The Backyard photos

Of course, we would be remiss if we failed to conduct overlay studies of the famous backyard photographs, which convicted Lee Oswald in the public’s eye.  In this post we will establish the same hypothesis as the early researchers who concluded these had been artificially produced and set out to confirm or refute their results using the computer overlay techniques extensively outlined in chapter 8 of “The JFK Horsemen”.  In that chapter, we introduced the concept of the probe image, which was our control or unknown, versus our gallery image, which we superimposed onto our probe. First, let’s take a look at the background of these photographs.

The Luce empire published this one three months after the assassination on February 21, 1964:

CE133-A and B were published in Volume 16 CE133-C (right) surfaced 15 years later.

During Lee Oswald’s interrogations by Captain Will Fritz, FBI agent James Bookhout, Secret Service agent in charge Tom Kelly, and others on November 23rd, 1963, he was shown the backyard photos and vehemently protested that they were not him and that in time he would prove it:

There is a mountain of research already done related to these photographs. In the video, The Garrrison Tapes, produced and directed by John Barbour, photographic expert Steven Jaffe (26:25) concisely demonstrated how these had been fabricated by superimposing transparencies of the two photos, paying particular attention to the head and body:

“Whoever framed Oswald, evidently used only one picture of his face, and planted it on someone else’s body, then to give the face on the right a different look, it seems they airbrushed some of the facial features and tilted the head slightly, and in doing so, they tilted the shadow under his nose. That it was one face is easily demonstrated. If you take the face on the right, and superimpose it over the face on the left, the features line up, but when you slide the face back, you see that it had to be tilted.”

“The second and more obvious proof is with the position of the bodies. The body on the right seems to be closer to the camera – if so, the head should be larger – however, you see when you slide it over the face on the left, the faces are the same size. This means the bodies should be the same height – they are not.”

Jack White also did brilliant and extensive work on the backyard photos, and his research is covered in his famous 1990 video “FAKE” – The composite photographs fabricated to frame Lee Harvey Oswald for the murders of President Kennedy and Officer Tippit.” (White starts at 18:19 of video)

When he flipped CE133-A he showed how ridiculous the figure looked and questioned its ability to remain upright and balanced. He also pointed out the anomalies shown at right:

He observed the belated arrival of the third photograph which did not surface until the 1970’s and the HSCA, and which had been in the hands of Roscoe White’s widow, Geneva. “It had been suppressed for 15 years”, according to Jack. OK, that’s fine and dandy, however, as the video points out, why then did the FBI use the pose shown in CE133-C to re-create the backyard photos back in1964?? They certainly screwed the pooch in this one!

Robert and Patricia Hester, who worked at a Dallas photo lab that weekend, told Jim Marrs they saw the backyard photos in the hands of the FBI the night of the assassination, which Marrs points out was the day before they were officially discovered by the DPD. “They (the Hesters), were processing film and photographs for the FBI and Secret Service” reported Marrs:

“I first interviewed Robert Hester in the late 1970s. He told me he saw the backyard photos in the hands of the FBI the night of the assassination, he was quite insistent on this fact. Of course, that is the day before the photos officially were discovered. In later years, his wife Pat confirmed this story, and told me and other Texas researchers that the FBI even had a color transparency of one of the photos, as well as a picture of Oswald’s backyard, but with no one in the picture! They were very certain about all of this.

The video also points out the simple, relevant fact: “Furthermore, an intensive search of Oswald’s possessions failed to turn up either the dark shirt or the dark pants seen in the photographs”

Michael Griffith wrote an exhaustive article in 1996 in The Dealey Plaza Echo which discussed the many anomalies with the photograph. The article validated and confirmed Jack’s work such as the edit lines across the chin, the bulging neck, the non-movement of features between the three photographs, and the shadows which show that the same photo of Lee Oswald was used in all three photos.

So what in the world is there to debate? Is this evidence not enough to sway the reader that these photos were fabricated and were the linchpin that clinched Lee Oswald’s guilt? On the cover of Life magazine, no less?

We began by creating a photogrammetric study of CE133A, CE133B, and CD133C where we isolated, scaled, and color-coded these in the same order, from left to right: left-blue, center-sepia, and right green:

This overlay shows the superimposition of all three layers and highly suggests that the same photograph was used in the preparation of all of the different poses, blue, sepia, and green, colors that we borrowed from White’s research. Note that the green (right), had to be slightly rotated a few degrees into proper alignment.

The nose shadows coincide and match perfectly. Jaffe and White, whom we mentioned earlier, pointed out how the shadow under the nose tilted to the right along with the inserted head. Only slight retouching of the mouth was necessary to make the two appear to have been different from one another. This overlay supports both the Jaffe and White hypotheses.

Even more proof

The next battery of tests addresses the authenticity of the backyard photographs which are actual overlays of known photographs of Lee Oswald onto backyard photo CE133-C, the one on the left, which will be our probe. Our gallery images are the same ones used in chapter 8, the NOPD mug shots. This overlay sequence combines the NOPD photographs onto backyard photo CD133-C shown above.

This technique yields startling results. In these overlays, the outline in red belongs to the backyard figure. Whereas the eyes, nose, and mouth line up perfectly when the probe and gallery image are overlaid onto each other, the right side of the backyard subject protrudes in a comical fashion. This includes the right side of the neck, the right ear, and all of the right side of the head up to the crown.

This next image is known as the “ghost” image, which was found in DPD files.  Their explanation was that they wanted to experiment and find out if it was possible to create these:

The ring also tells a story

Researcher Amy Joyce has brought to our attention the fact that in CE133-C, the individual appears to be wearing a ring on his left ring finger:

The ring appears to be a USMC ring, which is asymmetrical and resembles a class ring:

When arrested, Lee was most certainly wearing this type of ring:

Furthermore, the only other ring known to have been worn by Lee Oswald was his wedding band which he supposedly left on the dresser at Ruth Paine’s house in Irving, on the morning of November 22, 1963:

When Amy compared CE133-A to CE133-C,  she noticed that the individual IS NOT wearing any ring whatsoever in CE133-A!  Here is a closeup collage of the two photographs:

But there is another problem with the ring.  Amy also notes that in CE133-B, the ring appears to be ON THE RIGHT HAND!

Clearly, there are major problems with the position or absence of the ring in the backyard photos which have never been addressed before.

Judyth Vary Baker explains:

“This is almost certainly a MARINE RING and both Lee and Roscoe White were Marines. But we know the right hand is NOT Lee’s because the RIGHT HAND –where Lee wore his wedding band–shows NO ring. Marina testified that Lee almost never removed the ring. I certify that Lee wore his thick, gold wedding band on his right hand. It’s one of the major ways we can prove this photo is NOT of Lee Oswald.  I saw an attempt on the most reproduced backyard photo to retouch to try to make a ring on the right hand…but this is also the hand with the cut-off fingertips… it is unsuccessful because no shadow… see, however, in the attached other less-looked-at photo, that they gave up trying to add a ring on the right hand and simply decided to SMEAR THE HAND to remove ALL DETAILS. WHY HAVEN’T PEOPLE NOTICED THIS?”

Why Blender is important

As discussed in previous posts, with Blender we can set our models up in 3D space, and simulate the position of the sun at any time of the day. How does a Blender model behave when subjected to a single light source from above, in this case the Sun.  Here is our Blender layout in Front and Right orthographic views:

Above we show the shadow of the nose which is symmetrical, and points directly at 6 o’clock, as with the first of the backyard photos, CE133A: This is what we see when we overlay the Oswald head onto our model. The eye and nose shadows are symmetrical and consistent with this type of light source and clearly indicate that the sun or other light source is directly above, which we have replicated in our Blender model:

Note that in this collage, the model’s head is tilted 6 degrees right,  which slightly distorts the shadow towards the right making it asymmetrical, as shown in this blow-up:

An interesting and unintended result of this experiment is the vast amount of shadow cast under the model’s chin, covering all of the neck and upper chest down to the upper sternum. This happens in both the straight-up and the tilted model. This effect, however, is not seen in the backyard figure. This suggests the possibility that Oswald’s head might have been pasted above the chin line in the following manner:

Many researchers have proposed that the chin and body actually belong to Roscoe White and have pointed out an edit line below “backyard man’s” lower lip seen in the above collage. 

Roscoe White

This next image is an animated overlay isolation of White’s chin onto the chin of “backyard man.” They seem to line up perfectly.

And this image shows that Lee Oswald’s chin was pointier and had a very particular cleft:

The Farid fiasco

On October 19, 2015, one Hany Farid published a paper that tried to convince the world that the backyard photographs were authentic.   He presented a 3D model which tried to mimic the backyard figure’s position in CE133-A. The rendered model and its corresponding rig are shown below: (Note: Both Makehuman and Blender are capable of this.)

Jim Fetzer and Jim Marrs have thoroughly debunked Farid’s fairy tale and pointed out many instances of dishonest research, unbecoming of a Dartmouth professor and scholar. Among these, Farid’s model in no way, shape, or form replicates backyard man’s posture. The manipulation of the model is obvious in an effort to reconcile the strange shadows seen in the photos. The arching of the back and the left-forward tilt of the chin ARE NOT present in the backyard man! Furthermore, and more importantly, Fetzer correctly points out that Farid crops both images to hide the shadow pattern of the lower body, which falls in a different direction, as we have demonstrated above. That is why Farid failed to include the lower body in his write-up.

In order to achieve the symmetrical shadow under the nose, it would have been necessary to align the light source (sun) into a frontal position, which in turn would have projected the lower body shadow behind the model:

The correct and only possible orientation where the sun casts the exact angle of shadow made by the lower body is this one shown in this Blender top orthographic view:

Which yields the following shadow patterns as viewed from the above and in front:

Fetzer concludes:

“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.”