Evolution of the
A substantial amount of
work by unknown persons went into developing what ultimately became the
1959 "defection" photo of "Lee Harvey Oswald" that was published in the
Nov. 1, 1959 edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
|Poor quality image of Lee Oswald
in Japan, probably taken by
George "Hans" Wilkens
|Here, a better verison of the photo
retouched to eliminate background from
now has added lines
and apparent facial altering
|This washed-out photo of Lee Oswald was
published by the Fort
Worth Star-Telegram when Harvey Oswald "defected." It resembles
the original "Hans" Wilkens photo above, but with the background
removed and some facial features altered.
photo above was purchased by the author from AP/World
Wide Photos. The typed label to the left indicates: "This is a
retransmission of FW1 of Nov. 1 to provide better copy."
Associated Press/Wide World Photos
This evidence of photo manipulation
begs the obvious questions: Who did it and for what
purpose? Who managed to get the odd version of the
original photo placed in the Fort Worth newspaper?
Few individuals in the days before computers became commonplace had the
skills to make such alterations, or in this case the motivation to do
so. A newspaper or wire service would have access to people with
the required photo retouching and alteration abilities, but it is
difficult to imagine why such an organization would have any interest
in making these odd modifications. An intelligence agency, on the
other hand, intent on creating a fog of public perception around an
undercover agent being sent to the Soviet Union on assignment, would
have every reason--and certainly the ability--to make these strange
alterations. In the years since the Kennedy assassination, it has
also been learned that the CIA had numerous "elite media assets" placed
with many U.S. print and electronic media news organizations.
Many of these assets would have had the ability to to slip the odd
"defection" photograph into the public record.