Over the 500 posts that I exchanged with those who post most often on the DPF, I found only a handful who displayed even a glimmer of intelligence. One of them (whom I shall spare from embarrassment by not actually identifying by name), for example, responded to a study by Richard Hooke that demonstrated 27 points of agreement between Doorman and Oswald by contending that he could find any number of points of identity between two shirts provided only they were not of different colors. When I pointed out these were not literal points but actually features (such as the lapel, the button loop, and such), he insisted that, if they differed in even one feature, then we were wrong!
Part of the problem with that post–which he may have removed–is that there were differences in color between the shirts, since Lovelady went to the FBI on 29 February 1964 and told them he had been wearing a red-and-white vertically striped short-sleeved shirt, which bears no resemblance to the richly textured, long-sleeved shirt that Doorman was wearing in the Altgens6, where the claim has been made that Billy was actually wearing a red-and-black checkered shirt, which similarly bears only a slight resemblance to the shirt that Doorman was wearing:
Since their physical shapes and especially their facial profiles are strikingly different–where the man in the checkered shirt probably weighs 20 lbs more than Lovelady and, compared with his rather normal profile, has the face of a gorilla, I was astonished at how many members of the DPF insisted that they were one and the same. This isn’t rocket science, but I was astonished at the mediocre caliber of reasoning there.
Insofar as we are dealing with a photograph that has been subjected to extensive and subtle alteration, of course, it would be remarkable if there were not some differences between the shirt in the altered photograph and the shirt that Oswald was wearing at the time of his arrest. I could tell he had a tenuous grasp of the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning, so I sought to explain how to think about this:
Your blunders are massive, but none as striking as taking for granted that we are talking about ABSOLUTE IDENTITIES when we are talking about relative probabilities. Since we know the photo has been faked (because of the obfuscated man, the missing shoulder, the BTM in front of and behind Doorman at the same time, and the profile of the black man), it would be RIDICULOUS to suppose that the shirt on Doorman and the shirt on Oswald SHOULD MATCH IN EVERY RESPECT when they are altering the photograph to conceal his identity. What is remarkable is that we have been able to establish 27 points of identity–50, if you review the more recent and detailed comparison–where numerous dissimilarities to not affect the pattern of commonality. We are comparing the probabilities (likelihoods, technically) of two hypothesis, Doorman as Oswald vs. Doorman as Lovelady:
(h1) If Doorman is Oswald, what is the probability that they would share the same right ear, the same left eye, and the large number of other features of their clothing and build, which, given the number, turns out to be extremely high approaching one.
(h2) If Doorman is Lovelady, what is the probability that he would have Oswald’s right ear, Oswald’s left eye, and such, and that Lovelady would repeatedly deny that he was wearing Doorman’s shirt to the FBI and others, which approaches zero.
You appear to be constrained by deductive reasoning, where you seem to think that (h1) can be refuted BY EVEN ONE POINT OF DISSIMILARITY. But that is ridiculous, under the circumstances, since many changes have been made to these images, which you appear to be incapable of confronting. When the proof that the photo has been “fixed” is overwhelming (given the face that has been obfuscated, the shoulder that is missing, BTM being in front of and behind Doorman at the same time, and the black man’s profile), why do you adopt an attitude OF INSISTING UPON A PERFECT MATCH that is indefensible and completely unreasonable under the circumstances? I began thinking you were a smart guy, but you are persisting in promoting falsehoods and blunders, which has convinced me you are either unfamiliar with the evidence, cognitively impaired, or wholly insincere.
The bottom line is that it is the pattern of similarity that matters rather than every single point. Another member was adamant that we were misleading the research community and was wildly praised by Charles Drago even though, when I asked her if she had read any of our studies, she replied, “No”
. Indeed, that was the attitude that prevailed on this forum. Their minds were made up and it was unnecessary for them to study the evidence!
Even when I pointed out that one of the most brilliant of the early critics, Harold Weisberg, Whitewash II
(1966), had explained the chicanery taking place to conceal that Oswald had been standing in the doorway and not Lovelady, they paid no attention at all. But the problems that I had were not simply with the dimmer bulbs on that forum but even with the brightest among them.
The Case of Gregory Burnham
One of the most active members of the DPF during the period following my posting,“JFK believe it or not: Oswald wasn’t even a shooter!”
, was an old friend of mine, who lives in San Diego, by the name of Gregory Burnham. He and I became acquainted long ago though an earlier forum, jfkresearch.com, which was managed by Rich DellaRosa, where Greg (nicknamed “Monk”) served as the “Sergeant at Arms” in dealing with controversies on the forum, especially when members engaged in “flame wars” and indulged in their propensity for ad hominem
It may be worth noting that, when Rich died a few years ago, I arranged for his archives to be maintained at another forum, which was the DPF, where they can be found to this day
. More important than our generally cordial relations in the past, however, is that Monk and I go way back. We participated in a JFK presentation at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, CA, where Noel Twyman, David W. Mantik, Monk and I spoke, which was the last time I was with Bob Livingston before his death in 2002. I have long regarded Monk as a friend of mine.
The tensions that emerged on the forum, where he became a caustic critic, therefore, deserve a few words of explanation. During an earlier exchange about this very issue, Monk asked his wife, Julie, to look at the Altgens6 and tell him if she saw anything odd about it. She did and did not. I thought that that was highly inappropriate, since Julie had no background or appreciation of the issues. Monk thought that was a virtue, while I thought it was a mistake. He hasn’t forgiven me. In any case, I posed nine questions to him as perhaps the forum’s most intelligent member:
Yesterday 10:26 PM #506
Originally Posted by James H. Fetzer
So I guess you think no one will notice that you have not responded to my questions from post #472? What’s wrong with you? They are simple questions:
Ok, I’ll play along.
Given this Groden copy, please affirm or deny the following questions:
(1) the face of a man in the Altgens6 has been obfuscated: YES or NO
Unknown. I cannot tell. Perhaps? Yes. But, perhaps no, just as well. It is entirely inconclusive in my view. Therefore, I will not commit to a Yes or No answer. Jim, if I answered “yes or no” either one would be dishonest! Unless what you are calling “the obfuscated face” is what I already identified as the ELBOW pointing directly at the camera? If that is the case, then I change my answer to NO.
“Unknown”! Surely you jest. The face I am talking about is circled above in
orange. Is it missing or not? I am asking a simple question: Is it missing?
(2) the shoulder of Doorman is missing, completely gone: YES or NO
Well then, WHERE IS HIS SHOULDER?
(3) the Black Tie Man is both in front of and behind him: YES or NO
But the anomalous shoulder is at once missing and overlapped by the man with the black tie, who is ostensibly standing behind him. I once thought that he had a towel draped over his shoulder. But it is the Black Tie Man who is behind him BUT ALSO IN FRONT OF HIM AT THE SAME TIME. Just for the record, you can’t see that?
Apparently, Gregory Burnham is ignorant of human anatomy, because there can be no serious doubt that, for anyone with a clavicle, this position is anatomically impossible, where, in my opinion, none of those who have disputed our discoveries has ever actually succeeded in showing we have anything wrong–certainly not Burnham:
What could be a more stunning proof of the alteration of Altgens6 than that the most important figure is standing in a position that would be anatomically impossible unless he were missing one of his skeleton’s most important bones? Yet Gregory Burnham is here with a straight face telling us that he cannot tell if the shoulder is missing.
(4) the profile of a black man appears around mid-torso: YES or NO
YES. The man appears to be on a lower step than Doorman.
So you think it is reasonable for a black man to be looking straight across the doorway when the motorcade is passing by than to be looking at Jack and Jackie like the others who are in that vicinity with him? That’s really quite implausible. I will check with Ralph as to whether your conjecture about a lower step was even possible.
Based upon your knowledge of the Fritz notes from his interrogation:
(5) Lee told Fritz he was “out with Bill Shelley in front”: YES or NO
YES. However, the notes are not well taken–the timeline is not established.
Why do you say that? If this is not in response to the question, “Where were you during the shooting?”, Will Fritz must have not asked the most important question he could ask. Given your experience with law enforcement, is that a reasonable assumption? Why are you being so very evasive about such an obvious question and answer?
Based upon your knowledge of the FBI document and photographs:
(6) Billy told the FBI he was wearing a different shirt: YES or NO
Not prior to his showing up at their request. However, the shirt he wore when he met them was, according to him, different than what he wore 11/22/1963.
He said that he didn’t know they wanted him to wear the same shirt–or something to that effect. I have no way of knowing if that is true or false.
Why are you playing games? We have the photographs the FBI took at the time and the formal report that they submitted to FBI Headquarters. It clearly states that he said the shirt he was wearing–which the photographed–was the same shirt he had been wearing on 22 November 1963. Is that something that you do not understand?
(7) Billy showed the FBI the shirt he had been wearing: YES or NO
Nice trick question counselor. I’ve been an expert witness so that won’t work with me. I do not know if the shirt he showed the FBI was or was not the same shirt he wore on 11/22/1963. He claims that it was NOT. Therefore, if we believe him, the red-and-white, vertically striped shirt that he showed the FBI was NOT the shirt he wore on 11/22/1963.
Well, he told the FBI on 29 February 1964 that he had been wearing a red-and-white vertically striped shirt and blue jeans on the day of the assassination. He may well have been pressured to change his testimony later on, but at the time–on this occasion–he told the FBI he was wearing a red-and-white vertically striped shirt as reported.
(8) It was a red-and-white, vertically striped shirt: YES or NO
I don’t know. If we believe him, he apparently wore a different shirt for the FBI than what he wore 11/22/1963.
Since these are the photographs taken by the FBI–where the one on the left appears to have been Oswaldified (by imposing features of Oswald), just as Doorman appears to have been Loveladyfied (by imposing features of Lovelady), there really can’t be any doubt about the shirt, can there? I don’t understand all of these evasions.
(9) It is not the shirt that Doorman is wearing: YES or NO
I do not know. The image is too obscure for me to be sure. However, I do not think that striped shirt is the same shirt. But, then again, neither did Billy Lovelady think it was the same shirt.
I am asking whether the shirt shown in these FBI photographs of Billy Lovelady taken on 2 March 1964 is the same shirt on Doorman in the photographs above. This is not a trick question, but you are being very evasive when I am asking a very simple question. Is this shirt the same as the shirt seen on Doorman in the Altgens6?
You aren’t leaving a lot of latitude for choice about your conduct here. Either you are unwilling to admit you are wrong or you are completely incompetent.
I am glad that Jack and Rich are not alive to see what’s happening to you.
That’s silly. They would be on my side. You are the embarrassment, not I. Your evasions about even these simple questions demonstrates (conclusively, in my mind) that you are not an honest researcher and that you will go to any lengths (including lying) to evade acknowledging you are wrong and that we are right even about basics.
I pursued a few of these points with Ralph Cinque, who had recently done a reenactment of the Altgens6
. Ralph confirmed that the black man whose profile appears at mid-torso had presumably been standing on a lower step, but that Doorman’s sleeve-cuff appears to be wrapped IN FRONT of his neck, which is impossible because Doorman was standing further back. In relation to Burnham’s uncertaintly about the time at which Lee had said he was “out with Bill Shelley in front”, he must have meant DURING the shooting, insofar as Shelley and Lovelady left and headed toward the Triple Underpass immediately after–before Baker and Truly confronted Oswald in the lunchroom, since they looked back and saw them from a distance. When they returned, moreover, they entered the building through the back door and were there long past the time that Lee departed for his rooming house.
I cannot begin to convey my distress over his responses to questions with answers that are obvious. In relation to (9), for example, how can a short-sleeved shirt be confounded with a long-sleeved shirt? He subsequently posted, “I submit that the questions asked in post #495 — . . . — as poorly constructed as they are, can not possibly have been authored by my formerly brilliant friend, James Fetzer, Ph.D. because he is much too bright to make such elementary errors in reasoning.” But I was not making any “errors in reasoning”, elementary or not. It pained me to have to explain to him, “No, I made them very simple so your lies would be all the more conspicuous . . .” But perhaps because of our previous conflict, he simply couldn’t bring himself to say the true.
What does it mean?
Not only have even the smartest members of the DPF been in denial and refused to acknowledge even the most obvious features of the photo but they have refused to study the evidence presented in seven different articles, including “JFK Special: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”
(with Ralph Cinque), “JFK Special 2 : Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”
(with Ralph Cinque and Clare Kuehn), “JFK Special 3: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”
(with Ralph Cinque), “JFK Special 4: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”
(with Richard Hooke), “JFK Special 5: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”
(with Ralph Cinqe), “JFK Believe it or not: Oswald wasn’t even a shooter!”
(with Richard Hooke), and (most recently) “49 years in the offing: The Altgens Reenactment”
(with Ralph Cinque).
Since I am among the only professional scholars to be involved in JFK research (apart from Peter Dale Scott, who was Professor of English) and spent 35 years offering course in logic, critical thinking and scientific reasoning, I have been dumbfounded at the resistance to multiple lines of proof that converge in the conclusion that Oswald was Doorman. One of the most important indications that an hypothesis is true, moreover, is that, the deeper you dig and the more evidence you acquire (in the form of observations, measurements and experiments), the stronger the case becomes. If we were mistaken, surely proof that we were wrong would have emerged by now. But not only has that not been the case, but even the most blatant forms of deceit and deception predominate at web sites like the Deep Politics Forum.
Among the posts with which the thread concluded, I was struck by the vicious assault launched by Seamus Coogan
, an ally of Lisa Pease and Jim DiEugenio, who has gone so far as to contend that, in relation to Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” program about JFK–which I regard as the best one-hour documentary ever produced about his death–I had not only assisted in replicating the shooting scenario using stationary targets–where Jesse is a far better marksman and was using a superior Mannlicher-Carcan, but could not come close to matching the feat attributed to “the lone gunman”–claimed that I had also played the role of “Ron”, a man in a wheel chair, who was filmed sharing confidential info with Jesse about the assassination. That’s just pitiful but what we can expect from fakes posing as “JFK researchers”.
Seamus also maintains that my observation that Harold Weisberg, Whitewash II
(1966), was on our side is wrong “because he died in 2002”, as though that affected the conclusions that he drew in his book–which are on “our side”. He claims that Weisberg “dropped the Lovelady angle altogether in his later years”, when he reiterates his position in his Photographic Whitewash
(1967 and 1976). How many times does he have to assert his position to satisfy Coogan? He also reiterates nonsense about Part 9 of “The Men Who Killed Kennedy”
, which examines Madeleine Duncan Brown’s account of the ratification meeting that occurred at the home of Clint Murchison, Sr., the night before the assassination, where J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, and John J. McCoy were present, while LBJ showed up late, as reporting it but not confirming it.
As anyone who has seen “The Guilty Men”
can attest, it goes much farther by locating the chauffeur who drove J. Edgar Hoover to the meeting and the chef who prepared the hors d’oeuvres
Lyndon’s role has also surfaced in a new discussion of the assassination
, which is far more civilized and rational that what I have found at the DPF. That Seamus has been there badgering me comes as no surprise, given my past encounters with Jim DiEugenio. In “RFK: Outing the CIA at the Ambassador”
, for example, I discovered he was engaging in apologetics for shoddy research that undermined efforts to establish the role of David Sanchez Morales in Los Angeles. In “Mary’s Mosaic: A litmus test for JFK research integrity”
(with Peter Janney), I rebutted Lisa Pease’s effort to undermine one of the most brilliant studies tying together the death of JFK with that of Mary Meyer and the role of the CIA in both. While some readers may think I have been unkind to suggest that the reason our research was vehemently rejected at the DPF and I was banned–a decision that was driven by Charles Drago
–is because of their lack of intelligence, consider the alternative. I have been magnanimous, because, when the proof is so clear and compelling, as in this instance, those who reject it must be either cognitively impaired or complicit in the cover-up themselves. Those are the only alternatives.
Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth and an editor for Veterans Today. [NOTE: This is one in a series of articles being republished since veterans today.com deleted them in a dispute with its Senior Editor, Gordon Duff, about which I have since written several articles.]