of the TSBD on November 22, per the 73 statements found in Commission Document No. 706). And then the CTers will just pretend that Oswald had no large-ish paper bag with him at all when he entered the TSBD on the morning of the assassination. A nice tidy little package of pure speculation and fantasy.

So, instead of just accepting what the evidence so boldly indicates regarding the backyard photos and Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, the conspiracy theorists will enter the unreasonable "What if?" world and substitute wholly speculative (and, frankly, unreasonable) scenarios to replace what is so clearly the truth regarding these matters.


You've already stated that the backyard photos cannot be authenticated.

Why are you whining now?


I never said anything of the kind. You're delusional.

Fact is: Marina Oswald, all by herself, does a nice job of "authenticating" the backyard photographs. On November 30, 2000, Marina told Vincent Bugliosi that she took the backyard pictures of her husband:

"Although...I did not come to interrogate Marina about the facts of the case, since this had already been done ad nauseam, a few references to factual matters were made. .... [Fort Worth lawyer and friend of Bugliosi's] Jack Duffy, who has studied the assassination for years and leans toward the conspiracy theory, asked Marina if she had taken "the backyard photos" of Oswald holding the Carcano rifle. "Yes," she answered evenly, "I did." "That settles that issue," Duffy said." -- Page 1487 of Vince Bugliosi's "Reclaiming History"


That was *NOT* the authentication test you offered.

You're lying again...

Stereoscopic viewing was *NOT* what Marina did...


The backyard photos WERE found to exist in "stereo pairs". You'd better read
6 HSCA 176 again, Ben.


You're quite desperate to imply that *OSWALD* with the rifle, pistol, and newspapers is stereoscopically authentic.

No critic has *EVER* denied that the photo shows the backyard.

So tell us Davey - why are you lying?

Will you *PUBLICLY ADMIT* that the HSCA said *NOTHING WHATSOEVER* about the person in the photo being "stereoscopically" authentic?

Or will you lie again?


Sounds like you're moving the goal posts just a little there, Ben.

But, yes, you're correct, the HSCA said the BACKGROUNDS in the backyard pictures produced stereo pairs, not Oswald himself in the photos.

But read the rest of the HSCA's analysis. It confirms that the things the critics often complain about are wrong and just plain hooey --- such as the "identical heads" theory. And the "funny shadows" stuff.

The HSCA photo panel looked into all those things and found out what all sensible people already knew --- the conspiracy theorists who continue to insist that the backyard photographs are forgeries simply do not know what they are talking about and do not have a leg to stand on.


The issue has *ALWAYS* been Oswald's head on the figure in the backyard.


Not for everybody. Quoting the House Select Committee (at 6 HSCA 175)...

"The allegation has been made that the backgrounds in these pictures are identical..."

And, as I pointed out by citing the HSCA's analysis in HSCA Volume 6, the various theories about Oswald's "identical head" and the shadows and Oswald's square chin (etc.) are debunked by the House Select Committee's Photo Panel.

If you want to pretend you know MORE than the 20 members of the HSCA's Photographic Panel, well, I guess you can beat your chest all day long and claim to have such photo expertise. But it's only going to make your chest hurt, because no sensible person would endorse Ben Holmes when most of the photo experts say otherwise.

And Ben, naturally, will totally ignore Lawrence Schiller's on-site shadow re-creation as well. Right, Ben? What convenient excuse do you have for trashing this re-enactment?....


So you've obviously changed your mind about the boxes that were moved, given that you have less photo expertise than the HSCA panel. Good for you.

Please state that for the record, or else explain why you accept one result but not another.

And if you still disagree about the boxes, please explain why we cannot continue to disagree about the backyard photos. Your position on this is a trifle confusing.


Congrats, Garry! You win the free turkey! Because I knew somebody would be commenting on some remark I made in the past where I said I disagreed with the "experts". (Another good example you could have used is when I am constantly insisting that the HSCA "experts" on the Forensic Pathology Panel were wrong when they claimed that JFK's throat wound was located anatomically HIGHER on his body than the back wound.)

So, yes, I have disagreed with "experts" on occasion too. And it definitely is "picking and choosing" (or "cherry-picking", if you prefer that term). And everybody does it when talking about their beliefs in the JFK case. And everybody does it on almost a daily basis.

I could no doubt find dozens of examples of Ben Holmes or other CTers "cherry-picking" things in just the last few days here in this Amazon thread.

It's inevitable that cherry-picking will occur and experts on one side or the other will be criticized by "the other side". How would such a thing NOT be possible (and routine) in such a detailed, complex case like the JFK asssassination (which has had so many "experts" give their opinions about the evidence)?

I contend that if somebody says they have never "cherry-picked" or done some "picking and choosing" of which testimony or "experts" they are going to believe, that person must certainly be bending the truth quite a bit. Because, as I said, it's inevitable that such activity will occur when debating the assassination of John Kennedy.

Percentage-wise, however, it's not even a close call, with conspiracy theorists unquestionably disagreeing with far more "experts" associated with the JFK case than lone-assassin believers.


You see no problem with criticizing Ben for doing something you admit we all do? You do understand this means you are criticizing yourself as well, right?


Well, Garry, I think it's a matter of degrees--and a matter of that pesky "SUM TOTAL" of the evidence, which leads to Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt (as you know).

So if a panel of 20 photo experts makes the claim that the backyard pics are genuine or that the autopsy pictures are genuine and unaltered (as the HSCA panel did), and those conclusions CORROBORATE other evidence that exists in the case, isn't it much more likely that those 20 photo experts probably got it RIGHT? I'd say it was.

But if we have just one or two other experts come forth and say something that is completely at odds with that "Sum Total", then I would have to think it's more likely that those experts who are "at odds" are incorrect.

I'd say that "Corroboration" breeds "Probable Truth". (Wouldn't you?)

But, YMMV.


Unless, of course, it comes to the dozens who reported a slowdown/stop of the limo... or the dozens that reported an "occipital-parietal" wound on JFK.

*THEN* it doesn't matter, because such a thing isn't seen in the current version of the Zapruder film, or an autopsy BOH photo.

(And they say hypocrisy is dead among believers!!!)


Well, Ben, now we're into another area -- the area of "What is the best evidence?"

The Zapruder Film and the Nix Film positively prove that the limousine did NOT come to a complete stop. So regardless of how much "corroboration" you have among the eyewitnesses, the "Best Evidence" (those films) will always trump those witnesses (even though there might be a lot of them).

Same with the witnesses who said there was a big hole in the back of JFK's head. The "Best Evidence" to resolve that conflict is, of course, the autopsy photographs and X-rays, which are, indeed, "at odds" with the "BOH" witnesses. But the BEST evidence (the photos) must win out over the witnesses, because those photos and X-rays do not show any big wound in the back of the President's head.

Read my comment again. I said:

""Corroboration" breeds "Probable Truth"."

I didn't say "Corroboration" ALWAYS breeds the "Absolute Truth".


What are your thoughts on the chin, David? Broad and flat in the backyard photo; tapered and pointed in the mug shots. Or the angle of the shadow under the nose versus the shadow behind him.


The "chin" question is answered by the HSCA HERE.

And the "shadow" theory was debunked in 1967 in this CBS video [also embedded above].


Really David, you couldn't find an older video than 1967? The chin isn't even the same color as the rest of the face, you clown. Was Oswald wearing a chin strap in a tanning bed one day?

Oh, but at least Cronkite ends the video with "Marina Oswald says..."

So now we KNOW it's credible.


The flim-flam here is that the identical nose shadow appears even in the pose where the head is tilted, which is an impossibility. Schiller misleadingly implies that the only shadow question is the one he's referring to. Schiller is a shill. He uses only one of the photographs.


Schiller wasn't misleading anyone. His 1967 re-creation PROVES for all time that the critics are dead wrong when it comes to one of their major criticisms concerning the Oswald backyard pictures --- that an ANGLED body shadow cannot be legitimate if there's also a STRAIGHT nose shadow in the same photo.

But Schiller proved that theory to be totally bogus.

Now the CTers can move on to their next unfounded observation about the backyard pics. When one theory flops, just invent another one. That's the CTer tradition.


Of course he's misleading. The shadow problem he is explaining isn't the only shadow problem. You know that. I never believed in the argument he's debunking anyway, so I agree with him on that.

Farid does the same thing in using only one of the photos to dismiss all the criticism. Sorry, can't be done.


Schiller wasn't attempting to cover ALL of the stupid things CTers believe about the backyard photos. The '67 re-creation was designed to debunk just the ONE "shadow" theory, just as Lawrence Schiller said on camera in the 1967 CBS-TV video.


The body shadows are at considerably different angles when the two "original" photos are compared, and the nose shadows are IDENTICAL, even though the head is tilted in one photo.


The amount of "tilt" in Lee Oswald's head is extremely minimal when comparing any of the three backyard pictures [seen below]. The shadow being cast in the philtrum/upper lip area of LHO in these pictures would vary very little from pose to pose, since his head is in almost the same position in each photograph. Any slight difference in the angle of the shadow would, therefore, be virtually negligible and probably imperceptible. (Yes, that's just my "non-expert" opinion. But it's common sense too.)

Click to enlarge:


The nose shadow would NOT be identical, even if the head tilt were less than it is. It should be measurably different, though admittedly small. Instead, the shadow is in EXACTLY the same position. Sorry, David, try again.


You quite obviously don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about here, since we KNOW that Marina definitely DID take the backyard pictures. Therefore, whatever the shadow patterns are, they are legitimate patterns and not "fake" ones.

Sorry, Garry, try again. ---->




Your [Garry Puffer's] claim is nonsense. Just click on the link and look at the photos illustrating how easy it is to duplicate what you claim "is an impossibility". Look at photos 1 and 4... they are identical in terms of the placement of the nose shadow on the mannequin's head even though the head is vertical in photo 1 and tilted in photo 4.

You do see that, right? You do therefore admit it's possible, right?

You claimed this "is an impossibility".

Your claim is not only wrong, it's demonstrably wrong and makes you look foolish to be claiming something so wrong.

Please educate yourself so you don't look so foolish in the future. The information is all available online and the HSCA volumes have been available for over 35 years. I bought my copy of the HSCA volumes in the early 1980's, direct from the GPO. They've been available in most major libraries (public and college) for decades. They've been online for about a decade now. Please take the time to actually learn about the case, instead of just repeating silly arguments you read in conspiracy books.

Seriously. You can learn this stuff, but you have to want to learn this stuff.



Thanks very much for the link to 6 HSCA 196. I've been posting links to HSCA Volume 6 all day to make my points about the legitimacy of the backyard photos, but it looks like I didn't go far enough into Volume 6 to find the "tilted head" information.

So thanks for supplying even more data to confirm that the conspiracy theorists have nothing whatsoever to hang their hats on when it comes to their continual denial concerning the genuineness of the Oswald backyard photographs.


DVP inexplicably thanks Hank for digging him a deeper hole: "Thanks very much for the link to 6 HSCA 196"...an excerpt from the 1979 HSCA report, compiled by the same legislative body who said Kennedy was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy.


What you are doing now is trying to side with the very conclusions you are also trying to refute, and the very people who reached those conclusions. Which, aside from making you look foolish, also makes you--and Hank--guilty of a huge logical fallacy.


I point out the issues with your ["Nick's"] posts all the time.

In this instance, you're conflating the conclusions of the photographic panel of experts, which are unopposed and unanimous that the backyard photos are genuine, with the conclusion of another panel of experts that the dictabelt showed four shots. But that conclusion is not unopposed, and not unanimous. One HSCA panel of two experts (Mark Weiss and Ernest Aschkenasy) concluded the evidence indicated the fourth shot was evident to a 95% or greater certainty; while another HSCA group of experts (Bolt, Beranek and Newman) testified it was only a 50-50 (coin flip) whether the fourth shot was on the dictabelt.

Other expert scientific panels soon studied the evidence, and the conclusions didn't improve for you.

In addition, just before the W&A panel issued their 95% conclusion, the HSCA was all set to conclude Oswald fired all the shots, and there was no evidence of conspiracy.

Here's a comparison of the HSCA's DRAFT conclusions from mid-December of 1978, with the HSCA's FINAL conclusions from the end of December of 1978. You will note the conclusion beforehand pretty much aligned with the Warren Commission's. In short, the HSCA was all set to confirm the WC's conclusions pretty much right down the line.

Then W&A claimed the evidence indicated there was a 95% probability or greater (but not a certainty) of a fourth shot, and hence, a conspiracy. And even after they heard the two studies (for 50% & 95%), the Committee was undecided, and the vote was barely in the majority for a conspiracy (7-5 in favor).

But we're not done.

A NAS (National Academy of Sciences) panel in 1982 (three-plus years after the HSCA conclusions were rendered) unanimously concluded that there was no evidence of gunshots on the tape, and they pointed out a number of issues that could have affected the conclusions of the two HSCA panels, including the very pertinent fact that the evidence indicated the HSCA panels were STUDYING THE WRONG PORTION OF THE TAPE.

The Justice Dept reviewed the evidence and in 1988 rendered their verdict that there was no evidence of conspiracy, including no evidence of a fourth shot.

So your arguments don't make me look foolish, and they are not a logical fallacy of any kind.

I accept the unanimous, and unopposed expert opinion of the photographic panel about the backyard photos being genuine, which are confirmed by the testimony of Marina and Marguerite Oswald indicating that Marina had possession of one backyard photo and destroyed it the weekend of the assassination.

I decline to accept the expert opinion of the W&A or the BB&N panel, and accept the NAS panel and the point made by Steve Barber, and established by the NAS, that the portion of the tape being studied by the two HSCA panels was actually about a minute after the assassination. I accept the Justice Dept's conclusion in 1988 that there was no evidence of conspiracy.

You reject anything and everything that points to Oswald for no other reason than it points to Oswald, and accept anything that you believe points to a conspiracy.



The HSCA published the following "Dissenting View" of one of its Committee members, Robert W. Edgar, in which Edgar says (on Page 495 of the HSCA Final Report)....

"I agree with the December 13, 1978, first draft of our final report which states on page 64: 'The committee finds that the available scientific evidence is insufficient to find that there was a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy'."

[End Quote.]

There's also this from Vincent Bugliosi's book....

"The HSCA’s eleventh-hour finding left the committee scrambling to rewrite its already written draft of its final report, which had concluded, like the Warren Commission before it, that Oswald was the lone gunman. Four of the twelve committee members—House Representatives Harold S. Sawyer (R-Mich.), Robert W. Edgar (D-Penn.), Samuel L. Devine (R-Ohio), and Charles Thone (R-Neb.)—vigorously disagreed with the HSCA’s conclusions, contending that the panel rushed to judgment in concluding that a conspiracy existed. They felt that the last-minute acoustic evidence should have been studied more closely before drawing such a history-changing conclusion (see dissent of Edgar and Devine, HSCA Report, pp.491–498).

Representative Edgar said, “We found no evidence to suggest a conspiracy. We found no gunmen or evidence of a gunman. We found no gun, no shells, no impact of shots from the grassy knoll. We found no entry wounds from the front into any person, including President John Kennedy and Gov. John Connally. We found no bullets or fragments of bullets that did not belong to the Oswald weapon. And we found little, if any, evidence of partnership with Lee Harvey Oswald. Few credible ear-witness accounts back up the marginal findings of our acoustics experts” (HSCA Report, p.496)."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 153 of "Reclaiming History" (Endnotes)

David Von Pein
October 1-2, 2015