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Guest Duncan MacRae

PRAYER PERSON - PRAYER MAN OR PRAYER WOMAN? RESEARCH THREAD

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Locating Prayer Man in the doorway using Darnell's frame requires some spatial landmarks and 3D modelling. I admire all researchers who are capable of calculating all the angles and distances in Darnell's scene to figure out the location and body height of PM. I learned a lot from all previous posts.

I found one solution which I hope satisfy all the constrains which Darnell's stills impose. Some of the constrains have been mentioned in previous posts, some are novel. The constrains I decided to accommodate in my solution are the following:

Frazier:

1. Frazier stood on the top landing.

2. The left vertical rail of the middle door pane crossed Frazier's head and the body approximately in the mid-sagittal plane.

3. Frazier's head and neck and the top of his right shoulder are covered by the shadow. The shadow feels to be more prominent on Frazier's right shoulder, however, this assumption is difficult to verify in Darnell's stills.

4. Frazier's body height was 6'1''.

Prayer Man:

1. Prayer Man appears to stand on the top landing, however, he is also located quite close to the first step. Therefore, I had no strong opinion on whether PM stood on the top landing or on the first step.

2. Prayer Man stood close to the western wall and was covered by the shadow cast by this wall.

3. The left vertical rail of the left-most door pane crosses Prayer Man's body, perhaps through the left part of his head.

4. The hands are flexed in elbow joints and joined about at the level of epigastrium, forming a prayer gesture. The right hand appears to be slightly brighter than the forearm. A shining circular object at this location is particularly prominent in Wiegman's film. This brighter spot alludes to the possibility that Prayer Man, although standing in the shadow cast by the western wall, had his right hand positioned in such a way that the back of this hand reflected the sun light.

5. The top of Prayer Man's head is approximately at the level of Frazier's neck.

6. As I am testing the model under the assumption that Prayer Man was Oswald, the body height of Prayer Man was set to 5'9''.

The figure below offers a solution which satisfies all the constrains listed above. Please note that SketchupPro cannot reproduce exactly the view offered by Darnell's camera.

pm_fr_darnelview.png?w=529

Prayer Man could not stand fully on the top landing as he would appear too tall relative to Frazier's neck, which has been correctly pointed out by several researchers. However, Prayer Man could stand with his right foot on the first step and his semi-flexed left leg resting on the top platform. Please note the bright spot on the back of Prayer Man's right hand contrasting the arms and trunk which are covered by the shadow.

Should Prayer Man's body height be 5'3'' as proposed by some researchers, he would indeed stand on the top landing. However, he would be located too close to Frazier to have his right hand exposed to the sun. Further, the vertical rail of the left-most pane would not cross Prayer Man's body as seen in Darnell's stills. The figure below is the solution with a man 5'3'' tall.

pm_53.png?w=529

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please find here various views of the doorway which illustrate Prayer Man's and Frazier's locations.

Detailed view of Prayer Man and Frazier:

pmfzdetail2.png?w=529

Front view of the doorway:

pm_fr_fromtal.png?w=529

Through the glass door:

pmfback.png?w=529

Edited by Andrej Stancak

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Thinking that it's psychologically appropriate for Oswald to be out there opposite Frazier at lunchtime, since they rode in to work together.

Edited by David Andrews

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Tom and Larry: many thanks for your kind comments.

David: your comment underpins the fact that Frazier and Oswald were friends. Yet, Mr. Frazier denied seeing Oswald in the doorway and continues to do so. Frazier must have some existential reasons to commit such a lie (protecting his family, fending a grave accusation of himself).

Frazier was quite consistent in his reports and testimonies about his doorway location during and after the assassination: ... he was on the top landing (actually, Frazier testified for Warren Commission to stand on the first step close to the central rail; however, this would be incompatible with his next statement that the shadow from the roof prevented to be dazzled by the sun light. To have his head in the shadow, he certainly had to stand on the top landing), ... had a splendid view, his head was in the shadow, he did not move and stayed on the same spot after the assassination... There was some confusion about the "F" letter in CE 362 during his testimony, however, during later years he appeared to stick with his top landing location.


Well, if Frazier was located on this particular spot during the assassination, he would be partly visible in Altgens6. The picture below shows Darnell's scene from Altgens' view:

fr_daralgens1.png?w=529



Obviously, Frazier could have stepped half a step forward after the shooting without realising it. The next picture shows the location of Frazier based on Darnell's scene but adjusted to ensure Frazier's invisibility in Altgens6. Frazier was moved about a foot backwards towards to glass door:

pm_fr_indarnell_adjustedforaltgens.png?w

And here is the verification of this operation - Frazier absent in Altgens view:

altgens_invisiblefrazier.png?w=529

However, this is not the end of the Frazier-in-the-doorway problem ...

Edited by Andrej Stancak

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Hi Andrej,

You do such fine, detailed work that I hate to be the one pointing out the fly in your ointment. However, someone has to do it. (And perhaps I am wrong and you can show me how).

In the drawings you've posted, you have PM far too close to the front of the landing. Here's your closeup:

pmfzdetail2.png?w=529

I've compared this drawing closely to photos and find that the entrance as depicted here very closely models the real thing. There is a column of brick just behind (toward the glass) the decorative column. You depict it here in red. Between that and the glass is the west wall of the entrance. It appears in photos to be tile, though it could be brick. You have it a dark gray in your drawing.

The problem is, where you have PM located, his right side (to our left) is very close to the junction between the gray tile and red brick.

Compare that to where PM really is relative to that junction:

prayer-man.jpg

You see? It is clear to me that PM's elbow is no less than a 1 1/2 feet back (toward the glass) from that junction.

Am I mistaken?

P.S. I just noticed that you ended today's posts with this sentence: "However, this is not the end of the Frazier-in-the-doorway problem ..." That implies that your work on this is ongoing. So maybe I'm jumping the gun with my criticism.

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pm_fr_darnelview.png?w=529

Prayer Man could not stand fully on the top landing as he would appear too tall relative to Frazier's neck, which has been correctly pointed out by several researchers. However, Prayer Man could stand with his right foot on the first step and his semi-flexed left leg resting on the top platform. Please note the bright spot on the back of Prayer Man's right hand contrasting the arms and trunk which are covered by the shadow.

Okay, but what about PM standing further back, near the glass? Wouldn't that make him look quite short, as illustrated by Tie Man in the Allen frame here?

k1b6o7.jpg

(Posted by Toni Fratini on this page.)

Wouldn't a 5' 9" Prayer Man appear to be about the height of Tie Man if he were standing back near the glass? If not, what height of man would?

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Hello Sandy: you made a very good point. It is not easy to reproduce every single detail of the doorway and people's locations in it. Here I see that my PM manikin has perhaps his elbow joints abducted too much. I can revise it. This will extend the distance between PM's elbow and the red brick column. It is also possible to rotate PM to have his right arm a bit far away from the brick column. However, this is not the point. After all, my 3D model entails so many approximations and indirectly obtained measures that I would not insist on an inch or two here or there. The point is that it is possible to place Prayer Man, a man sized 5'9'', into the doorway in such a way that his figure would comply with Darnell's scene in most relevant aspects.

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The first upright of the railing should line up with roughly he middle of the window.

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Hello Sandy: you made a very good point. It is not easy to reproduce every single detail of the doorway and people's locations in it. Here I see that my PM manikin has perhaps his elbow joints abducted too much. I can revise it. This will extend the distance between PM's elbow and the red brick column. It is also possible to rotate PM to have his right arm a bit far away from the brick column. However, this is not the point. After all, my 3D model entails so many approximations and indirectly obtained measures that I would not insist on an inch or two here or there. The point is that it is possible to place Prayer Man, a man sized 5'9'', into the doorway in such a way that his figure would comply with Darnell's scene in most relevant aspects.

Andrej,

I think you are not seeing the problem I am seeing. It is a big problem. Let me explain the issue more precisely.

On your drawing, imagine a plane that is parallel to the glass and located at the junction of the column of red brick and the gray tile wall. Prayer Man's leg and right torso are located within just a few inches of the plane regardless of how you (reasonably) adjust his posture.

In contrast, if you imagine the same plane on the photo, PM's leg and right torso are at least two feet from the plane, and his elbow at least 1 1/2 feet away.

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Hello Sandy: please find here the revised model. I have modified PM's arm to align closely with his body, and also spread his legs a bit (could do it even more). This creates the distance between PM's body and the red brick column. The perspective offered by SketchupPro is not identical to the one seen in Darnell's view. Therefore, it is better to use landmarks for orientation. In my reconstruction, the vertical rail crosses Prayer Man's body. The top of his head aligns with Frazier's neck, and Prayer Man's hand reflects the sun light whilst his trunk and head are in the shadow. In this revised posture, the distance between right edge of PM's chest and the edge of the red brick column is 1'1''.

pm_revised_darnellview.png?w=529

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Andrej, the viewpoint of the camera needs to be moved towards the right. The right vertical of the doorway should be just adjacent to the right front column.

(See Darnell)

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For those who think that the sunlight is striking the hand of Prayerman, the attached photo shows the comparison of sun striking man on the right's arm, compared to PM's hand.

Darnell3_zps8zpbsupj.png

I have color copied sunlight striking the arm of man on the right and pasted it alongside PMs hand.(Skin compared to skin)

To compare RGB settings

PM Man on right

R 127 211

G 119 201

B 133 218

Perhaps whoever believes the sun is striking PM's hand can explain the considerable difference in the RGB values.

Edited by Ray Mitcham

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Dear Ray:

thanks for your comment. Please find here the reconstructed Darnell's scene viewed from an angle which matches Darnell's view better. I have indicated with yellow bar a bit of the right-most pane which is visible in Darnell's picture. Thus, the right vertical rail (when viewed from the front) of the middle part of the glass door does not align with the front column. It is difficult to say how wide this yellow-labeled part of the door is.

The posture of Prayer Man is slightly awkward at the moment as the left leg should provide more support. I will wait for other comments to save the number of revisions. If there would be a solution which would satisfy most or all people I would then post a series of final pictures. Maybe, Frazier should be 6'0'' instead of 6'1''.

revised_tilted_om_fz.png?w=529

Edited by Andrej Stancak

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For those who think that the sunlight is striking the hand of Prayerman, the attached photo shows the comparison of sun striking man on the right's arm, compared to PM's hand.

Darnell3_zps8zpbsupj.png

I have color copied sunlight striking the arm of man on the right and pasted it alongside PMs hand.(Skin compared to skin)

To compare RGB settings

PM Man on right

R 127 211

G 119 201

B 133 218

Perhaps whoever believes the sun is striking PM's hand can explain the considerable difference in the RGB values.

Dear Ray:

this is certainly a valid point. A really strong reflection is seen in Wiegman's film, thus my emulation may also account for the bright spot in Wiegman (although things are not so simple). The shadow was modelled with the strongest contrast, and the contrast can be tuned down so that the hand looks only very slightly brighter than the forearm, which is the point you had in mind. Please, let me sort out other serious issues with the model first, and I promise to come back to this later.

Edited by Andrej Stancak

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