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John:

I was able to grasp the possibility that a stranger, not Lee Oswald, standing on Elm street would get to the doorway and pose as Prayer Man, and I explained why this was very unlikely. It would never occur to me that you were thinking of Lee Oswald being outside the building as President's limo was moving down the Elm street, and he would then run to the Depository to position himself as Prayer Man. In the light of what is known about Lee's whereabouts during or after the shooting, and based on analyses  of Darnell film to which I have also contributed, I cannot endorse your idea. 

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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Back to the problem of shadows on Prayer Man's arms. Eventually, after several weeks of very poor weather we had a beautiful sunny day  in Liverpool allowing me to set up the shooting scene in the Calderstones park. (Calderstones park is located in south Liverpool and it spreads along Menlove Avenue on which a house known as Mendips can be found. This is the house where John Lennon lived with his aunt Mimi until he eventually left for London. On the other side of the Calderstones park is the school which back then was called Quarry Bank High School, and John most likely walked through the Calderstones park every day. Stawberry Fields was an orphanage in 1960' and it is located just above John's house).

The box in the scene below serves as a top step, and I used it to also reproduce the lights and shadows on Prayer Man's left leg.

shootingscene.jpg

However, before showing my little experiment, let us look on Darnell still which was downloaded from jfkassassinationgallery.com. The numbers correspond to shades of grey with 0 representing black and 255 standing for white. The faces of Prayer Man and Buell Wesley Frazier give a dark tone in the range of 77-85. Prayer Man's hand was 112 which is brighter than the shade of the facial skin which is clearly in the shadow. However, it is less bright than the arm of Mr. Frazier (207) or the face of the man on a lower step who faces the sun. Notably, the cheek in that man's face is 172, suggesting that if the skin was not facing the sunlight flat, it tended to be less bright. 

 

shadow_values_darnell-e1561668967750.jpg

 

Thus, the situation is that somehow Prayer Man's right hand was neither in the complete shadow nor fully exposed to the sunlight. I made several experiments, and the two experiments shown below should shed some light on the problem. The right-hand column shows the right arm full in the shadow. This column starts with the original coloured photograph, and continues with a grey-scale version (second row) which was then blurred using Gaussian blur (20) and downsized to 3% and 1% of the original size. If the arm was completely in the shadow, the fleshy elbow  region of the forearm was brighter than the back of the hand which is not what Darnell still shows. I have copied to cropped images from original Darnell stills in the bottom row of this figure. Thus, Prayer Man could not stand far from the shadow plane because his arm would not show the gradient with his hand being brighter than his elbow.

The left-hand side panel shows the right arm partially exposed to the sunlight. The arm is parallel to the plane of the shadow and it is in the shadow all right except two spots: the proximal part of the forearm and the back of the hand; the hand is bent and this is enough to expose a small part of the hand, perhaps only the knuckles, to the sunlight. Further steps approximate the process which affected the resolution and quality of Darnell still. Of course, my analysis can only demonstrate the principle, not the exact numerical values of grey in Darnell film. If the arm and the hand are as shown in in the top panel of the left-hand side column, the back of the hand will be glowing (254) and the proximal, fleshy forearm is at 157, less bright than the back of the hand. Please note that the middle part of the forearm is actually in the shadow. The brightness of the two critical spots decreases with each step of degradation: the hand 254 value drops to 208 after blurring the image with Gaussian blur, and  each downsizing step decreases the brightness even more. The same happens to the spot in the proximal part of the forearm, although the decrease in brightness is less dramatic than in the hand spot. However, always the back of the hand is brighter than the fleshy part of proximal forearm.

The two Darnell frames  provide the hint as to whether the arm was or was not exposed to the sun. I should say: partially exposed. The left-hand (bottom row)  Darnell still is the frame 003636 and it yields the brightness of 140 of the hand spot, not that far from 155 in my experiment. The proximal elbow in my analysis (the 1% downsized and blurred image) and in the original Darnell show almost identical brightness level (115 vs. 114). The right-hand side bottom picture refers to a frame downloaded from jfkassassinationgallery.com. The whole picture appears to be darker, however, the comparatively brighter hand and the darker elbow can still be seen. The comparison of the two Darnell frames point to the problem with a direct comparison of numeric values of grey in Darnell and in any modern reconstruction: we do not know all the steps and processes applied to Darnell film which all could affect the overall level of dark and bright tones. 

This little experiment shows that Prayer Man could not have his right arm fully in the shadow which would be the case if he would stand as close as possible to the western wall because we would hardly be able to see his right hand - it would be as blurry as his left hand. The solution with Prayer Man holding his right arm parallel with the shadow plane from which two little spots extruded into the sunlight (the back of the hand and the proximal forearm) reproduces the relative brightness levels along Prayer Man's right arm satisfactorily.

 

fullshadows.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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  • 3 months later...

Here is one more example of Lee Oswald's stance. He used to stand with his body weight resting on his right foot and having his right leg extended and slightly backward. His left foot is forward and his left leg slightly bent in the knee joint. 

This sparsely seen photograph below is from Minsk when Lee was on a fishing trip with Ziger (Zeger?) family. The three ladies are Mrs. Ziger, Leanora (older daughter) and Anita (turned away from camera).

lee_minsk_zegerfamily-e1569751679498.png

 

 

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This is about Lee's stance again. The way Lee used to stand in upright stance, with putting weight on his right foot, appears to also affect the  way he walked. Here is one of a few famous assassination pictures from the Dallas Police basement. Lee has just pushed his left foot forward and he does not seem to recognise the danger coming from Ruby yet. 

His right foot is left  backward and the left-right distance between his feet appears to be too short posing a question of how stable his gait was. The short distance along the left-right (axial) axis seems to be achieved by some degree of backward rotation of his pelvis. His trunk appears to be tilted toward his right and slightly back. 

 Of course, one can walk like this but the gait appears not very natural and makes an impression of being unstable. There was something very specific with the mobility of Lee's joints and muscle tone which affected both his stance and gait. 

leeshotlarger.png

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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  • 1 month later...

frame003627-e1561149345383.jpg

The top figure is from my June 21 post. It shows a brightness coded image of original Prayer Man (the one in the left panel). The bottom panel is the Prayer Man image coded according to the brightness of each pixel with brightness depicted as the height, creating a 3-D image. This 3-D brightness-coded Prayer Man is orientated in supine position with his head pointing to the right. The shape of the purple line copies the course of the left leg and suggests that Prayer Man had his left leg bent in the knee joint.

 

pm_supine2-1.jpg

 

This new figure shows the bottom panel from the above figure with a few captions highlighting important landmarks on Prayer Man's body. I have now added a realistic  Poser 11.2 model of Prayer Man with body proportions matching Lee Oswald's body proportions. This comparison is useful for determining the locations  and mutual relationships among Prayer Man's different body parts. It also shows, encouragingly,  that it is possible to reconstruct Prayer Man's posture quite accurately. Please note that the details of clothing in Poser mannequin do not match Prayer Man's clothing at this stage (e.g., the belt, the shape and colour of the shirt, etc.).

Edited by Andrej Stancak
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  • 8 months later...

I have a question for those who believe that "Prayer Man" was Lee H. Oswald.

In your opinion, what role did Oswald play in the assassination?

I believe that Oswald did play some part in the assassination. Otherwise it would've been very difficult for the conspirators to make him the "patsy". And because of his Russian and Marxist background Oswald was the perfect scapegoat. I think the conspirators knew that his association to "Comrade Kostin" would make sure that the authorities would not touch any evidence for the involvement of other shooters. So Oswald had to be the fall guy.

But for that the conspirators needed to have some control over him. And they surely could not allow him wandering around outside the building. If one of them (Dark Complected Man? Umbrella Man?) had spotted him they would certainly have aborted the assassination. So they had to make sure they knew where he was. And what better way than putting him in the 6th floor window with a rifle?

I also think that we cannot discard the possibility that Prayer Man is not one of the TSBD staff at all but just a random bystander. Everyone was anxiously waiting for the motorcade to arrive, so I think it's not unlikely that they (the staff) would not have noticed a stranger looking for a good spot to take some photos (I think it has been argued that "Prayer Man" might be holding a camera in his hands).

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24 minutes ago, Mathias Baumann said:

So Oswald had to be the fall guy.But for that the conspirators needed to have some control over him. And they surely could not allow him wandering around outside the building.

Because they could count on everyone watching the motorcade with few paying attention to the rest of the crowd.  
 
They could count on controlling any post-assassination narrative by way of witness intimidation.
 
That’s how they got away with multiple shooters.

Besides, Oswald didn’t have to be the fall guy. There were plenty of back up patsies like the Three Tramps.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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1 hour ago, Mathias Baumann said:

I also think that we cannot discard the possibility that Prayer Man is not one of the TSBD staff at all but just a random bystander. Everyone was anxiously waiting for the motorcade to arrive, so I think it's not unlikely that they (the staff) would not have noticed a stranger looking for a good spot to take some photos (I think it has been argued that "Prayer Man" might be holding a camera in his hands).

I think we can discard the possibility it was a random bystander. Everyone on those steps worked in the building. It was NOT an unbearably hot day where a random may have sought shelter in the shade of the doorway. It was quite a bit of people and stairs to wade through, I just can't see the juice being worth the squeeze for a random to make their way up there and then disappear, not to be captured in any more photos or film that day.  Much more plausible that Oswald slipped outside behind everyone else unnoticed, as the focus was on the motorcade. He may have only been out there for a minute or two.  As shots rang out, he may have realized what was going down and went back into the TSBD relatively quickly.

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19 hours ago, Cliff Varnell said:

Besides, Oswald didn’t have to be the fall guy. There were plenty of back up patsies like the Three Tramps.

Cliff,

did any of the tramps visit the Soviet embassy just 2 months before the assassination? I think that was an important part of the plot. Oswald was carefully chosen for his role.

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18 hours ago, Rob Clark said:

I think we can discard the possibility it was a random bystander. Everyone on those steps worked in the building. It was NOT an unbearably hot day where a random may have sought shelter in the shade of the doorway. It was quite a bit of people and stairs to wade through, I just can't see the juice being worth the squeeze for a random to make their way up there and then disappear, not to be captured in any more photos or film that day.  Much more plausible that Oswald slipped outside behind everyone else unnoticed, as the focus was on the motorcade. He may have only been out there for a minute or two.  As shots rang out, he may have realized what was going down and went back into the TSBD relatively quickly.

That does sound plausible. But here's another idea: Maybe Prayer Man was a conspirator, a member of the assassination team, some of kind of spotter maybe. That would explain why he would disappear so quickly. (On the other hand, Dark Complected Man and Umbrella Man were still lingering at the scene of the crime for minutes after the shooting...)

Edited by Mathias Baumann
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26 minutes ago, Mathias Baumann said:

Cliff,

did any of the tramps visit the Soviet embassy just 2 months before the assassination? I think that was an important part of the plot. Oswald was carefully chosen for his role.

I think there were contingency plans to blame the assassination on right wingers if they couldn’t pin it on Oswald.

What if Oswald hadn’t shown up for work that day for any number of reasons?  Fell sick, car accident, cold feet.

I wouldn’t assume the folks tasked with the Kennedy assassination had the exact same priorities as the folks tasked with the Oswald assassination.

The primary goal was the elimination of JFK — pinning it all on Castro was a secondary concern quickly jettisoned when Oswald was captured.

All I know for a fact is that JFK had a shallow wound between his third thoracic vertebra and the upper margin of his right scapula.  6.5mm FMJ rounds don’t leave shallow wounds in soft tissue, which bolsters Oswald’s stated alibi that he went outside to watch the P. parade.

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Mathias Baumann writes:

Quote

But for that the conspirators needed to have some control over him. ... So they had to make sure they knew where he was. And what better way than putting him in the 6th floor window with a rifle?

That might be true if the lone-nut scenario was part of the original plan. But this scenario was imposed on the investigating authorities after the event by political administrators like Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover in Washington (Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust gives a good account of this). Whoever was behind the assassination may well have been happy for it to be interpreted as a conspiracy.

If that's the case, the conspirators did not need to know, and wouldn't have cared, where Oswald was. The presence on the sixth floor of a rifle that could be traced to Oswald was enough to link him to the assassination. Oswald's apparent links to the Soviet and Cuban regimes would serve to link one or both of them to the assassination, and that would imply a conspiracy, whether Oswald was on the sixth floor or anywhere else.

There's no need to suppose that Johnson, Hoover and others imposed the lone-nut scenario because they themselves were implicated in the assassination. They would have done so for straightforward institutional reasons. If the general public became convinced that a conspiracy had occurred, the public's distrust of established political institutions would increase, as indeed it did to some extent. If people get dangerous ideas in their heads, who knows what might happen? The Washington insiders would simply have been trying to preserve the institutions they identified with.

When the shots were fired, Oswald could have been standing on the White House lawn, dressed as the Statue of Liberty and singing 'the Star-Spangled Banner', and he would still have been implicated in the assassination.

Quote

I also think that we cannot discard the possibility that Prayer Man is not one of the TSBD staff at all but just a random bystander.

That's true. We can't rule out the bystander option, and there are one or two other TSBD employees who weren't otherwise accounted for beyond any doubt. But there are good reasons to suppose that the figure in the doorway may be Oswald:

(a) It looks not unlike him, in many people's opinion. It appears to be a man, dressed in casual clothing like that worn by Oswald, and with a hint of Oswald's receding hairline.

(b) It fits with what we know of Oswald's movements at around the time of the assassination. There is only weak evidence placing him on the sixth floor during the shooting, and strong evidence placing him on the ground floor immediately before the shooting.

(c) It also fits with his alibi, especially since the discovery last year of James Hosty's handwritten account of the alibi: http://www.prayer-man.com/then-went-outside-to-watch-p-parade/.

On the other side of the argument, none of the people known to have been on the steps identified the figure as Oswald. Equally, they didn't identify the figure as anyone else either.

The only way to be know for sure whether it is or isn't Oswald is to examine a good-quality copy of either the Darnell or Wiegman films:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/26666-petition-darnell-and-wiegman-films/

These days, it's only Warren Commission defenders and 'Harvey and Lee' believers who need Oswald to have been on the sixth floor. For everyone else, having him conclusively identified as the figure on the steps would be the biggest positive development in the case for decades.

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45 minutes ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

That might be true if the lone-nut scenario was part of the original plan. But this scenario was imposed on the investigating authorities after the event by political administrators like Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover in Washington 

And who imposed the Lone Nut scenario on Lyndon Johnson?

McGeorge Bundy called AF1 to inform Johnson the lone assassin was in custody.  As soon as LBJ got to the White House, Averell Harriman came in to tell him that the US government’s top experts on the Soviets were unanimous in the conclusion the Soviets had nothing to do with it.

One little problem — there was no conference among top US Kremlinologists that day.

Harriman was Skull & Bones 1913; Bundy was Skull & Bones 1940.

Harriman had sacrificed his greatest ambition — to be Secretary of State — in order to overthrow Diem and maintain American military presence in South Vietnam.  Little surprise he’d sacrifice Kennedy for the same outcome.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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1 hour ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

These days, it's only Warren Commission defenders and 'Harvey and Lee' believers who need Oswald to have been on the sixth floor.

 

I'm a Harvey & Lee believer and I don't need or believe that Oswald was on the 6th floor. I don't believe he encountered Officer Baker on the 2nd floor either. I believe he was out watching the P. Parade with Bill Shelley just as he told his interrogators. While not necessarily so, I believe that Prayer Man is probably Oswald.

 

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2 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

Whoever was behind the assassination may well have been happy for it to be interpreted as a conspiracy.

Jeremy,

that may be true if the plotters' objective was to provoke a second invasion of Cuba. I think that's a very plausible idea. But it was also dangerous for the conspirators. How could they be sure that the investigation would not uncover evidence of their involvement? Only if a thorough and honest investigation could be forestalled.

The Warren Commission could only get away with their bungling because they managed to paint Oswald as a deranger loner and because he was shot before there was a trial. But that tactic would not have worked if there had been concrete evidence of other conspirators.

Now if Oswald was not on the 6th floor, what was his role in your opinion? As you say, his rifle was found in the building. Why would Oswald bring a rifle to work that day if he wasn't going to use it? Or did someone else put it there? And if so, how did they know that Oswald was hiding it in Ruth Paine's garage?

Edited by Mathias Baumann
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