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Guest Duncan MacRae

PRAYER PERSON - PRAYER MAN OR PRAYER WOMAN? RESEARCH THREAD

1,094 posts in this topic

Tommy,

I really can't tell who is in that corner but I'll acknowledge it's someone.

In that everyone identified so far on the steps are employees of companies inside the TSBD I think odds are that he/she/it is also an employee.

Bart has put forth a pretty good argument for LHO, I'm really impressed by his attention to detail. Duncan not so much, maybe it's his presentation or attitude, idk.

I spent 5 years in video production as an IT guy and I learned a little bit about photography and encoding. I'm not impressed at all with the scans that we have to work from.

I think there has to be a push to get high def scans from the original negatives that haven't been converted to JPG or GIF or uploaded to a site which automatically re-encodes like youtube and facebook because that process takes definition away from the areas that we want to see.

garbage in garbage out.

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Sorry, Thomas, just cain't help myself sometimes. :)

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Tommy,

I really can't tell who is in that corner but I'll acknowledge it's someone.

In that everyone identified so far on the steps are employees of companies inside the TSBD I think odds are that he/she/it is also an employee.

Bart has put forth a pretty good argument for LHO, I'm really impressed by his attention to detail. Duncan not so much, maybe it's his presentation or attitude, idk.

I spent 5 years in video production as an IT guy and I learned a little bit about photography and encoding. I'm not impressed at all with the scans that we have to work from.

I think there has to be a push to get high def scans from the original negatives that haven't been converted to JPG or GIF or uploaded to a site which automatically re-encodes like youtube and facebook because that process takes definition away from the areas that we want to see.

garbage in garbage out.

Chris,

Several months ago, Duncan posted a large closeup gif of Prayer Persons's head in which I detected (by freeze-framing very quickly) movement of his head to his right (and back again), and I could see sideburns on the left side of his face.

The last time I checked many months ago, that thread had been incorporated into a moderator-required different thread called "Prayer Person - Prayer Man Or Prayer Woman? Research Thread," and that particular gif had been deleted.

I wish I could find it again on some website so I could try to tell others what I did in order to see all of that.

-- Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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I detected PP's moving his head quickly to his right and then back again, and I though I detected sideburns on the left side of PP's face.

Tommy,

Are the pictures we have of PP taken before the last shot was fired? If so then turning to his (PP's) right would be turning west toward the Knoll and consistent with BWF testimony that the shot he heard came from that direction.

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I detected PP's moving his head quickly to his right and then back again, and I though I detected sideburns on the left side of PP's face.

Tommy,

Are the pictures we have of PP taken before the last shot was fired? If so then turning to his (PP's) right would be turning west toward the Knoll and consistent with BWF testimony that the shot he heard came from that direction.

That's a good question, Chris. We need to find Duncan's gif. I don't remember if it was from Wiegman, Darnell, or Couch.

For timing purposes, I believe that the first shot occurred around 0:11 of this video of the Wiegman film because at 0:12 we can see Lovelady suddenly leaning forward, just like he was when he was captured on film as "Doorman" in Altgens 6. (We know for a fact that Altgens 6 was taken right after JFK started clutching his throat.)

[credit: Chris Davidson]

Raise.gif

See post 332, this thread.

-- Tommy :sun

PS I think the reason Prayer Man's head looks so strange in the smaller photo (without cars) in the above gif might be because he's quickly turning his head to the right, right now. Or at least thinking about it. (lol)

Edited by Thomas Graves

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The primary feature of my hypothesis -- which you seemed to have missed -- is that the assassination plotters were not painting Oswald as the shooter. But rather as an accomplice. For example, that he supplied the gun. Therefore it would be okay for him to be seen by witnesses during the shooting and caught outside in some photographs and films. The purpose of this being.... well, read the hypothesis again. It makes a lot of sense.

No, I didn't miss it. I ignored it because it makes no more sense than my gnomes-in-my-garden hypothesis. So the CIA and its helpers went through the entire Harvey and Lee "fake-rifle-purchase thing," not to mention the "Oswald-imposters-all-over-the-place thing," and any number of other "pre-assassination things," and then planted the rifle on the 6th floor, merely to frame LHO as an accomplice, and they were so content with their fake purchasing and rifle planting they didn't even care that LHO was standing outside at the very moment of the shooting? The notion that conspirator LHO might have loaned a fellow conspirator his trusty Mannlicher-Carcano strikes you as a plausible conspiracy scenario that serious investigators would have fallen for?

Lance,

You have once again left out a key component of my hypothesis. (I don't believe you've even read my hypothesis.)

There was good reason for Oswald to be an accomplice. Quoting from the original hypothesis (Post 327):

"Lance says that the plotters would have wanted Oswald NOT to be caught outside the sniper's nest. I think that is a debatable point. I think a point could be made that a wandering Oswald would serve the CIA's goals better. As long as they planted enough evidence to show that Oswald was involved. Because if Oswald was found to be involved but not to be the actual shooter, that would point directly to there being a conspiracy. Wouldn't that serve the CIA's plans even better than making Oswald the lone killer? A conspiracy involving a man who is sympathetic to Russia and Cuba, who writes the Russian Embassy as if he were one of them, and who had recently met with a KGB assassin? A man who, in fact, used to live in Russia?"

Painting Oswald as the shooter -- not a mere accomplice -- would have left open the possibility for the U.S. Government to paint Oswald as a.... <gasp>.... Lone Nut! Not a conspirator!

And the CIA's goal goes kaput.

(Note how history has proven me right on this point.)

Don't bother replying Lance. You've proven yourself not to be serious, and so I won't be debating you any further.

Edited by Sandy Larsen

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Though Duncan MacRae and Chris Davidson both decided not to defend their evidence I have to say they very definitely provided enough evidence to make a reasonable conclusion that Prayer Man can't possibly be Oswald. The now-disappeared Richard Gilbride also correctly acknowledged the height argument which also disproved the Oswald as Prayer Man theory, for those who bothered to process the information. (Forgive me if I don't remember if it was Wiegman or Darnell because I have been away on a 2 month research tour). I think it was Wiegman.

MacRae's last proof of the woman's face proves the case beyond a doubt. Before all the information was weirdly deleted I had argued on MacRae's website that the series of frames Davidson posted in his animated gif proved beyond a doubt that the film had captured a woman's face on the alleged Oswald Prayer Man figure, conclusively proving beyond a doubt that Prayer Man could not be Oswald, and in turn debunking the Sean Murphy theory. The Assassination research community contains a lot of big egos and many of these were heavily invested in the Murphy theory to the point of posting years-worth of speculative scenarios on the main assassination boards - the primary premise of which is now totally worthless thanks to Davidson and MacRae. I'm afraid the credibility of the Assassination research world is in jeopardy since many of those same persons have refused to own-up to what should be good enough evidence for the level of rigor they pretend. There was a certain Assassination website that tied its entire existence to this now bogus theory.

The proof of the woman's face is seen in Davidson's series of frames taken from his animated gif. Once properly analyzed it shows the series of frames he linked are of varying clearness except the last frame that focuses clearly. This clear frame is the one that sharply shows a woman's face on Prayer Man. The Assassination community and this site are well familiar with the variations in film frames from their intense analysis of the Zapruder Film. Some are blurry from motion and camera movement and some land on a more steady position of the camera and come out sharp. Well that happened with Wiegman's camera as well and the frame with the woman's face. I pointed this out to Bart Kamp and he ignored it. The previous frames show visible blurring of the background objects as well as the Prayer Man subject. The frame with the woman's face shows those same background objects in sharp focus as well as Prayer Man. This is adequate evidence that the reason Prayer Woman's face shows up clearly in that frame is because Wiegman's camera landed on a steady frame for that shot and captured clear facial features. This isn't rocket science so it shouldn't be that difficult to acknowledge. There also seems to be a strange relationship between those who were heavily invested in the Murphy theory and those having trouble acknowledging this easy to understand proof. MacRae was clever enough to see the woman's face in that frame and enlarge it to a size that makes it more apparent. There is no doubt that enlarged frame shows the clear features of a woman's face and therefore conclusively disproves the Murphy thesis. I find it shameful that the Assassination community avoided recognition of this obvious evidence and returned to already-disproven inferior arguments once the main proponents left. It is highly damaging to the intellectual credibility of that community.

Bart Kamp had it explained to him why his forehead argument was not valid but continued to post it anyway while ignoring the evidence. He claims the elongated forehead was proof that there was something wrong with MacRae's evidence. I explained to him that a simple analysis of Davidson's gif showed that his photoshop tool preserved previous frames and deposited them as double exposures into the ensuing frames. You can look at the progress of frames in Davidson's gif and it will show this. Therefore the elongated forehead Kamp is wrongly claiming discredits Davidson is just the position of the forehead in the first frame being carried over to the ensuing frames. That same frame by frame analysis shows that the final steady frame is the frame where Prayer Man's face shows up clearly. As shown in MacRae's enlargement, that face is clearly that of a woman and since Lee Harvey Oswald was not a woman that means the Murphy theory is finally dismissed.

I think it is time the Assassination community finally return to its high level of rigor and admit this so we can more accurately determine the location of Lee Harvey Oswald during the shooting and its evidentiary interpretation. This is a simple matter of science and we have proven a credible case in my opinion.

Folks, Sean Murphy must have internet access and be aware of this. You should use your minds and think why he doesn't respond...

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There goes the neighbourhood.

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It's been a long time since Chris posted his woman. But I remember it way differently than Brian portrays.

What I remember is that the picture was very blurry. Chris didn't do any de-blurring. IIRC he just adjusted the contrast and brightness and got the likeness of a woman. I agreed that it looked like a woman. It did.

But the fact remains that you can't take a blurry picture and make a clear picture out of it without doing some sophisticated de-blurring using a process known as deconvolution. (The focus of my Masters program was digital signal processing, and this included image processing.)

By tweaking the picture, Chris ended up with a couple of dots that could be taken as eyes and a dark area that appeared to be long hair. What he and others -- including myself -- saw was no different than objects seen in clouds.

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It's been a long time since Chris posted his woman. But I remember it way differently than Brian portrays.

What I remember is that the picture was very blurry. Chris didn't do any de-blurring. IIRC he just adjusted the contrast and brightness and got the likeness of a woman. I agreed that it looked like a woman. It did.

But the fact remains that you can't take a blurry picture and make a clear picture out of it without doing some sophisticated de-blurring using a process known as deconvolution. (The focus of my Masters program was digital signal processing, and this included image processing.)

By tweaking the picture, Chris ended up with a couple of dots that could be taken as eyes and a dark area that appeared to be long hair. What he and others -- including myself -- saw was no different than objects seen in clouds.

As I've said before, if you did a lot of freeze-framing you could see Prayer Man's sideburns, when he turned his head rapidly to his right and then back again, in a large close-up GIF of PM's head that Duncan posted on this forum about a year ago, but then deleted after about a week.

-- Tommy :sun

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Brian:

Unfortunately, the signal in the dark corner of the doorway in Wiegman's film is just too poor for an unequivocal indentification of the person which others and I believe is a man. The figure's head appears to be split into two causing it to appear too tall in some frames. Unless there is a better copy of Wiegman's film we may not be able to identify beyond any doubts the person's identity solely from Wiegman's film. I have contacted the Sixth Floor Museum in January 2015, and they were kind enough to communicate the recommendation of the late Gary Mack that Oliver Stone has used a copy of Wiegman which was in the film archive of UCLA, LA (a 35 mm copy). "Four days in November" film was their next recommendation. All other sources appear to rely on the original NBC footage from 11/22/63. I have contacted NBC right away after the email exchange with SFM, however, they never replied to my query.

This leaves Darnell's film as a much better candidate for any feature analysis and maybe identification. The problem is well known as a face recognition problem, and it has been intensively studied over past years. Thanks to the advance of face recognition algorithms, we can have electronic passports etc. However, the algorithms suffer if the face image is noisy, does not show enough of facial features, and - importantly - the face cannot be viewed from a direct front view. I have posted few ideas how to deal with this problem in one of my previous posts in this thread.

I have analysed the height of Prayer Man in detail, also in this thread. However, even without a 3D reconstruction and just by applying some logical thinking one can get that Prayer Man in Darnel's film cannot be someone too small. The top of Prayer Man's head aligns with the neck/shoulder line of Wesley Buell Frazier and since the height of human head is 9''.4 on average, the height of Prayer Man, if we assume he was standing on the top landing, would be only between 5'1'' and 5'3'' (Frazier's body height was 6'). However, a small person has also shorter arms and narrower shoulders which causes impossibility to align his/her arms and body exactly in Prayer Man's style - the arms of that small person would be too short. Naturally, one can distort the arms of a small person to somehow fit Prayer Man's arms, howoever, the distance between the head (e.g., chin) and the arms would then be too short and unlike we see in Prayer Man.

Mr. Murphy's research showed logical problems in the testimonies of a number of witnesses pointing to fabrication of second floor encounter. Prayer Man's figure in Darnell would miss the point without this logical analysis of the second floor encounter. Second floor encounter is currently discussed by experts in another thread in this forum in case you would be interested.

Edited by Andrej Stancak

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Taunting posts should not be allowed. They are obviously a concession of the point by their inability to answer seriously-argued information. It tells you their issuer is here for reasons other than serious debate and consider this forum a place to exert their own personal conceits rather than respecting it as a place for serious discussion.

You're just plain wrong Mr Larsen and my references are precisely correct vs your overly vague "from my memory" offering. If Mr Davidson would defend his very good issue-ending material like it deserves instead of offering his mushy position and disappearing you would see what I wrote is backed-up by the facts.

On disappearing Duncan's site Davidson detailed his methodology entering a screenshot of his Photoshop settings for his animated gif. All he did was adjust the contrast setting to enhance the darker and lighter portions of Wiegman - which any photo expert would tell you does not effect the base image in any way that would constitute altering. I have been watching these threads and there are many persons who suggested Davidson somehow altered his images in his gif process. When Davidson posted his Photoshop methodology showing he did no such thing those same posters did not admit or recognize this and went on suggesting Davidson had somehow used alteration tricks. He had already posted information to show he did not. No one on this site called them on it and this site pretends to call for a high level of rigor. Davidson proved he did not alter his Wiegman images in any fundamental way and the only thing he did was bring out the existing, unaltered features more clearly by adjusting the contrast setting. This is a perfectly acceptable photo analysis practice that no critic of Davidson was honest enough to admit. What it did was bring out the features on Prayer Man a little more clearly from the shadows. It was actually quite brilliant and was the advanced photo analysis pro-Murphy theorists were calling for. They just didn't like the results when they showed they were totally wrong in their supposition it was Lee Harvey Oswald. As you can see here, none of Davidson's accusers were able to show where his methodology was faulty. I'm shocked that this site would be providing the above input as its offering of rigor towards a subject that deserves a higher level of scientific response. I have offered that level and the responses are noticeably lacking in adequate response. That's because Davidson's proof is good.

For those interested in the accurate truth on this, as I wrote above, when Davidson inserted the Wiegman frames into his Photoshop gif it resulted in the images I cited above. As I explained, there is a perfectly understandable, scientific reason why the woman's face showed up in the last frame. Over on Duncan's forum Davidson and Duncan reviewed the individual frames separated by Davidson's Photoshop process. As I cited above, the last frame was exceptionally clearer and sharper than the others because Wiegman's camera - like Zapruder's - took sharp images when the frame landed on a steady camera position. Bart Kamp tried to fool the Education Forum membership by claiming he found a flaw in Davidson that discredited the woman's face. Not so and Kamp was entering a specious claim that was not scientifically connected to the real evidence. And he did so after having it explained to him multiple times on several forums why that was so. The elongated forehead is a technical quirk of Davidson's Photoshop process and is not related in any way to the woman's face. It does not scientifically affect or refute the image with the woman's face. It has a perfectly understandable explanation that Kamp ignored when it was explained to him. Kamp did not return to account for this.

I'm sorry but my input shows why Davidson's image of a woman's face has a perfectly credible methodology and scientific tracing. It is because Wiegman's camera managed to capture a sharp image in that frame because of the luck of landing on a steady camera shot. Davidson's contrast enhancement and MacRae's enlargement assisted in making that face more clear. It has a perfectly valid explanation and shows a woman's face beyond a doubt. By all normal means of analysis it refutes the Murphy theory. That's simply the way it is and this site should examine its actions considering because they have a seriously detrimental effect on the level of rigor the site aspires to in my opinion. I have seen no argument to show otherwise, and personally I think the resistance comes from some researchers not wanting to admit they were wrong on their heavily-backed Murphy theory.

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Brian:

Maybe I need to point to the problem of using Wiegman's film in clarification of Prayer Man's identity more clearly. The top panel shows a very nice frame of Wiegman's film, downloaded from ROKC picture repository (http://www.reopenkennedycase.org/apps/photos/photo?photoid=199187640). One would not even think that there is Prayer Man in that very dark corner. This part of the doorway was covered by a shadow and the Wiegman's camera and film produced too much contrast and, together with the distance of shooting, did not yield enough signal there. The lower panel shows the effect of Fill light and clarity tool (Corel Painshop Pro). Indeed, adding light has helped to identify a human figure and his gesture and a light object about at the level of the mouth, however, this is about all what we can say about this figure. Once this noisy image is processed further (magnifying, resampling etc.), it starts to create chunks which have no good interprepation. There is simply not enough information there.

If you would like to make the case for a female using Wiegman's film, would you please provide the original Wiegman's frame from which results have been produced, and demonstrate every processing step.

wiegman_noise.jpg?w=803&h=908

Edited by Andrej Stancak

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Stancak wrote: " Unfortunately, the signal in the dark corner of the doorway in Wiegman's film is just too poor for an unequivocal indentification of the person which others and I believe is a man. "

Sorry Andrej but we have provided enough information that you can't get away with that. Too many people have gotten away with the "fuzzy image" excuse because they don't want to admit valid evidence. This is really a matter of "Do you believe the fuzzy image claimers or your own lying eyes?" I'm surprised these persons don't realize they are trying to get away with ignoring that they have given no explanation for the clear image of a woman's face in Davidson. You can't just pretend it doesn't exist or that you don't have to give any explanation for it. The image validly comes from a clear Wiegman frame and is a valid piece of evidence that can't be dismissed by offering an obvious self-serving excuse and then ignoring it. That's not how valid analysis works and I believe Mr Stancak should be required to disclaim he is a regular member of the ROKC website. A website that reformed itself after the Davidson image emerged. In fact I consider it kind of an insult to the expected intelligence of this site's members that someone would attempt such a crude denial in front of valid evidence they haven't answered.

Mr Stancak then refers to Mr Kamp's elongated forehead claim even though it has already been explained that Davidson's Photoshop technique had the quirk of repeating the forehead in the first frame as a double exposure in all the ensuing frames. It is clear to me that Murphy proponents are desperate to discredit Davidson and are grasping at anything they can use to do so. The elongated forehead double exposure is not a credible refutation of Davidson. Mr Stancak's use of it is not valid and cannot be used to avoid an explanation for the clear face - which, if you notice, he has used this specious claim to avoid giving. He is also blatantly ignoring that the dark signal was corrected by Davidson's Photoshop contrast adjustments that brought out the face. Mr Stancak's statement is therefore factually inaccurate and doesn't account for how Davidson represents a more than adequate brightness level to show the face he doesn't offer any explanation for. Stancak is using a darkness claim that Davidson has clearly overcome in order to avoid admitting what Davidson validly shows.

Frankly I feel Mr Stancak has been getting away with murder on these boards with his Dale Myers-like computer graphics offerings. There are many who praise him because of his computer skill who don't look carefully enough at his content. I noticed on the rare occasion he was called on it he responded (paraphrase) "I am just trying to show what might be rather than what actually was". I think it is quite clear above his reply fails to credibly respond to the evidence I explained in detail. The woman's face is from an unaltered sharp Wiegman frame brought out by Photoshop adjustments and enlargement. It is quite clear the critics are unable to directly respond to this.

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Andrej has been very polite when discussing this topic. I don't see that he's getting away with murder, as you say. He has every right to debate with you.

Also, even if he is a member of ROKC, what difference does that make? I am aware that you and ROKC have had some battles in the past (!), but he is posting his research, as you do, and very politely and calmly. I suggest you respond to him in kind.

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