Wednesday, September 5, 2012

THE Fake Photos of History

Yes, it happens.
You've heard of things being forged over the years (documents, signatures, etc.), but are you aware of the prevalence of photograph tampering that has pervaded history?

This whole post was partially inspired by a conversation I was having with Vicky (AKA Torie, AKA my England-dwelling best friend, AKA my partner in history crime) about the morons out there crooning "RIP Neil Armstrong" accompanied with that recognized photograph of a man on the moon.  Only problem? That ain't Neil--he took the photo, but the subject in it is actually Buzz Aldrin.

This post was otherwise inspired by some research I have been doing on the infamous "portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald", which was a false government creation intended to validate Oswald as the lone assassin of Jack Kennedy.
Although this is one of the best known images that has come under question, there are hundreds of famous photographs that have been confirmed as falsified. And they may surprise you!

 This likeness of Abraham Lincoln is pretty well known.  But his face was placed over an image of Calhoun's body!
This one is a pretty masterful composite.  There are very few images of Civil War General Ulysses Grant "in action" or "in the field"---they are mainly upper body portraiture.
As you can see here, this image on the left was made from bits and pieces of 3 other images.  Only the face of Grant (taken from the image on the right) was used in the final photograph.

This you may have heard of:
That nut job Stalin commonly airbrushed his enemies or former friends out of images.
It was all part of his knack of making people "disappear."
Someone could be a close friend of him for years, and featured in photographs with Stalin, but if he upset the sensitivities of dear Joseph, he would be murdered, his body never to be found, and all images of him erased.

Chairman Mao took a leaf out of Stalin's book and did the same thing.

Can you imagine getting on the bad side of either of these men?! It would be as though you never existed, and all evidence to the contrary could be accordingly altered.  Yikes.
Oh, and Mr. Hitler did this a time or two himself.

This one always cracks me up!
It is an inspiring portrait of Mussolini, saber drawn on horseback, him clearly in control of all.
Good thing he had the horse handler airbrushed out of the image! It certainly would have made him look foolish; how can a Fascist lead a country if he can't control a horse?

Even this definitive image of the Kent State Shootings was slightly altered.  Although it is very candid and seems raw and original, a fencepost was removed above Mary Ann Vecchio's head because it was considered distracting from the subject itself.  This image ended up on the cover of Life.

Look how Time altered OJ Simpson's mug shot to make him appear darker and more menacing?
This is fascinating considering the racial implications of his trial.

Have you heard of the Luxor Massacre? In 1997 an Islamic terrorist group slaughtered nearly 60 people an an Egyptian historical site. As you see here, a tabloid altered a puddle of water to look like blood flowing from the attack, no doubt to be shocking and sell more magazines.

There are even more instances of this, but I'm going to turn back to the Oswald fake now.

This image is still controversial.
I own a copy of the original Life magazine where this image made the cover 3 months after JFK's death.
After the assassination, Oswald's house was raided (by government officials of course), who claimed that they found this photo among his things.
In the image, Oswald is conveniently holding objects that the government used to define him as a communist lone nut and explain why he killed the president.
He is posed holding Marxist newspapers, the rifle that killed Kennedy, and at his hip the pistol that killed Officer Tippit.
Convenient, right?
Especially considering that if Oswald really did do everything the Warren Report says, he did not anticipate shooting Officer Tippit.  Yet here he is in this perfect image, a Marxist criminal holding evidence of why he wants to kill the American president during the Cold War, and the weapons both with which he will do it and use to escape. Coincidence?

There are dozens of professional publications available on the subject, so I won't go into too much detail. Please just note the strange flat chin seen here on Oswald (like his head has been placed on another body--he actually had a clearly cleft chin), the discrepancy between the shadows, the hands holding the newspapers don't have fingernails, and that the pose itself (one shoulder slumping like that, the strange stance of the feet) looks so odd. They have tried in vain to recreate this pose and no one has yet been able to.  And look at the mug shot of Oswald--notice that his neck is not nearly as large as it looks here.

Also, the clothing seen here, and the wristwatch the subject is wearing, were never found in Oswald's home.  Keep in mind this guy didn't have much money and wouldn't take a photograph in an outfit and then throw it out.  Or a watch as nice as that.

And most obvious of all, the gun.  Though it is difficult to see here, the end of the scope is missing (like it was accidentally cut out).
And the rifle is way too big for his body.
This aspect is what clearly characterizes this photo as a fake, in my eyes, something constructed by the government to cover up a conspiracy.
The rifle Oswald supposedly ordered was 36 inches. The rifle in the National Archives is 40 inches.  Hm...
The Warren Commission tried to cover this up by releasing a supposed ad of the rifle Oswald ordered, and in the ad stating that the rifle is 40 inches, consistent with this image of Oswald that they released earlier.
Oswald denied that these photographs were of him.  Just like he denied the assassination.
If he is such an insane Marxist, posing with lethal weapons in his backyard, that apparently killed America's Commander in Chief, wouldn't he be proud?

And a Dallas cop that is widely believed to have been involved in a cover up had an original of this photograph in his home, which was discovered when he died.

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