The Oswald Innocence Campaign members have based a grand claim by interpreting a single blurred photograph and despite the people who have leant their name to such a cause, they lack supporting primary evidence. Seemingly, no room for contrary evidence and considerations is left and this idea remains merely speculation because they have attached too much importance upon too little proof. No single blurred picture is able to solve this case, the evidence must be clear to do so.
"We, the members of the Oswald Innocence Campaign, maintain that at the time of President Kennedy's assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was standing in the doorway of the Texas School Book Depository, where he was photographed by James "Ike" Altgens, which is clearly evident upon close examination of the photograph." (Oswald Innocence Campaign Members Statement)
The previous "Members Statement" in my view is unfortunate and those pursuing largely unbiased research should not require others to conform to ideas or speculations. A new member should "...inform Ralph that you endorse this." Biased requirements for membership are not a new concept and they do not serve as a reasonable approach to inquiry. Instead, allow people to make their own judgments based on a majority of evidence.
Evidentiary discrepancies and official confirmation disputes the purported "clearly evident" status offered by the Oswald Innocence Campaign (OIC). The Altgens 6 photograph has long been the contention of some to prove Oswald's innocence and yet a single photograph not supported by sufficient primary evidence is not conclusive. Witnesses affirm Bill Lovelady not Lee Oswald was on the front steps of the Depository during this photograph and Oswald being absent does not prove he assassinated President Kennedy. Yet it does support he was not in front of the building during the shots.
Bill Lovelady states "...Mr. Shelly was outside with Miss Sarah Stanton...I said 'Well I'll go out there and talk with them, sit down and eat my lunch out there, set on the steps' so I went out there"i Some infer from Lovelady stating he would "sit down and eat his lunch" that he was seated the entire time. This like the claims of Oswald being present is speculation and just because Lovelady was seated does not mean he remained so the entire time. Danny Garcia affirmed going with Shelley and Lovelady to the steps and states the man standing in the photograph is Bill Lovelady.ii
Witness Sarah Stanton offered that she, Lovelady, and Bill Shelley, were standing on the Depository front steps.iii James Jarman stated that Lovelady was "standing on the stairway".iv Bill Shelley affirmed Lovelady seated for a time on the steps, but Lovelady was present and Virginia Baker (Rackley) stated the man in the photograph was Bill Lovelady when reviewing a copy of the Altgens 6.v Harold Norman also affirmed Lovelady seated on the Depository steps and not a single person claimed to witness Oswald present on the Depository steps.vi This man based on witness testimony was Bill Lovelady and thus is it likely that despite all these witnesses Oswald is present?
A version of the Altgens 6 photograph appearing on most websites is a vast enlargement from the original. This does not disprove some contentions, but offers a significant margin for error based on simple naked eye review. This man is observed standing in many photographs including Altgens 6. Another means to determine this person's identity is to consult additional sources and in press film and photography we can observe both Oswald's and Lovelady's shirts. In the recent PBS film "Breaking the News" a brief portion of the Oswald press conference occurs and this offers a close up of Oswald and his shirt.vii The shirt he is wearing is not the shirt worn by Bill Lovelady with a check pattern and brighter colors. One post assassination photograph further affirms Lovelady wearing a distinct checkered shirt and Lovelady had a checkered shirt with small stripes; it appears both buttoned and unbuttoned depending on the photograph.
Oswald conversely had a brown colored shirt with muted gold patterns; it appears for a time over his later photographed white t-shirt. Despite Oswald changing his clothing, it was not a match to Lovelady's. It appears to me based on primary evidence, that Oswald's clothing is quite different. However when the Federal Bureau of Investigation later photographed Lovelady to disprove the Oswald claim, they photographed the wrong shirt. This incompetence was not feasibly conspiratorial, but similar to many previous FBI mistakes and Lovelady subsequently affirmed informing the FBI the day of the discrepancy. The House Select Committee studied the matter and determined the man in the shirt was most likely Bill Lovelady.viii Based on most primary evidence Bill Lovelady was on the steps and Lee Harvey Oswald was not.
"We are an organization of JFK researchers committed to spreading the truth that- in spite of ingenious efforts to conceal it- Lee Harvey Oswald was the "Man in the Doorway" in the famous Altgens photo, which thereby exonerates him of any and all guilt in the murder of President Kennedy. It is the smoking gun of the JFK assassination."
These are repeated speculations that do not have supporting proof. The "truth" does not requiring selling; it needs to be presented without qualifications. This spreading of the "truth" resembles a belief-based approach similar to religious groups. These declarations are not a suitable replacement for primary evidence and I agree with Cinque that some impressive efforts were undertaken to suppress evidence, yet they do not confer the Altgens 6 photo with the credibility the OIC asserts. Currently no smoking gun yet exists and claiming this single photo can disprove the official timeline is inaccurate. Based on the majority of verifiable facts the man some claim to be Oswald was more likely Bill Lovelady.
"But, the vortex of this campaign is Lee Harvey Oswald standing in the doorway. That one glaring fact blows apart the lies, the distortions, and the fabrications. They can't get past it. We are seeking to destroy half a century of lies with, and we urge everyone to join us."
These statements provide no critical inspection of all the evidence because the majority of official evidence contradicts the OIC campaign. In order to dispel possible disinformation we must consider all the evidence and some advocates and critics of conspiracy use different standards in comparing evidence. They redouble previous speculation by contending all contrary evidence is lies, distortion, and fabrication. No matter who uses flawed methods, they remain biased, unproven, and substandard research. In stating the Altgens 6 photo is a smoking gun despite the evidence reveals a deep bias. This bias forms the foundation of the OIC campaign, the conclusion has been predetermined, and only the propagation of speculation is necessary.
"This is a default situation. There are only two possibilities for the Doorman's identity, even theoretically, and they are Lee Oswald and Billy Nolan Lovelady...and the only one who had the remotest resemblance to Oswald was Billy Lovelady. And keep in mind that their similarities have been greatly exaggerated.
At least the OIC has admitted that it could be Lovelady, Oswald and Lovelady did in fact not resemble one another very much. Oswald was younger, weighed less, did not have balding to the extent of Lovelady, they were also dressed differently, and based on most evidence Oswald wore a brown shirt over his t- shirt. Bill Lovelady wore a checkered shirt with colored stripes and multiple witnesses in the location of the photograph confirm Lovelady being present. Oswald has no one to establish his location during the assassination and no witnesses conclusively identified Oswald standing on the front steps of the Depository, nor in the Sniper's Nest. It is possible Oswald was not in the Sniper's Nest, but it is highly improbable that he was on the front steps. It is also possible Oswald was in the Sniper's Nest and to ignore these possibilities and contrary evidence will not lead to the truth.
"Our approach is going to be the likeness of Oswald and the Doorman on the one hand, and the unlikeness (the stark dissimilarity) of Lovelady and Doorman on the other. Since there are only two candidates for the Doorman, evidence that rules out Lovelady as Doorman automatically supports Oswald. So, Lee wins by default just by proving that Billy could not be Doorman."
The "approach" selected by the OIC appears to be predetermination of the facts and while they state Oswald's likeness to the "Doorman" on one hand, and Lovelady's unlikeness on the other, both serve the same purpose. No need to distinguish between them, each is a speculative claim that attempts to support their ideas. They continue asserting "evidence that rules out Lovelady supports Oswald" and yet they do not apply the same standard to their chosen picture. The reverse of this declaration is true as well; any evidence that rules out Oswald supports Lovelady.
Based on the OIC suggested course, wholly predetermined speculation is the first step and once you have conformed to the chosen beliefs it seems the offered facts must only support this agenda. Members should do so despite all the evidence and someone who disputes this position is supposedly aiding the "lies, distortions, and fabrications." However, some might consider the OIC agenda comparable to these very accusations and if verified evidence is proven to exist that discredits a claim reason dictates its consideration. If most evidence speaks against a claim, it reasonably can be set aside.
"...it is time to dispel, once and for all, the official myth--the official lie!--that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered President Kennedy. He did not and could not have done it."
I would imagine most in the OIC are well intentioned and sincere but their leaders have made a poor case for the Altgens 6 theory. Based on most evidence these claims do not enjoy support from those who regard the entire record. A last final baseless claim is that Oswald "could not have done it" and this is blatantly wrong, it is possible, however unlikely. The OIC fails to consider the evidence has no agenda and the evidence as a whole reveals inconsistencies that the OIC would support. However, if they will not acknowledge most evidence much shall escape them.
i. Hearings of the President's Commission, Volume VI, Testimony of Bill Nolan Lovelady, p. 338
ii. Hearings of the President's Commission, Volume VI, Testimony of Danny Arce, p. 367
iii. Hearings of the President's Commission Volume XXII, Exhibit 1381, FBI statement of Sarah Stanton, p. 675
iv. Hearings of the President's Commission Volume III, Testimony of James Jarman Jr., p. 202
v. Hearings of the Warren Commission Volume VII, Testimony of Virginia Baker, p. 515
vi. Hearings of the President's Commission Volume III, Testimony of Harold Norman, p. 189
vii. "Breaking the News" narrated by Jane Pauley, Public Broadcasting Station, Kera Television Unlimited and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, December 2013
viii. Report of the House Select Committee on the Assassination of President Kennedy, Appendix Volume VI, addendum B, pg. 286
Belief and Evidence
Edited: March 2018