Chapter 4b: Sack of Lies
A search for a smoking gun in the bottom of an old paper sack
Note: Chapter 4b and 4c are currently undergoing renovation.
The beginning of this chapter will deal with the question "Was the bag pulled from the building the bag Frazier saw in Oswald's possession?" and will rehash Buell Frazier's comments about the paper bag and include an image of him with a bag the size of the bag he saw in Oswald's possession.
The second part will try to answer the question "Is the bag pulled from the building the bag still in the archives?"
Included in this discussion will be a timeline demonstrating that the bag could have been created by the DPD or FBI from the paper sample taken from the building on 11-22-63.
Most Definitely Not in the Bag
Should one think the commission's failure to clear up how the shots were fired--and whether or not Oswald was even on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting--was an isolated failure, one should be reminded that, as the Dallas Police, the Secret Service, and the FBI before them, the Warren Commission was unable to figure out how Oswald (or anyone) got the assassination rifle into the building. The only two people to see Oswald with a bag on 11-22, Buell Wesley Frazier and his sister Linnie Mae Randle, after all, both testified that the bag they saw in his possession was far smaller than the bag put into evidence. The Warren Commission, not surprisingly, assumed they were mistaken.
But the problem with Frazier and his sister's failure to ID the bag, when compounded by other factors, elevates the case to what many believe is a reasonable doubt. Consider that Jack Dougherty, the only one to see Oswald come into the building, didn't even recall his carrying a small package, let alone a large package, when he came inside. Consider that no one else saw Oswald with a package in the building. Consider that the paper bag purportedly used by Oswald to transport the rifle to work was made from materials found within the school book depository, and was apparently, due to the nature of the tape's being all torn from one piece and its being automatically moistened as it was pulled from the machine, made on the premises. Consider that, as the paper from which the bag was made was purported to match the paper roll in use in the depository on 11-22, and the paper rolls used lasted but a few days, the bag must have been made within a few days of the assassination. Consider that the only day Oswald went to Irving, where he reportedly picked up his rifle and sealed it in the bag, during the whole time the paper roll was in use, was the day before the assassination, 11-21. Consider that the company' s shipper, Troy West, testified that Oswald had never worked at his shipping table, and that people didn't just come up and use his shipping paper and tape, and that, besides, he was always at his shipping table, even during lunch. Consider that nobody else saw Oswald take paper or tape from the table on 11-21, or at any other time. Consider that Buell Wesley Frazier, who gave Oswald a ride home on 11-21, didn't notice a large paper package in Oswald's possession, or any stiffness in Oswald's movements to suggest he was hiding such a package under his shirt. Consider that Frazier's sister saw Oswald get out of Frazier's car when they arrived back in Irving, and similarly failed to notice anything strange about his appearance or behavior, that might suggest he was hiding a large paper bag in his shirt. Consider as well that Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine, two grown women living in a tiny house, failed to notice such a stiffness in Oswald's behavior when he came home from work, and failed to see the bag in the house or in the garage, at any time that night. Consider that there is no photograph of the bag where it was purportedly found near the sniper's nest...
And now consider that the bag removed from the building, and as photographed by the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times-Herald, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, appears to be far wider than the bag placed into evidence by the FBI (as shown on the slide above).
We interrupt this discussion to bring you a quick response to some annoying criticism.
First, yes, of course I know that the comparison above is not 100% precise. But that does not mean it is automatically suspect, or would be prohibited from being introduced into a court of law. Hard Evidence, a book written in 1995 with the cooperation of the FBI Crime Lab, notes that "Sometimes a bank robber's height can be established simply by putting a height marker precisely where he stood then photographing it with the same camera and doing an overlay." This is the methodology attempted in the comparison above, which opens my comparison to four legitimate criticisms: 1) that the photos are improperly sized, with both the "bag" and model in my re-enactment photo under-sized, in comparison to the press photo; 2) that the photos are properly sized, but that the angle and/or distance of the bag from the model in my re-enactment photo was inaccurately re-created, causing the bag to appear far smaller in my re-enactment; 3) that my choice of camera and camera lens was incorrect, and that this caused the "bag" to appear far smaller in my re-enactment; and 4) that the bag in the press photos was much closer to the camera than the "bag" in the re-enactment photo, to the extent that the apparent relationship between camera-bag-person holding the bag was altered.
Now, initially, no one even attempted a criticism along the last two lines. While Marquette Political Science Professor and avowed single-assassin theorist John McAdams claimed my comparisons were of no value unless I used the exact same camera and lens used to create the press photos, he refused to back this up by explaining why we should believe certain cameras using the same type lens could distort the apparent size of specific sections of an image by 25% or so in comparison to other cameras. No, the dozen or so single-assassin theorists to initially criticize this comparison did so along the first two lines, essentially sharing the same argument. They all claimed the difference in size between the bag in the press photo and the piece of cardboard in my hand on the slide above came either as a result of my improperly sizing the two photos or the bag in the press photo's slightly leaning toward the camera.
Well, this could be tested...by taking the opposite approach and making the bag in the news photo and the piece of cardboard in the re-enactment photo the exact same width...
That the bag's leaning to the camera caused its apparent width to be distorted in the press photo was further undermined, moreover, by my re-enactment of a second photo, in which the apparent lean was more closely replicated. When I approximated the apparent width of the paper bag in this press photo, moreover, it matched the apparent width of the bag in the first photo I'd re-enacted. The bag in the press photos appeared to be close to 11" wide, while the bag currently in the archives is less than 9.Still not convinced? Convinced that this re-enactment is improperly sized and/or that the bag in this photo is leaning slightly to the camera, causing a distortion in its appearance?Okay, you asked for it.
The Opposite Approach
Well, this looks pretty silly, doesn't it? While I'm 6'4" tall, I'm no giant. And Detective Montgomery was most certainly not a midget. This not only proves that the difference in bag width in my comparison did not come as a result of my simply mismatching the photos, but suggests that, in order for the piece of cardboard in the re-enactment photo to be the same width as the bag in the news photo, it would have to have been YARDS closer to the camera. This, then, also squelches the argument that the difference in width in my comparison came as a result of the bag's tilting a few inches to the camera in the news photo.
10 3/4, Not 8 1/2
The Opposite Approach 2
When one makes the width of the bag in this second photo match the width of the 8 1/2 inch piece of paper in my re-enactment shot, it becomes startlingly clear this bag was not 8 1/2 inches wide as purported. I am certainly not a giant in comparison to Detective Montgomery, so it follows that the width of the bag in the photo with him was far wider than an 8 1/2 inch wide piece of paper.Or does it?
Thank You, Craig!
In February, 2010, photographer Craig Lamson sent me a series of insulting emails, telling me the bag seen in the press photos was clearly the bag now in the archives, and that I couldn't photo-analyze my way out of a paper bag, etc. Not surprisingly, he claimed the different proportions of the bag in the press photos and my simulated bag were readily explained not by my inaccurately sizing the photos, as others had proposed, but by the photos having been taken from vastly different distances. He pointed out--not that it needed pointing--that as a camera gets closer to an object it distorts its appearance, both in relation to itself, with the part closest to the camera getting bigger and the part furthest from the camera smaller in comparison, and to other objects around it. While he refused to actually test the veracity of this explanation by recreating the press photos using an object the purported size of the paper bag in the archives, and a full-sized human being, Lamson did nevertheless send me links to photos he'd created demonstrating this distortion.
Well, this proved most surprising....seeing as the photos Lamson had taken to demonstrate this concept supported my position. The ruler in the photo he'd taken from across the room had nearly uniform proportions; its width varied little from its one inch mark to its twenty inch mark. As one section of the ruler was almost certainly inches closer to the camera than the other, this suggested that the lean of the ruler, and by extension, the lean of the bag in the press photos, a few inches one way or the other would have little effect on its apparent size.
As the camera grew closer to the ruler, however, the section closest to the camera grew wider in comparison to the rest of the ruler.
But not enough... Even with the camera at its closest to the ruler, the closest section of the ruler was nowhere near 25% or so wider than the parts of the ruler furthest from the camera.
This demonstrated beyond any doubt that the bag in the press photos leaning a bit this way or that would have little effect on its relative proportions in a photo taken from as far away as the press photos were taken, and would not distort the width of the bag in the press photos to near the amount necessary to explain the overly-wide appearance of the bag...
While Lamson and others might claim "But look at the monitor! The computer monitor shrinks about 20% in comparison to the ruler as you get closer to the ruler!" and think this explains the problem with the bag in the press photos, they ignore that this shrinkage is in height as well as width, and that the bag in the press photos appears to be the same height as the bag in the archives. They would also be ignoring that the closest of Lamson's photos showing such distortion was quite clearly taken from much closer to the ruler than the camera was to Montgomery in the first photo we studied, and that the ruler is almost certainly further from the monitor than the bag was from Montgomery.
I'm sorry. I just don't buy Lamson's sorry excuse. When re-enacting the first photo, above, the camera was approximately 14 feet away from the simulated bag, and I was at most a half a foot behind that. This means that the bag was about 1 and 1/28 its actual size in comparison to me. In order for the bag in the press photos to appear 25% wider than this bag, then, it means that the bag in the press photos would have to be about 1 and 8/28 its actual size in comparison to Det. Montgomery. (This, of course, assumes both that Montgomery was roughly my size, and that I matched our sizes on my comparison.) Since the bag held by Montgomery was at most 1 foot in front of him, moreover, it suggests (at least to me) that the camera would have to be around 3 and 1/2 feet from the bag before the bag could appear so distorted in comparison to Montgomery.
And that still wouldn't explain why only the width of the bag was distorted...
Thank You, Craig! 2
But this didn't stop Lamson from unleashing another assault on yours truly in October 2010. In his usual friendly manner, he now accused me of being "even more ignorant than a blockhead" and "a moron of the first order." To accompany this rant, he posted some photos he'd taken of a woman holding a ruler on the Education Forum, our usual field of battle. These photos are depicted above. As shown in Lamson's original image, at upper left, he has indeed shown that photos taken from different subject to camera distances, and with different lenses, may show a radically different physical relationship between the object closest to the camera, and those beyond.
This was never in dispute. What Lamson missed, once again, was that I never questioned whether or not the extra-wide appearance of the bag when compared to my re-enactment photos could be explained by the camera's being closer to the bag in the press photos than in my re-enactment. I questioned whether such a distortion of the image would affect the appearance of the width of the bag, and no other aspect of the photo. In Lamson's experiments he used radically different subject to camera distances, and radically different lenses, and was able to make the ruler appear 32% wider in comparison to his model, more than the 25% wider appearance of the bag in the press photo when compared to my re-enactment. But he also made the ruler appear far longer in comparison to his model, and distorted the appearance of the photo so that it was obvious different lenses had been used.
He had thereby failed to demonstrate that the extra-wide appearance of the bag in the press photo could be explained by the press photographers' using something other than the 50 mm lens used in my re-enactment photo, or by my being too far from the camera in the photo.
(FWIW, William Allen, the photographer of the photo which I'd originally "re-enacted," was contacted by the FBI in 1975, and asked about the "three tramps" photographs he'd taken a bit later on 11-22-63. He did more than answer their questions. He, in fact, provided them with both the camera he'd used on 11-22-63 and the lens he'd been using. It was a 50 mm lens.)
Thanks, But No Thanks
After reading my response to this last batch of photos, Lamson sent me another supportive email, in which he claimed: 1) that "my stupidity knows no bounds," 2) that I have once again "buried" my head up my "ass," 3) that I suffer from a "total lack of intellectual honesty," 4) that I am an "idiot," 5) that I am a "major league dumbass," and 6) that I am "stupid beyond belief." At the heart of his complaint is his strange belief that I think his use of different lenses in the photos above made the ruler actually get wider, and not just appear wider in comparison to his model, and that one can not measure something in a photo without knowing everything about the photo--the lens used, the camera to subject distance, etc--even to make an estimate on how things appear. To his thinking, it would be unscientific to claim that Shaquille O'Neill appears to be six or more inches taller than Charles Barkley simply because one saw a photo of the two of them standing side by side, because how do we know they were really side by side, etc. Fine. If that's what being scientific means, let him be scientific.
Meanwhile, I'll be right. The bag in the press photos is wider than the bag in the archives. If it was remotely conceivable that there was a logical explanation for the bag's appearing so much wider than the bag in the archives, after all, wouldn't some "expert" as full of piss and vinegar as Lamson have found it, and rubbed my face in it? I would think so. But no, instead of posting photos of people holding 8 1/2" wide bags that appear to be as wide as the bag in the press photos he has taken to posting 1) trick photos of inanimate objects taken from inches away, in which the rulers on each side of the object give different measurements (One of the rulers was slightly further from the camera than the other); 2) trick photos of photo lights in which the light in one photo appears to be much more narrow than the other even though they are the same light (It also appeared to be much more elliptical than the other, which proves the illusion was created in part by turning the light sharply from the camera...He'd also moved it 6 inches closer to the camera); and 3) photos of myself in which my face gets bigger in comparison to another picture of my face when the first one is moved closer to the camera and shot with a different lens (It gets both taller and wider; this once again supports my position that it would not simply get wider).
But that's just my layman's analysis, and my layman's response to his "expert" analysis.
Martin Lends a Hand
In November 2010, however, Martin Hinrichs, a 3D animator, entered the fray, and came down on my side of the dispute. He performed his own analysis of the bag, and confirmed that the bag in the press photos was wider than the 8 1/2 inch wide bag in the FBI photos. He did this by inserting objects he knew to be 7 1/2 inches or 19 cm in length--a DVD case and his hand--onto the bag in a second press photo taken by William Allen, under the presumption the bag was 8 1/2 inches wide. These proved to be grossly disproportionate in comparison to Montgomery's body.
Believe It or Not
It wasn't but a few days after Martin came down on my side, however, that Craig Lamson returned in a fury. He suddenly claimed he'd created a "proof of concept" photo in which his 8.5 inch simulated bag matched precisely the proportions of the bag in the Allen photo. He posted this photo on several different forums, along with the claim he'd "buried" mine and Martin's claims the bag in the press photos was wider than the bag in the archives.
Well, this, on the surface, was bizarre. You see, he'd taken his photo in a hallway with a stick figure, and a photo of my face on top. Although the "bags" matched, there was no indication the photos actually matched, as no human figures were shown in his photo. This, then led him to perform another re-enactment, in which he stood in the photo. This second photo, to some, appeared convincing. Some viewing our feud from a distance, including single-assassin theorist ringleader John McAdams, moreover, jumped in and declared Craig the winner. (Craig's "proof of concept" photos are shown on the slide above.)
But they were guilty of a rush to judgment.
If they'd really have thought about Craig's "proof of concept" photo, they'd have realized that it actually proved I was correct, and not Craig.
You see, in Craig's analysis, the bag in the Allen photo did not appear to be 8.5 inches wide when compared to Montgomery because, and only because, it was much closer to the camera than Montgomery. It appeared wider but not longer than the 8.5 inch-wide bag in the archives, moreover, because it was leaning toward the camera. In the specs provided by Craig, to be precise, Allen's camera was 5' 8" from Montgomery, and the bag leaned forward 25 degrees, starting out 8 inches from Montgomery at his waste and ending up 20 inches from him at the level of his eyes.
Well, I knew this was nonsense. It is readily apparent to anyone that the bag in the Allen photo is fairly vertical and not leaning 25 degrees forward to the camera. It is also apparent that the top of the bag, which, in Craig's analysis is only at the level of Montgomery's hat, is actually well above his hat. It is also quite clear that the top of the bag in the Allen photo is far more than the 44 inches away from Allen that Craig was now claiming. 44 inches is, after all, a mere lean and a reach away. When you look at the Allen photo do you believe the photographer could lean out and touch the bag? I don't. Not remotely.
When one looks at the other Allen photo (the one shown on the Most Definitely Not in the Bag slide above) this is even more clear. In this photo, taken from almost certainly the same location, and from the same distance from Montgomery, the bag is folded forward. This means it was, in Lamson's strange analysis, less than 44 inches from the camera, approximately three feet. Well, there is a man on the left side of this photo looking at the bag. This man appears to be in front of the bag, that is, between the bag and the camera. Scroll back up and look at this gentleman. Ask yourself...could William Allen, the man taking this photograph, reach out with his left hand and slap this man in the face? If your answer is no, then it's clear you agree that Lamson's recreation of the Allen photo is nonsense.
(For those still not so sure, Martin Hinrichs created a schematic view of Lamson's "proof of concept" photo shoot. It is presented on the slide above.)
Anyhow, I wasn't sure how to prove this. Craig was claiming that what seemed obvious was not, and that he had "proved" the bag was actually taken from less than 6 feet from Montgomery, and that the bag in the photo was actually the same size as the bag in the archives.
It then hit me that, IF the bag appeared to be wider than it was due to its proximity to the camera, as Craig had claimed, and that this had nothing to do with the lens beyond that the 24mm lens Craig claimed was used would allow Allen to take a wide angle shot from so close to Montgomery, that Montgomery would then also appear distorted in size when compared to objects in the background of the photo.
I looked back at the photo. To Montgomery's left is his partner, Marvin Johnson. He is clearly three feet or so further from the camera than Montgomery. Far to Johnson's left, moreover, there is a man coming down the steps with a cigarette in his mouth. This man, to my estimation, would have to be 9 feet or so away from Montgomery. And yet he is approximately 2/3 his size. Well, if Montgomery is 6 feet from the camera, and this man 15 (or even 13 if one is to grant that he is not directly behind Montgomery, but a bit forward and closer to the camera) then he SHOULD appear to be less than half Montgomery's size, and not 2/3 his size. For the man to appear 2/3 Montgomery's size, moreover, he would have to be about 9 feet from the camera, and not 13.
I pointed this out to Lamson, half-expecting him to claim I knew nothing of perspective. But no, to no doubt the utter horror of those thinking he'd proved me wrong, he AGREED with me, and claimed that the man REALLY IS only 9 feet from the camera.
To be precise, on 12-16-10, on the Education Forum, to my assertion the smoker would have to be about 9 feet from the camera for Lamson's claims to have merit, he responded:
Actually, for a 6 foot person to be shown 1/3 less tall that an 6 foot person 6 feet from the camera, he WOULD be 9 feet away from the camera. Thats HOW perspective works and it's exactly what we see in Allen. if we are talking abuot the guy smoking a cig. 6 feet from the camera is PERFECT fit for this guy. Amazing how it ALL fits, except for Pat Speers silly theory. (btw, it plots perfectly at 9 feet! LOL!) (Lamson's image claiming as much is on the slide above).
Yes, this would be laughable, if it was not so positively bizarre. I mean, look at the photo yourself. There is a newsman at the right edge of the photo (Dallas Times-Herald reporter Darwin Payne) who is clearly further from the camera than Montgomery, but closer than Johnson. This makes him, quite obviously, in Lamson's analysis, at least 8 feet from the camera, and a mere foot in front of the smoker (Dallas Times-Herald reporter Joe Sherman) behind him. Well, the newsman's right shoulder stretches almost a foot in the smoker's direction. If Lamson is to be believed, these two men are about to collide.
HOGWASH! Look down at the smoker's feet. They are much higher on the sidewalk than where the newsman's feet would have to be, should they be shown. If they were but a foot apart, as Lamson claims, they would be near the same level.
The Shadow Knows
AND MORE HOGWASH! While the Allen photo presented by Lamson at this point of our debate was mysteriously and conveniently dark, the shadow of the newsman's profile can be seen on the stomach of the smoker in better and lighter versions of the photo (such as the one found on the website of single-assassin theorist guru and key Lamson supporter, John McAdams). The Allen photo was presumably taken around 3:00 PM in the northern hemisphere in late November. (Although Montgomery claimed he left the depository around 2:30, a press photo discovered by John Hunt in the FBI files shows Montgomery's watch, and it reads 3:00.) In any event, the sun was undoubtedly getting low in the sky. There is no way the newsman's shadow would be that low on the smoker's body should he be but a foot or two away. This is further and perhaps better demonstrated, should one still have doubts, by the appearance of the smoker's shadow on the front wall of the school book depository building several yards away. If the shadow of the newsman's head should appear on the stomach of the smoking man a foot or two away, as claimed by Lamson, it makes no sense whatsoever that the shadow of the smoking man's head should appear at about the same level on a wall, several yards behind him. The sun is, after all, in but one place at a time.
Lamson's assertion the smoker was nine feet from the camera is wrong, and the two things he most loves to write about--perspective and shadow--PROVE IT BEYOND ANY DOUBT.
The Shadow Tells
Get ready for a surprise. In what was an unprecedented about-face, Lamson actually saw the error of his claim the smoker was 9 feet from Allen's camera, and admitted his mistake. He then posted an overhead view of the scene in which he now claimed the smoker was 11 feet from the camera.
When I pointed out that I thought this still placed the smoker too close to the reporter to explain the shadow of the reporter on the smoker's belly, and asked Lamson to post a side-view of the two, showing their respective shadows, Lamson posted the image on the slide above. Well, this was a bit baffling. While, on the overhead view, he'd placed the smoker 3 feet from the reporter, here, he not only placed him 4 feet from the reporter, he had the reporter's shadow landing on the smoker's chest instead of his belly. (Lamson explained this by claiming the dot on his overhead view represented the part of the smoker closest to the reporter and the camera--his right toe--and that the extra 12 inches reflected the distance to his torso. He failed to acknowledge that this meant the smoker was really, for comparison purposes, 12 feet from the camera, and not 11, and that this would make the smoker over 7 ft. tall.)
This led me to perform my own analysis of the shadow on the smoker. Using what Lamson and I both now accepted as the correct angle of the sun at 3:00 PM on 11-22-63--24 degrees below the horizontal--and actually studying the smoker to see where the shadow lay on his body, I was able to approximate the smoker as being over 5 ft. from the reporter, not the 4 ft. purported by Lamson in his clearly inaccurate analysis. This, of course, suggested as well that the smoker was yet another foot further from Allen's camera than acknowledged by Lamson. (One quick analysis at this point indicated that, should Allen have really been but 6 feet from Montgomery while taking the photo, as Lamson insisted must be true for the bag in the photo to be the size of the bag in the archives, that the smoker in the background of the photo would have to be nearly 8 ft. tall.)
It was then that I thought of the obvious. By the angle of the sun, Allen's shadow should be readily apparent on Montgomery. If Lamson was correct, it would be apparent on Montgomery's belly, around the same level as the reporter's shadow on the smoker. If it was any lower, well, then, Lamson was wrong. If it was far lower, well, then, Lamson was not only wrong, but we had absolute proof the photo was NOT taken from particularly close to Montgomery, and that the bag in the Allen photo's lack of similarity to the bag in the archives had nothing to do with the camera to subject distance of the photo, and can be taken as an indication that the bag had been altered, or switched altogether.
Well, no surprise, when I looked at the lightest version of the photo I could find (the FBI copy scanned and provided by John Hunt), it was clear Allen's shadow hit Montgomery around the level of his kneecap, approximately two feet lower than where it needed to be to support Lamson's analysis. While there was a certain amount of fudge in this analysis, seeing as neither Lamson nor myself knew Allen's exact height, his exact posture when he took his photo, and the exact distance to Montgomery's knee, the distance between where Lamson needed the shadow to be and where it actually was was more than sufficient to kill his argument dead, and demonstrate to all those with an interest that the extra-wide appearance of the bag in the press photos has no simple explanation. Allen's shadow, to be clear, showed the distance between himself and Montgomery to be about 9 feet, should they both be about 6 feet tall. This is more than 50% more than the 5 feet 8 inches pushed by Lamson as the only explanation for the bag's inconsistent appearance.
While Lamson subsequently argued that he had long noted the shadow on Montgomery's "pant leg" and had found it not the least bit of trouble, seeing as for all we knew Allen was a midget, etc, he'd have been much better off pulling back, IMO. For Allen to have been but 5 feet 8 inches from Montgomery and have his shadow barely reach the level of Montgomery's knee, as should seem obvious, he would have to have been about 5 feet tall at the moment of the shot. The average White American male was around 5 feet 9 inches tall in 1963. Less than 1 percent were less than five feet tall. Even if one should grant that Allen's shadow was higher than 24 inches up Montgomery's leg, or that Allen was bending over a bit, and that he could have been as tall as 5' 4", moreover, one still ends up in desperation land. You see, only 2 percent or so of white American males measured 5'4" or less in 1963.
Thank You, Robin
Of course, it wasn't long after Lamson made his claims about William Allen being, for all we knew, a midget, that someone--in this instance JFK assassination photo archivist Robin Unger--posted a few photos of Allen online. These revealed him to be...to no one's real surprise...average height.
(I would subsequently come to realize that when the FBI interviewed Allen in 1975 about the "tramps" photos, they'd also taken measurements in order to establish the height of his eye above the street. The report on Allen--found in section 179 of the JFK HQ file--reflects that "the height of his eye would probably have been between 5' 3 1/2" and 5' 7" above the floor." So, no, Allen was not a midget. And yes, Lamson was blowing smoke.)
At this point, I stopped writing about the bag. While battling with Lamson had forced me to refine and improve my arguments regarding the paper bag, and make it more than the usual "Well, this is what it looks like" kind of argument, his abusive and insulting behavior had become a total distraction, as I spent as much time wondering if he was just screwing with me as I did actually researching the case...
It was with some hesitation then that I finally decided, in 2012, to return to this topic and add another slide to this chapter.
Here it is...
Now I honestly think this slide proves my point beyond all discussion, etc. The folds on the bag in the archives are evenly spaced. It has been folded into four sections of almost identical size. The three unfolded sections of the bag in the Allen photo, however, represent two sections of almost identical size, and a much longer section at the bottom. If the bag was tilted to the camera as per Lamson, however, this bottom section should appear to be MUCH shorter than these sections.
The bag photographed outside the depository on 11-22-63 is of different proportions than the bag later photographed in the archives, and is quite possibly a different bag entirely.
I mean, really, it's not as if there's just one photo of the bag, which may show a bag wider than the bag in the archives.
Nope, there are actually six such photos...that I know of. In none of these photos does the bag appear to be 8 1/2 inches wide--the width of a standard piece of typing paper...the width of the bag in the archives.
When one looks at these photos as a group, moreover, one finds yet another reason to reject Lamson's claim the bag's appearance was distorted by a 25 degree forward lean in the Allen photo.
The first photo taken would appear to be one taken by Jack Beers, with the bag tilted slightly forward at the top but with no shadow on the front of the bag. The next photo would then be the Allen photo, with the bag stretched upward over Montgomery's head, but a slight shadow under the top fold of the bag. The next photo would then be a photo brought to my attention by Richard Gilbride. This photo appeared in an early book on the assassination, Destiny in Dallas, and is credited to Jack Beers. It is similar to the Allen photo, but it shows more shadow along this top fold, and on the bag in general. The next photo was brought to my attention by John Hunt, who found it in the FBI files. It shows the top of the bag still above Montgomery's head but in full crumple, with the shadow of the top of the bag stretching down the face of the bag to a point below the bottom fold. The next photo then would be a second photo taken by Allen (which I mistakenly long claimed was by Beers). This shows the bag fully folded over, but the shadow of the folded over part of the bag higher than the first fold on the face.
This then leaves us a final photo, one taken by George Smith of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. In this photo, Det. Montgomery is holding a folded-over bag with a strong forward tilt. Lamson presented this photo several times in our online debates as evidence supporting his claim the bag in the Allen photo was also tilted forward. What he missed, however, is what he should have noticed. The shadow on the face of the bag in this photo stretches much further down the bag than it does in the previous two photos. Well, this suggests in turn that the sharply forward lean of the bag demonstrated in this photo only came to be after the bag crumpled forward.
If you follow this line of thinking, well, then, this supports what we suspected all along--that the bag in the Allen photo is not leaning forward to any large degree...
If someone out there, however, still believes Lamson is correct and that the bags in the press and FBI photos were the same width then by all means go where he refuses to dwell and re-create the Allen photo with stand-ins for Montgomery, Johnson, the newsman, and the smoker, and an 8 1/2 inch wide, 38 inch long piece of paper or cardboard as a stand-in for the bag. Please prove myself, Martin Hinrichs, Jim DiEugenio, Richard Gilbride, and all the other researchers and writers supporting my analysis wrong.
As I'm incredibly tired of men such as Lamson and his fellow defender of all things "official" John McAdams ignoring the bulk of my research and referring to me as a "crackpot" photo analyst, I'd be glad to remove these paper bag comparisons from my website.
I mean, really, it's not as if the problem with the width is is the only evidence the bags are not the same...
The Tell-Tale Tape
You see, there's also the FBI photo of the bag before they coated it with silver nitrate (a chemical used to bring out fingerprints, which forever stains paper). This photograph is Exhibit 14 in Warren Commission Document CD 1, the FBI's 12-9-63 Summary Report on the assassination. Although the proportions of the bag in this photograph have been distorted by the photographer's taking this picture while the bag was laying flat on the floor before him, it is still suggestive that the bag in evidence is not the bag pulled from the building. The bag in the photograph has numerous pieces of paper tape along its right side. NO paper tape is visible anywhere on the front side of the bag in the news photos. There is also a piece of tape in the middle of the open end of the bag. No such piece of tape is visible in the news photos. The press photos do, on the other hand, show the paper by the open end of the bag to be badly crinkled. No such crinkling is apparent on the bag in the FBI exhibit. The bags in the photos, in fact, bear little resemblance to one another.
Unless the side of the bag seen in Exhibit 14 is the opposite side of the bag seen in the news photos, then, we have conclusive evidence the bags are not the same.
The Dark Side of The Bag
Well, scratch that. Exhibit 4 in the FBI's report of 12-9-63 is a photo of the bag when split. It shows both sides of the bag. One side which matches the side of the bag shown in Exhibit 14 (which most definitely does not match the side of the bag shown in the press photos) and one side which, although absent tape a la the bag in the press photos, also fails to match this bag. The proportions and characteristics are clearly not the same.
Well, this leaves us with two possibilities, short of official evidence tampering: 1) the FBI innocently changed the proportions and characteristics of the the bag, or 2) the bags really share proportions and characteristics but that I have pulled some sort of computer trick to alter the appearance of the bag in the news photos.
If you believe either of these two arguments, moreover, then, by all means, please step up to the plate and give us a reason to believe you.
Included at the end of this chapter will be an acknowledgment that the bag in the archives could be the bag pulled from the building, after being reconfigured, and an image showing why this seems possible.
This chapter is undergoing renovation. This chapter will discuss who found the bag, whose initials are on the bag, Sebastian Latona's lies about the bag, and Lt. Day's lies about the bag and cardboard piece.
What's Goin ' On?
No, scratch that, too. Before anyone convinced I am mistaken about the bag in the press photos' not looking like the one in the archives spends one precious second trying to prove me wrong, they should help straighten out some of the basic facts about the bag. Basic facts like...the actual location of the initials on the bag visible in Warren Commission Exhibit 632.
You see, I've studied both the bag in the press photos and the bag in the archives photos, and I can't figure out where these initials could be on the bag. Although the palm print depicted in the exhibit was purportedly near the closed end of the bag, none of the press photos showing the closed end of the bag, and none of the archives photos showing the closed end of the bag, show these initials.
My inability to figure out where these initials are on the bag, or even where the section of bag depicted in Exhibit 632 is on the bag, makes me wonder if the palm print depicted in Exhibit 632 was on either of these bags.
Let's see how this can be...
Perhaps the bag seen in the press photos was a bag found in the school book depository...that couldn't be linked to Oswald.
Perhaps a second piece of paper was found, which could be linked to Oswald...perhaps this was a piece of paper pulled from one of the orders he'd pulled on 11-22. Or perhaps it was a piece of paper Oswald touched at the police station.
Perhaps then Exhibit 632 is a close-up shot of this second piece of paper, and not of a bag.
If so, well, then the bag currently in the archives was a bag created after the shooting, most probably from paper removed from the building on 11-22. Such a bag would not only be smaller than the bag shown Buell Frazier on 11-22, and therefore easier to pass off as the bag Oswald brought to work, but it would match the characteristics of the paper used in the depository, and thereby make its use by anyone other than Oswald seem unlikely.
Or not. While I could be making a mountain out of a molehill, there's definitely some dirt here...
I mean, just look at this mess...
According to the report of the Dallas Detective who found the bag, L.D. Montgomery, the bag was initialed by Detectives Robert Studebaker, Marvin Johnson, and himself upon its discovery in the sniper's nest (24H314). All three of these men testified before the Warren Commission in Dallas on 4-6-64. So why weren't they shown the bag, and asked to verify their initials? Was it because the bag they'd signed had been switched with another bag?
And that their initials had been forged onto a different piece of paper entirely?
The Tell-Tale R?
It's certainly possible. When I looked at samples of Robert Studebaker's writing among the Warren Commission's exhibits, I was unable to find any samples in which his "R's" looked anything like the "R' in the initials apparent on Exhibit 632. I then started looking through the reports and memos signed by Studebaker in the Dallas JFK archives. This took awhile. In Box 9 Folder 4 File 31, however, I discovered one of the earliest memos on the evidence pulled from the school book depository. This was signed by Studebaker. It had an "R" quite similar to the "R" in Exhibit 632.
This "R" was not in Studebaker's signature, however, but in the body of the memo which was written by Studebaker's boss, Lt. J.C. Day.
I then looked through all the memos, reports, and evidence photos signed by Day. And hit what might just be a bullseye. The "11-22-63" on Exhibit 637 bears a striking resemblance to the "11-22-63" on Exhibit 632. Now, admittedly, this is not proof Day forged the initials of those actually finding the bag on a second bag made from paper removed from the school book depository, in order to better implicate Oswald. If the date on the bag was written by Day, it might mean only that Studebaker had failed to write the date on the bag upon its discovery in the sniper's nest, and that Day had placed the date by Studebaker's initials later that night.
And perhaps I'm being paranoid. Perhaps Studebaker's initials on the bag are in Studebaker's hand, after all.