Internet Newsgroup readers may have noticed an ongoing debate between myself and Jim Hargrove who is the "Internet voice" for researcher John Armstrong. Recently, the Armstrong camp (which consists primarily of Armstrong, Hargrove, Jack White and to a lesser degree Art Swanson) has stepped up their efforts to discredit me in the wake of the publication in the Kennedy Assassination Chronicles of two of my articles. My approach from the beginning has always been that in a theory as complex as the one Armstrong has presented, there must be parts of it that are demonstrably false as shown by the official record. For those that are new to the debate, here are just a few of the reasons Armstrong is wrong.1. HSCA Fingerprint and Photo Analysis.
The HSCA had some of the top experts in the country take a look at handwriting, fingerprints, and photographs in an effort to debunk "two Oswald" theories in general. It should be noted of course that Armstrong's theory did not exist at that time since he did not begin to study JFK until the early 90's.
The October 15, 1956 induction of "Lee" Oswald creates a huge problem for the Armstrong team. On that day "Lee" was fingerprinted and assigned serial number 1653230. In December of the same year he was photographed (popularly known as the 13-inch head photo which BTW also has been debunked) with his serial number displayed at the bottom of the picture. These two records disprove the Armstrong theory since the HSCA matched the fingerprints from October 1956 to prints taken of LHO in custody in Dallas and New Orleans in 1963. The problem is, those are supposed to be the prints of "Harvey" Oswald. Similarly, the December photo is said to be that of "Lee" while the HSCA photo panel proved using morphological data that it matched photos of "Harvey".2. HSCA Handwriting Analysis
One of the most powerful arguments for rebutting the Armstrong theory is made by the HSCA handwriting analysis. The HSCA panel examined 63 handwriting samples when conducting their study. I reasoned that by classifying these samples as "Harvey" and "Lee" I could check for any discrepancies. I was surprised to find many such discrepancies and I selected six samples (three of each man) as the basis for my article "The Handwriting is on the Wall". The bottom line is that the same individual wrote many of the samples that should be either "Harvey" or "Lee". See the current issue of the KAC or my website for more information.
So it seems that unknown to them, the HSCA was laying the groundwork for a complete debunking of Armstrong's theory some 15 years before it even existed!3. Oswald Exhumation.
In 1981, the body of LHO was exhumed in order to disprove the theory of Michael Eddowes whose book, The Oswald File, postulated a Soviet look-alike was buried in the LHO grave. The body was positively identified primarily by dental records as that of Oswald. That killed Eddowes' theory but interestingly once again Armstrong's theory was defeated by an event that predated it.
Although the Norton team's primary charge was the use of dental records, they could not help but notice the obvious presence of a mastoidectomy defect on the left side of the head that corresponded with the one LHO was known to have. The team noted the defect in their report and also photographed it for the record. The problem for Armstrong is that the body Norton looked at was supposed to be "Harvey" while it was "Lee" who had the mastoid operation. So once again the Armstrong theory is shown to be wrong and totally disproved. For information about the exhumation and a debunking of the allegations of Paul Groody (who postulated a head-switch in the documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy) see the articles section of this site.
These three areas provide substantial proof that the theory of John Armstrong is on shaky ground. I am sure all researchers appreciate the time and effort that Mr. Armstrong had expended in his efforts and he has uncovered some interesting documentation. However, his theory of two men leading separate but parallel lives is demonstrably incorrect.
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