Friday, November 06, 2009

Oswald Photo Genuine?

A computer scientist at Dartmouth College says the iconic photograph of alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is genuine, and not a composite as has been thought for years.

The photograph, of Oswald holding a rifle and Communist newspapers in the backyard, would have been nearly impossible to fake, according to Professor Hany Farid, director of the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth.

The biggest bone of contention about the photograph has been the shadows. Many people claimed the shadow under Oswald's nose and the long shadow falling behind him point to two distinct light sources. The conclusion has been that the head was taken from one photo and composited onto the body of another.

Using forensic modeling software, Professor Farid says he's convinced both shadows were created by a single light source and that the photo is genuine.

According to Farid:
"You can never really prove an image is real, but the evidence that people have pointed to that the photo is fake is incorrect," Farid said. "As an academic and a scientist, I don't like to say it's absolutely authentic ... but it's extremely unlikely to have been a fake."
Oswald himself claimed the photo was a fake.

Dartmouth has posted an interesting video of Professor Farid explaining his findings.

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