jack white
Home page

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 Kennedy.

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 of photographs.

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 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.

Such as?

See the photo analysis page for some specific examples.

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 same size.

Jack White sometimes alters photographs, creating "anomalies" which he then argues proves the photos were faked.

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 different missions.

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 are they?

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.

Prev Next