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Guest James H. Fetzer

Why falsification matters

"No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."--Sir Karl Popper

The great British philosopher of science, Karl R. Popper, to whom my first book, Scientific Knowledge (1981) was in fact dedicated, championed the importance of falsification (or of attempts to show hypotheses and theories are false) as the key to understanding scientific knowledge. It was his position that the content of an hypothesis or theory is directly related to the extent to which they are amenable to being tested on the basis of observation, measurement and experiment--and that only evidence that results from unsuccessful attempts to falsify an hypothesis should count in its favor. Popper's profound insight has application to research on JFK, where some students are unable to appreciate why the search for evidence that refutes the official account is more important than evidence that confirms it.

Popper drew (what he called) a criterion of demarcation between propositions that are scientific and those that are not. Claims such as "God created the universe and every living thing", for example, or that "There is an all-pervasive Force that controls the outcome of events" are classic examples, since there are no observations, measurements or experiments that could possibly disprove them. They are consistent with the world's history, no matter what its course. Likewise, the claim advanced by those who support Intelligent Design Theory on the ground that there are "irreducibly complex" organisms that appear to be inexplicable on the principles of evolution does not qualify as scientific unless it is accompanied by an explanation of how God created them, which in turn could be subjected to test.

That does not make these claims meaningless, as the logical positivists maintained, but it does make them unscientific. Popper's position becomes especially important relative to hypotheses and theories about the laws of nature, because, unlike laws of society, they cannot be violated, cannot be changed and require no enforcement. An interesting example might be the claim that all pennies are copper. If we assume that the definition of "penny" is a coin having 1/100 the value of a dollar, which does not imply the metal of which it is made, then we can find millions of confirming instances, which would--at least, upon initial consideration--strongly support the hypothesis. But by subjecting it to a more thorough and painstaking study, that claim is falsified by the discovery that, in 1943, because of the shortage of copper for WWII, pennies instead were made of lead. The claim turns out to be false in spite of having an enormous number of confirming instances. The situation is similar with JFK.

The Assassination as a Theory

The use of the phrase, "conspiracy theory", has been widely adopted as a form of denigration for any who question the "official account" of the death of JFK, the atrocities of 9/11 or a host of other events in which there are reasons to believe that the government itself may have been complicit. The term, "theory", has stronger and weaker senses, perhaps most commonly as an interpretation of events that is based upon the available evidence. Detectives investigating crime scenes, which are well portrayed in programs such as "Law and Order", form a theory of the case, entailing the consideration of those who may have committed it. Each suspect might be regarded as an alternative hypothesis that would explain the crime, were it to turn out to be true. When they discover a suspect has an alibi that makes it impossible for him to have committed it, that falsifies the hypothesis and attention turns to others.

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It might be the case, of course, that an alibi is fictitious, just as photographs can be faked. In cases in which an alibi turns out to have been fabricated, instead of reducing interest in a suspect, that has the effect of increasing it. Why, after all, would anyone fake an alibi unless they had been complicit in the crime? On the other hand, those who might want to implicate someone in a crime they did not actually commit might undertake the fabrication of evidence incriminating them, which happened in the case of the assassination of JFK. We know that the Mannlicher-Carcano was planted, that his palm print on the weapon was faked, and that the backyard photographs were created by imposing his face on someone else's body, as Jim Marrs and I explained in our study, "Framing the Patsy". In this case, something like the opposite appears to have taken place, where features of Billy Lovelady's face were imposed on Oswald's body, a fascinating variation on the forms of fakery we have already encountered in this case.

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The government would have us believe that this photo is authentic and unaltered. One argument has been is that it was published in some (rather obscure) newspapers already on 22 November 1963, which would drastically curtail the time that would have been available to alter it. But claims about "impossible timelines" have arisen before in relation to the Zapruder film, where we have many witness reports, official testimony, and Secret Service evidence that the film was massively revised to conceal a limo stop during which JFK was hit twice in the head. Most importantly, frame 374 shows a blow-out to the back of the head that was painted over in earlier frames. The authenticity hypothesis has been falsified. The original was taken to the National Photographic Information Center on Saturday, 23 November 1963, as an 8mm, already split film that was developed in Dallas, while its replacement, a 16mm unsplit film developed in Rochester, was brought there on Sunday, 24 November 1963. Since we knew independently that the film had been altered, we knew that their had to have been time to do it, since nothing actual can be impossible. Similar considerations obtain in the case of the Altgens6.

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Frame 374 falsifies the authenticity of the Zapruder film, because it is inconsistent with earlier frames in which it has been blacked out. By showing a blow-out at the back of the head, which was caused by a shot fired from the right/front, it also falsifies the hypothesis that Oswald was "the lone assassin". The most famous photo of the assassination, which was taken by AP photographer James "Ike" Altgens and is technically known as the "Altgens6", likewise seems to have been altered in the area of the doorway, where the identity of a man who appears to be extending his head to observe what is going on has long been in dispute. The hypothesis that this photo is authentic has been falsified by the realization that the face of one figure (to Doorman's left/front) has been obfuscated, that the figure beside him wearing a narrow black tie is both in front of him and behind him at the same time, and that, as a consequence, Doorman is missing his left shoulder. Each of these features establish that the photo has been altered, since no authentic photo would include an obfuscated face or present impossible anatomical features like these.

(continued)

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

REASONING ABOUT DOORMAN (continued):

It's the clothing, not the face!

The "official account" has it that the person in question was Billy Lovelady, who worked in the Texas School Book Depository along with Lee Oswald. Early research by Harold Weisberg, Whitewash II (1966), however, suggested that this was actually Lee Oswald, which, if it were true, would have given him an alibi, since he cannot have been at the doorway watching the motorcade pass by and at the same time have been on the 6th floor shooting at JFK! Even Oliver Stone, the director of "JFK", thought it had been Billy Lovelady, which seemed to resolve the issue. More recently, however, the issue has been revived by new research inspired by Ralph Cinque, a chiropractor who is used to dealing with bodies and clothing. Ralph noticed that the distinctive shirt that the figure, "Doorman", was wearing bore a striking resemblance to that Oswald was wearing when he was apprehended at The Texas Theater. But confirmation that their shirts bear strong resemblance is only one part of the evidence.

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I was drawn to the study of this photograph by the release by the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) of notes from the interrogation of Lee Oswald by Homicide Detective Will Fritz, during which Oswald told him he had been "out with Bill Shelley in front". This has to have been during the shooting, since otherwise Fritz would not have asked the only "official suspect" in the assassination as to his whereabouts at the time. Taking a closer look, it was apparent that the face of a man to Doorman's immediate left/front (right/front, viewing the photograph) had been obfuscated, which led me to conjecture that that must have been the face of Lee Oswald. After all, surely altering this photograph would not have been done unless someone had been there who should not have been, where the obvious candidate would have been the alleged assassin. I was shortly thereafter contacted by Ralph Cinque, who advised me that it was their clothing that was really the key rather than their faces.

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And, indeed, not only does Doorman's shirt closely resemble Oswald's shirt--where Richard Hooke has found no less than 27 features that are the same from one to the other--but Billy Lovelady himself went to the FBI in Dallas on 29 February 1964 and showed them the shirt he had been wearing that day. It was a red-and-white, vertically striped short-sleeved shirt that looks nothing like the shirt that Doorman was wearing. The fall-back has been to claim that Billy was mistaken--but how could anyone make a mistake like this in relation to the assassination of the President of the United States?--and that he had actually been wearing a red-and-black checkered shirt, which was being worn by someone in film taken of the doorway area immediately after the assassination. But it is easy to see that that person does not look at all like Billy Lovelady and has a profile more like that of a gorilla, where yet a third "Lovelady" was introduced into other footage to overcome the obvious objection that his checkered shirt was buttoned.

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Not only did Billy go to the FBI had show them the shirt he was wearing, but the FBI reported it back to J. Edgar Hoover, who had asked them for proof that the man in the doorway was Lovelady. Since the shirt he had displayed falsified that hypothesis, they attempted to avoid Edgar's wrath and potential banishment to Siberia by asserting both that Billy had been wearing "a red-and-white vertically striped shirt and blue jeans" and implying that this confirmed his identity as Doorman, when it actually refuted it. But that was the best they could do. Billy would also confirm that this was the shirt he had been wearing to Jones Harris, whom I recently interviewed on "The Real Deal". So we not only have confirmation that Oswald was Doorman but evidence that falsifies the alternative hypothesis that Doorman was Billy Lovelady instead. Rational minds, I believe, would find this evidence compelling--and even decisive.

(cointinued)

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

REASONING ABOUT DOORMAN (continued):

Additional Considerations

But we have more. Billy himself told Dom Bonafede of The New York Herald-Tribune that he was about 3" shorter than Oswald and weighed 15-20 lbs. more. He said, "It was me in the doorway", which appears to be true--except that he was not Doorman but was standing beside him. Consider what Bonafede wrote and consider the hypothesis that he was standing to Doorman's left, with his arms upraised to protect his eyes from the Sun to watch the motorcade. Notice that that man not only seems to be wearing a short-sleeved shirt but appears about 3" shorter and 15-20 lbs. heavier than Doorman:

Mr. Lovelady said the F.B.I. had taken pictures of him from various angles and that he had been shown a three-by-four foot blowup of the doorway picture and asked if he was in it. 'I immediately pointed to myself in the doorway,' Mr. Lovelady said. He said he was about 15 to 20 pounds heavier than Oswald and about three inches shorter. Asked whether there was any resemblance to Oswald, he replied, 'I’m fatter in the face.'''It was me in the doorway,' he said. 'If anyone doesn’t believe it, they will just have to take my word.' (5-24-64 article by Dom Bonafede in The New York Herald-Tribune)

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The argument has also been made that Doorman has facial features that resemble those of Lovelady, which is also true; but he also has features that resemble those of Oswald. Richard Hooke has done a study that suggests how the image was rearranged to create the impression that Billy was Doorman, which also appears to have been advanced by "Oswaldifying" the appearance of Lovelady in the third (or left-most) of the three FBI photographs, just as Oswald appears to have been "Loveladyfied" in the Altgens6. What we are unraveling is the performance of artistic photo fakery by the most sophisticated intelligence agency in the world, which was also responsible for recreating the Zapruder home movie:

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Another interesting report comes from Bill Shelley, whom Oswald had cited as part of his alibi. Our best guess is that Shelley was involved in framing Oswald and that it was his face that was obfuscated, no doubt because, had he actually been there, it lent credibility to Lee's statement to Fritz that he had been "out with Billy Shelley in front". What is interesting about Shelley's testimony to the Warren Commission is that he not only claims to have not seen Oswald--contradicting Lee's alibi--but also says that he was in the vicinity of Billy Lovelady, who "was seated on the entrance steps just in front of me". We not only believe his denial of seeing Lee was false but that, if his observations of Lovelady were true, then Lovelady could not had been Doorman, who was standing as he extended his head:

“[A]s the Presidential motorcade passed I was standing just outside the glass doors of the entrance. At the time President Kennedy was shot, I was standing at this same place. Billy N. Lovelady who works under my supervision at the Texas School Book Depository, was seated on the entrance steps just in front of me. I recall that Wesley Frazier, Mrs. Sarah Stanton, and Mrs, Carolyn Arnold, all employees of the Texas School Book Depository, were also standing in this entrance way near me at the time Pres. Kennedy was shot. I did not see Lee Harvey Oswald at the time Pres. Kennedy was shot." (4-7-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 6H327-334)

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Shelley made other observations that are important in relation to attempts to deflect the significance of Oswald's statement to Fritz that he was "out with Bill Shelley in front", especially by maintaining that he was reporting about having seen Shelley AFTER THE SHOOTING. But we know that Lee was confronted in the lunch room within 90 seconds of the shooting by Officer Marrion Baker and that, by his own account, Shelley and Lovelady took off toward the railroad yard "immediately following the shooting" and "returned through the west side door of the building about ten minutes later". While we believe that Shelley was complicit in framing Oswald, his testimony to the Warren Commission falsifies the allegation that Lee was talking about seeing him AFTER THE SHOOTING rather than DURING:

"Immediately following the shooting, Billy N. Lovelady and I accompanied some uniformed police officers to the railroad yards just west of the building and returned through the west side door of the building about ten minutes later. I remained in the building until about 1:30 PM when I was asked to go to the Dallas Police Dept. to furnish an affidavit. I returned to the Texas School Book Depository about 5 PM. I did not leave the building until about 7 PM that day." (4-7-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 6H327-334)

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Even the defense that the Altgens6 was published already on Friday, 22 November 1963, cannot be sustained. While copy after copy of "EXTRAS" of obscure newspapers that allegedly published the Altgens6 have been produced, that is not the case for any of the major newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Chicago Tribune. If it had been available, it most certainly would have appeared there. We know that Roy Schaeffer, working for a newspaper in Dayton, OH, took it off the photo-fax the following morning and, because of his background in photography, had noticed it had been altered in the doorway area. And Ralph has now exposed the CIA's charade by discovering both original (without) and faked (with) versions of the "EXTRA" for the Beacon Hill News-Paladiumn for 22 November 1963, which is a small town with a population of around 10,000.

Rational arguments have confirmed that Oswald was Doorman and have falsified the contentions that Billy Lovelady or the Checkered Shirt Man could have played that role. And the government took extraordinary steps to conceal the revelation, because even Lee Oswald could not be in two places at the same time. The most recent research by Larry Rivera, who is also a member of the Oswald Innocence Campaign, has revealed that the man who drove Lee to work that day and subsequently identified Lovelady as Doorman for the Warren Commission, Buell Wesley Frazier, had his image removed from the Altgens6 in order for him to claim he had been"back in this more or less black area here", where Billy was standing with his upraised arms. If they were moving Lovelady to be Doorman, they needed someone--by insinuation--to be the man with his arms raised, for whom they used Buell Wesley Frazier, who did his best to confirm Billy as Doorman but, as Ralph Cinque has explained, was unsuccessful in his effort, one more proof that Oswald was Doorman and could not possibly have been on the 6th floor shooting at JFK.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Well, explaining these things in different ways--and I don't recall using the same title before--may make the points more accessible to some who have had a difficult time seeing through the smoke and mirrors that has been thrown up by individuals like those here, where Gregory Burnham is an excellent example of someone who has proven incapable of reasoning about this case and offers a perfect illustration of Popper's observation, ""No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."

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"No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."--Sir Karl Popper

LOL If there was an award for unintentional irony Fetzer would win, or at least be a finalist every year.

This thread as Lee, Duncan and Greg have pointed out is Spam, it should be locked or better yet deleted and its OP put on moderation.

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Well, explaining these things in different ways--and I don't recall using the same title before--may make the points more accessible to some who have had a difficult time seeing through the smoke and mirrors that has been thrown up by individuals like those here, where Gregory Burnham is an excellent example of someone who has proven incapable of reasoning about this case and offers a perfect illustration of Popper's observation, ""No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."

Hi James

I do think you have a point here and this thread seems to me to be a genuine effort on your part to restate your case in reasonable terms, that are both clear and easy to follow. Smoke, mirrors and headline grabbing titles are something that both you and Ralph initiated in the previous posts - it is no surprise that some of us that responded to you did so in kind.

We do understand your arguments though. I and others who have taken time to read through what I would generously describe as poorly presented posts, understand what you are saying re the evidence and why you believe it leads to the conclusion that you have reached, namely that doorman is Oswald. We follow that and no amount of restating your case, however much you improve your presentation is going to win us over (and I speak as someone who would like to be won over to your point of view).

The problem is that there are a number of issues that we have put to you that prevent us from accepting the evidence as you present it. You have done little to acknowledge or address those 'issues', other than repeat, once again, your original arguments. The issues that we have vary from member to member and, as far as I know there is no concerted effort to gang up on you or Ralph and rubbish your findings.

You have now presented your case very well so, please take our observations as well intended criticism, consider what we are doing to be pointing out some of the weaknesses of your argument. Use this information to either re-evaluate your conclusions or to undertake additional research to address some of the holes in your argument, We are (mostly I think) sympathetic to there having been both a conspiracy and cover-up, so, if you cannot persuade us of your argument, I would say you have even less chance of persuading the wider public that I believe your OIP campaign is targeted at.

My own issues with your argument are the following - perhaps other members would like to list their own below - I do not expect you to work on every issue presented but some acknowledgement that there are some gaps to your arguments that need some more work from you would perhaps be a good thing.

My issues

  1. Why would the bad guys significantly alter Altgens6 only to leave an Oswald look alike in the doorway - why not just obfuscate the face and the shirt or add random man or woman with random, indistinct clothing in their place.
  2. I do not accept your reasoning that doorman could be one of only 3 people - your response on this (that the FBI could have identified everyone in the vacinity had they had the inclincation to do so) is self defeating. They did not feel they needed to look elsewhere since they were certain it was Lovelady - irrespective of the shirt he was photographed in.
  3. Ralph did you no favours when he claimed to have found the whole arrow 'three lines, tail and 2 arms'. If that is really the case he has nothing to loose by going to the records and examining the original, he will either find the arrow on the original and be able to demonstrate this to all with better copies or scans, or he will be able to prove alteration is still taking place today - either way he wins. The only problem I can foresee is perhaps that, after closer examination, Ralph now believes he may be mistaken about the whole arrow, with its tail and two arms. And if Ralph got that so wrong, what does it say for the rest of his research and pronouncements.

To me these are important counter arguments to your claims - I do have others but these are my top 3. They may not be scientific or even reasonable, but I would suggest they are typical of the type of argument you are up against when taking your campaign to the wider public.

Lets see if other members are willing to outline their objections below in polite and concise terms - you will then have a nice list you can work through so that you can start to acknowledge and answer some of these. Simply repeating the arguments you have already made (and telling us we are idiots if we can't see things your way) is not going to be enough, at least not for the audience here, and seriously weakens your case.

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Lets see if other members are willing to outline their objections below in polite and concise terms

Count me out.

If I was into S&M I'd be frequenting a different type of forum.

:) I can appreciate that and no doubt I would feel the same had I been participating in this as long as some of you have!

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Lindsay,

I really appreciate the tone and the intent of your offer to Jim. However, remember that he and I were very close friends when he began this OIP crusade. Also recall that I pointed out, in a very similar tone and wording, the rationale by which some of us were unable to accept his arguments as stated. I "pleaded" with him, for lack of a better word, to refrain from "taking the posture of someone being attacked" and rather opt for interpreting the criticisms as being in line with the scientific method, where conclusions are not definitive, but tentative. A world in which challenges are not interpreted as threats, but rather as opportunities for improvement. Indeed, I--like yourself--wish that there was clear evidence indicating that the Doorman was most likely Oswald. That would be a slam dunk for me. And, as you point out, if those in the choir to whom Jim now sings are unconvinced, what of those who don't even attend the services?

Alas, it is a waste of time and effort. In this case: There is no reason for there to be no reason. There just isn't any. A pity.

...

Edited by Greg Burnham
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Lindsay,

I really appreciate the tone and the intent of your offer to Jim. However, remember that he and I were very close friends when he began this OIP crusade. Also recall that I pointed out, in a very similar tone and wording, the rationale by which some of us were unable to accept his arguments as stated. I "pleaded" with him, for lack of a better word, to refrain from "taking the posture of someone being attacked" and rather opt for interpreting the criticisms as being in line with the scientific method, where conclusions are not definitive, but tentative. A world in which challenges are not interpreted as threats, but rather as opportunities for improvement. Indeed, I--like yourself--wish that there was clear evidence indicating that the Doorman was most likely Oswald. That would be a slam dunk for me. And, as you point out, if those in the choir to whom Jim now sings are unconvinced, what of those who don't even attend the services?

Alas, it is a waste of time and effort. In this case: There is no reason for there to be no reason. There just isn't any. A pity.

...

Thanks Greg,

I think you appreciate that in no way was my post a criticism of those who have tried but have simply had enough of this now - I hope I am a little way off that but as it stands I can see there will be a point where it becomes boring, and there is lots else to do!

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Lindsay,

I really appreciate the tone and the intent of your offer to Jim. However, remember that he and I were very close friends when he began this OIP crusade. Also recall that I pointed out, in a very similar tone and wording, the rationale by which some of us were unable to accept his arguments as stated. I "pleaded" with him, for lack of a better word, to refrain from "taking the posture of someone being attacked" and rather opt for interpreting the criticisms as being in line with the scientific method, where conclusions are not definitive, but tentative. A world in which challenges are not interpreted as threats, but rather as opportunities for improvement. Indeed, I--like yourself--wish that there was clear evidence indicating that the Doorman was most likely Oswald. That would be a slam dunk for me. And, as you point out, if those in the choir to whom Jim now sings are unconvinced, what of those who don't even attend the services?

Alas, it is a waste of time and effort. In this case: There is no reason for there to be no reason. There just isn't any. A pity.

...

Thanks Greg,

I think you appreciate that in no way was my post a criticism of those who have tried but have simply had enough of this now - I hope I am a little way off that but as it stands I can see there will be a point where it becomes boring, and there is lots else to do!

Understood.

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Let me attempt a perspectival experiment:

The face of a man who resembles the Billy Lovelady photographed by the FBI in February 1964 appears prominently (and, from a photographic viewpoint, improbably) in Altgens 6.

This man only superficially resembles a man also identified as Lovelady who appears in images filmed outside the TSBD and inside DPD HQ on November 22, 1963.

And:

The face of the man in Altgens 6 is made very obvious in the photo, compared to the obscured faces of people also standing on the TSBD steps.

So:

Was it somehow important to establish the presence on the TSBD steps during the shooting of the man who would be photographed by the FBI in February 1964?

Was it important to identify this man beyond question as witness "Billy Lovelady."

Could that have been somehow more important than any thought of covering up Oswald's presence on the TSBD steps?

Just a thought.

Edited by David Andrews
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Let me attempt a perspectival experiment:

,,,,,,

Was it somehow important to establish the presence on the TSBD steps during the shooting of the man who would be photographed by the FBI in February 1964?

Was it important to identify this man beyond question as witness "Billy Lovelady."

Could that have been somehow more important than any thought of covering up Oswald's presence on the TSBD steps?

Just a thought.

Hi David,

I do appreciate this answer which, for me at least, is thought provoking.

I've gone through this several times though and I'm stuck at the same question still, which is "Why?"

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