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On 8/20/2020 at 1:41 PM, Mathias Baumann said:

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).

Mathias:

all the questions of yours are valid. I have been contemplating those questions while working on different aspects of Prayer Man problem.

1. As far as Oswald's active role in the assassination is concerned, his role may have ranged from not knowing anything about the plot itself, to being part of a mock assassination attempt, to eventually being an essential and willing part of the assassination plot while realising too late that all the plausible denials that he was assured of have collapsed one by one on Friday afternoon.

The most "innocent" scenario, as many have suggested already, could be that Lee Oswald was asked to bring his rifle to the Depository on Friday morning to trade it. Lee had his lunch in the first-floor lunchroom and heard a wave of noise as the motorcade approached Houston street and decided to find out what was this excitement about. His decision to go out would accords Captain Fritz's notes and the handwritten notes of the FBI agent James Hosty uncovered recently by Bart Kamp. Lee would arrive to the doorway after President's limo passed the Depository (which explains the absence of Prayer Man in Hughes film) and within seconds of the last shot (which explains his presence in the doorway in the Wiegman film). The rifle trade scenario is supported by Gerry Patrick Hemming's statements who bragged about offering to Lee a price double of the purchase price.

The mock-assassination scenario has been elaborated quite well by Walt Brown. The presence of Lee in the doorway could have been a calculated plausible denial which would later serve to exonerate Lee Oswald after initially linking him with the assassination through his rifle. 

The most conspiratorial scenario would see Lee actively conspiring with Jack Ruby, anti-Castro Cubans and rogue CIA agents to kill President Kennedy only to find that the plan went different to what he was told. 

Whichever scenario was true, two aspects are the common denominators to all scenarios. First, Lee Oswald brought his rifle to the building, and second, he realised being a patsy right away, within seconds of the shooting. If Lee would not bring his rifle to the building and would he stand in the doorway, there was no way of  pinning any crime on him, at least not that quickly to make him flee the building. The moment of his realisation, in my view, is depicted in Darnell stills. One can see that all doorway occupants naturally adjust their locations and gazes to optimise their views of the Triple underpass area. Not so Prayer Man. He stares in direction of the Records building or similar. This is very odd and suggests he was frozen and spent time pondering what to do next. Interestingly, another person who also fails to optimise his view of Grassy Knoll/Triple underpass was Buell Wesley Frazier. 

2. The level of control over Lee Oswald's movements is a relevant aspect of the case. I would again refer to the three possible scenarios outlined above as the level of control depends on what was Lee Oswald's role. It is possible that, e.g., in the mock-assassination scenario, he was even asked to go out and let be seen by other employees as this would be used to exonerate him after all other leads would initially point to him.

3. It is also necessary to consider that Prayer Man was a random person from the crowd of people standing in Dealey Plaza area. I found only one hint that somebody may have walked into the doorway when the motorcade was passing through Houston and Elm street. Ronald Fischer made a peculiar remark in his November 22 affidavit:

"I do remember one peculair [sic] thing happened just at the time I saw the man up there. There was a girl walked in the Texas School Book Depository Building, a rather tall girl, and she looked to me like she might be an employee in that building. She was walking in while everyone else had been coming out."

   https://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/fischer1.htm

However, Prayer Man was definitely not a female and therefore, Fischer's remark does not account for Prayer Man's figure. 

In order for someone from the crowd to walk up the steps and be photographed as Prayer Man, the person would have to possess all the features which Prayer Man shares with Lee Oswald. The likelihood of a random person from a sample of about 500-550 people showing the same features which Prayer Man shares with Lee Oswald would be extremely small. It would have to be a male, a Caucasian, a man sized 5' 9 1/2'', have a hairline of male baldness Type II,  have dark hair, someone who used to stand with his left foot in the front and the leg flexed in knee joint (and whose own brother used to stand this way too), he would have to wear worker type of clothes with shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows and the top one or two buttons open (as Lee Oswald used to do), with shirt likely being of maroon colour (this color converts into the grey seen on Prayer Man in Darnell), would wear grey pants (not black), with greys of the shirt and pants being identical to the shirt CE150 and pants CE157, and have the shirt pulled out of trousers. The likelihood of all these features occurring simultaneously by chance is very, very small.

There is one more aspect which promises to lower the random chance of someone from the crowd stepping in as Prayer Man - it is the distribution of dark specks on CE150, the maroon (light red) shirt which Lee Oswald wore on Friday morning. If the distribution of the dark specks fits with the dark area seen on Prayer Man's shirt in Darnell, the proof of identity would be indisputable. It is this aspect of Prayer Man's figure I am focusing at in my Tom Wilson project.

 

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

 

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.

 

I agree Sandy...the preponderance of evidence suggests Prayerman was Lee Oswald. Both Fritz's notes, and Hosty's recently found interrogation notes (Thank you Bart) state Oswald told them he was outside watching the parade. The DPD denied him an alibi and it wasn't disclosed to the public, or the WC for that matter. No other white male employee that has claimed to be on the steps, yet remains unidentified... exists.  Dougherty is the only other one, and he claims to have been inside the building. I also would say that due to the great and important work by Bart Kamp, the 2nd floor encounter actually happened on the first floor. They ran into the problem of having NO WITNESSES to Oswald's so called descent from the 6th floor, despite Dougherty, Jarman, Norman, and Williams around the 5th and 6th floor by their own admission, the office girls on the 4th floor landing, and folks including Otis Williams that came back in immediately after the shooting to go up to the 4th floor to make a phone call. Yet nobody recalls seeing anyone else on the stairs... The lack of interest in Eddie Piper and Troy West, who were Negro employees on the first floor is also very telling to me. Put it all together, the picture starts to get clearer....

Edited by Rob Clark
I can't spell...Lol
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38 minutes ago, Rob Clark said:

I agree Sandy...the preponderance of evidence suggests Prayerman was Lee Oswald.

 

Hey Rob,

Have you ever considered what Wesley Buell Frazier said about Oswald's whereabouts during the shooting, and about Prayer Man?

Okay, I haven't verified what I'd read on the forum. But one time I read that he said he didn't know where Oswald was during the shooting. Well,  that must be factually correct... I mean factual in that he said it. And then much more recently I read that he was shown a frame from one of the films, Darnell I think, with Prayer Man standing near him. He was asked if he knew who it was. He said that he didn't know who it was, but that it wasn't Oswald. (I need to verify this one.)

Well, a big red flag went up in my mind when I learned that. Because 1) if he didn't know who Prayer Man was, and 2) he didn't know where Oswald was at that time, then how could he possibly know that Prayer Man wasn't Oswald? He couldn't! So obviously Frazier was l.y.ing. Either 1) he knew or thought that Prayer Man was Oswald but was hiding that fact, or 2) he knew where Oswald was and it wasn't where Prayer Man was located. Oswald had to have been elsewhere outside in order for Frazier to have known where he was. Either way, Frazier's statements indicate that Oswald was outside IMO.

It was Frazier's statements that really got me seriously thinking that Oswald was indeed outside during the shots. Before that I was thinking that he was inside, near the door, during the shots.

Later Malcolm Blunt discovered the "went outside to watch the P. Parade" note, at which time I became convinced that Oswald was indeed outside during the shooting.

 

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Interesting these Notes can be read that Oswald claimed he had a coke on the 2nd floor when Baker confronted him.

Or reading another way Oswald stated that he got a coke earlier on the 2nd floor, then states that he met Officer as he came into 1st floor.

Had lunch with Bill Shelley in front of TSBD.

Fritx Notes 1/5

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2 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

Interesting these Notes can be read that Oswald claimed he had a coke on the 2nd floor when Baker confronted him.

Or reading another way Oswald stated that he got a coke earlier on the 2nd floor, then states that he met Officer as he came into 1st floor.

Had lunch with Bill Shelley in front of TSBD.

If it hasn't been mentioned...understand that those notes were scribbled down hours if not days after that interview.

Source on that [I believe] was James Hosty.

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Cliff,

Interesting. Harriman is someone I haven't given much thought to. I'll look into it.

Sandy,

That's good to know! But I think official 'Harvey and Lee' doctrine is that one doppelganger was in the second-floor lunchroom while the other was up on the sixth floor, shooting at Kennedy.

Mathias,

Quote

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.

I suppose the danger of discovering evidence of involvement would depend on who was behind the assassination and on how many levels of insulation they had put in place between themselves and the people on the ground.

A thorough and honest investigation could only come about through public pressure, then and now. Immediately after the assassination there wasn't sufficient public pressure for anything like that to happen. The politicians and administrators had no desire to rock the boat. Bureaucrats can easily be persuaded to cover things up if they believe that their institutions might be at risk.

Quote

Now if Oswald was not on the 6th floor, what was his role in your opinion? ... 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?

Although I wouldn't rule it out completely, I'm not aware of any convincing evidence that Oswald had an active role at all. The notion that he took a rifle to work is strongly contradicted by Frazier and Randle's consistent claims that Oswald's paper bag was much too short to have contained the rifle. The notion that the rifle was stored in the garage relies on dubious statements by Marina Oswald under duress, and on an even more dubious connection between the rifle and the blanket found in the garage.

As Andrej points out, there are a number of plausible stories that might have persuaded Oswald to sneak a rifle into the building. The balance of the evidence, however, suggests that he did not do so. Given the ease of access to the book depository by outsiders, let alone insiders, it's not at all far fetched to suppose that the rifle was placed there without Oswald's knowledge.

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11 hours ago, Karl Hilliard said:

If it hasn't been mentioned...understand that those notes were scribbled down hours if not days after that interview.

Source on that [I believe] was James Hosty.

Hi Karl,  Yes, I believe that is correct regarding Fritz's notes....not sure of Bookhout, but Hosty's notes were contemporary.

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On 8/21/2020 at 6:45 PM, Andrej Stancak said:

Mathias:

all the questions of yours are valid. I have been contemplating those questions while working on different aspects of Prayer Man problem.

1. As far as Oswald's active role in the assassination is concerned, his role may have ranged from not knowing anything about the plot itself, to being part of a mock assassination attempt, to eventually being an essential and willing part of the assassination plot while realising too late that all the plausible denials that he was assured of have collapsed one by one on Friday afternoon.

The most "innocent" scenario, as many have suggested already, could be that Lee Oswald was asked to bring his rifle to the Depository on Friday morning to trade it. Lee had his lunch in the first-floor lunchroom and heard a wave of noise as the motorcade approached Houston street and decided to find out what was this excitement about. His decision to go out would accords Captain Fritz's notes and the handwritten notes of the FBI agent James Hosty uncovered recently by Bart Kamp. Lee would arrive to the doorway after President's limo passed the Depository (which explains the absence of Prayer Man in Hughes film) and within seconds of the last shot (which explains his presence in the doorway in the Wiegman film). The rifle trade scenario is supported by Gerry Patrick Hemming's statements who bragged about offering to Lee a price double of the purchase price.

I have read about this before but I find that scenario not very convincing. Would Oswald really risk being arrested by the Secret Service or the police for bringing a rifle into the TSBD just to make a few bucks? I don't think so. Oswald was not that stupid. I think he might even have suspected that he was being set up.

Quote

The mock-assassination scenario has been elaborated quite well by Walt Brown. The presence of Lee in the doorway could have been a calculated plausible denial which would later serve to exonerate Lee Oswald after initially linking him with the assassination through his rifle. 

That sounds more plausible. Is there any concrete evidence that supports this scenario?

The most conspiratorial scenario would see Lee actively conspiring with Jack Ruby, anti-Castro Cubans and rogue CIA agents to kill President Kennedy only to find that the plan went different to what he was told. 

Whichever scenario was true, two aspects are the common denominators to all scenarios. First, Lee Oswald brought his rifle to the building, and second, he realised being a patsy right away, within seconds of the shooting. If Lee would not bring his rifle to the building and would he stand in the doorway, there was no way of  pinning any crime on him, at least not that quickly to make him flee the building. The moment of his realisation, in my view, is depicted in Darnell stills. One can see that all doorway occupants naturally adjust their locations and gazes to optimise their views of the Triple underpass area. Not so Prayer Man. He stares in direction of the Records building or similar. This is very odd and suggests he was frozen and spent time pondering what to do next. Interestingly, another person who also fails to optimise his view of Grassy Knoll/Triple underpass was Buell Wesley Frazier.

That is a very interesting observation. Had Kennedy already been hit when the photo was taken?

2. The level of control over Lee Oswald's movements is a relevant aspect of the case. I would again refer to the three possible scenarios outlined above as the level of control depends on what was Lee Oswald's role. It is possible that, e.g., in the mock-assassination scenario, he was even asked to go out and let be seen by other employees as this would be used to exonerate him after all other leads would initially point to him.

I'm not sure if this makes sense. How would it benefit the conspirators if Oswald had an alibi? I think they wanted to frame him for killing Kennedy. That's why they sent him to Mexico and made him take photos of himself holding the rifle.

Quote

3. It is also necessary to consider that Prayer Man was a random person from the crowd of people standing in Dealey Plaza area. I found only one hint that somebody may have walked into the doorway when the motorcade was passing through Houston and Elm street. Ronald Fischer made a peculiar remark in his November 22 affidavit:

"I do remember one peculair [sic] thing happened just at the time I saw the man up there. There was a girl walked in the Texas School Book Depository Building, a rather tall girl, and she looked to me like she might be an employee in that building. She was walking in while everyone else had been coming out."

   https://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/fischer1.htm

However, Prayer Man was definitely not a female and therefore, Fischer's remark does not account for Prayer Man's figure. 

In order for someone from the crowd to walk up the steps and be photographed as Prayer Man, the person would have to possess all the features which Prayer Man shares with Lee Oswald. The likelihood of a random person from a sample of about 500-550 people showing the same features which Prayer Man shares with Lee Oswald would be extremely small.

The chances of the Dictabelt being just random noise are even smaller. And yet it didn't convince the Justice Department to re-open the case. Despite the fact that a fair number of witnesses supported the theory of a fourth shot from the knoll. That's why I think that "Prayer Man" is a dead end, especially without additional evidence. Okay, Oswald says he was outside watching the motorcade. But that's precisely what he would say if he shot at Kennedy, wouldn't he? And no-one has ever come forward to corroborate his testimony.

 

Quote

 

It would have to be a male, a Caucasian, a man sized 5' 9 1/2'', have a hairline of male baldness Type II,  have dark hair, someone who used to stand with his left foot in the front and the leg flexed in knee joint (and whose own brother used to stand this way too), he would have to wear worker type of clothes with shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows and the top one or two buttons open (as Lee Oswald used to do), with shirt likely being of maroon colour (this color converts into the grey seen on Prayer Man in Darnell), would wear grey pants (not black), with greys of the shirt and pants being identical to the shirt CE150 and pants CE157, and have the shirt pulled out of trousers. The likelihood of all these features occurring simultaneously by chance is very, very small.

There is one more aspect which promises to lower the random chance of someone from the crowd stepping in as Prayer Man - it is the distribution of dark specks on CE150, the maroon (light red) shirt which Lee Oswald wore on Friday morning. If the distribution of the dark specks fits with the dark area seen on Prayer Man's shirt in Darnell, the proof of identity would be indisputable. It is this aspect of Prayer Man's figure I am focusing at in my Tom Wilson project.

 

I really don't want to disparage your work as I don't possess the expertise to evaluate it. I just want to point out that people have claimed to see all sorts of things in photos of Dealey Plaza. A grassy knoll shooter, Howard E. Hunt being one of the tramps, Jack Ruby, George Bush... Or think about the backyard photos and the Zapruder film. Some people claim they're fake, some claim they're genuine.

So, please don't get me wrong, but I remain skeptical. I think you'll never be able to convince the general public of Oswald's innocence if all you have is a blurry image and Oswald's own testimony.

There was a conspiracy. We know that. The magic bullet, the holes in Kennedy's clothes, the Dictabelt... There's plenty of evidence for multiple shooters. If Oswald was one of them is irrelevant. But that's just my opinion.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mathias Baumann
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13 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

Cliff,

Interesting. Harriman is someone I haven't given much thought to. I'll look into it.

Sandy,

That's good to know! But I think official 'Harvey and Lee' doctrine is that one doppelganger was in the second-floor lunchroom while the other was up on the sixth floor, shooting at Kennedy.

Mathias,

I suppose the danger of discovering evidence of involvement would depend on who was behind the assassination and on how many levels of insulation they had put in place between themselves and the people on the ground.

But Oswald was killed while in police custody. That would suggest that he possessed knowledge that could've incriminated the plotters. 

13 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

A thorough and honest investigation could only come about through public pressure, then and now. Immediately after the assassination there wasn't sufficient public pressure for anything like that to happen. The politicians and administrators had no desire to rock the boat. Bureaucrats can easily be persuaded to cover things up if they believe that their institutions might be at risk.

Although I wouldn't rule it out completely, I'm not aware of any convincing evidence that Oswald had an active role at all. The notion that he took a rifle to work is strongly contradicted by Frazier and Randle's consistent claims that Oswald's paper bag was much too short to have contained the rifle.

Yes, I know. And yet I remain unconvinced. Frazier had a reason to say the bag was too small. The police were about to charge him with complicity. And if the bag did not contain a rifle, then what was in it? Curtain rods? Were any curtain rods found in the TSBD? I vaguely remember reading about curtain rods being found, but I could be wrong.

13 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

The notion that the rifle was stored in the garage relies on dubious statements by Marina Oswald under duress, and on an even more dubious connection between the rifle and the blanket found in the garage.

Can you elaborate on that?

13 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

As Andrej points out, there are a number of plausible stories that might have persuaded Oswald to sneak a rifle into the building. The balance of the evidence, however, suggests that he did not do so. Given the ease of access to the book depository by outsiders, let alone insiders, it's not at all far fetched to suppose that the rifle was placed there without Oswald's knowledge.

I'm sure that's possible. But still I don't see how the conspirators could expect to frame him if they weren't sure he didn't have an alibi. I think it's more plausible to suspect that Oswald was one of the shooters. That is the major reason why he had to be killed, in my opinion.

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30 minutes ago, Mathias Baumann said:

How would it benefit the conspirators if Oswald had an alibi? 

How would it hurt the conspirators if Oswald were murdered?  Which he was.

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1 minute ago, Cliff Varnell said:

How would it hurt the conspirators if Oswald were murdered?  Which he was.

A sharp, high-quality image of Oswald would've exonerated him even if he were dead. The plotters certainly expected a great number of photographers to be in Dealey Plaza that day. I just don't think they would've taken this risk.

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28 minutes ago, Mathias Baumann said:

A sharp, high-quality image of Oswald would've exonerated him even if he were dead. The plotters certainly expected a great number of photographers to be in Dealey Plaza that day. I just don't think they would've taken this risk.

Your faith in an independent press and honest law enforcement in Dallas in 1963 doesn’t strike me as realistic.

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1 hour ago, Mathias Baumann said:

A sharp, high-quality image of Oswald would've exonerated him even if he were dead. The plotters certainly expected a great number of photographers to be in Dealey Plaza that day. I just don't think they would've taken this risk.

A prayer-man-with-oswald-taking-orders theory might have Oswald intentionally standing outside with the intention of being seen by others, because he at least suspected something was up.

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Mathias:

I now know that one person who will not be convinced about the possibility that Prayer Man was Lee Oswald is you. It is also clear to me that you will spent zero effort in pursuing Prayer Man topic with your own research. Why then did you reopen this thread after 8 months since the last post?

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9 hours ago, Andrej Stancak said:

Mathias:

I now know that one person who will not be convinced about the possibility that Prayer Man was Lee Oswald is you. It is also clear to me that you will spent zero effort in pursuing Prayer Man topic with your own research. Why then did you reopen this thread after 8 months since the last post?

Hello Andrej,

You're asking why I reopened this thread.

Well, first of all I do find the idea of Prayer Man very exciting. I think it would be great to see Lee H. Oswald exonerated, if indeed he was innocent. That would surely be a great victory for justice.
However, some people seem to believe that Prayer Man is a big chance to get the case reopened. I think those people should not set their hopes too high. It's not going to happen, for the reasons I outlined above.
Only a really sharp and high-quality photo of Oswald might achieve that.

But apart from proving Oswald's innocence I fail to see the significance of Prayer Man. Proving Oswald's innocence is one thing, exposing the real conspirators quite another.

But please do keep up the good work. If Oswald was innocent and you can play a part in rewriting tomorrow's history books that would certainly be a great thing.

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