There were already people who don't fit into either the great crowd or the 144,000 in Revelation, such as Lazarus and John the Baptist for example
Both of those two gentlemen passed away before Pentecost and what JW's consider to be the formal start of the Christian Era. So like Able, Enoch and Noah, they fall into the broader category of "other sheep"
So I’m not really sure what your objection is.
It's really very simple:
JW's teach that Revelation 7 & 14 describe two hopes for Christians
a. The prospect of ruling with Christ in heaven (i.e. The heavenly hope)
b. The prospect of surviving the Great Tribulation (i.e. The earthly hope)
There is no other option. There is no third group. You either fall into one category or the other.
JW literature has been clear on this from day one.
From 1935 until 1970 they believed the "great tribulation" had already started and that these people had already come out of that tribulation and from 1970 onward, they tied the idea of a human lifespan to the doctrine for the reasons I've already explained:
JW literature has been clear on that point too:
"Other loyal servants of God, too, will be on hand to witness the events of that great day. Especially beginning in 1935, when the identity of the “great multitude,” or “great crowd,” was clearly understood, large numbers of these began to manifest themselves.....God’s infallible Word depicts this group as ‘coming out of the great tribulation,’ being survivors of it, living right on into God’s New Order without ever having to die. (Revelation 7:9, 10, 14; John 11:26) The early members of this group are now in their 60’s or 70’s or older. Jehovah did not allow the ingathering of this group to begin too soon. The “great crowd,” including many of the earliest members thereof, will survive into the “new earth.”
So I’m not really sure what your objection is
My original point on this thread was that the "prospect" of surviving the "great tribulation" is dependent upon the pre-1995 understanding of a "generation" and is therefore completely incompatible with the the changes they have made. Especially the overlapping generation nonsense
At this point, I guess I'm objecting to the equivocal use of the term, "other sheep." The term describes everyone throughout the whole of history who JW's believe will live on "paradise earth" including those who lived long before Christ, but as it relates to the Christian Era and the Christian hope, it is virtually synonymous with the term, "great crowd."
Here is a small sampling:
"In a stirring talk on “The Great Multitude,” delivered to about 20,000 conventioners, J. F. Rutherford, president of the Watch Tower Society, gave Scriptural proof that the modern-day other sheep are identical with that great crowd of Revelation 7:9" Revelation - Climax pp 121-122
"At first the position of these other sheep was not well understood, but with the passing of time, things became clearer. In 1932 anointed Christians were encouraged to urge other sheep to share in the preaching work—something many other sheep were already doing. In 1934 other sheep were encouraged to submit to water baptism. In 1935 they were identified with the “great crowd” of Revelation chapter 7." The Watchtower July 1, 1995 p. 15
"Who are marked on the forehead by that “man”? “Other sheep,” ones who have the hope of living eternally on a paradise earth. (John 10:16; Psalm 37:29) In 1935 this group of “other sheep” were discerned to be the “great crowd . . . out of all nations” seen in vision by the apostle John. (Revelation 7:9-14)" The Watchtower January 1, 2000 p. 12
"In a stirring talk on “The Great Multitude,” delivered to about 20,000 conventioners, J. F. Rutherford presented Scriptural proof that the modern-day “other sheep” are identical with that “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9." The Watchtower May 15, 2001 p. 15 (Reiteration of quote from Revelation book...)
Jesus’ disciples entertain one of two hopes. First, a “little flock” numbering 144,000 has been gathered—anointed Christians of both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds who are “the Israel of God” and have the hope of ruling with Jesus in his heavenly Kingdom. (Luke 12:32; Galatians 6:16; Revelation 14:1) Second, in the last days, “a great crowd” of “other sheep” have manifested themselves. These have the hope of living forever on a paradise earth. Before the outbreak of the great tribulation, this multitude—whose number is not foreordained—serve alongside the little flock, and both groups form “one flock” under “one shepherd.”—Revelation 7:9, 10; John 10:16. Isaiah's Prophecy II pp 241-242 (2001)
"Those of the other sheep gathered in the time of the end will make up the “great crowd” destined to survive “the great tribulation,” with the prospect of living forever on a paradise earth. The Watchtower February 1 2002 p. 21
"But on May 31, 1935, in a discourse given at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., it was Scripturally explained that the “great crowd” (“great multitude,” King James Version) refers to the “other sheep” who live during the time of the end. The Watchtower February 15, 2003 p. 19"
The only place in JW literature where you could possibly get the idea that "other sheep" exist apart from the "great crowd" during the Christian Era is a Questions From Readers which makes allowance for accidents, illness and other forms of untimely death. (Which you have pointed out above.0
If any of this has changed and 1935 has been discard, then I'm not seeing it. The most recent treatment of the subject I'm aware of was in a 2019 study article which positively gushes about 1935 and what exciting development this was:
There's even a chart