By Nick Chase
April 10, 2012
Is Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate a forgery? Definitely yes, for those of us who have spent a lifetime writing and producing technical documents, and who remember how they were produced in pre-computer days, and who have the technical expertise today to produce them using computers. For us, it's been an "open secret" that the document image released by the White House on April 27, 2011 is a complete fake.
Last year, as document experts researched the digital PDF posted at whitehouse.gov and published their findings on the internet, it quickly became clear that the "birth certificate" fails authenticity on at least three levels:
First, in the digital composition of the PDF, where even cursory analysis with Adobe Illustrator will reveal how it was constructed from digital snippets. (My personal favorite is where Illustrator reveals that the supposed rubber-stamp imprint of the registrar, Alvin T. Onaka, was shrunk 24% and rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise before it was added to the forgery.)
Second, without fancy (expensive!) software but just by magnifying the PDF about 4x, visible to the naked eye is the mixture of bitmap and grayscale elements which would not have been possible with an ordinary computer scan of a paper document. This is most obvious in the Bates-stamped certificate number, "61 10641" in the upper-right corner of the certificate; the "61 1064" digits are stark black, and the trailing "1" digit is shades of gray, and blurred. Certainly, somebody tampered with this number. Bitmap and grayscale mixtures can also be clearly seen in Line 18a, the parent's signature.
Third, in the typefaces, with at least two different typewriter fonts (maybe more) being used in the single document.
But the problem with most of this research is that it's "geeky," requiring at least some computer knowledge ("layers," "fonts," "anti-aliased," "chromatic aberration," and the like) to understand that the technical arguments for the "birth certificate" being fake are valid. Thus, it's very difficult to prove to the general public, which typically doesn't know much about documents except how to read them, that the Obama "birth certificate" really is a forgery.
So last summer, I wondered if there would be some way to demonstrate that this "birth certificate" is indeed a fake, just by looking at the document itself and without resorting to computer software or to any knowledge about how computers produce documents. And, after studying it for a while, I realized that the forgery fails the "pitch test."
About the author: Nick Chase is a retired but still very active technical writer, technical editor, computer programmer, and stock market newsletter writer. During his career he has produced documentation on computers, typewriters, typesetters, headline-makers, and other pieces of equipment most people never heard of, and he has programmed typesetting equipment. You can read more of his work at contrariansview.org.