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PRAYER PERSON - PRAYER MAN OR PRAYER WOMAN? RESEARCH THREAD


Guest Duncan MacRae

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2 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

You sound like the person to ask since you've done the research. I'm wondering about the possibility that someone on those steps could have said that Oswald was there, but that any such reference was deleted from their testimony. That would be easy to do if "testimony" refers to FBI statements, since we know that the FBI liked to play around with statements and evidence. It's more complicated if "testimony" refers to statements before the Warren Commission. In the latter case anyone who had said Oswald was there would have been told or pressured to lie to the commission. Would you comment on the possibility of any statements being suppressed regarding Oswald's presence on the steps?

 

Ron:

this is a very valid question, and my view on this is only a layman's guess. You certainly know much more than I know about witness testimonies and the Warren Commission. Your question aims to the point that if Prayer Man was Oswald and stood there in plain sight then how comes that no one was willing to convey this information to the FBI/WC. Here is what I think, and I realise that my thoughts may not satisfy you or anyone doubting Oswald standing there close to the western wall:

1. In my analysis, Oswald came to the doorway from behind the glass door at a moment allowing to be captured during Wiegman's film and during the following Darnell's film. My estimate would be that this would be an interval from about 30-45 seconds as the shortest time and 120 seconds as the longest time. This longest possible interval is based on an early report by Occhus Campbell who remembered to see Oswald in the small storage room in the vestibule about 2 minutes after the last shot. This is a short time interval given that people were in the state of shock and still watched the events enfolding in front of them.

2. During this short time interval, some of the doorway occupants, e.g. Carl Jones, did not look back to check who is behind him, they rather focused on the dramatic events evolving in front of them. The same holds for people standing in the immediate vicinity of the doorway. Even if they would briefly look back, such glimpse would not make a memory trace. 

3.  The FBI was actually very concerned about Oswald being in the doorway during the shooting. They visited Lovelady on Friday evening with a large blow-up of Altgens6 and were allegedly very relieved when Lovelady confirmed that it was indeed him. Thus, it actually could be someone advising the FBI that Oswald was in the doorway.

4. The people standing on the top platform and on the first step below saw Prayer Man and knew who he was. This would be Lovelady, Shelley, Frazier, Stanton, Saunders, and maybe Molina. Those who left while Prayer Man stood at his spot may or may not see him (e.g., Otis Williams). For instance, Frazier was less than three feet away from Prayer Man and Prayer Man was in his field of vision.

4. Of these, Stanton and Saunders only gave an FBI affidavit, as brief as possible, and were not called to testify under oath. Frazier had a hard time during Friday evening and night with the Dallas Police.

5. I think that some kind of deal was made between Frazier on one side and the DPD and FBI on the other side in which he would not be prosecuted for helping the accused assassin and in return Frazier would never confer the truth about things like curtain rods or Oswald's whereabouts during the shooting. In Darnell's still, Frazier and Prayer Man are frozen, practically not moving at all. Frazier later said that he had seen police officers with guns and allegedly told himself not to move and stay where he was. I think he, as Lee Harvey Oswald, was pondering what had happened and what to do next. I think it was all around the rifle as this was an obvious framing tool which both Oswald and Frazier understood immediately.

Lovelady was visited by the FBI on the night of assassination and he had an earlier criminal record. Could his history be the reason for taking him to the Dallas Police headquarters early afternoon? How can a man standing in the doorway (Lovelady) be deemed suspicious? Maybe he was brought to the headquarters to explain him about his testimony.

Shelley did not admit to see Oswald after about 11.50 on that Friday, except later at the police station. This was his testimony for the Warren Commission. ?

Molina had a hard time with the FBI for his alleged communist ties, there was some strong lever against him.  

5. For all witnesses, if they decided to say that they had not seen Oswald, they would be in peace. This is what they opted for. Shelley, Saunders and Stanton fall into this category. The alternative was to start saying that they actually saw the accused assassin in the doorway, that assassin who was seen by an eyewitness in the sixth floor window, whose rifle was used to kill the President, who was a communist, who also killed Officer Tippit, and about whom Captain Fritz told the whole country that they had the perpetrator on both counts. Such witness would be explained that he/she was wrong and that this did not happen, and that they would get into trouble if they continue saying such things. It would be one person against the whole machinery and objective "evidence". Who would come forward? 

There is a story of one Velma (80) who called a radio program in 2006. After 43 years and by preserving her anonymity, Velma told interesting things happening in the parking lot behind the Depository. She explained that she had a family and had feared of her and her family lives, and therefore she never came forward with her testimony. This is how serious it was. I posted the case of Mr. Wynne Johnson few days ago. He and his girlfriend, both 15 years old then, allegedly met Oswald, Bishop and Veciana in Southland Center in September 1963. Wynne was immediately explained by Vicki's mother to forget the thing forever else "they" would kill Vicky. And Wynne kept his silence for almost 50 years.

  6. Let us now forget the doorway for a moment as no one witnessed Oswald to stand there.  Well, how comes that no one had seen him anywhere else after the shooting? No one had seen him leaving the building. There were people both in the doorway and in the vestibule, someone surely would see him leaving. If he was not in the doorway, he was on the first floor, and he was there also when e.g. Officer Baker and Superintendant Truly came in. Or, Otis Williams and few other people (according to Geneva Hine) came to the second floor just 2-3 minutes after the last shot. They had to go through the first floor vestibule and use the stairs in the front part of the building leading to the second floor, and this is when they could meet Lee Harvey Oswald. If not these people, then maybe Eddie Piper or Jack Dogherty who in the meantime came down to the first floor using the elevator.

My point is that there is a complete blindness as to sighting Lee Harvey Oswald during or after the shooting. We only have the impossible second floor encounter between Officer Baker and Lee Harvey Oswald. From a witness perspective, the situation would be very similar in claiming to have seen Oswald in the doorway or witnessing an encounter between Oswald and Baker in the first floor. No one dared.

 

 

 

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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21 minutes ago, Alistair Briggs said:

http://22november1963.org.uk/prayer-man-jfk-assassination

A decent overview of the whole 'Prayer Man' thing. ;)

Thanks. Very informative.

From the link:

"If the Prayer Man figure was a woman who worked in the TSBD, the only plausible candidates are Pauline Sanders and Sarah Stanton, both of whom were standing on or near the top step, though probably at the opposite end from Prayer Man."

Why "at the opposite end from Prayer Man"? Lovelady said "I was standing on the top step to the far right against the wall," and Shelley and Sarah Stanton "were standing next to me." That puts Sarah Stanton on the right side of the steps (the right side looking out from the steps, which I assume is what Lovelady meant).

And Frazier saw Sarah Stanton with Shelley and Lovelady, and described her as "a heavy-set lady." (Back to the question of girth.)

The link says that Pauline Sanders and Sarah Stanton were standing "in the right general area" but their "clothes and hair were probably unlike Prayer Man's." How do we know that about their clothes and hair?

Has heavy-set Sarah Stanton been reasonably identified in the photos of the people on the steps? Or could Sarah Stanton be Prayer Woman?

 

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2 minutes ago, Ron Ecker said:

Why "at the opposite end from Prayer Man"?

Good question Ron,

It basically comes down to this part that Sanders said:

Quote

To the best of my recollection I was standing on the top step at the east end of the entrance.

The 'east end' is the opposite end from Prayer Man... and that is pretty much all that is used to rule her and Stanton out.

As you mention though from what the other people on the steps said about who they were near the inference is that both Stanton and Sanders were on the 'west' side of the entrance (the right side looking out from the steps, the left hand side as we look at the photos), and the info from the link does conceed that would put them 'in the right general area'.

18 minutes ago, Ron Ecker said:

The link says that Pauline Sanders and Sarah Stanton were standing "in the right general area" but their "clothes and hair were probably unlike Prayer Man's." How do we know that about their clothes and hair?

I don't think we do know about their clothes. Having said that from looking at many of the other photos how many of the females are wearing jackets or dresses and how many are wearing hats or headscarfs.

Of course it has to be noted that, as mentioned on the link;

Quote

the only copies of the Wiegman and Darnell films in public circulation are of relatively poor quality.

 

33 minutes ago, Ron Ecker said:

Has heavy-set Sarah Stanton been reasonably identified in the photos of the people on the steps?

To the best of my knowledge no, neither Stanton nor Sanders have ever been reasonably identified in the photos of the people on the steps.

I will try and knock up a post about who has been reasonably identified in the photos of the people on the steps.

Regards

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2 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

 

Ron, I just put that 'quote' from you above here, so that you would get a notification about this post, in case it passes you by. ;) Regards.

 

Here is an image I found on Google of the Altgens 6 (top) and Weigman frame (bottom) on which someone else has put the letters A to G on to  match up those people. One has to consider the difference in perspective of where each image was taken (they were both taken at relatively at the same time).

(NB: the C in the Altgens 6 should probably be placed more to the right hand side as we look at it and more to 'beneath' the A).

normal_16832.jpg

A = Molina
B = Williams
C = Dean
D = Reese
E = Shelley
F = Lovelady
G = Jones
(NB: Frazier is not seen in these images because he is too much in the 'shade')

As we move on let us say that;
H = Frazier
I = Davis
J = McCully

At this junction here is the Couch/Darnell sync from which the 'Darnell frame' comes from. It is approx 30 seconds after the time of the 'Altgens6/Weigman frame' picture.

darnellcouchsync24fpsa6kkb.gif

Couple of things to look out for there. First the two people walking away are claimed to be Shelley and Lovelady (*although there is some doubt about that) and secondly the man that arrives at the 'traffic light pole' is Jones.

Here is a quick image I knocked up of the Darnell frame on which I have put the letters on to match the people from the 'Altgens 6/Weigman frame' picture.

identification1.jpg

A (Molina), B (Williams), C (Dean) and D (Reese) haven't really moved that much in the previous 30 seconds. As mentioned above* E (Shelley) and F (Lovelady) have moved away from the steps and G (Jones) has made his way across to the 'traffic lights pole'. H (Frazier) has now 'come out of the shadows'.

Based on the location that Davis said she stood (on the lower steps) with McCully, and McCully said she was with Davis, I have I as Davis and J as McCully (but it might be the other way round to be honest).

*In the Darnell frame you can see 3 people in the position that Jones had been 30 seconds previously. None of them were in that position at the time of the shots, and from looking at the following gif an argument can be made that both 'all black' and 'all white' people are returning to the building (ie had been outwith that vicinity at the time of the shots. As for 'white head' person (Who appears to be facing down and talking to 'all black person), I don't know who it is or where they came from to be honest - (some people have made the claim that it is Lovelady and he hadn't left the steps by that time, but that could be a moot point in terms of this discussion anyway.)

Prayermangif3.gif

 

It has to be stated that the 'Prayer Man' figure is viewable in both the Wiegman frame and the Darnell clip.

From looking at the photographic evidence of Altgens 6, Wiegman Frame and Darnell Frame, and cross referencing it with the 'testimony' of those who said they were on the steps at the time  it's reasonable to say that 10 of them have been identified; Molina, Williams, Dean, Reese, Shelley, Lovelady, Jones, Frazier, Davis and McCully.

Who is left over? Stanton and Sanders

If we look at what each of them said as to where they stood;

Stanton: says she was with Sanders, Shelley, Lovelady and Williams.
Sanders: says she took up a position on the top steps and that Stanton was standing next to her.

*Point of contention: Sanders said she was on the top step at the 'East' entrance!

*A point of interest; Molina: says he stood at the railings on the 'east side' of the building but does not recall who stood beside him but does know that Sanders viewed the motorcade.

As we look at the photographic evidence of the steps, the 'east side' is the right hand side as we look at it, and the 'west side' is the left hand side as we look at it.

Molina was certainly correct about being on the 'east side' as that is backed up by the photographic evidence, Sanders can't be beside him because he mentions her after saying that he does not recall who stood beside him! From the photographic evidence the two people that stood 'beside' him look to be Williams (up left as we look at it) and either Davis or McCully (down right as we look a it). So when Sanders said she was at the 'east' entrance that is not backed up by the photographic evidence...

... what if then, when Sanders said 'east' she actually meant the opposite side from where Molina is. How could she make such an error? Look at a compass, which side is East as you look at it? To the right hand side! What if, then, Sanders, when she said she was on the 'east' side she meant the 'right hand side' (from her perspecitve - facing out) and thus she was in real terms standing on the 'west side' of the steps.

 

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15 hours ago, Alistair Briggs said:

 

19 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

Oswald wore a worker type of shirt and slacks. Both were loose and the shirt wings appear to be over the slacks. Since they were of practically the same colour and owing to the really bad signal in that portion of the picture, it is very difficult to draw the contours of legs and waist.

However, and considering this thread raises the question of whether Prayer Man may actually be Prayer Woman, it shouldn't imo be ruled straight out that it wasn't a woman...

PM might be a woman. PM might not be an employee working in the TSBD building. PM might be a CIA agent. PM might be one of the conspirators. PM might be my uncle. As they say, anything is possible.

But it all comes down to statistics. Odds are high PM is a man who works in the TSBD building. Odds are low that he's a CIA agent or a conspirator. I'd bet the farm he's not my uncle.

So while it is true that PM might be a woman, beginning with the assumption that he is what he looks like -- a man -- is more likely to lead to a correct identification. (BTW, I'm confident that a good majority of people would say PM looks like a man.)

Of course, there is nothing wrong if someone wants to follow the Oswald-is-a-woman hypothesis.

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14 hours ago, Alistair Briggs said:
15 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

Alistair:

You hold both explanations (Prayer Woman or Prayer Man) open, and this is a fair standpoint. However, it becomes a bit different if you would like to dig deeper and beyond  this evaluation. You would maybe find out that you need an initial assumption, such as Prayer Man was Oswald, to navigate your research and test different discrete predictions. It would be difficult to assume that Prayer Man was just anybody and to do any research on that base because such standpoint would not generate any testable prediction. How can one "prove" that Prayer Man was just anybody?

Personally I'm not sure if it's a good idea to start with an initial assumption such as Prayer Man was Oswald ....


Andrej is using the scientific method when he hypothesizes that PM is Oswald. I personally believe that that hypothesis is justified by the photographic evidence.
 

14 hours ago, Alistair Briggs said:

With regards to the things that point towards it being Oswald, I have read this thread and the other PM thread and some of the things don't quite add up imo and maybe aren't actually useful things to use to point to it being Oswald...

... for example, what was PM holding? Perhaps not holding anything? Some have pushed the idea that it was a camera, but I haven't seen evidence to back that up.


Light is transmitted from the viewfinder out the top lens.

ImperialReflexFrontViewBrightWhtLight.jp

 

14 hours ago, Alistair Briggs said:

... as much as it may look like PM is holding something in their hand there remains the possibility that they are holding nothing. The image just isn't clear enough to make a definite call on it.

Most people don't hold their hands up like that for as long as PM is shown to be doing so, unless they are holding certain things. (I think that two films indicate PM has his arms up like that for at least 30 seconds.)

Most people don't hold a coke bottle with two hands for more than a few seconds at a time. Some do when holding a mug that is almost full. But the bright spot from a mug wouldn't be a circle. (Is the bight spot in the videos a circle?) As for a camera, I've seen many people holding a larger camera with two hands.

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12 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

As per where Prayer Man stood, you can check my earlier analysis: https://thejfktruthmatters.wordpress.com/  . This article tests only two options (Prayer Man 5'2'' on the top landing and Prayer Man 5'9'' standing in the very front of the top landing with one leg on the step below) and using a low-resolution manikin whose pose could not be adjusted too well, However, the article lists all the useful markers which define Prayer Man's height and location. I work on a more advanced version using a much better manikin which I have elaborated in Poser 11. The new manikin allows the arms, head position and similar to be modelled very accurately.

 


Andrej,

Can you tell me what the height of the door opening was back then?

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14 minutes ago, Ron Ecker said:

Sandy,

Have you ever known a woman who looks like a man? I have.


It's all about statistics, Ron. What percentage of women in 1963 looked like men? Very few. Most women in that era had the customary long hair.

If PM looks to you like a woman because of his height, I'd say it's more likely that he was a short man than a woman with short hair. There were a lot of short men back then.

BTW, I measure PM to be close to 5 ft. 6 in. in height. The assumptions for my measurement are 1) that PM is standing back near the glass entryway, and 2) that the height of the door is 86 inches. If the door is taller, then PM is taller. (Note that I had to determine on the photo precisely where the bottom of the door meets the concrete landing. I didn't spend a great deal of time doing that. If I ever find out what the true height of the door is, I'll spend more time trying to accurately determine PM's height.)

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12 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:


It's all about statistics, Ron. What percentage of women in 1963 looked like men? Very few. Most women in that era had the customary long hair.

If PM looks to you like a woman because of his height, I'd say it's more likely that he was a short man than a woman with short hair. There were a lot of short men back then.

BTW, I measure PM to be close to 5 ft. 6 in. in height. The assumptions for my measurement are 1) that PM is standing back near the glass entryway, and 2) that the height of the door is 86 inches. If the door is taller, then PM is taller. (Note that I had to determine on the photo precisely where the bottom of the door meets the concrete landing. I didn't spend a great deal of time doing that. If I ever find out what the true height of the door is, I'll spend more time trying to accurately determine PM's height.)

And, since the girth of PM has been mentioned several times, I'll note that there were far fewer portly people back then. Also, in the interest of alternate alliterations, we could say "far fewer fat folk".:P

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16 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:


If PM looks to you like a woman because of his height, I'd say it's more likely that he was a short man than a woman with short hair.

I haven't really thought about his or her height. I think it could be a woman because it looks like she's wearing a dress. Or course it could be a man with a loose work shirt (and matching pants) too. IMO it's either Stanton or Oswald. As with so much else in this case, there's no way to reach a conclusion.

 

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Sandy:

my estimate of the door height (inner plate)  is 83 inches. One needs to take into account the distance of Prayer Man from the door as a person standing closer to the front of the top platform will be looking 1 or maybe slightly more than 1 inch taller than a person standing right at the glass door. If Prayer Man stood too far to the back, his right hand would not reflect the light, and his right elbow would be too far from the brick column, Also, one needs to take into account the elevation of Darnell's camera. The relative heights of two objects not being on the same plane will change with changing elevation of the camera. Finally, any height calculation should also take into account  that the man may not be standing erect. Any bending of the head or curling the body unless compensated in the estimate would cost few inches. How was Prater Man bent or curled? I am testing the possibility that Prayer Man actually stood as Oswald used to stand: carrying the weight of his body on his right leg which is pushed backwards and having his left leg slightly bent in the knee joint and pushed forwards. This would be Oswald's backyard photograph pose. You may remember the discussion about Oswald's pose in one of backyard picture threads. This is why I asked you some weeks ago  if you would agree that Prayer Man was bending his left leg - it is about the template onto which a preliminary manikin's pose can be fit.

While it is possible to apply a simple calculus to calculate Paryer Man's height, it should be understood that it is within the limits described here as all factors (relative distance of Prayer Man and the glass door, camera view angle, exact body posture) affect the height estimate.

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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3 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:


Andrej is using the scientific method when he hypothesizes that PM is Oswald. I personally believe that that hypothesis is justified by the photographic evidence.
 


Light is transmitted from the viewfinder out the top lens.

ImperialReflexFrontViewBrightWhtLight.jp

 

Most people don't hold their hands up like that for as long as PM is shown to be doing so, unless they are holding certain things. (I think that two films indicate PM has his arms up like that for at least 30 seconds.)

Most people don't hold a coke bottle with two hands for more than a few seconds at a time. Some do when holding a mug that is almost full. But the bright spot from a mug wouldn't be a circle. (Is the bight spot in the videos a circle?) As for a camera, I've seen many people holding a larger camera with two hands.

 

1 hour ago, Sandy Larsen said:


It's all about statistics, Ron. What percentage of women in 1963 looked like men? Very few. Most women in that era had the customary long hair.

If PM looks to you like a woman because of his height, I'd say it's more likely that he was a short man than a woman with short hair. There were a lot of short men back then.

BTW, I measure PM to be close to 5 ft. 6 in. in height. The assumptions for my measurement are 1) that PM is standing back near the glass entryway, and 2) that the height of the door is 86 inches. If the door is taller, then PM is taller. (Note that I had to determine on the photo precisely where the bottom of the door meets the concrete landing. I didn't spend a great deal of time doing that. If I ever find out what the true height of the door is, I'll spend more time trying to accurately determine PM's height.)

Sandy:

Prayer Man did not have his hands connected in Darnell's still and therefore could not hold any object (Coke) with both hands. Prayer Man is lifting his right arm toward his head in Wiegman which would be consistent with an act of drinking. The light reflecting object would then be the bottom of a bottle. Prayer Man could have left the bottle in the recess next to his right foot as proposed by Bart. This could occur between Wiegman's and Darnell's film. In Darnell, I cannot see any object in any of his hands but I may be mistaken or the picture quality is just not sufficient. Therefore, it is unlikely that Prayer Man held a camera. Where did the camera go in Darnell? While it is possible to explain the disappearance of a bottle, it would be hard to do with a camera.

 

 

 

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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