TESTIMONY OF ALWYN COLE

The testimony of Alwyn Cole was taken at 3:26 p.m., on September 4, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D.C., by Mr. Melvin Aron Eisenberg, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Cole, you have given testimony to the Commission at a previous time, and this is a continuation of that testimony. So you will still be under oath from the previous session.
Mr. COLE. I understand.
Mr. EISENBERG. Could you state your full name and position once more?
Mr. COLE. Alwyn Cole, examiner of questioned documents, U.S. Treasury Department.
Mr. EISENBERT. Now, Mr. Cole, I will hand you for your examination the following exhibits: Commission Exhibit No. 795, which is a Selective Service System notice of classification in the name of Alek James Hidell; Commission Exhibit No. 806, which is a certificate of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, in the name of Alek James Hidell; Commission Exhibit No. 801, which is a Selective Service System notice of classification in the name of Lee Harvey Oswald; Commission

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Exhibit No. 802, which is a Selective Service System registration certificate in the name of Lee Harvey Oswald; Commission Exhibit No. 811, which is a retouched negative of a registration certificate; Commission Exhibit No. 812, which consists of two retouched negatives of a certificate of service in the U.S. Marine Corps; Commission Exhibit No. 803, which colonists of a retouched negative of the face of a Selective Service System notice of classification; Commission Exhibit No. 804, which consists of a retouched negative of the face of a Selective Service System notice of classification; Commission Exhibit No. 805, which consists of a retouched negative of a portion of the face of a Selective Service System notice of classification; and a certificate of service in the U.S. Marine Corps in the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, which I am labeling Cole Exhibit No. 1.
(Cole Exhibit No. 1 was marked for identification.) I ask you whether these are the items you have considered in connection with your previous testimony?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, beginning with Exhibit No. 795, which is--at least as to its face a Selective Service System notice of classification in the name of Alek James Hidell, can you tell us whether the face of this Exhibit was produced from the negatives 803, 804, and 805?
Mr. COLE Yes, sir. Exhibit No. 795 is in fact a photographic print from the negative, Exhibit No. 804, as to the face. Prior to that photographic negative, however, other negatives were made, the first one being the negative 803, and then another negative involved in the production of Exhibit No. 795 is 805, which gives that part of the text of the card beginning "The law requires" and ending "for advice see your Government appeal agent." In other words, the negatives just described finally culminated in the production of the photographic print, Exhibit No. 795.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Cole, have you yourself made prints of these negatives, 803, 804, and 805?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I have.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is by transmitted light, the normal way of printing a negative?
Mr. COLE. I have made them in that manner; yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, I now hand you Cole Exhibits Nos. 2, 3, and 4, and I ask you whether those are the prints you have made from Commission Exhibits Nos. 803, 804, and 805?
(Cole Exhibits Nos. 2, 3, and 4 were marked for identification.)
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir. Cole Exhibit No. 2 is a photographic print from negative 805. Cole Exhibit No. 3 is a photographic print from negative 804. Cole Exhibit No. 4 is a photographic print from negative 803.
Mr. EISENBERG. Have you also made photographs of these negatives by reflected light, Mr. Cole?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. I now hand you Cole Exhibits Non. 5 and 6 and ask you whether the photographs on these Exhibits labeled 803, 804, and 805 are the photographs of the negatives which you made by reflected light.
(Cole Exhibits Nos. 5 and 6 were marked for identification.)
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir. These prints are from photographic negatives made by reflected light, and I should point out that the prints are enlarged somewhat over the original size of the negatives, about 1.25 diameters.
Mr. EISENBERG. And what is the difference between Cole Exhibit No. 5 and Cole Exhibit No. 6?
Mr. COLE. Cole Exhibit No. 6 shows that side of the negatives to which the opaquing medium or retouching medium was applied, whereas Cole Exhibit No. 5 shows the opposite side of the negative.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Cole, did you attempt to determine whether the negatives, 803, 804, and 805, had been made from the Selective Service notice in the name Oswald, which is Commission Exhibit No. 801--that is, from the face of that card ?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And what was your conclusion ?

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Mr. COLE. It is my Conclusion that the negatives 803, 804, and 805, were in fact made from Exhibit No. 801.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, how were you able to link up the negatives 803, 804, and 805, and the Oswald notice, Exhibit No. 801 ?
Mr. COLE. That was done chiefly by a close study of the typewritten material following the line I am now referring to Exhibit No. 801--following the line "Selective Service Number," in which there are four small rectangles showing the insertion of typewritten numbers, and by study of the signature of the member or clerk of local board where it intersects printed matter of the original form. The typewritten matter and the inked lines of the signature have been the subject of opaquing or retouching. With respect to the typewriting of the Selective Service number, the original typewriting fell exactly on the base line of the ruled rectangles of the original printed card. This created a rather difficult problem about opaquing out the typewritten matter. The opaquing material was brought very close to the ruled line, but some of that line was permitted to remain unretouched. Since this line had in effect been reinforced by the base of the typewritten material, the line appears somewhat heavier. This heaviness comes through on the final photographic print which is Exhibit No. 795. Now, by this strange heaviness, I am referring to the lower border of the four rectangles which follow the wording "Selective Service Number." Now, with respect to intersections of the signature of member or clerk of local board, this also presented quite a problem of retouching; that is, in an effort to remove the signature or opaque it from the negative 803, it was necessary to retouch or deform certain parts of the original printing as represented by that negative, one word being the word "President" at about the center of the right side of the card. The letter "r" has been mutilated by the opaquing material and this mutilation comes through on the final print, which is Exhibit No. 795. Also where an effort was made to opaque the lower extension of the two letters "f" of the signature previously referred to, which intersects the word "violation," here also there was a mutilation of certain letters of that word, namely, the "v" and "i" and the "a." This mutilation also comes through on the final print, Exhibit No. 795. So that there is a clear record from the original card, Exhibit No. 801, through to the negatives, exhibits 803, 804, and 805, and then to the final print, Exhibit No. 795.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Cole, did you attempt to determine whether the negative 811 was a negative of the reverse side of the registration certificate in the name of Oswald, Commission Exhibit No. 802?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir. I did make such a determination.
Mr. EISENBERG. And what was your conclusion?
Mr. COLE. That the negative, Exhibit No. 811, is in fact a photographic reproduction made from the original card, Exhibit No. 802. That is referring to the reverse of this card.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, did you also make a print from that negative, Mr. Cole?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And is that print Cole Exhibit No. 7, which I now hand you?
(Cole Exhibit No. 7 was marked for identification.)
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. EISENBERG. And are the sections of Cole Exhibits Nos. 5 and 6 which are labeled 811, photographs taken of that negative by reflected light?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, did you attempt to determine, Mr. Cole, whether the negative 811 had been used to make the reverse side of the Notice of Classification in the name of Hidell ?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I did make such a determination.
Mr. EISENBERG. What was your conclusion?
Mr. COLE. It is my conclusion that the negative 811 was actually used to make the photographic reproduction, that is, a photographic print, which is the reverse of Exhibit No. 795.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, can you tell us how you were able to link up the

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Oswald registration certificate, the negative 811, and the reverse side of the Hidell notice of classification ?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir. Returning to Commission Exhibit 802, the reverse side shows the original insertion of certain descriptive words, color of eyes, blue, complexion, medium, weight, 150, height, 5'11". Now, with particular regard to the word "blue" excuse me. I believe I didn't mention the abbreviation, Brn, or color of hair. And referring to that abbreviation, and the insertion of the typewritten word "blue," the insertion of the figure 150 for weight, it is observed that each of these intersect the dotted lines provided on the original printing of this card. Now, here also an effort was made to opaque out the typewritten material just mentioned. Since the typewritten material intersects these ruled dotted lines, the opaquing material was brought very close to the lines and in some cases caused small imperfections of the dots. Now, these imperfections are present on the photographic print, Exhibit No. 795, that is referring to the reverse of that exhibit, in exactly the same position that they appear on the opaqued negative 811. And from that I concluded that this very negative was used to produce the photographic print which forms the reverse of Exhibit No. 795.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, did you attempt to determine, Mr. Cole, whether the two negatives, Commission Exhibit No. 812, have been produced from the certificate of service in the name of Oswald which is Cole Exhibit No. 1?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And what was your conclusion?
Mr. COLE. It is my conclusion that the two negatives, Commission Exhibit No. 812, actually reproduce the card, Cole Exhibit No. 1.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you make prints of these negatives ?
Mr. COLE. I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And are those prints Cole Exhibits Nos. 8 and 9, which I now hand you?
(Cole Exhibits Nos. 8 and 9 were marked for identification.)
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; they are.
Mr. EISENBERG. And do the sections of Cole Exhibits Nos. 5 and 6 labeled 812 represent photographs of the negatives in 812 taken by reflected light?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; they do.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you attempt to determine, Mr. Cole, whether Commission Exhibit No. 806, the certificate of service in the name of Hidell, had been produced from the negatives in 812?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG And what was your conclusion?
Mr. COLE. It is my conclusion that Exhibit No. 806 was in fact prepared from or represents a photographic print made from the negatives, Commission Exhibit No. 812.
Mr. EISENBERG. Could you tell us how you were able to link up Cole Exhibit No. 1, the negatives in 812, and Commission Exhibit No. 806?
Mr. COLE. With respect to Cole Exhibit No. 1, as compared with the negative, Exhibit No. 812, that one representing the face of the document, it is observed that the opaquing medium which was used to block out the name Lee Harvey Oswald and the number 1653230 still makes it possible to read that name and number from the face of the negative, and it is observed that this typewritten material has precisely the same relationship on the negative as observed on the card, Cole Exhibit No. 1. Now there are no intersections of the opaquing with the original printed material of the card, Cole Exhibit No. 1. However, this negative gives an exact reproduction of all of the printed material on the card, including the form number which is DD Form 217 MC 1 January 1951. Now, this amount of connection, of course, is not as conclusive as one where an imperfection resulting in the application of an opaquing medium is observable, but yet as far as a comparison can be made, there is a perfect agreement and there are no differences. Now, with respect to the reverse side of Cole Exhibit No. 1, it is observed that the original signature, Lee Harvey Oswald, intersected a part of the printing of the word "signature" just above that signature mentioned. The

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intersection affects chiefly the left side of the letter "u" of the word "signature." In other words, a part of the opaquing medium affected that particular letter and this imperfection is also shown in the final photographic print which is the reverse of Commission's Exhibit No. 806.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, I hand you Commission Exhibit No. 810, Mr. Cole. Is this a side-light photograph you took of the reverse side of Hidell certificate of service, that is, Commission Exhibit No. 806,
Mr. COLE. Yes; it is.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you find any traces of a signature or letters in the box for signature of individual ?
Mr. COLE. I did find some indentations in that area.
Mr. EISENBERG. Could you describe to us what you believe those indentations might represent?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; just below the printed word "of" in the line "signature of individual," there are two vertical indentations which fill about three-fourths of the space available, and there is a diagonal mark slanting from the base of the left vertical to about the midpoint of the right vertical, the total effect being of a printed letter "H," capital "H." I also observe just below the second "i" of the printed word "individual" a vertical indentation and just below the third "i" of the word "individual" another vertical indentation. These could be the vertical parts of "d's" or "l's." However, with respect to mention of the letter "d', I do not observe any corresponding oval or circular part of that letter which would be required for a printed form.
Mr. EISENBERG. You mean a hand-printed form?
Mr. COLE. Yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. Are those indentations visible to the naked eye on the card itself?
Mr. COLE. Yes, they are, if the card is held in a special way so that the light strikes the card at an angle.
Mr. EISENBERG. How do you think those indentations might have been caused, Mr. Cole?
Mr. COLE. They could have been made by any sharp instrument, for example, by a ballpoint pen which was not delivering ink at this particular time, or by a stylus-like instrument such as those that are used in preparing mimeograph forms, or even by a toothpick.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, returning for a moment to the face of Commission Exhibit No. 795, in your previous testimony, as I recall it, you stated that while you could not make out precisely the signature of the member or clerk of local board, it appeared to be the name Good Hoffer, is that correct?
Mr. COLE That is correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, did that appear to be one word or two words?
Mr. COLE. It appears to me to be two words or two names, capital G-o-o-d, and then the name capital H-o-f-f-e-r.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now how did that compare to the signature of the member or clerk of local board on Commission Exhibit No. 801, the Oswald notice of classification?
Mr. COLE. Well, it is not the same name but it has some parts which correspond, namely, the letter "f." That is, there are obviously two hand-written letters "f" in the last name of member or clerk of local board on Exhibit No. 801, and we also have a representation of hand-written letters "f" in about the same position on Commission Exhibit No. 795.
Mr. EISENBERG. Off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. EISENBERG. On the record. Do you have any further observations on the comparison of the two names on the two cards, Mr. Cole?
Mr. COLE. Yes; I would say that a possible interpretation of the name on the original card, Exhibit No. 801, would be that it begins with either a capital "E" or a capital "G." There is a very small circular form following that which does not appear to form any intelligible name when linked with the first capital letter. However, the last name suggests to me that it might be the name Schiffen, S-c-h-i-f-f-e-n. Now, I consider it quite possible that a person looking at this name, which

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does not have a good legibility, might interpret it to be the name which is finally written on the line for signature of member or clerk of local board as it shows on Commission Exhibit No. 795. Now, as to why a name might be removed by opaquing material and then written in in a similar form by pen and ink, it is my view that this might be done in order to have what would appear to be an original, personally written signature on the final card, Exhibit No. 795, instead of having a photographic reproduction of a signature.
Mr. EISENBERG. Why do you think a person might write back in the same name that he had taken out, rather than a different name?
Mr. COLE. As I say, in order to have on the final card an actual manually written signature with pen and ink which would, one might suppose, carry more validating effect than a photographic reproduction of a signature.
Mr. EISENBERG. So that he would not necessarily be interested in changing the name ?
Mr. COLE. Not necessarily.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, on the reverse side of the notice of classification, Exhibit No. 795, there is typed in semilegible form the name and address of the local board which issued the registration certificate, and this seems to correspond to the name and address which had been opaqued out of the Oswald registration certificate, Commission Exhibit No. 802. Is that your observation? Off the record, please.
(Discussion off the record. )
Mr. EISENBERG. On the record. Now, I now hand you, in order to help you make this judgment, Commission Exhibit No. 799, which is a side light photograph--introduced in connection with your earlier testimony--of the reverse side of Exhibit No. 795, and I wonder whether, with the aid of that side light photograph, you could compare the entry in the space for local board on Commission Exhibit No. 802, as opposed to the entry in the corresponding space on the reverse side of Commission Exhibit No. 795.
Mr. COLE. The typewritten information inserted on the reverse side of Commission Exhibit No. 795 is virtually the same as the printed information which appears on the reverse of Commission Exhibit 802, with just some slight differences. On Commission Exhibit No. 795, and as now being read from the side light photograph, Exhibit No. 799, the inserted typewriting which is read partly by an existing scanty deposit of ink and partly by an indent from the striking of the typewriter keys, the wording is "Texas Local Board 114." In other words, on that line the abbreviation, No., for number is omitted. The next line being read from Exhibit No. 799 is "Selective Service." That means that the word "System" is omitted, which appears on that second line of Exhibit No. 802. Now, the next line, again being read from Exhibit No. 799, is "Room 2226," differing only as to the last figure. This read "Room 2227," on Exhibit No. 802, The street is given as 400 instead of 300 as it appears on Exhibit No. 802. The name of the street is the same, "W. Vickery St." Reading the last line from Exhibit No. 799, there are the words "Fort Worth, Texas," and this means that there is omitted the zone No. 4, which appears on Exhibit No. 802. Except for the differences mentioned, the material is the same.
Mr. EISENBERG. Do you have any opinion why a person might have gone to the trouble of opaquing out the original name and address and then typing back in a substantially similar name and address?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I do have an opinion. It is my belief that one might suppose that the insertion of original typewriting on the final blank photographic card would carry more of a validating force or would give a greater impression of being an original card than would the reproduction, photographic reproduction, of printed material.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Cole, reviewing the Exhibits which consist of prints of the negatives we have been discussing, that is, Cole Exhibits Non. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9, it appears that these prints essentially resemble blank forms, blank printed forms. Can you explain the reason for that?
Mr. COLE. The reason is that these prints are made from negatives which I believe were a part of a purpose for preparing final photographic prints which appear to be blank forms.

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Mr. EISENBERG. And in the case of Exhibits--Cole Exhibits Nos. 5 and 6, can you explain the reason why Cole Exhibit No. 6 shows various splotches or splotchylike patterns, whereas Cole Exhibit No. 5 does not?
Mr. COLE. Well, Exhibit No. 6 shows that side of the negative to which the opaquing medium was actually applied, whereas Exhibit No. 5 shows the opposite side. Now, on the opposite side, you can actually read the material that was being opaqued from the negative because the opaquing material is a dull red color and it actually reflects a considerable amount of light. However, it will not transmit any light, and the fact that it will not transmit light is shown by the prints made from these same negatives such as Cole Exhibits Nos. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9.
Mr. EISENBERG. As I understand it, then, in examining the negatives by reflected light, the opaquing material on the reverse side would serve as a background, and therefore would not prevent you from reading the material which was eventually opaqued out, is that correct?
Mr. COLE. That is true as to Exhibit No. 5.
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes.
Mr. COLE. But you observe on Exhibit No. 6 you cannot read the material opaqued.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is--yes. I should have said when the negatives are examined from their front--is that right?
Mr. COLE. When the negative is examined from the side to which the opaquing material was applied, you cannot read the material that was blocked out by the opaquing.
Mr. EISENBERG. And when it is examined from the other side you can?
Mr. COLE. You can.
Mr. EISENBERG. Because the material serves as a background?
Mr. COLE. That is correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. And is my understanding also correct that when the negative is printed by transmitted light, the opaquing blocks the light from passing through those portions of the negative which have been opaqued, therefore blocking those portions from being printed in the final prints?
Mr. COLE. That is correct; yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. Thank you very much, Mr. Cole.

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