Real deal of JFK assassin: Backyard photo is authentic

A new Dartmouth study confirms the authenticity of the famous backyard photo of Lee Harvey Oswald holding the same type of rifle used to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.

The findings refute continued claims that the photo was faked because Oswald’s pose is physically implausible. The study, which uses a new digital image forensics technique and a 3-D model of Oswald developed by the Dartmouth researchers, appears in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law. A PDF and photos are available on request.

“Our detailed analysis of Oswald’s pose, the lighting and shadows and the rifle in his hands refutes the argument of photo tampering,” says senior author Hany Farid, a professor of computer science and a pioneering researcher in digital forensics whose team develops mathematical and computational techniques to detect tampering in photos, videos, audios and documents.

Oswald was killed before his trial, so he never gave a full accounting of the assassination, which fueled theories that he was part of a conspiracy. The theories point to purported inconsistencies in the events of Nov. 22, 1963, and in the evidence collected against Oswald. One such example is a photograph of Oswald in his backyard holstering a pistol and holding a rifle in one hand and Marxist newspapers in the other. The photo was particularly damning because it showed Oswald holding the same type of rifle that was used to assassinate Kennedy.

lee harvey oswaldAt the time of his arrest, Oswald claimed the photo was fake. In addition, it has long been argued that the lighting and shadows in the photo are inconsistent; that Oswald’s facial features are inconsistent with other photos of him; that the size of the rifle is inconsistent with the known length of that type of rifle; and that Oswald’s pose is physically implausible (it appears as if he is standing off balance).

The Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded claims of photo tampering were unwarranted. Also, Farid’s studies in 2009 and 2010 refuted the claim that the lighting and shadows are inconsistent, but these studies did not address claims that Oswald’s pose is physically implausible. In the new study, Farid and his team conducted a 3-D stability analysis to determine if this claim is warranted.

Farid teamed with Assistant Professor Emily Whiting, who specializes in architectural geometry, computer-aided design and 3-D fabrication. With the help of graduate student Srivamshi Pittala, they built a physiologically plausible 3-D model of Oswald and posed this model to match his appearance in the backyard photo. By adding the appropriate mass to each part of the 3-D model, they were able to perform a balance analysis on the 3-D model. This analysis revealed that although Oswald appears off-balance, his pose is stable. The analysis also revealed that the lighting and shadows are physically plausible and the length of the rifle is consistent with the length of the rifle used to kill the president.

“Our analysis refutes purported evidence of manipulation in the Oswald photo, but more generally we believe that the type of detailed 3-D modeling performed here can be a powerful forensic tool in reasoning about the physical plausibility of an image,” Farid says. “With a simple adjustment to the height and weight, the 3-D human model that we created can be used to forensically analyze the pose, stability and shadows in any image of people.”


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3 thoughts on “Real deal of JFK assassin: Backyard photo is authentic”

  1. A Closer Look at LBJ” by Lyle Sardie (1998 rare documentary) now up on YouTube!

    The Explosive Billy Sol Estes Documents Re: LBJ, LBJ’s Hitman Malcom Wallace,. & Kennedy,. Assassination/Murders

  2. Your criticism is about the physical sciences but what about the social one? The truth about social science of macroeconomics has been withheld from public knowledge and use for many years after it was deliberately changed into illogical nonsense by John Bates Clark who combined the effects of capitalism with land ownership, which confused us all! My book about what macroeconomics is about and how it works is at last able to overcome this devastation and show how our system REALLY works. A free reviewers e-copy of “Consequential Macroeconomics” may be obtained by writing to [email protected]

  3. After WWII, nations were united and the worldwide national academies of sciences helped imprison society in a stonewall of deception for the next 70 years (1945-2015). All together, religious and political leaders have held society in prison for ~500 years, since Copernicus first reported the fountain of energy at the gravitational center of the solar system in 1543.

    The weakest stones in the current scientific wall of deceit today are:

    1. The standard solar model
    2. The standard nuclear model
    3. The Big Bang cosmology model
    4. This past week’s Nobel Prize-winning fable of oscillating solar neutrinos.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280133563 or

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    October 19, 2015

    PS- “My work” is mostly that of two great scientists that died in 2001 – Paul Kazuo Kuroda and Fred Hoyle – and two great investigative reporters – Robert Wilcox and Bill Streifer – who wrote about unreported events in Konan, Korea that changed the course of world history, and – hundreds of graduate, undergraduate and postdoc students and researchers who made measurements that revealed “Solar energy.”

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