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Farid’s Folly: a Flawed Study of the Famed “Oswald” Backyard

Investigations (see OpEd News articles by Dr. James Fetzer/Fetzer and Jim Marrs)
indicate that Hany Farid’s analysis of a single example of one of the “backyard
photos” was not only seriously flawed, but also reveal that Farid’s laboratory is
partially financed by a familiar US government secret agency. Efforts by the
government to prove Oswald guilty have been made for decades, with top media
support. Why?

3 backyard photos, and Oswald’s chin (top, right):
Oswald’s chin was cleft, more pointed
It’s only “Oswald” from the lips up! Lee Oswald himself said so!
Above is one of several "backyard photos" --this is a high resolution rendition (in
pixels, because it's digitally created from a scan, then conducted over the Internet) of
one of the “backyard photos” that shows “Oswald” holding the "killer rifle" and
copies of "The Worker" and "The Militant" --newspapers of opposing Marxist
The original photo is an emulsion printed on photo paper, of course, with no pixels.
Nevertheless, it's surprisingly fuzzy, because the lens and camera taking the photos
were both sub-standard. There are some surprises in the photos, however, and they
are unsettling to those with open minds.
For example, the fingers holding the newspapers are too fat and stubby to be
Oswald's. The index finger appears, too, to be the same length as other fingers. The
chin, despite recent protests that Oswald's chin could 'look' squarish under certain
shadow conditions, is too 'square' to be seriously considered as Oswald's. And Lee
Oswald himself said his head had been pasted onto the body of whoever posed for
the photos, two of which he was shown by Dallas police.
He also wears a wristwatch in the photos, though Oswald wore an ID bracelet, not a
wristwatch, in all extant photos in the same time period. Researchers independent of
the government have concluded almost unanimously that the backyard photos were
faked, for numerous additional reasons, most of which are listed in this article. The
newspapers (size known) are too big for the supposed height of Oswald (height
known); see the correct sizes superimposed on the backyard photo here:

note cut-off, stubby fingers, wrong paper size
Observe that the index finger and ring finger are stub-cut to the same length:
somebody was a little careless with an Exacto blade, it seems. Oswald had normal
fingers. Difficulties in the photos, such as this, are not addressed by Hany Farid, the
Dartmouth photo expert whose findings are the subject of this essay. Therefore, his
statement that the photo he examined was not faked, because his computer program
found no 'alterations' in the photo itself, is subject to criticism.
Other problems also exist: the rifle in the photos has a different kind of sling mount
than the rifle in the National Archives (on exhibit as the original killer rifle). You can
find information on the two different kinds of slings on YouTube at

Researcher Gil Jesus made the YouTube video and makes the point: "..the bottom
sling mount, so clearly visible in the backyard photos, does not exist on the rifle
removed from the Texas School Book is not the same rifle that is
currently in the National Archives."
There's more. Fingernails are missing from the strangely stubby fingers, too, as if the
newspapers were slipped in under a cutout set of fingers--cut out with a sharp little
Exacto knife, as all photographers used to use back then to 'insert' extra things into
photos, before computers came along.
Significant, too, is Marina Oswald's testimony regarding the backyard photos. She
said she looked "into" the camera's viewfinder to take the photos, but in fact, the
camera -- an old-fashioned model --had to be held at the waist, as it did not have a
viewfinder. She later also stated that she took photos from a different direction.
Concerning Marina’s testimony. we must remember that she was a Russian citizen
who could be deported at any time, with a six week old infant and a toddler. Her
husband was dead, murdered while in police custody. Her small infant was born in
the USA and her toddler was born in the USSR. Marina had been sequestered from
the public. It’s no wonder that her safety and that of her babies had to come first: Lee
Oswald had been accused of killing the country's President! Anything could have
happened to her, too, if she became a source of ‘inconvenient truths.’
Researcher John Armstrong, in his book Harvey and Lee, wrote about Marina
Oswald’s testimony and how a small, unknown “film company” suddenly came up
with plenty of money (multiply times 9 to = today’s funds) for film rights. Then, the
"company" vanished. Wrote Armstrong;
“Following the murder of her husband Marina was taken by the Secret Service to the
Inn of the Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. The manager of the Inn, James Herbert
Martin, became friendly with Marina and invited her to move into his home (with his
wife and children) on November 29.
A week later Marina authorized Martin to handle her personal and business affairs
and in February, 1964 he accompanied Marina to Washington, DC. Marina told the
FBI that she had a brief sexual encounter with Martin, but the affair soon ended.
When Martin told the Commission about his affair with Marina, Chief Justice Earl
Warren ordered that portion of his testimony be stricken from the record.”
…Much information has been stricken from the official record…

“While Marina was in Washington, DC, an unknown entity named Onajet Productions
rented a small office in the Samuel Goldwyn Studios in Hollywood, CA on February 8.
The company, also known as Tex-Italia Films and Cinema International Productions,
was headed by Charles Lasater, George V. Douglas, and Wesley B. Blankenship, but
never made a single film.
On February 10, Marina moved out of Martin's house and into Robert Oswald's house
in Denton, Texas. The following day she moved to the Declan Ford residence at
14057 Brookcrest in Dallas and signed a contract with Tex-Italia films. The unknown
company agreed to pay Marina $75,000 for worldwide movie and TV rights, $7500 for
each film appearance, and $1500 for each personal appearance. Within a few months
Marina had received $132, 350 from the unknown company, and her willingness to
provide testimony to the Warren Commission that implicated her dead husband in
the assassination became obvious...”
…We must recognize the pressure placed on Marina Oswald at this time to

.”...Shortly after signing the contract with Marina, Tex-Italia films was asked to leave
Samuel Goldwyn Studios for failure to pay rent on their small office. On April 24, 1964
SA Leslie Warren completed an investigation into Tex-Italia films and wrote, "Indices
of the Los Angeles office reflect no other pertinent information that could be
indentified with the names Charles Lasater, George V. Douglas, or Wesley B.
Blankenship.” In other words, these men were probably not using their real names
and monies paid to Marina by the unknown Tex-India films company came from
unknown sources.
On June 5, 1964 Hoover wrote a letter to J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission and
"For your information, this Bureau is conducting no investigation regarding the
commercial ventures or contract negotiations of Marina Oswald in connection with
our investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald."
Hoover had previously indicated that Oswald was the ONLY PERSON INVOLVED THE
any real investigation had begun.
Wrote Hoover:“Not necessary to cover as true subject located”:

Such a rush to judgment was unconscionable, implying that Hoover knew Oswald was
the designated patsy. Hoover was being blackmailed by the mafia and had no
intention of looking closer, even when mafia police-fixer and bagman, nightclub
owner Jack Ruby, shot Oswald in broad daylight as Oswald was brought out,
surrounded by over 70 people (without, however, a single drawn gun for his
protection, despite several phone calls --at least one from Ruby-- warning that
Oswald would be killed that very morning).

Concerning poor, beleaguered Marina Oswald, Armstrong went on to say:
Marina soon became the star witness for the Warren Commission, who used her
questionable and contradictory testimony to convict her husband in the eyes of the
public. It was Marina who allegedly took, and sold the questionable "backyard
photos." It was Marina that claimed that Oswald target practiced with a rifle, knew
about the Walker shooting, knew about his visit to Mexico City, and knew that he
kept his rifle in the Paine's garage. Commission staff member Fredda Scobey…
prepared a 7-page report and wrote, "Marina's testimony is so full of confusion that
without the catalytic element of cross-examination it reads like a nightmare. By her
own admission, Marina is a liar, and it is her voice that tells us how intensely she
disliked the FBI and how she lied to that agency almost uniformly."
Marina Oswald Porter was once persuaded by the authorities that they had
overwhelming evidence that her late husband, Lee Oswald, had murdered JFK. She is
older and wiser now. She now believes, just as she believed at first, that her husband
spoke the truth when he said he was innocent.”

The Truthtellers – and The Government That Doesn’t Tell
We owe much to researchers and writers who have patriotically acted to collect and
publish evidence suppressed by the government. Their theories do not always match,
but that’s not their fault. As Secret service agent Abraham Bolden has told us (see
Dr. James Fetzer’s interviews at FetzerRadio), even an investigation showing Kennedy
was in danger in Chicago was post-dated to a period AFTER the assassination, an
example of how the government deliberately has made it difficult for researchers to
ferret out the truth. That’s why witness testimony is so important, and why Marina
Oswald was so carefully handled.
While photographic evidence is often useful, if it has been altered or specially created
to frame the accused, of course it should be shown only as exhibits created to
convict an innocent man.
We have to ask if any other photos offered by the government might display a slant
of prejudice. The short answer is "yes."
Here is an example of a photo that clearly shows how the government failed to
honestly investigate Kennedy's murder: This Warren Commission ”Test” was made
30 feet lower than the window. Yet it's cited as "evidence" by the Warren
Commission that Oswald could make the shots from the TSBD building to the right:
Also, deceased Dallas police officer Roscoe White's possessions included an Oswald
backyard photo that nobody had ever seen, and the Dallas police had some strange
additional 'backyard photos' that show a figure cut out. You can see Jim Marrs' and
Jack White's video where the "Roscoe White" photo is shown, along with much
information about the backyard photos that every honest scientist, photo analyst,
reporter and citizen should review:
We will talk about these photos later.
Lee Oswald was shown some of the photos while he was being interrogated after his
arrest --it's on record--but he was shown these photos before they were officially
'found' at the Paine garage in Irving, Texas (a suburb of Dallas).
The camera would not be found in the same garage for another month and a half,
though the garage had been scoured for Oswald's possessions by the police more
than once. It was "found" in a box here by Lee Oswald's brother, Robert, soon after
he was caught in a compromising situation with his brother's widow. Robert Oswald's
explanation was that he 'found' the camera in the Paine garage (how convenient!)
and recognized it as having belonged to Lee. He said he knew it was Lee Oswald's
camera because Lee had given it to him before going to Russia. Then, after returning
to the US, at some point Lee asked for it back. This camera was found in a box that
the police had investigated. Supposedly, although even Oswald’s old socks and his
flip-flops were confiscated, this camera was supposedly not considered important
enough to take along –-though all of Oswald’s other cameras and associated
equipment were.
In other words, the damning camera that made the faked photos was planted, after
the fact. It was a cheap, inferior camera (an Imperial Reflex).
Just as the equally damning rifle was a very cheap model ha was nothing like the best
Carcano Italian rifles on the market, so was this pitiful excuse for a camera, with its
cheap plastic lens and outdated parts. It was well known that Lee Oswald was not a
rich man. No doubt the cheap camera was selected because Oswald, the 'poor' man,
would presumably not be able to afford a good camera. Wrong! Who would have
thought that he had the equivalent, in today’s funds, of thousands of dollars of
expensive camera equipment in his possession? In fact, Oswald owned some
advanced, expensive cameras, and even called himself a photographer by
profession, describing himself as such on employment forms.
It is unlikely that Oswald would have asked for the cheap camera to be returned to
him, when he had no use for such a device, and it would be even more unlikely that
he would use the camera for any photos, which would be hazy and fuzzy compared to
what his other cameras (Kodak, Minox, etc.) could do.
Below is an official Dallas police photo of possessions belonging to Oswald. The
Imperial Reflex camera only showed up much later, when people started wondering
where it was. Note the fine camera equipment in this photo that belonged to Oswald:
not all such items are marked here.
We have a recurring pattern: a cheap camera --a cheap rifle -- a cheap handgun --
supposedly owned by a man with several expensive cameras who insisted he never
ordered the cheap rifle or the cheap revolver, either. Because the Dallas police found
these photos, we are obliged to look closer, due to many suspicious circumstances
regarding the firearms and cartridges also found by these police.


Without going into a lengthy discussion, covered elsewhere by competent
researchers, of how much evidence in the case has been tainted by mishandling, we
know that recent advances in DNA evidence have proven that numerous convictions
were made against innocent men during the time period in Dallas that District
Attorney Wade was in power, which comprise a secondary argument concerning
admissibility of the evidence again Oswald collected by the Dallas police:

"The [Henry] Wade era, from 1951 to 1986, was marked by take-no-prisoner trial
tactics, conviction rates that topped 90 percent and record-length punishments..."[It
was]a deeply entrenched institutional attitude towards criminal justice that works on
an us-vs.-them philosophy," said Amarillo attorney Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for
the Innocence Project of Texas. "It cares about convictions because that gets you a
bigger budget and re-elected." [Ref: Sunday, October 12, 2008,The Dallas Morning

The evidence and information collected by the Dallas police force in this notorious
era, against Lee Harvey Oswald, offers many problems as to origin and intent, but
the practice of manipulating the evidence, as seen in how photos about Farid's
experiment have been presented to the public, demonstrate that the practice
continues in Oswald's case even today.

o illustrate this, we can look closer at the more familiar photos, one of which graced
the cover of Life Magazine (Life editors eventually admitted they modified and
altered the photo they published to millions of readers, and we must wonder why
they did so.): the two photos below show two altered versions of the rifle (scope/no
scope) in the most-used backyard photo of Oswald, as published by two different

"Police searching Lee Harvey Oswald’s home after JFK’s assassination found photos
that showed him standing in his backyard, a rifle similar to the one used in the
shooting in one hand, two communist newspapers in the other. The photo went
public in 1964 and was released in several publications. Observers noticed some of
the pre-Photoshop era photos appeared to be doctored, particularly with some of the
rifle’s detailing. The left photo appeared on the cover of Life, depicting a rifle with a
scope, which was curiously absent in version of the photo that ran in the Detroit Free
The photo with the scope remerged again on the cover of Newsweek."
[Ref: "Photoshop Tricks" The Politics of Photoshop: 10 Historic Doctored Photos" ]

Concerning the missing telescopic sight, Gene Roberts of the Detroit Free Press
stated: "In 1964, engraving processes were not as sophisticated as they
later became, and it was commonplace to airbrush photos with white
liquid chalk to heighten the definition between dark and gray areas in
photographs. In the haste to get the photos in the paper, an airbrusher
covered the sniper scope (on the rifle Oswald was holding along with The
Worker paper) with liquid chalk." (Ref:
Of course no airbrushing should have been used on the copies of these historic
photos, but what we have to notice is that a lot of COPIES of the photos were made.
How can we be certain that what Farid got to test was even an original?
No matter whether the photos are copies or originals, all the photos were produced
as evidence against Oswald. We are obliged to researcher Ralph Thomas for
compiling the information every American should know about these photos, below,
much of it originally discovered by researcher Jack White:
Researcher Ralph Thomas (“EXAMPLES OF DIGITAL
FAKERY?” ) tells us:
"The photographs were found at 2515 West Fifth Street in Irving, Texas, the home of
the Paines. On two searches on the day of the assassination of this address, the
Dallas police did not locate the photographs. However, another search was made the
following day and it was this third search in which the Dallas police say they found
the photos.
But the two photos were never listed on inventory sheets of Oswald's possessions.
Neither was the black shirt and the black pants that Oswald had on in the
photographs ever located.
Officially, two photographs, but only one negative, were found. Yet, Dallas police Gus
Rose says that there were also two negatives. Until 1967, these photos were the only
ones known...of the backyard pose."
Thomas adds that
"The Warren Commission said that the photos were taken by Marina Oswald,
Oswald's wife, on March 31st, 1963 at the 214 W Neely address. The photos show a
bright sunny day. But, a check on weather reports in the area that day reveal that it
was cloudy and rainy all day."
But then, more photos were found: again, we quote from Ralph Thomas;
"In 1976 the Senate Intelligence Committee located a third photograph of Oswald
with the backyard pose that was slightly different. The photo was found among the
belongings of the widow of Dallas police officer Roscoe White. In the early 1990's
Rosco White's son claimed that Rosco White was one of three gunmen that fired at
the President...

In 1967 after he returned from Haiti, George DeMorenschildt found a fourth photo of
the backyard photograph...[it was]a slightly different pose...On the back of this
photograph is written: HUNTER OF FASCISTS, HA HA HA.

The inscription was first written in pencil and then gone over in ink. Handwriting
experts have revealed that the writing was not the handwriting of Oswald, his wife,
DeMorenschildt or his wife... In 1970, Dallas news reporter Jim Marrs was looking into
the backyard photographs when he interviewed Robert and Patricia Hester. The
Hesters worked at the National Photo Lab in Dallas. They said they were very busy
processing photographic material for both the FBI and the Secret Service the night of
the assassination. In 1970, the Hesters told Marrs that the FBI had color
transparencies of the backyard photographs the night of the assassination and had
one color transparency that had nobody in the picture. Not only is this highly
suspicious, this was the night before the photographs were supposed to have been
found in the first place."

Thomas then makes a list of the problems that researcher Jack White found with the
backyard photos:

1) STANDING OFF CENTER: White concludes that Oswald is standing off center and
outside the weight bearing alignment of his feet. A person could not stand in such a
2) PROPORTIONS: When the body proportions are brought into alignment from the
knees to the head by adjusting the size of the photographs, one head is much larger
than the other.
3) OVERALL BODY SHADOWS: Although the photos were supposed to have been
taken just seconds apart, the overall body shadows in the photographs are all
different. In 133-A the photograph has a 10 o'clock shadow, 133-B a 12 o'clock
shadow and 133-C a 10 o'clock shadow again.
4) ARM AND ELBOWS: White said that the elbow is too high in one photograph and
the elbow doesn't show up on the one photograph of the arm were Oswald is holding
the rifle. This pose had been attempted to be duplicated but could not.
5) HANDS AND FINGERS: On the photographs the left hand and finger looks normal.
Yet the right hand is missing fingernails and the hand looks stubby.
6) WATCH: The photographs reveal that Oswald is wearing a watch but all witnesses
have stated that Oswald did not wear and didn't own a watch. No watch was found
among the possessions of Oswald and he was not wearing one when he was arrested.
7) RIFLE: When the photographs are blown up to the actual height of Oswald that was
5'9", the rifle in the photograph is too long. When the rifle is adjusted in the
photograph to its proper length, Oswald's height is six inches too short.
8) SCOPE: White noted that in the photograph the rear end of the rifle scope is
missing and pants wrinkles appear where the end of the scope is supposed to be.
9) FACE: The face shows Oswald with a flat chin but Oswald had a cleft chin. There is
a line that breaks up the grain of the photograph that runs across the chin that many
say is where the cut took place to paste Oswald's face onto the photograph.
10) PHOTOGRAPHIC OVERLAY: When Mr. White took 133-A and 133-B and adjusted
and overlayed them, nothing matched up, which isn't supposed to happen with two
slightly different poses. However, the faces on the two photographs did.
11) FACE SHADOWS: Both photos show the same V shaped shadow below the nose.
However, on one of the photos Oswald's head is tilted but the shadow does not adjust
for this tilt.
12) NECK SHADOWS: On one of the photos there is light on the right side of the neck
but the same photo shows the rifle casting a shadow to this angle.
13) COLLAR SIZE: The collar size can be determined from the photograph using a
mathematical formula which came out to size 16. Oswald wore a size 14 1/2 collar
and all his clothes found among his personal belongings were in the 14.5 to 15 inch
14) BACKGROUNDS: White determined that one photograph had the top cropped off
and the other photograph had the bottom cropped off which made the photos appear
like they had been taken at slightly different locations. However, except for small
fractions, everything lines up on both photographs when the two were compared.
That is, the camera did not change position and the only way to do this would be with
a tripod which was not used.
15) SMALL DIFFERENCES: For many months White was puzzled by the small
differences he noted in the backgrounds but they were not off much. After looking at
the photographs some more, he determined that on the background of one, the
camera appears to be slightly tilted. He then took another copy of the photo by tilting
it on a board and everything came perfectly into alignment...
[16)FEET:] During the 1991 JFK Assassination Symposium held in Dallas,Texas of
November of that year, computer image processing expert Tom Wilson corroborated
all of the White analysis and added that he inspected the feet on the man in the
backyard photograph as to light refraction and compared this to official records of
the day concerning the position of the sun. Wilson stated that the photograph was
taken at 9:12 A.M. if it was taken on the day it was alleged to have been taken. But
Marina Oswald's testimony stated that the photographs were taken in the early
afternoon which is completely inconsistent with the Wilson study."

Note here that Hany Farid, in his paper "A 3-D Photo Forensic Analysis of the(sic) Lee
Harvey Oswald Backyard Photo" [ref:] writes as if only one such
photo exists. He also summarily dismisses any objections or problems with the
photos' provenance and origins, saying, "The Warren Commission [1] and the House
Select Committee on Assassinations [2] investigated claims of photo tampering and
concluded that they were unwarranted. Building on this earlier work, we describe a 3-
D forensic photo examination that allows for a quantitative analysis of these scene
properties. While only applied to this historic and controversial photo, this 3-D
modeling methodology is applicable to a broad range of photo forensic situations."
In other words, Farid accepts the single photo he has been shown as authentic from
the beginning. But worse, by examining only a single photo (note he says "this
historic and controversial photo" --singular) Farid fails to compare one photo to
another, even though he states, ""We focus our analysis on only one of the three
backyard photos." (p.2)
But there were four backyard photos:
"In 1976 the Senate Intelligence Committee located a third photograph of Oswald
with the backyard pose that was slightly different. The photo was found among the
belongings of the widow of Dallas police officer Roscoe White. In the early 1990's
Rosco White's son claimed that Rosco White was one of three gunmen that fired at
the President which I will go into in another section.

In 1967 after he returned from Haiti, George DeMorenschild found a fourth photo of
the backyard photograph...among his personal belongings that he had in storage."
Had Farid used his advanced techniques as he described, he would certainly have
proven that only ONE photo of Oswald's HEAD had been COPIED several times to
create the photos in the collection. That he failed to do so is just one example of his
negligent approach.
Farid not only fails to make any comparisons between the photos, which would have
PROVEN that the precisely same background, grain by grain, pixel by pixel, if you
please, matched as well as emulsion film could be matched, but also that they were
obviously made from a single photograph of the background, with the background
simply zoomed in or out for the varying photos. Every leaf is the same in every photo
when corrected for size and camera tilt. Thus Farid misleads any reader who is
unaware that other versions of the photo needed to be compared due to the "single
head" observations and the "single background" observation.
Farid fools nobody who has an understanding of the actual composition of the
backyard photos. His only excuse: he failed to do his "history" research. In every
scientific investigation, a "history" is conducted to see what prior information,
studies, or experiments have been conducted.
The painstaking findings of many intelligent researchers were simply ignored, in
favor of parroting the findings of the Warren Commission and the HSCA.
I, myself, having been trained as a scientist, and having studied forensic
anthropology (I have a B.S. in anthropology), find this careless and cavalier approach
by a supposedly scientifically trained photo forensic analyst almost unbelievable.
That the press swallowed this skeletal schematic of a study, where so very much is
missing, only illustrates the impoverished intellectual quality of our current news
reportage system and the corrupt state of the scientific community in posting Farid's
materials on their Internet sites, without first checking to see if Farid's work was
worthy of their attention.
it makes little difference WHAT Farid 'discovered' since he pays no attention to the
other extant photographs. This implies a slavish, fawning reliance on the photo's
provenance and history as given to him via the descriptions and materials offered by
the FBI and the outdated government investigations.
And nowhere in his published study does Farid assure us that he was given an
authentic photo to begin with. He failed to authenticate the photo and by stating hat
he studied only a single photo, he dooms the scientific importance of his work to a
trivial footnote in history.

Other scientists, not previously associated with Warren Commission critics, have
questioned the authenticity of the photos. For example, Malcolm Thompson, a British
forensic photography expert, questioned the authenticity of the photographs in a
1978 BBC television documentary.

Marina Oswald herself not only gave two different versions as to where the backyard
pictures were taken, she also gave different versions of the number of photos taken.
At first, she testified she had taken just one photo, but later changed it to two.
Finally, she said she took the photos from a different direction.

In addition, Marguerite Oswald testified that soon after the assassination, Marina
showed her a third photo, which Marina had hidden in her shoe. In that photo, Oswald
was shown holding the rifle over his head with both hands. This is the same pose that
can be seen in the Roscoe White photograph. But since Marina did not know how to
use the camera, and at first admitted to taking only one photo, then said two -- then
changed the very direction in which she said she was taking photos -- as with so
many other things Marina said under duress and fear of deportation, her testimony in
this matter is as difficult to reconcile with reality as her testimony that Lee Oswald
planned to shoot former Vice President Richard Nixon -- a story even the Warren
Commission didn't believe.

The issue with Marguerite Oswald, however, is more serious. The photo could have
been planted, and Marina could have snatched it up, afraid the police would see it.
Perhaps she will someday explain how she had it on her person, for the photo is not
the kind that one keeps handy while living in the home of a Quaker (Ruth Paine), who
was by religion supposedly extremely anti-weapon/anti-war/anti-violence.
The photo offered by CIA asset George DeMohrenschildt, supposedly from Oswald,
has its problems, too: it seems to have been created as a "first generation print" --
straight from one of the originals, as determined by the HSCA (HSCA 381-382,
Figures IV-20, IV021). DeMohrenschildt, at the time, was going through a severe
financial crisis. DeMohrenschildt would later write a book and try to get it published,
even recording the book orally in The Netherlands for researcher Willem Oltmans, but
he would run into many problems.

A few hours before the HSCA's intrepid investigator, Gaeton Fonzi, could question him
about that photo -- or about anything else -- George was dead. He died just after
being interviewed by anti-Oswald writer Jay Epstein. According to Epstein, the
message Fonzi left must have precipitated the Count’s decision to kill himself.
Though ruled a suicide, as so many 'mysterious deaths' in the case have been,
researchers have noted that in the room where DeMohrenschildt was found with his
head blown to pieces, a tape recording was being made at the time, and on the tape,
one can hear the security alarm beeping: an intruder had entered about a minute
before the shotgun's blast was heard. The photo George deMohrencschildt found.
Farid, our Dartmouth professor, does not consider any of these provenance
difficulties. The media blithely tells us that Farid has solved the backyard photo
problem for all time with his one dummy head and body, his computer program, and
counting pixels (pixels that did not exist in 1963).

Provenance issues, and the apparently deliberate creation of these photos, have
created embarrassing problems for "Oswald did it" proponents from the beginning,
and the Dartmouth photo expert's pixel-counting isn't going to make those issues go
away, so long as people who care copy this article and distribute it to others who
need to know the truth.
However, your efforts probably won't halt continuing "Oswald-did-it" well-financed
projects such as this one, to foist yet another "study" "proving" the backyard photos
weren't faked.

Every November, the American people are brainwashed with yet another batch of
orchestrated scenarios and computerized specials designed to convince them that
Oswald “acted alone.”

It's important to the government that Oswald must be convicted in the eyes of the
public, to hide the truly terrible truth.

Other Problems
Farid's computer program works with pixels, although the originals are film
emulsions, with no pixels involved.
Any photo made with a digital camera --which would pixelate the original information
---would not show tampering. That wouldn't happen. But what about the original
backyard photo itself, which was created using a film emulsion? Farid was given a
photo by the government. We don’t even know which photo he copied, or if it was
just a copy itself. Farid has to take the word of the Fox guarding the hen-house as to
the photo's provenance and authenticity in the first place. After all, the photos came
from the Dallas police, and Oswald himself said his head was pasted onto the body
shown in the photos.

Was it deMohrenschildt’s photo that Farid was given (or a copy of it?)? Was it Roscoe
White’s (or a copy of White's?)? It seems not: we see the truncated version that the
internet allows us to see, with the suspicious long shadows cast by Oswald's body
conveniently cut off. To make clear what pixelation is all about, below, you can see
the difference, in a drawing, between a pixilated photo and one made from an
emulsion…Emulsions can be composed of ‘grains’ that touch each other. Please note
the basic difference, as shown in these drawings:

pixilated details VS film emulsion
In addition, film emulsion details are different from pixelated details, even when
pixels used are very small and numerous. The properties of emulsion VS pixels as to
detail are broadly illustrated here:
"There are about 86,400,000,000 sliver halide crystals in a 35mm photographic
image. When one of these silver halide crystals is struck by a photon of light, a tiny
spec of solid silver is formed. More light creates more specs of solid silver, none of
which can be seen by the naked eye. When the film is exposed in a camera, dark
areas in the scene produce few silver specs, and lighter areas produce more silver
specs, creating a latent image on the film."
Note that the poor quality camera used standard film. The size of the photos was
much larger than a 35mm frame.
In comparison, "...At 1024 x 1024, all but the finest...detail is recorded. This is the
resolution employed by most of the companies who make digital imaging equipment
for applications in retinal photography.Resolutions of 2048 x 2048 an beyond are
possible, but the size of the data files and the cost of the equipment becomes
prohibitive. A black and white image at 1024 pixels requires about one million
characters of storage space. At 2048, the same image would require four million
characters of space."
Farid's computerized program could have used a resolution of 6,000 pixels per
square inch: perhaps even twice that much resolution would be possible. Bu here is
no analysis of the photograph using pixels. Farid uses a different approach: his paper
and abstract can be seen here:


The paper is quite disappointing.
Nor does it "prove" anything about backyard photo fakery.
Not a thing.
Farid admits using estimations rather than precise measurements: on p. 3 that his
positioning of "scene geometry and lighting position [in the photo being analyzed]
are estimated..." We've seen "estimations" before: since this scientist is counting
pixels, we presume, shouldn't he be as precise as he possibly can when it comes to
his computerized models?
On p. 4, Farid says he accepts the premise that people can be fooled into believing
that shadows perceived are coming from, perhaps, more than one light source when,
actually, people can be fooled. This observation, that people can be fooled when
looking a shadows, is the ONLY "scientific" explanation Farid gives for accepting
shadows going in two very obviously different directions: one shadow straight under
the nose, as from an overhead light, and one shadow stretching out behind Oswald,
from a light a a slant. I searched in vain for a study supporting his statement that a
shadow produced under one's nose, without distortion, could be consistent with a
shadow stretching out behind that same person. Farid simply ignores this difficulty.
he measures the rifle length at 44.8" and explains that this is a perspective problem,
which he then corrects (p. 4) as a 'distortion" that he allows his computer program to
remove. On p. 5, he says Oswald's body is leaning only 5 degrees from upright and
that viewing the computer rendering in different directions allowed him to conclude
that the leaning was "physically plausible." He never tried to place any person in that
position. His own argument that our eyes can deceive us (used to dismiss the
problem of the shadows) is here discarded in favor of telling us that our eyes can
trust what the computer shows us as "physically plausible." (p. 5) Fine. just fine.
P. 9 shows a crude superimposition of a relatively crude computerized model of
"Oswald" with a too-thin neck, ears placed far too high, and other problems. For
example, Oswald's right ear (left in the photo) is outside the thick line "placing"
Oswald a bit more to the right, and his left arm is also not correctly cut out, while the
body is rendered too thick on Oswald's left--all contributing to making the 'lean to the
left' less pronounced in the computerized rendering. The feet are outrageously
enlarged, the legs are too thin, the shadow between the legs is too thin, etc., etc. (p.
On p. 11, Farid shows how he calculated the length of the rifle as more than 44."
Even the warren Commission stated that the rifle was a maximum of 40" long. Farid
does not admit that, therefore, the stated height of Lee Oswald at 5' 9" is TOO SHORT
for the rifle to be THAT LONG. When the rifle's length is adjusted, Oswald is then TOO
SHORT. Jack Wite estimated the height discrepancy as a six inches. He's right.
Amazingly, Farid never tells the reader the known maximum rifle length as
contrasted against the actual known height of Oswald.
He simply blithers on.
These miscalculations actually provide substantial evidence as to how crude other
calculations may have been in this ill-conceived study.
On p. 12, only the exaggerated size and length of the computerized feet can keep
Oswald "upright."
On p. 13, Farid ignores the "cleft chin" problem well known to adept researchers in
the case and pretends that the dummy face and "Oswald's chin" in the photo are true
copies of Oswald's chin. What I found fascinating is that the blown-up photo of
Oswald's face in the backyard photo rendering, when aligned with the mug shot, for
the first time in my experience makes noticeable a marked swelling of Oswald's left
eye (right eye, to the viewer). The swelling of the left eye is obvious to anyone
trained in medical forensics: the swelling involves so much of the upper eyelid and
orbit that it partially obscures the vision of the left eye, indicating to me that the
backyard photo was created from a photo made of Oswald with the upper left eyelid
in a swollen droop, consistent with the injury from blunt trauma to that eye that is so
obvious in Oswald's mug shot. It seems possible that this head-shot photo, then, was
taken shortly after Oswald's arrest, then blurred (or blown up) and retouched to be
used in the backyard photo composites.
I was stunned to find that p. 13 was the end of Farid's paper.
The entire paper dealt with the surprisingly crude 3-D reconstruction.
His original paper was published in the journal Perception II (38), 1731-1734. That's
not available online, but three pages simply can’t say much when the title is "The Lee
Harvey Oswald Backyard Photos: real or Fake?"
That Farid dares mention "Photos" in this earlier paper, when here he reveals he only
looked at one photo-- is another indication of the carelessness of his "research."
That the press went so far as to declare, with its usual chest-thumping certainty, that
the backyard photos could no longer be used as evidence that Oswald was framed is
a heinous misrepresentation of the Farid study and its actual value in the case.
We know that the original film emulsion would show nuances of detail that might
have been lost when converted to pixels. Currently some 6000 pixels per square inch
are possible—that is a lot of detail!—but Farid wasn't working with pixels and
emulsions. He contented himself with creating a 3-D image, to questionable specs.

Atop the fakery of so-called 'scientific studies' that assail the untrained student,
scholar or researcher, we have many other problems with the evidence -- such as
duplicated or altered items-- to deal with in the case.
The Minox spy camera currently in the National Archives, for example, is sealed so its
registration number cannot be accessed. It is not considered to be the Minox that
was found among Oswald’s possessions and registered as such by Gus Rose of the
Dallas police force. The rifle in the National Archives is not the original rifle
photographed by the Dallas police. Lee’s Reily time cards initialed with a “J” in 1963
have had part of the “J” erased on one card and almost totally erased on another.
There are cartridge cases at the Tippit scene that vanished: Officer Poe marked hem
with his initials, but what we see in the National Archives are cartridges without his
initials on them.
On top of all these problems in the way evidence is handled, the public is given
incomplete information by 'anti-Oswald" websites. For example, the Internet public is
shown an Oswald backyard photo -- but only half of it. The damning long shadow,
produced by the body, is conveniently missing, simply by showing only half of the
backyard photo:
This cut-off photo is used at an anti-Oswald website ("Oswald's Ghost": --the cut-off
photo, part of the anti-Oswald material found at the TV history program series,
"American Experience" website).
And here's what a website talking about Farid's research shows the people: once
again, the photo is cropped so that people can't see the long shadow extending
behind the feet:

(Caption: "Professor finds that iconic Oswald photo was not
faked." the story and the cropped, deceptive rendition of the 'iconic' photo is a
November, 2009 headline story at an important science and physics website --
" "
These are just a few examples of the kind of deception that goes on in the
mainstream media's presentation of the so-called case against Lee Harvey Oswald--a
case full of more holes than a cat in the middle of a cactus patch. No matter where
you look, there are problems with the "official version" --and they're problems like
this, where honesty, integrity, and unbiased reportage are blatantly thrown aside.
Here's what this photo should look like:

We do not know which particular photo was offered to Farid. For example, we know
that the deMohrenschildt photo was a photo of a photo of an original.

A scientific journal published Farid's 3 page declaration that the backyard photos
were authentic. Are scientific journals, then, prejudiced concerning the case? In some
instances, we have determined that they can be prejudiced. In one well-known
example, Dr. Charles Crenshaw was libeled by JAMA, the Journal of the American
Medical Association. Crenshaw's book review tells us, briefly, what JAMA did to
Crenshaw when he spoke out, despite a long-standing gag order from the
"The wounds to Kennedy’s head and throat that I examined were caused by bullets
that struck him from the front, not the back, as the public has been led to believe,"
sa[id] Crenshaw…[but] the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) called
Crenshaw’s book "a fabrication...JAMA’s claim did not hold up in court and Crenshaw
subsequently prevailed in a defamation suit against JAMA. In the process, a number
of new medical disclosures and discoveries have emerged on the startling medical
cover-up of the JFK assassination.”

Farid does not mention any of the other backyard photos in the YouTube film he
made for the American people posted late in 2009. Note that many of researcher Gil
Jesus' fine films showing Oswald was innocent have been removed from the Internet,
citing copyright infringements. But I predict that Farid's YouTube video will not be
removed, unless Dartmouth's embarrassment over his 'findings' cause is removal. Let
us hope so.
In the YouTube video, posted before the present paper currently on the Internet, from
which we have quoted portion here, the Dartmouth photo expert (who inaccurately
calls Oswald a "communist") presents his computerized rendition of a dummy's head,
showing shadows that he states are the same as in the backyard photo. The 3-D
game dummy on the screen, he says, provides digitalized evidence that the photo
(singular) was not faked. But what part of 'faked' are we talking about, here?
We are not told much about how the result was created on this YouTube video being
viewed by well-meaning dupes who may take Farid's work seriously. We now have his
additional information concerning a clumsy utilization of a 3-D rendering. In the
YouTube version, Farid used only "portions of the backyard scene" in his rendition.
Photo of Dartmouth's Hany Farid with computer.

Did anyone ever tell Mr. Farid that in the known background photos, which he
apparently never compared to each other, that wherever any particular background
detail (e.g. a clump of leaves) is made the same size as the same detail (e.g. the
same clump of leaves) in all the photos, such a comparison results in a precise
overlay between two such details? That this is impossible in ‘real life’ multiple photos
taken with a hand-held camera? That this means the same static background was
used for all the photos, or that the camera was sitting on a tripod, not held in her
hands, as Marina Oswald stated?
Furthermore, the pasted-on heads are identical except for size, tilt, and a smile
feature, and they, too, can be overlaid perfectly when head sizes are made the same
and tilts removed. In real life photos, this would be impossible. Why? Unless you are
forcing your head to not move, no two photos of a face will be identical when the
body’s pose changes. Try it yourself: move into different poses and remember that
“Oswald” supposedly walked over to Marina between each photo, advanced the film
each time, then walked back to pose again. Would he have been able to place his
face at precisely the same angle and frontal view for every photo? Nobody could do
The heavy shadows on the face come from an overhead source and are also
consistent with this scenario: taking a photo of Oswald while he was being
interrogated, then using copies of the photo in the various backyard versions, seems
a possible explanation.

The cherry-picking of data selection used by Farid has been done before with the
backyard photos. We’ll talk about that later. But first, let's read the article describing
Farid’s study, below, that was released in November 2009.

"Dartmouth Computer Scientist Hany Farid has new evidence regarding a photograph
of accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Farid, a pioneer in the field of digital forensics, digitally analyzed an iconic image of
Oswald pictured in a backyard setting holding a rifle in one hand and Marxist
newspapers in the other. Oswald and others claimed that the incriminating photo was
a fake, noting the seemingly inconsistent lighting and shadows. After analyzing the
photo with modern-day forensic tools, Farid says the photo almost certainly was not
“If we had found evidence of photo tampering, then it would have suggested a
broader plot to kill JFK,” said Farid, who is also the director of the Neukom Institute
for Computational Science at Dartmouth. “Those who believe that there was a
broader conspiracy can no longer point to this photo as possible evidence.” Farid
added that federal officials long ago said that this image had not been tampered
with, but a surprising number of skeptics still assert that there was a conspiracy.
The study will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Perception.
Farid and his team have developed a number of digital forensic tools used to
determine whether digital photos have been manipulated, and his research is often
used by law enforcement officials and in legal proceedings. The tools can measure
statistical inconsistencies in the underlying image pixels, improbable lighting and
shadow, physically impossible perspective distortion, and other artifacts introduced
by photo manipulators. The play of light and shadow was fundamental in the Oswald
photo analysis."
“The human brain, while remarkable in many aspects, also has its weaknesses,” says
Farid. “The visual system can be quite inept at making judgments regarding 3-D
geometry, lighting, and shadows.”
At a casual glance, the lighting and shadows in the Oswald photo appear to many to
be incongruous with the outdoor lighting. To determine if this was the case, Farid
constructed a 3-D model of Oswald’s head and portions of the backyard scene, from
which he was able to determine that a single light source, the sun, could explain all
of the shadows in the photo.”
[Note that the body was omitted IN THE ORIGINAL YOUTUBE VIDEO POSTED AT THE
“It is highly improbable that anyone could have created such a perfect forgery with
the technology available in 1963,” said Farid. With no evidence of tampering, he
concluded that the incriminating photo was authentic.
”As our digital forensic tools become more sophisticated, we increasingly have the
ability to apply them to historic photos in an attempt to resolve some long-standing
mysteries,” said Farid."
[That the rifle length of over 44" as measured by Farid meant that Oswald shrank
some 10% in height apparently made no difference to our intrepid Mr. Farid.]

Prof. Farid tells us that we can be fooled by what we see.
Indeed we can.
Note that "as our digital forensic tools become more sophisticated, we increasingly
have the ability to apply them to historic photos..." --- HOW they are applied depends
upon the person running the program: the program can be tweaked to produce what
is desired. Because there are computer programs available that can come to such a
conclusion does not mean that the data used was good, or correctly used, as shown
above in our study.

The ONLY acceptable procedure would be to analyze and compare the shadows along
the entire body and the head, in all extant photos, as well as shadow advances
between the photos along the ground, as these obviously (and unaccountably) differ.
Once again, no such stringent set of factors necessary for a truly comprehensive
analysis is described as having been conducted. The "same' heads in all the photos
would have to be analyzed by someone more familiar than Mr. Farid with human
anatomy and physiology: his rendering of Oswald's feet and stance, and the alien-
sized pointed ears placed far too high on the dummy face are only a few of the
problems encountered in what little work Farid actually conducted with just a single
photo for reference.
Monitoring the method of analysis would have to include knowing how the computer
program was set up, and it should be tested immediately before and after use in the
project, on standardized photos with known parameters, concerning shadows, to
ascertain that the program has not been manipulated.
Of importance is that the analysis is able to be reproduced by others using the same
methodology in every aspect. Unfortunately, we have evidence abounding that
computer data can be manipulated. Just to remind you: look at the Dallas police
cutout photo, and ask yourself why they had such a photo in their possession:
What is this photo about? I used to work for Steck-Vaughn Publishers in Austin,
Texas. We would cut out an area and place dark red cellophane in that spot. Then we
could slip a different photo in the cut-out area. The cut-out is created to place a
different photo in the space. Why did the Dallas police have such a cutout in their
possession? They said they were just testing to see if a cutout was possible. Of
course, the answer is "yes."
A negative of a cutout, found in the possession of the Dallas police. White would be
black in a photo made from this negative. In 1963, the cutout section would have
been created with red cellophane cut to create the ‘white’ area on the negative. It
would film as black and the photo of “Oswald could be quickly dropped into place.

By far the easiest and most trustworthy method to determine the authenticity of
these photos is to use a method where data cannot be manipulated. Method
(obvious, but not pursued by government investigators):
a) use an Oswald lookalike (or lifesized dummy with the same features as Oswald) of
the same height, dressed similarly, etc. leaning so awkwardly at precisely the same
angles (if possible -- researchers have reported great difficulty keeping their balance
posing at the calculated angle of presentation)—
b) the TRUE-sized papers and rifle, with all objects held at the exact angle as in the
originals, must be used (tests have shown that an elbow seems to be missing in one
backyard photo -- that the rifle cannot be held, as shown, without the elbow
showing--but it is, nevertheless, missing).
c) finally, the light source must be solely that of the natural sun, at the proper angle,
with the same weather conditions and at the same time of year, as that long-ago
Sunday, to create the long shadows as shown.
d) the fence, plants, etc. representing the original background can be easily put into
the proper places, using simple geometrical measurements.
e) Then take the photos.

This simple experiment was nevertheless apparently beyond the ability of either the
Warren Commission or the HSCA to properly conduct. And though Mr. Farid had the
ability and plenty of time to create these conditions, he cherry-picked what to use,
demolishing the validity of his experiment in the process. Certainly computers can
create shadows that can be convincing, even when artificial. hey are also created
according to whatever data is given to the program. Look at this assignment that
came from the Internet, for graphic computer students:
"This assignment investigated, and implemented common approaches used in
creating real-time shadow effects within a 3D game environment under the DirectX
API. The assignment consisted of a written investigative report and two
demonstrations of real-time shadow rendering using the planer shadows and shadow
mapping techniques."
Planer Shadow Volumes: computer programs allow you to adjust shadows just as you
please: yes, a computer can generate shadows easily.

Why would an ignorant (as to details of the case, e.g.
that Oswald was a 'communist') Dartmouth photo expert go out of his way to create
the YouTube video and get his name in the papers in November, 2009?
We now know that Farid got some funding for lab work from the FBI. Dr. James Fetzer
tells us that

"Copernicus may have put his finger on the matter with his observation, "Farid’s lab
is part funded by the FBI, known to be one of the main agents of evidence tampering
and abuse in the wake of the JFK assassination", which makes it less surprising.
Indeed, Copernicus has offered the following astute observation: "Interested people
may also wish to process that, in 1995, after President Clinton ordered release of
most of the pertinent files to do with the JFK case (as requested by the Assassinations
Archives Review Board) the FBI immediately filed an appeal to prevent the release of
any files. One is therefore left to wonder why now, they would be so eager to
cooperate – since obviously they’d have had to supply Farid with his source photos
for analysis." [Ref:

As far as I am aware, the Oswald photos' shadows have not been, have never been,
and cannot be duplicated under natural conditions with the sun as the sole light
source, as shown, in those damning photos that Oswald told us from the beginning
were fakes. Out there has to be more than one honest scientist who will conduct a
serious study using a real person, the real sun, at the required official date and place,
with all the background details and the true solar positions, as can be determined by
the varying lengths of the shadows, how light glances off the shoes, etc.

It hasn't been done: government-sponsored investigators have danced all around the
problem. Is the professor's story yet another dance, “full of sound and Farid,
signifying nothing”?
Using only the head ---or only the body--- is not a new idea
Next, we have an attempt by the HSCA to show how the head shadows are possible--
There is no light at all, or it is on the wrong side, of the exaggerated necks of the
dummies, making the HSCA experiments void. Note the dummy head only is shown.
Now look at one of the Oswald backyard photos (a truncated one, but at least they
haven't cut off his head!). Note the angle of the sunlight on (our) right side of neck:
compare to HSCA photos showing no light at that angle. The light’s on the wrong
side of the neck, it’s too low on the neck, and the necks are too long.
Mr. Farid was not the first person to omit the head or the body – as he did at first
--you can’t have both and get the shadows right! Warren Commission exhibit 748,
below, shows the 'model' (not leaning enough) --with no head --a graphic example of
the difficulty the FBI experienced trying to create the same shadow effect. Rather
than show the "wrong" shadows on the face, did the Warren Commission/FBI decide
to avoid the problem by blocking out the head?
Headless, but the body shadow’s there!

A true patriot will fight for truth in government. Lee Harvey Oswald was an innocent
man. He was framed. America changed radically with the assassination of John F
Kennedy. You have the right to ask why there has been so much effort to blame
Oswald, to shut up witnesses, and to keep evidence hidden. Or repeat “The
government never lies” as many times as you must, in order to feel comfortable with
the official version.