Mr. MCNALLY. I do.
Ms. BRADY. For the record, would you please state your full name?
Mr. McNALLY. Joseph F. McNally.
Ms. BRADY. Mr. McNally, who were the other members of the handwriting panel on which you served for the committee?
Mr. MCNALLY. David Purtell and Charles Scott.
Ms. BRADY. To the best of your knowledge, have they both been qualified as experts in the area of handwriting examination?
Mr. McNALLY. They have been.
Ms. BRADY. What analysis was the panel asked to perform?
Mr. McNALLY. We were asked to examine and compare certain writings and signatures and also to determine whether there were any alterations, falsifications, or eradications on these particular documents.
Ms. BRADYEN. Whose samples of handwriting did the panel examine?
Mr. McNALLY. We examined samples of the handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and also of Marina Oswald.
Ms. BRADYEN. How many documents allegedly written by Lee Harvey Oswald did the panel examine?
Mr. McNALLY. We examined 45 approximately, some quite lengthy.
Ms. BRADYEN. Did you examine the originals or copies of those documents?
Mr. McNALLY. In the cases where originals were available, we examined the originals. In cases where only the copies were available, we examined those also.
Ms. BRADYEN. At this time would the clerk please hand the witness exhibit JFK F-183? Mr. McNally, do you recognize this document?
Mr. McNALLY. I do.
Ms. BRADY. Would you identify it for the record, please?
Mr. McNALLY. This is JFK exhibit F-183. It is a photograph ostensibly of Lee Harvey Oswald. On the back it contains some writing. Holding it in the way I am holding it, down in the lower lefthand corner is writing, "To my friend George from Lee Oswald, 5//V/63."
In the lower righthand corner is the writing, "Copyright G. deM."
In the upper center of the back of this photograph are three lines of writing which have been described as being in the Russian language.
To the lefthand side of the back of this photograph are the initials JJM with a line under it and a date 4/1/77 which is apparently an identification marking.
Ms. BRADY. At this time may the witness be shown the enlargements which are marked JFK F-382 and F-383?
Mr. McNally, are these accurate enlargements of the photograph you have just described?
Mr. McNALLY. They are.
Ms. BRADY. Mr. Chairman, JFK F-183 has previously been entered into the record. At this time I would ask that F-382 and F-383 also be entered into the record.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection it is so ordered. [Exhibits referred to were previously entered.]
Ms. BRADY. At this time would the clerk please hand the witness the original of F-401 which is identified as the U.S. passport application dated June 24, 1963 and designated Warren Commission exhibit No. 781.
Do you recognize this document, Mr. McNally?
Mr. McNALLY. I do.
Ms. BRADY. Was it also examined by your panel?
Mr. MCNALLY. It was.
Ms. BRADY. May the witness also at this time be shown the enlargements of that document designated as JFK F-401.
Mr. McNally, are those enlargements accurate enlargements of the passport application you have examined?
Mr. McNALLY. They are.
Ms. BRADY. At this time, Mr. Chairman, may JFK F-401 be entered in the record?
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection it is so ordered. [The information follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-401A
JFK EXHIBIT F-401B
Ms. BRADY. Mr. McNally, did the handwriting panel compare the writing on the rear of the photograph with the signature on the passport application?
Mr. McNALLY. Yes; we did.
Ms. BRADY. What conclusion was reached by the panel about those two documents?
Mr. McNALLY. We concluded that the writing--particularly the signature of Lee Harvey Oswald on the lower lefthand corner on the back of the photograph and the signature Lee H. Oswald on the passport application--all of these signatures were written by one, the same individual.
Ms. BRADY. Will you please describe the techniques which were used to make that determination?
Mr. McNALLY. In making this examination and comparison, the overall approach to it is to actually look at the signatures and writings in juxtaposition one with the other. Taking into consideration, first of all, the gross characteristics involved in the writing process--that would include the skill of the writing, the slant pattern of the writing, the speed of the writing, the proportions of the letters within the name Lee H. Oswald, the ratio of the small letters to the capital letters insofar as height is concerned, the signature on the placement of the individual letters which make up the names Lee Harvey Oswald, the overall writing pattern of the writing in both the passport application and on the back of the photograph.
Much more specifically, we examined and compared the individual letters which make up these signatures Lee H. Oswald as to their design, form, construction, and execution of stroke. We looked for any particular differences or significant differences which may have occurred between the signatures and the writing on the back of the photograph versus the writing of the signatures Lee Oswald on the passport application. Also, an examination using a low power microscope was done of the letters that make up the signatures and the writing Lee Harvey Oswald and Lee H. Oswald to determine whether there were any interruptions in the line of writing, any discontinuity, any tremor, hesitations, or any indications of tracings or alterations on these particular signatures.
Specifically, the signature as written on the back of the photograph of Lee Oswald has been written in a firm, even handwriting. There is no interruption in the writing stroke other than what is occasioned by a natural gap in between the capital and the small letters; no indications of any uncertainty. It is a completely normal signature, consistent with the writing Lee Harvey Oswald and Lee H. Oswald on the passport application.
Ms. BRADY. Mr. McNally, if it would help, please go up to the illustrations and use the marker to identify what the points of comparison were.
Mr. McNALLY. The writing at the lower lefthand corner of the back of the photograph is rather dim and rather faint. As a matter of fact, it starts off very faintly, "To my friend George from Lee Oswald." As the writing goes on, of course, it becomes appreciably heavier and more legible. It sort of fades off at the date 5-IV-63.
The writing on the lower lefthand corner of this particular photograph is written in a fluent, even, free-flowing style. It is rather carelessly written as most normal handwritings are written.
The overall writing pattern of this particular area here agrees with the writing that we find here of Lee Oswald on this photograph and also over on this photograph. That free-flowing, completely normal style of writing in both of these signatures is repeated over here in the writing of Lee Oswald.
The specific area of letter design; the design of the capital L as we find here in the photograph, is repeated over here in the capital L of Lee on this particular photograph and also on this signature over here. The open, small groups of the "e's" in both of these signatures which tend to end abruptly here, of course, here in the ending part of Lee, is repeated over here in the writing of Lee on this particular document here, the photograph.
On the photograph, of course, there is no middle initial and we would have to move into the capital 0 of Oswald. In the signature on the photograph the "0" is written independently of the "s". It does not follow right through so there is a slight gap in between that capital "0" on the following "s".
On this particular photograph here on the passport application we have the same design of "0" and a gap, and we have the "s" separated from the "0". But the design form of the "0" here agrees with that over here.
The other signature of Oswald on the passport application is a slightly alternate form of signature which is actually a normal occurrence among individuals. There "0" joins right into the "s" so that we have a variation between this particular signature and the one over here.
Of course, it also quite obviously varies from the signature that we have in this particular section shown here.
In the "wa" combination of the signature here on the Oswald passport application as also the "wa" combination of this passport application on the photograph, is a slight weakness or slurring off as the "w" joins the "a". It occurs up in here and it occurs also in here.
That same design formation occurs in the "wa" formation of Oswald over on this particular signature here on the photograph. The "Id" combination on the passport application, the signature there and the signature over here on the photograph, in each case the "l" is appreciably smaller than the following "d". The "d" sort of goes up. It is very tall here and the loop or the line which forms the loop on the lefthand side of that "d" does not go all the way down to the base line of writing. It sort of hangs in mid-air and it is quite a unique form. That occurs in this "d". It occurs in this "d". It also occurs in the "d" as written in Oswald over on the photograph. We have that same situation there on the photograph where the "1" is appreciably smaller than the ending "d".
As I remarked before, it is a free-flowing, fluent style written in a careless fashion. The signatures are consistent one with the other and, in effect, the writing on all three of these documents, or all three of these signatures, have been done by the same individual.
Ms. BRADY. Mr. McNally, was there any evidence of imitation, tracing, or alteration in any of the three signatures you have just discussed?
Mr. McNALLY. Absolutely not.
Ms. BRADY. Thank you.
Would you please resume your seat.
At this time would the clerk please hand the witness the original of the exhibit marked JFK F-400.
For the record, this exhibit is identified as the New Orleans fingerprint card from New Orleans police dated August 9, 1963. Do you recognize this document, Mr. McNally?
Mr. MCNALLY. I do.
Ms. BRADY. Was it also examined by the handwriting panel?
Mr. McNALLY. It was.
Ms. BRADY. Did the panel examine the original or a copy of that document?
Mr. McNALLY. The original.
Ms. BRADY. May the witness be shown the enlargement of JFK F-400? Is this an accurate enlargement of the fingerprint card you examined, Mr. McNally?
Mr. MCNALLY. It is.
Ms. BRADY. At this time may JFK F-400 be entered into the record? The record should also note that even though the fingerprint card is being entered into the record here, the fingerprint card will remain on permanent file at the FBI.
[The information follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-400
Ms. BRADY. Did your panel compare the signature Lee H. Oswald which appears on the fingerprint card with the signature on the rear of the photograph?
Mr. McNALLY. We did.
Ms. BRADY. What conclusion was reached about those two signatures?
Mr. MCNALLY. We found that both signatures were written by the same individual.
Ms. BRADY. Did that contain the same investigation that you discussed about the passport application?
Mr. MCNALLY. Yes, it did.
Ms. BRADY. Were there also characteristic of points of comparison similar to what you just discussed?
Mr. MCNALLY. Yes. They fit into the same area I mentioned previously. The writing of the capital L, the two small e's, the "Os" combination on this particular fingerprint card agrees with the passport application, but, of course, we have the alternate form of "Os" written on the photograph of Mr. Oswald which agrees with that "Os" combination on the lower left of the photograph of Oswald holding the gun and newspaper.
We, again, have in this particular fingerprint form the weakness on the connecting stroke between the "w" and "a" as that connecting stroke slurs off into the "a" and we have the combination of a small "l" and a quite large "d", with the ending section of the "d", that loop section of the "d" ending above the line of writing. That is a characteristic in all the signatures of Oswald.
Ms. BRADY. Mr. McNally, was there any evidence of tracing, alteration, or imitation in the signature on the fingerprint card?
Mr. McNALLY. No, it was a completely normal signature written quite fluently.
Ms. BRADY. Would the clerk at this time please hand the witness the original of the document marked JFK F-402. This is identified as a self-questionnaire consisting of a series of questions and answers about reactions to life in the Soviet Union. The document was previously designated Warren Commission exhibit 100. Do you recognize this document?
Mr. McNALLY. I do.
Ms. BRADY. Was it also examined by the handwriting panel?
Mr. McNALLY. It was.
Ms. BRADY. Did the panel see it in the original?
Mr. McNALLY. They did.
Ms. BRADY. The pages of the original are discolored. Do you know what caused that?
Mr. McNALLY. Apparently this has been processed for the presence of latent fingerprints used in the chemical process described as silver nitrate.
What has happened here as always occurs with silver nitrate, if the silver nitrate is not bleached out it continues to develop so that actually it discolors the particular document on which it is applied over a period of time.
Ms. BRADY. Did that discoloration affect your ability to examine the document?
Mr. McNALLY. It makes it a little more difficult, particularly if you are taking a photograph of it because it is a very serious discoloration.
However, it has not obliterated the writing to a point where the identification is impossible.
Ms. BRADY. At this time may the witness be shown the enlargement of exhibit JFK F-402?
Are these enlargements accurate enlargements of the pages of the self-questionnaire?
Mr. McNALLY. They are.
Ms. BRADY. At this time I would ask that JFK F-402 be entered into the record.
Chairman STOKES. Without objection it may be entered into the record.
[The information follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-402
Ms. BRADY. Did the panel also compare the writing in this self-questionnaire with the signature on the rear of the photograph?
Mr. McNALLY. We did.
Ms. BRADY. What conclusions were reached by the panel?
Mr. McNALLY. We found that the writing on the self-questionnaire and the writing at the lower left of the photograph were written by one and the same individual.
Ms. BRADY. What characteristics or points of comparison existed in the two documents?
Mr. McNALLY. We were able actually to make a composite, so to speak, of the writing which exists in the lower part of that particular photograph in question. There is a great deal of writing on this particular self-questionnaire. Actually, the only particular letter which does not exist for comparison purposes on the self-questionnaire is the capital G in George which is written on the lower part of the back of the photograph.
Ms. BRADY. But there were still sufficient characteristics for a conclusion; is that correct?
Mr. MCNALLY. There are.
Ms. BRADY. Is there any evidence of tracing, alteration, or imitation on the writing in the self-questionnaire?
Mr. McNALLY. No. That is a prime sample of a person scratching out a series of notes. It is very carelessly written and there is no indication of any artificiality about it at all. It is completely normal in appearances.
Ms. BRADY. Did you also examine the handwriting appearing in the lower righthand corner of the photograph which reads, "Copyright G. deM.?"
Mr. MCNALLY. I did.
Ms. BRADY. Were you able to reach any conclusion about that writing and the writing of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. McNALLY. That particular writing in the lower right hand corner was not written by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Ms. BRADY. On what did you base that determination?
Mr. McNALLY. A comparison of that particular writing there with the hand printing of Mr. Oswald on the passport application reveals absolutely no similarity between these two writings.
Ms. BRADY. Did you examine the handwriting of George De Mohrenschildt?
Mr. MCNALLY. I did.
Ms. BRADY. Based on that examination, were you able to make any comparison between the writing on the photograph and the writing of George De Mohrenschildt?
Mr. MCNALLY. I was not. Mr. De Mohrenschildt's writing is spidery, quite tremulous, and quite angular. The writing here is much firmer and the writing pattern is more rounded rather than angular.
Ms. BRADY. Did the writing in the lower righthand corner have any of the same pictorial aspects of the handwriting of George De Mohrenschildt?
Mr. McNALLY. It does not.
Ms. BRADY. Directing your attention to the writing appearing on the top portion of the photograph, did you also examine that writing?
Mr. McNALLY. I did.
Ms. BRADY. Do you know what language it is written in?
Mr. McNALLY. Russian.
Ms. BRADY. Are you able to read and translate Russian?
Mr. MCNALLY. I am not.
Ms. BRADY. Mr. Chairman, Marina Oswald Porter has previously testified that the Russian writing translates to read, "hunter of Fascists, ha, ha, ha." Additionally, at this time I would like to enter into the record an affidavit by Tadeusz Sadowski of the European Law Division of the Library of Congress, who is a specialist in the Russian language. Mr. Sadowski also affirms that he has examined the original on the photograph and that has also translated the Russian writing as "Hunter of Fascists, ha, ha, ha."
Mr. McNally, were you able to form an expert opinion about this Russian writing even though you cannot read or translate Russian?
Mr. McNALLY. To a certain extent I was, yes.
Ms. BRADY. Were you able to compare the Russian writing with the handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. McNALLY. I compared the Russian writing the Cyrillic sections of the alphabet here and there are also some Latin alphabet forms there with the writing of Lee Harvey Oswald. I found that the writings which are comparable, there are certain sections here which in a Latin alphabet would be translated as an "m". That is in the upper section of this particular writing at the top, and the letter in the latin alphabet would be "a" and that appears about seven times. Also, the letter "x", of course, which means something else in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Those particular letter design forms as compared with their counterparts in the Cyrillic alphabet as done by Mr. Oswald do not conform. They are entirely different.
I also examined and compared these particular forms with the writing of Marina Oswald. I found in that particular case also that the particular design forms which are here as compared with Marina Oswald's writings are completely different. They matched neither Marina or Lee Oswald's writings.
Ms. BRADY. Did you examine samples of Marina Oswald Porter's writing in Russian?
Mr. McNALLY. I did.
Ms. BRADY. Were you able to note any other characteristics of the Russian writing? Does it appear to be any type of tracing?
Mr. MCNALLY. In this particular case here: those three lines of Russian writing are in pencil. Actually, they are in pencil which is written over pencil; which is either faded away or written lightly or had been obliterated. Pencil on a surface of this particular nature was written with a soft pencil; just by handling alone it may disappear.
What has occurred here, in my opinion, is that somebody who was apparently not conversant with the Cyrillic alphabet has reconstructed what was written on here previously. In reconstructing it, we get all of these particular forms which actually, I assume from Mr. Fithian's comment this morning; it is Russian as written by somebody who is not particularly conversant or is below a grammar school level. That would account for the fact here; a reconstruction by somebody of the writing which had originally
been on here by somebody not conversant with the Russian language or Cyrillic alphabet would turn out something like this which can be translated, but at the same time looks a little peculiar.
The writing which we have here looks to be a tracing; looks to be copied. It is written very slowly. There is a very hesitant line quality in it and it is very uncertain. The party doing this was trying to make sure what he was doing, so the whole thing has been written very, very, slowly.
Ms. BRADY. Does enough of the original writing remain for you to be able to make any type of analysis of it?
Mr. McNALLY. In the process of actually trying to cover somebody else's writing, it has been effectively disguised. In writing over somebody else's writing, it has effectively obliterated the original writing that was there and makes this whole particular section unidentifiable.
Ms. BRADY. Thank you Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions at this time.
Chairman STOKES. The reporter will suspend for a moment to record a change. Does counsel have something further?
Ms. BRADY. Yes, I would ask that the affidavit of Tadeusz Sadowski be designated JFK exhibit F-312 and be entered into the record.
Chairman STOKES. Without objection it will be entered into the record at this point.
[The information follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-312
Chairman STOKES. The Chair will now recognize the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Fithian, for such time as he may consume, after which we will then go to the 5-minute rule.
Mr. FITHIAN. Mr. Chairman, this sounds like an unusual request, but may I move down there with the exhibit and the witness?
Chairman STOKES. Certainly, as you so desire.
Mr. FITHIAN. First, Mr. McNally, I would like to ask you to reaffirm what your conclusion is with regard to only these three words. I am raising no question about your analysis on all the rest of it.
Mr. McNALLY. I examined and compared those letters in the three words at the top of the document with the Russian Cyrillic writing as done by Lee Harvey Oswald and also with the series of writings done by Marina Oswald. I was unable to make any identification.
As a matter of fact, the writings as they exist right on that particular document now are quite different from the writings as done by both Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald.
Mr. FITHIAN. So your conclusion is that these may not in fact be the writings of either Lee or Marina?
Mr. McNALLY. What we are seeing there are definitely not done by them.
Mr. FITHIAN. It was definitely not done by them?
Mr. McNALLY. The writing which is visible now was definitely not done by them.
Mr. FITHIAN. Let me just ask you whether or not it is your judgment that the same person wrote all three words plus the "ha, ha, ha?"
Mr. McNALLY. I believe so.
Mr. FITHIAN. Mr. Chairman, I tread on pretty thin ice because I am a long way from a handwriting expert, but would you look at it just from my point of view for a couple of minutes and look very carefully at the first word, "o-k-h-o-t-n-i-k," printed almost painfully and with a great deal of uncertainty, particularly the Russian "e" in here almost sort of squeezed in.
That is an unusual way of putting that particular letter in place, to say nothing of the breaks in the Russian ta or "t" here, the three parts. Normally it is written just like an "m" with a bar across it.
Now just disregarding the other sections and just looking at that, both in terms of the painful way in which it is drafted and on varying levels of height in the row, or if there were a line underneath it, clearly it seems almost not like a child but it seems much worse than the other words.
Now compare this word with faschistame, in the third word, which looks to me like leaving out the "za" that it flows much more readily. It looks like somebody wrote that word who knew at least which Russian letter was supposed to come up. Am I seeing it altogether wrong?
Mr. McNALLY. Actually, you are looking at it from a different perspective. My own particular feeling about this, not only a feeling but this actually has occurred is that we have faint traces of writing which are on this particular paper. The probability is that the writing which was on there originally in Russian either was erased or it was written there very lightly, or because of handling actually practically disappeared.
In my opinion, somebody at a later date came along and in order to make it legible, went over the writing or the pieces and bits of writing which still remained on there and they turned out this particular product.
My own feeling is that in the areas, for instance,. in that letter, the fourth letter on the top line there which approximates an m , is that I think there that the party was not sure of what that particular formation was. It is somebody not conversant in Russian who turned out that particular letter design which in essence is not an "to" and it is not either the equivalent in the Cyrillic alphabet.
The other writings I think were done in somewhat the same fashion. The reason for more continuity and more fluency in the second line may be occasioned by the fact that maybe there was
more of the original writing there and they saw the letter formations a little bit clearer.
In the third line, of course, it is at the end at least much clearer because on the original document anyway, you can see the vertical lines that make up the exclamation points just to the right of each one of the exclamation points.
I think actually the reasons for the change in tone, as it were, of the writing from the first to second to third line is occasioned by the fact that I believe there was more legibility of what writing that was left on the second and also on the third line.
Mr. FITHIAN. Is it your opinion that the word faschistame was also written in pencil prior to the overwriting using the same letter construction?
Mr. McNALLY. The letter constructions I am unsure of because there is only fugitive traces of pencil writing there because in some places you only get an indication to the right or to the left of these words.
Mr. FITHIAN. Let me talk about one letter in there which I think you can see behind.
First of all, I was struck by the fact that the same person writing two words in Cyrillic would use two different kinds of "t's" in the interior of the word. This one which is a kind of a broken version of an old style Russian "t" and this one, which is a more modern version, though written a little peculiarly but clearly the two "t's" are not the same.
Will you agree with that?
Mr. McNALLY. I agree with that; yes.
Mr. FITHIAN. Now look just behind the "t" in faschistame. Do you have the original there?
Mr. McNALLY. I have it.
Mr. FITHIAN. Are my eyes playing tricks on me or does it look like an English "1"?
Mr. McNALLY. Just slightly to the left of it, it does look like a loop formation like the letter "1."
Mr. FITHIAN. I have some problems with your conclusion because if in fact this word is written by the same person as that word, not only do you have two different "t" constructions which is really quite unusual in my judgment, but in addition to that, when the person got to that part of the word faschistame, they chose not to follow the pattern that is underneath.
I think it is a little unusual, but I don't really want to push that, that a person makes the Russian "t" by the modern method with a large loop like the English "1." That is not what set me off so much as the fact that the overlay is entirely differently formed in three ways:
One, the underlay "1" or we could say "1" for this point looks to me very much like it is hooked onto whatever preceded it which would have been under the Russian "s" which is the English letter "c" is the Russian "s."
If you look very closely at the underlay, it looks like someone would have been writing the word whatever it is and then just flown onto the "1" in a cursive style, moving from one letter to the other.
Here there is no question about it. There is a clear break between the Russian "sh" which is a kind of inverted "m" with a bar under it translated as a "sch" sound in the English, and the Russian "s" which follows and the Russian "t" which follows. All three of those are clearly separated from one another. There is no cursiveness about them. That is why I had problems about them with Mrs. Porter who could not tell whether it was her writing or not.
I think it is clear it is not her writing, I don't think there is any question I am in total agreement with you. That is not her writing, nor is it the writing of anybody who has written much Russian by and large. Certainly, this first word, but---
To go back to this underlay "l," I find it very difficult to arrive at the same conclusion that you do that this was simply a printing over the letters that were already there. This leads me to kind of an open-ended speculation. You know, one could theorize all sorts of things. One could theorize that someone wrote--just try this one on for size--someone wrote the word "okhotnick" which is fine because that translates as hunter and if you had a guy in the garb that Oswald is in on the opposite side of this, he might have printed on the word "hunter." If in fact the word faschistame and the ha, ha, ha, were written by someone else, which I think is possible and I might argue even probable, we might take away from this a wholly different historical interpretation as to how this particular inscription came about. That was not even a question, I guess.
Mr. McNALLY. No.
Mr. FITHIAN. Do you have any explanation from your expert position on this as to why the open "1" appearing to be hooked on to the letter which precedes it, and I might stretch my eyes and say it seems also to be hooked onto the letter which follows but I am on shakier ground there?
Mr. McNALLY. When I looked at this, I had no idea actually as to what the translation was. I looked at it from the standpoint that we had a series of letter designs here which were in the Cyrillic alphabet which I am not that familiar with. But the writing pattern of these particular things is written in a very slow, hesitating fashion as if the party involved in this particular process here was uncertain as to the formations, it seems to me, of the various letters that he was writing.
I think from the evidences of the pencil writing which still remained there, from what I can see of them, that that individual was, in effect, following some letter design forms which he had seen there previously. That would account for some of the variations we have there.
The incidence of that particular form appearing in between the "s" or the "c" what would appear to be a Latin alphabet "c" and a Latin alphabet "t"; I cannot explain that particular formation, but I really don't see any great deviation or change m that writing. It seems to have to me the same flow and the same continuity from the top to the bottom.
Mr. FITHIAN. It doesn't seem to you that this was written somewhat faster than the first word?
Mr. McNALLY. In the sections there which actually are sort of the double "u" formation there and the "c" and the "t"; yes, those sections there do seem to be written appreciably faster. The beginning of it seems to me to be a little uncertain starting off, and then it has speeded up. It could be--and, of course, I am theorizing, I am not too sure of actually what is under there--it could be created by the fact that there was more there to follow than there was in the original when they started off.
Mr. FITHIAN. Is it your opinion that both words are sort of overtraces or overwritten?
Mr. McNALLY. They are over written over original pencil writing, most of it gone.
Mr. FITHIAN. Do you have any theory as to why the same person either writing in pencil to start with or writing the overlay would use an internal "t" in an altogether different style letter?
Mr. McNALLY. I have not the faintest idea, but people do strange things. Fortunately, I only have to identify handwriting. I don't have to look into the psyche of the individual involved. But I have found in my experience that trying to rationalize what an individual does in one particular letter and another particular letter, it is the same as writing a signature. You write it one way the one day and the next day there is a twist thrown into it. The rationale behind it is hard to fathom. It is people with individual quirks.
Mr. FITHIAN. I guess my problem was that this was more than just a little shift in the way you pointed your pen or pencil. It was an altogether different writing of the Russian "t" which I am told could stem from being trained at altogether different times in the Soviet system of schooling.
But put that aside. I find it very difficult to understand why we would get two very different "t's" used. I didn't catch everything you said. Had you analyzed Lee Harvey Oswald's Russian script in some other writing?
Mr. McNALLY. Yes.
Mr. FITHIAN. Did you find these characteristics in them? Did you find places where he wrote internal "t" in other words?
Mr. MCNALLY. No, I found that actually he writes unlike that formation which appears to be an "m," sort of split apart on that particular document. He writes that as you would write the English "m." That formation at the end of the top there, he writes that in entirely different form. His "x's" are different and the "a" which in this particular instance is a "c" and there is a gap and you have that little curve. He writes it as you write an English "a."
Mr. FITHIAN. Did you find any other English style "t's" in his writing?
Mr. MCNALLY. I didn't find anything in his writing. There are one or two situations where you run into some similarities, but there are more differences than similarities between the writing of Marina Oswald and Lee Harvey Oswald as opposed to this particular writing.
I am of the opinion that the writing to me seems to be done by somebody who is not conversant in Russian and I think were following the forms they saw on that page. That occasions the deviations from the original Cyrillic alphabet.
Mr. FITHIAN. Did you find it strange that the formation of the "a" in the three last words, that the two, this one and this one, seem to match each other and the internal "a" doesn't seem to match either one of them? That is, the body of the "a" is made by almost square lines as you follow it around with kind of sharp corners at three or four different places and the tail of the "a" is very clearly almost like a shortened English "l," whereas in the second "a" it is much more like we might write it in English. Were you troubled at all by the inconsistency of the "a's"?
Mr. McNALLY. No; you have three, four, five, or six which precede it There is a lot of variation among them. Essentially they are all written in the same manner, written as a "c" with a curved loop after it, but at the end of each one of these "a's" there is a slight variation, one from the other.
Mr. FITHIAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The gentleman from the District of Columbia, Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I simply have two questions. The first has to do with your earlier statement that some of the writings that you examined were photocopies and some were originals?
Mr. McNALLY. That is right.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Are photocopies as good as original handwriting for analysis purposes?
Mr. McNALLY. No, never.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I wonder if you would care to tell us which analyses were made of originals and which were made of photocopies?
Mr. McNALLY. On the photocopies, none of these actually are photocopies that we are talking about here. Among the various documents there are a number of photo reproductions.
Mr. FAUNTROY. But you examined the originals of those documents?
Mr. McNALLY. All of these documents which I have talked about at this particular juncture are all original documents.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Second, is it your testimony that the Russian script on the back of the photograph is neither that of Lee Harvey Oswald, Marina Oswald, nor Mr. De Mohrenschildt?
Mr. McNALLY. I don't know about Mr. De Mohrenschildt. I have seen none of his Cyrillic writing. All I saw of his writing was written in the Latin alphabet.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I see, is it your testimony that the "G. de M." at the bottom is not in his---
Mr. McNALLY. No; it does not correspond to his writing. He writes very spidery, with quite a bit of shakiness in his handwriting, and in an angular fashion. This is more rounded. That particular "G" that we see up there I saw quite a bit of his writing and I couldn't find it anywhere in it. Each time he writes his name, I have seen a couple of his signatures and he has never written a "G" in that particular fashion. This is much more firm than his writing.
Mr. FAUNTROY. And "copyright" by the same token?
Mr. McNALLY. Yes. I looked at it overall. Not only the "G. de M." but also the word "copyright." The "copyright" is also more
rounded. I can't find a "p" that is written in that particular fashion or an "r" or an "h" written in that fashion in all of his writing. He writes an "h" instead of as you see it there where it looks like an inverted "u." When Mr. De Mohrenschildt writes, he turns it around the other way. It looks like a regular "y." In other words, out of context. When he writes an "h," it looks like an "li."
Mr. FAUNTROY. The script in the lower lefthand corner, were you able to identify that?
Mr. McNALLY. Yes. In my opinion that was written by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Finally, if we were to secure a copy of handwriting by Mr. De Mohrenschildt in Russian, do you think you would then be able to tell us whether or not the Russian there is in his handwriting?
Mr. McNALLY. It might give us some indication because there are some peculiar forms in there. The way the "a" is written is rather peculiar. I don't see that particular "a" in the writing of Marina Oswald. I imagine she writes in a regular Russian script. It is an odd kind of "a." Again, it looks like it has been constructed over some other writing. That is why it turned out in that form.
If that has happened, then it may get to a point you would never be able to identify who wrote this because it's a combination of say, No. 1 writing with No. 2 writing put on top of it, in order to make it more legible.
Mr. FAUNTROY. The fact is, however, that having looked at Mr. De Mohrenschildt's writing in English, you are not able to identify his English "a" with the Russian "a."
Mr. McNALLY. Well, his English "a" form is entirely different from the "a" form that we have up there which is an approximation of the Latin alphabet. Also, that other form there looks something like a "k" on the first line just before the three "a." At that particular form up there it is made up of three separate lines, a vertical and two diagonals. One is separated from the other in the writing of De Mohrenschildt and the other people I mentioned, none of them make a "k" in that fashion or make a design form in that fashion or make that design form in that fashion.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back the balance of my time.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Do you see any similarity between the Russian writing at the top and the copyright and so on down at the bottom?
Mr. McNALLY. No. The copyright is written much more firmly, dashed right off. The other one, it looks like they labored to write that Russian writing.
Mr. SAWYER. Not being an expert, as I look at the "c" up in the Russian writing which is actually an "s" in Russian but looks like our "c," it bore just to my eye quite a resemblance to the way the "c" was written in "copyright."
Mr. McNALLY. You will always pick up one or two letters. Something like. one swallow does not make a summer.
Mr. SAWYER. Was your panel unanimous in agreeing on the writing that you say was written by Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. MCNALLY. Yes.
Mr. SAWYER. There was no difference of opinion on that?
Mr. MCNALLY. No; we practically agreed on everything.
Mr. SAWYER. Thank you.
That is all I had, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD. Just one question: From what I have gathered you have said here for the past 20 minutes or so that you have identified the writing on the left as that of being Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. McNALLY. Right.
Mr. DODD. You have identified negatively the writing at the top in Russian as not being of either Marina or Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. McNALLY. That is right.
Mr. DODD. And you are unable to identify the writing on the bottom of being of anyone?
Mr. McNALLY. That is right.
Mr. DODD. And you don't see any similarities between the Russian writing, the copyright writing, or the writing of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. McNALLY. I do not.
Mr. DODD. So it would appear to you, can we conclude, that there are possibly three people or more who could have written on the back of this picture?
Mr. McNALLY. There are three different handwriting patterns on there.
Mr. DODD. It is definitely three different handwriting patterns?
Mr. McNALLY. That is right.
Mr. DODD. Did you see any dissimilarities in the Russian writing?
It appeared to you it was all done by the same person?
Mr. McNALLY. I believe so; yes.
Mr. DODD. Did the panel address that issue as to whether or not there could have possibly been more than one person writing the Russian?
Mr. McNALLY. No; I do not think so.
Mr. DODD. As for the "copyright" and the "G. de M.," that was all done by the same person?
Mr. McNALLY. That particular one in the lower right hand corner. Yes, all by the same individual.
Mr. DODD. And it is all the writing of Lee Harvey Oswald? You didn't detect anything in there that would indicate--
Mr. McNALLY. The lower left is the same individual.
Mr. DODD. So it is three distinct?
Mr. McNALLY. Three distinct writing patterns there; yes.
Mr. DODD. Thank you.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Ford.
Mr. FORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McNally, when you describe the techniques which were used to examine the writing, were there any blowups with the Oswald writing and his wife, Marina, compared to the writing on the back of the picture?
Mr. MCNALLY. Blowups in what way? During the examination process?
Mr. FORD. During the examination process?
Mr. McNALLY. Yes. As a matter of fact, for most of this examination, I had taken photo macrographs of these and I studied projections of them on a screen. This particular writing was made actually much larger than it is now versus other signatures of his.
Mr. FORD. No further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Pennsylvania.
Mr. EDGAR. Mr. Chairman, I have no questions.
Mr. FITHIAN. May I have 1 more minute?
Chairman STOKES. Surely.
Mr. FITHIAN. Mr. McNally, would it be fair to surmise that since George De Mohrenschildt was educated either in Poland or Russia and therefore would have from boyhood written in that alphabet, that it would be at least highly unlikely that George DeMohrenschildt wrote any of those Russian words on the back of that?
Mr. McNALLY. I think if he knew Russian, he would have just rewritten it, period. I get right back to where I started. I think this was written by somebody not very well conversant with the Cyrillic alphabet and that is why they had such problems in writing these letter designs. Somebody like Mr. De Mohrenschildt I think would have turned out a product which would be much more Russian, so to speak.
Mr. FITHIAN. We have had testimony that Mr. De Mohrenschildt was fluent in Russian and his earlier education pattern would have been with that alphabet. So I just wanted to get that into the record that at least it would be my guess that De Mohrenschildt could not have written that or would not have written that.
Mr. McNALLY. I don't believe somebody conversant with the Cyrillic alphabet would have turned out a product like this.
Mr. FITHIAN. So it is your conclusion that it was a beginning or somebody not very familiar with it?
Mr. McNALLY. That is right.
Mr. FITHIAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. Mr. McNally, my understanding is that you will be called back later in our hearings for further testimony in another section.
Since you have concluded this section of your testimony, would you like to have 5 minutes to explain your testimony or make any comment with reference to your testimony? I would extend to you 5 minutes at this time for that purpose.
Mr. McNALLY. Well, I don't think it will take 5 minutes. Actually, to recapitulate, in my opinion the writing in the lower lefthand corner of that particular photograph was done by Lee Harvey Oswald. The Russian writing at the top is an overwriting of pencil writing which had either been erased or faded away or had been written lightly to begin with. I was unable to identify that writing as being done by Lee Harvey Oswald, Marina Oswald, or Mr. De Mohrenschildt. The writing in the lower righthand corner cannot be identified with the writing of Mr. De Mohrenschildt. In sum and substance, this is my testimony.