Science

Study finds the Lee Harvey Oswald backyard photo to be authentic

The new research helps to refute claims that the image was faked
The new research helps to refute claims that the image was faked
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The new research helps to refute claims that the image was faked
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The new research helps to refute claims that the image was faked
The image in question shows Oswald holding the same type of rifle used in the assassination, but his unusual pose in the photograph – wherein he looks to be off balance – led to claims that the picture was fake
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The image in question shows Oswald holding the same type of rifle used in the assassination, but his unusual pose in the photograph – wherein he looks to be off balance – led to claims that the picture was fake
The results of the study show that while he might look a little overbalanced, Oswald's pose in the photo is indeed stable
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The results of the study show that while he might look a little overbalanced, Oswald's pose in the photo is indeed stable
Posed so as to appear exactly the same as in the photo, the researchers applied appropriate mass to each part of the body, before performing a balance analysis on the resulting figure
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Posed so as to appear exactly the same as in the photo, the researchers applied appropriate mass to each part of the body, before performing a balance analysis on the resulting figure

A study conducted by Dartmouth College has delved further than ever before into the authenticity of the infamous backyard photograph of John F. Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Specifically, the team analyzed Oswald's pose in the picture – something that's long been a point of controversy.

The photo in question was a significant piece of evidence against Oswald, who was fatally wounded by nightclub owner Jack Ruby before standing trial. The image shows the man holding the same type of rifle used in the assassination, but his unusual pose in the photograph – wherein he looks to be off balance – led to claims that the picture was fake. Questions were also raised over the lighting and shadows in the image, as well as the length of the rifle appearing wrong.

Hany Farid, senior author of the new Darthmouth study, has been working to determine the validity of these claims. His previous studies in 2009 and 2010 had addressed those lighting and shadow concerns, but there were still question marks over Oswald's pose in the infamous image.

The new study tackles the issue head on, with Farid working with Assistant Professor Emily Whiting – an architectural geometry and computer-aided design expert – to build a physiologically plausible three-dimensional model of Oswald. Posed so as to appear exactly the same as in the photo, the researchers applied appropriate mass to each part of the body, before performing a balance analysis on the resulting figure.

The results of the study show that while he might look a little overbalanced, Oswald's pose in the photo is indeed stable
The results of the study show that while he might look a little overbalanced, Oswald's pose in the photo is indeed stable

The results showed that while he might look a little overbalanced, Oswald's pose in the photo is indeed stable. Analysis of the 3-D model also supported previous research, showing the observed lighting, shadow and length of the rifle to be plausible.

Not only does the study help put to bed tampering claims regarding the photo, but the team believes that it demonstrates the potential of such analysis.

"Our analysis refutes purported evidence of manipulation in the Oswald photo, but more generally we believe that the type of detailed 3D modeling performed here can be a powerful forensic tool in reasoning about the physical plausibility of an image," says Farid. "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."

The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law.

Source: Dartmouth College

11 comments
CarmellaSoprano
I have been listening to this sort of thing in the media for more than fifty years. It would be preposterous to suppose the entire case for conspiracy is predicated on this photo being fake. This study only seems to prove that it is an unaltered photograph of a man. And how eager are the allegedly liberal media to imply this has somehow resolved the issue and we now somehow know Oswald acted alone. Right.
BarnabyCricklespiff
''Final Judgement'' written by Michael Collins Piper has the real story of the JFK murder. As stated by Pablo, The Israeli Mossad along with members of the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate murdered Kennedy. Anyone who believes that Lee Harvey Oswald did it , well i have a large bridge in Brooklyn for sale....... Whether the photo is a fake or not is irrelevant to the fact that Oswald was not one of the shooters on that day in Dallas. Google Michel Mertz / Mossad
TheGuardian_777
You surely must have meant to describe Oswald as JFK's 'alleged' assassin, as they never let him defend himself in a court of law, murdering him, under impenetrable police guard, before he had any chance to testify in his own defense. He was thus never convicted. And, he maintained his innocence and a conspiracy to make him "the patsy", until his dying breath. I think that he deserves, at least, the benefit of the doubt. The lying politicians that say otherwise, surely do not deserve our trust, but only their own "magic bullet", just ask Cyril Wecht about that!
Firehawk70
The thing about conspiracies requiring lots of people being complicit, and that being unrealistic has always puzzled me. But recently someone mentioned the NSA wiretapping incident and Edward Snowden in this context. Presumably quite a lot of people had to be aware that the wiretapping occurs in this context - at the least, all the workers who do it, the technicians who set it up, all the middle mgmt who support it, the guys who clean the office, the politicians and their staffers who made it happen, and the list goes on. I bet well over 100 people knew fully well of the NSA phone trawling operation, yet not one of them said a word. And most probably weren't military or government employees, so they didn't have that life or death oath to answer for. So let's say 100 people knew about Kennedy, but not one said a word - it's certainly plausible. Especially if the one who planned on saying a word was killed the next day, and anyone else connected got the message. I'm actually pretty sure a few other connected died not long after as outlined in that Family of Secrets book (really long read).
Nik
From movie recordings that have appeared on the web, it is clear that the fatal shot entered Kennedy's head from the front, and exited from the rear. This was something that was impossible for Oswald to achieve. So, even if the photo is not a fake, it is still irrelevant to Kennedy's murder. Also, I doubt whether that particular gun was the only one of its type in the world, so it would be simple to plant an identical weapon and claim it was the 'murder weapon' and as no forensics matching the bullets to the gun Oswald is holding seem to have ever been produced, it is even more irrelevant.
FollowTheFacts
..what's the purpose of this inclusion...? – ..it's been conclusively demonstrated that the official explanation is false... Nothing good is being gained by promoting false narratives in support of political criminality...just stop it
sk8dad
I for one think this technology is not totally without merit. If the original photo ever became available on eBay, both buyer and seller can be sure that the picture does indeed authentically depict a man holding a rifle. Also same for any Monty Python or JibJab pictures as well. Yay for science.
Walt Stawicki
they have several interviews and confession with the grassy noll shooter, who left his tooth imprinted cartridge caseing behind to mark it. A number of Marines last year visited Oswalds tomb to give him a medal. They are insiders who know what happened.ones been posting evidence forever and not allowed to present in the initial hearings, was on the plaza, saw the event, and believes he returned with the shooter on a govt flight to d.c. he has been right about other more recent events. i do not think the patsy oswald was a shooter, ask the man in the depository who heard shots from elsewhere. and where did the tree covering the oswald windo go? hmm?
Frosted Flake
Yeah. It's Lee Harvey. And so what? It's exhibit 'A' in a conspiracy theory, titled ==>the patsy with the props<==. Far from being convicted of shooting JFK, witnesses placed him in the break room while the President was being shot. A couple questions. Why did the motorcade turn up Houston and down Elm when Main was the road they were on and the road to where they were going? Why did Agent Greer stop the Limo, when the natural thing to do when a shot rings out is to floor it? And why did NO ONE ever ask these incredibly simple and straight forward questions? I mean, should these questions not have been one and two on the list?
Brew
Conspiracy theorists always amaze me. I acknowledge it seems so implausible that an act that has such a profound effect on global history could be committed by an otherwise insignificant character, and so we feel compelled to find a greater and more powerful machinery behind a monstrous act. But it need not be. So, my science-embracing friends of Gizmag, let us look at it with cool objectivity and verifiable facts. Read "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner and clear your heads.