Did celebrity gossip site TMZ unearth a potentially history-changing photograph?
(Update: it was a forgery, see bottom of post.) That's what bloggers are scrambling to figure out with the publication
of a photo revealing four naked women and a man resembling John F.
Kennedy on a yacht. It was allegedly taken when then-Senator Kennedy
traveled to the Mediterranean with his brother Ted in 1956. At the
time, JFK's wife, Jackie, was pregnant and would eventually give birth
to a stillborn infant. As TMZ infers, "Had the
photo surfaced when John F. Kennedy ran for President in 1960,
it could have torpedoed his run, and changed world history." The gossip
site's forensic expert, Jeff Sedlik, vouches for the photograph's
authenticity. However, a number of bloggers are raising questions about
the seamy photograph:
- We Need More Answers, writes Zennie Abraham at The San Francisco Chronicle: "First, who took the photo? Second, how did they come to be in position to take it? Third, how did such a controversial photo lay undiscovered for so long? Fourth, who was really on the boat? Fifth, if it's real, who was instrumental in arranging for it not to be discovered?"
- Cause for Skepticism Charisse Van Horn at The Examiner observes: "The top deck features two nude women who seem to be sunning themselves while John F. Kennedy is depicted on a lower level, by himself, apparently reading or sleeping. Does the fact that he appears isolated from the women indicate that the photo may be photoshopped?"
- A Funny Angle, writes Azaria Jagger at Gawker: "Here is a question: Who took the picture? The angle suggests they are either (a.) docked, and the cameraman is on land (b.) beside a second boat, and the cameraman is on that (c.) alone, and the cameraman is treading water and angling his camera lens up, which doesn't seem likely, because cameras did not come waterproofed back then. Was there some 1950s paparazzo lurking about, and if so, does he have a whole role of sordid naked yacht pics? Or was Teddy aboard a second, even wilder pleasure yacht?"