Fig. 1 - Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of
President John F. Kennedy, poses with his rifle. Jack White
testified before Congress that this photo was forged.
Jack White first made a name for
himself by trying to show that the famous photographs (e.g., Fig. 1)
of accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle in his
back yard had been falsified. Claiming, among other things, that he
had found discrepancies between the measurements of that rifle taken
from the photo, and other photographs of the rifle recovered from the
Texas School Book Depository, White maintained that Oswald was holding
a different rifle than the one believed to be used to shoot President
Unfortunately under examination
before the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations White's
evidence completely fell apart. He demonstrated almost no
understanding of the mathematical and geometrical principles of photogrammetry. He admitted to
having received no training in photogrammetry or the forensic analysis
His embarrassment before Congress did not stop White from
continuing his research on the Kennedy assassination, although his
findings remain questionable. Some researchers into Kennedy's
assassination consider White something of a crackpot.
Does this have anything
to do with Apollo?
Directly, no. We are not interested in examining the Kennedy
assassination or supporting or refuting any specific points of view
that relate to it. However, Jack White's skill, methodology, and
training in photographic interpretation are relevant to his recent
study of the Apollo photographs. The best evidence of that skill,
methodology, and training are his own statements given under oath, and
the reactions of those who heard those statements.
Jack White and his associates initially entertained private
Apollo-related discussions in a web site at JFKResearch.com
where they discussed their ongoing Kennedy research. Since late 2000
White has turned his attention increasingly to Apollo photographs. He
believes he has evidence that they were falsified. He published that
evidence at JFKResearch privately, then publicly at the Education Forum and at Aulis.
White's approach to Apollo photography is especially clumsy.
While we are not Kennedy assassination experts, we are Apollo
experts, and his assertions regarding the Apollo photographs are
frequently absurd. In many cases White demonstrates he doesn't
understand what various Apollo equipment is or what it's used for.
And in a few cases he has edited and composed the photos in a way that
creates "anomalies" that weren't there otherwise.
See the photo analysis page for some
For example, White cropped and resized
two photos of the same lunar mountain in order to argue that the
mountain "changed size" between the two photos, suggesting the same
studio backdrop was used in two different occasions. In fact, when
the unaltered photos are examined the mountain is proportionally the
Jack White sometimes alters photographs, creating
"anomalies" which he then argues proves the photos were
It is very difficult to follow White's research because he
habitually "forgets" to include the standard Apollo photo reference
numbers, forcing critics to search through thousands of photographs to
find the source image and make sure he hasn't left out something
important, or that he's not trying to compare photographs from two
Where can I talk to Jack
White about his Apollo theories?
He has been most active lately at the Education Forum. In general White refuses to discuss
his theories except within the carefully controlled environment of web
sites and other forums in which some moderator protects his interests.
White is fond of calling his critics "agents provocateurs," and of
construing any questions regarding his expertise or skill as "personal
attacks," all the while refusing to answer material questions
regarding his claims.
White's "studies" (i.e., attempts to determine the authenticity of
Apollo photographs) are online at the Aulis web site, but no discussion is allowed there.
So Jack White admitted
he isn't a scientist or a physicist, and that he wasn't able to
account for perspective effects in his JFK analysis. So much for what
he isn't. He must have some professional qualifications. What
He holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism with a minor in
history from the Texas Christian University. (Proceedings of the
House Select Committee on Assassinations vol. 2, p. 322.)
We concede that White's work with Witherspoon and Associates
establishes he is an expert in photographic compositing and
duplication. But we hasten to emphasize that these are not the same
skills required to reliably characterize objects that appear in
photographs, and their relationship to each other and to the camera.
White's demonstrated skills may aid in the detection of forgery based
on artifacts of photographic composition. But we dispute his
expertise at identifying forged photographs on such grounds as
lighting, parallax, perspective, and photogrammetry.
White's allegations regarding Apollo photography do not correspond
to his demonstrated area of expertise. They instead tend to derive
from photogrammetric analysis, shadow analysis, and perspective
analysis -- topics White admits are not within his expertise.
So why does anybody pay
any attention to Jack White?
That's a good question. Someone who is so frequently wrong should
not normally enjoy credibility. However, because White's
embarrassment was handed to him by elected representatives of the
U.S. government, White has acquired a sort of folk hero status with
the anti-government conspiracy theorists. They apparently see him as
a sort of "little guy" who was inappropriately squashed by the Goliath
of the United States Congress, and who bravely continues the fight.
Except that Congress properly rejected his testimony. Other
experts whose credentials are not in question testified that White's
analysis of the Oswald backyard photos is wrong and did not consider
factors White would have probably understood had he been properly
trained. It's hard to argue that White was being "suppressed" when he
himself admitted he didn't have the appropriate knowledge.