HARVEY AND LEE
John Armstrong's Documented Study of Two Oswalds
N E W ! ! Presented for the first time online is the full text of the Mexico City chapter from John Armstrong's 2003 book, Harvey and Lee. In Mexico City, six weeks before the assassination, the plot to kill JFK and falsely blame Fidel Castro for the hit took its final shape. Click here to read the complete story
JFK researcher John Armstrong has shown that the Warren Commission combined the biographies of two different people to arrive at the classic legend of Lee Harvey Oswald. One was a Russian speaking youth, possibly the child of Hungarian parents. Mr. Armstrong notes that this person preferred to be called "Harvey." The other was a taller but similar looking boy with a Southern U.S. accent, born as "Lee Harvey Oswald," and who preferred to be called "Lee." Both youths became entangled at an early age in an American intelligence operation designed to give a U.S. identity to a Russian-speaking child. It was "Harvey" who traveled to Russia and was shot dead by Jack Ruby. It was "Lee" who framed "Harvey" for the assassination of JFK. The operation began when both "Harvey" and "Lee" were CHILDREN, but it probably did not become entangled in the plot to assassinate President Kennedy until the spring and summer of 1963.
American-born Lee Oswald is shown in the top row of photos above. Russian-speaking Harvey Oswald is in the bottom row. The 1959 photos were taken just eight days apart. The image at far right is from the U.S. Dept. of Defense ID card issued to "Lee Harvey Oswald" on 9/11/59. The photo has been cut in half here to show that it is a composite image. The left half shows Lee; the right half, Harvey. The same ID card could be used by both Oswalds.
If you think the proposition that two young men shared the identity of Lee Harvey Oswald sounds a little crazy, consider this observation by the late Jim Garrison, who wrote the following in a memo to Lou Ivon:
If you really want to know what I think, it is that Robert Oswald knew this returning defector was not really Lee and this is what Robert's problem was the night of the assassination when he found it necessary to take such a long drive to think things out. He knew things were far more complicated than they appeared on the surface.
Garrison knew. By compiling and studying the photographic record, HSCA consultant Jack White knew too, as have a handful of other researchers over the years. But John Armstrong has become the first researcher to construct a detailed outline of the lives of the two people he calls "Harvey" and "Lee," research based exclusively on original source documents and eyewitnesses interviews. If you take the time to study John's work and especially his DOCUMENTS (and it takes many hours of study) you will probably become a believer too. Links to a reasonably extensive sampling of evidence compiled by John Armstrong are provided at the bottom of this page.
In recent years, a long-hidden Warren Commission document was finally released that proves Commission staff members knowingly altered details of Lee Harvey Oswald's background. During a 1999 presentation at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Mr. Armstrong explained.
There are indications that additional testimony was knowingly changed or destroyed by the Warren Commission. Warren Commission attorney John Ely's job was to assemble background information on Marguerite and Lee Oswald. This memo by Warren Commission attorney Jenner states (RIGHT-SLIDE 75) "our depositions and examination of records disclose that there are details in Mr. Ely's memoranda which will require material alteration and, in some cases, omission". Material alteration and omission of evidence from the backgrounds of Lee and Marguerite Oswald.
-- John Armstrong, 1999
Click button at left to see a Warren Commission document calling for "material alteration" of a report about Oswald's background. (There are many other "documents" buttons on this web site, most linked to optically scanned reproductions of U.S. government documents.)
In May 1999, Mr. Armstrong found a document at the National Archives indicating that the FBI had a procedure in place which may have routinely allowed the alteration of testimony of its own agents before the Warren Commission, sometimes over the objections of staff attorneys. The document indicated that a procedure was set up to handle these objections and to persuade the staff to go along with the alterations.
Links are provided immediately below to text-only versions of several substantial speeches and articles written by Mr. Armstrong. The earliest and longest is his renowned talk entitled "Harvey and Lee," delivered at JFK Lancer's 1997 "November in Dallas" (NID97) conference. His speech at NID98 expanded on some of the themes of the previous year's talk and included references to very recently released documents. John's most recent major presentation was at the University of Minnesota's "Death of JFK" conference organized by Assassination Science editor Dr. James Fetzer and held the weekend of May 15, 1999. This speech included a good introduction to "Harvey and Lee" and clearly showed how the FBI suppressed, ignored, fabricated, altered, and destroyed evidence in order to frame one of the young men for the assassination and to hide the intelligence operation that enveloped both of them. It is probably the best introduction to Mr. Armstrong's work currently available. Note that some of the links on this page target files on remote servers. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to this page.
John Armstrong spent nearly a month immediately preceding the Minneapolis conference working daily at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. There, piece by piece, he examined the original items of evidence allegedly found by Dallas Police among Oswald's possessions. Day after day, he put on the little white "evidence gloves" and examined the historic items the FBI persuaded Warren Commissioners and their staff not to examine. (The WC was provided with photographs for many evidence items.)
John compared these items with Dallas police inventory records and photographs, FBI records and photographs, and Warren Commission documents, and for the first time established a simple method for determining which items were actually found at Ruth Paine's residence (where Marina was staying) and the rooming house on north Beckley, and which were not. Quite a bit of the material in Part II has never appeared anywhere before.
Two major print articles by Mr. Armstrong expanding on the activities of "Lee" and "Harvey" on November 22, 1963 are also available online (click on the title to open the full text.) Harvey and Lee: Just the Facts, Please traces the known movements of the two Oswalds throughout the fateful day. "Lee's" suspected role framing "Harvey" by murdering J.D. Tippit and leaving a wallet containing Oswald and Hidell identification at the murder site is explored in Harvey, Lee and Tippit: A New Look at the Tippit Shooting. This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 1998 edition of Probe magazine.
In his article Harvey and Lee--Just the Facts, Please, Mr. Armstrong primarily examined the known movements of "Harvey" and "Lee" on the day President Kennedy was murdered, but he also wrote the following about research methods:
During the past 35 years the JFK assassination has generated thousands of interviews, photographs, reports, books, articles, etc. From the beginning many of these items contained inaccurate and misleading information, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional. Authors often added to the confusion by carefully selecting and limiting their "sources" to fit their own preconceived theories. When closely scrutinized, their cited "sources" are often not sources at all and, in some cases, are non-existent.
The Warren Report, a well known example of a "report," often cites "sources" that do not support their conclusions. Researchers who reference reports, books or articles as "source material" are relying upon the validity of the information contained therein. Citing secondary sources is an easy way to cut corners and avoid the tedious and time consuming task of locating source documents. I urge researchers to avoid the temptation to cut corners by relying upon superficial citations, footnotes and opinions from books and reports. Take the time to examine source documents. Then decide for yourself whether the sources used corroborate or disprove the conclusions reached. In the final analysis the quality of our research depends upon the quality of our source documents.
The very strength of the documentary evidence behind John Armstrong's analysis--thousands of documents, most produced by various branches the U.S. government, especially the FBI--also becomes the bane of Web developers attempting to portray his evidence. Consider this one example:
In 1978, UMI at the University of Michigan quietly released 33 rolls of microfilm containing raw FBI field reports from 1963 and 1964 related to the Kennedy assassination. (The nondescriptive title was "FBI FILES, SERIES 2," Catalog # CL 00950.) Only a handful of libraries shelled out the $2,300 purchase price for the entire set. Many researchers were not aware that it existed. John Armstrong found the microfilm at the Dallas Public Library and eventually purchased his own set from UMI, got himself a microfilm reader, and started poring through the thousands and thousands of reports, gathering the ones that were interesting, and he then put the data into chronological order. Those reorganized raw FBI reports (presumably unaltered by J. Edgar Hoover) became the backbone of his work, along with some of the newer releases pried lose by the ARRB.
Relatively few of the FBI field reports were included in the Warren Commission volumes; many were not even available to Commission members. These documents, and others like them, comprise much of the evidence that two young men shared the identity of Lee Harvey Oswald. But to reproduce them all in graphical formats suitable for Web browsers would require hundreds of megabytes of electronic storage space and literally days worth of download time for even the fastest standard modems. This is unfortunate, because...
During both of his lengthy "November in Dallas" speeches, John Armstrong projected many of the documents he used for his conclusions on screens set up to the side of the podium. Although you can't see the documents by reading his prepared speeches there is a way, two in fact, to study them short of repeating John's many years of research.
One way is to get JFK Lancer's 2 hour/42 minute VHS cassette of his 1997 "Harvey and Lee" multimedia presentation, which tends to focus on the projected documents. Cost is $35 plus postage and handling.
This is a great tape, and well worth the money. Unfortunately, there are a few technical snafus, and it is not always possible to read every word of every document John included in his presentation. So....
Indiana researcher Jerry Robertson has reprinted and self-published John's Harvey and Lee speech together with carefully reproduced images of his documentation. This work has been prepared with Mr. Armstrong's approval. In many cases, Jerry went to the effort of reordering documents from the National Archives to get the clearest copies in existence. For serious researchers, this is currently the best source available anywhere to help understand both John Armstrong's analysis of the two Oswalds and to see excellent reproductions of many of the documents that gave rise to it. For a year or so, Jerry gave away entirely free copies of his work to interested researchers, but resellers are now charging $20 for the latest version of the two-volume set.
Some years ago, Mr. Robertson self-published a significant book about the Kennedy assassination called DENIAL. His first work disseminating John Armstrong's research was called DENIAL #2: The Research of John Armstrong and was recently retitled as Harvey and Lee 1997.
In July 1999, Jerry completed a second title--Harvey and Lee 1998--based on John Armstrong's November 1998 Dallas presentation. This work continues the theme first fully presented in 1997, includes evidence unavailable just a year earlier, demonstrates how much we know now that was not known in 1964, and makes a more detailed analysis of how witness testimonies and physical evidence were, in Johnís own 1999 categorizations, "suppressed, destroyed, ignored, altered, and fabricated," both immediately after the assassination and later. Price of the single volume is $15.
Both titles can be ordered from the Last Hurrah Bookstore. The two-volume Harvey and Lee 1997 set costs $20 plus shipping. The single volume Harvey and Lee 1998 is just $15 plus shipping. The Last Hurrah's voice telephone number is: 717-321-1150.
Visit the Last Hurrah's web page
Exposing and understanding the two "Oswalds" will not solve the Kennedy assassination, but it does give us insight into the illegal covert capabilities of CIA operations and the ability of government agencies to manipulate evidence and conceal their knowledge and involvement with Oswald. We understand why witness testimony was altered and evidence fabricated.
We finally realize why Harvey Oswald was not allowed to stand trial and had to be eliminated. After 35 years, many pieces to this puzzle have fallen into place while while others are still elusive--but if you understand who Harvey and Lee Oswald really were, who created them and who directed them, then you will know who was responsible for the assassination of John Kennedy.
-- John Armstrong, University
of Minnesota, May 15, 1999
Harvey and Lee website--based on research by John
Armstrong--created 3/9/99 by Jim Hargrove.
Documents reproduced at this site are from the National Archives and the FBI "Series 2" microfilm series from UMI.
Revision 1: 3/12/99; revision 2: 5/26/99; revision 3: 8/7/2000; revision 4: 4/21/2005