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Thursday, June 23, 2011

A FLAT SCAN? Obama's Hawaiian birth...

Publisher Note: Mr. Poyssick has never worked for Adobe but rather has worked with said for as long as it has been around! Gary Poyssick is not nor ever has been an Adobe Engineer.

The Long Form revisited...

Several months ago the “Long Form” of President Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate was released by the White House. I was asked at the time to look at the document by a friend who is a Rabbi in a Long Island Synagogue.

The document was provided to the public in what's called Portable Document Format, or PDF for short. I was somewhat surprised by the use of this format, which is a universal file format used for normal documents, and rarely – except under certain manufacturing processes, be used for a scanned image. Scanned images are normally in a format known as “Bitmaps”. Use of PDF files for scans isn't normal, but it certainly isn't impossible to have been used, so my initial reaction was that someone saved the file incorrectly. Not normal workflow, but no big deal.

I was asked to open the document in Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator is a drawing program, not an imaging program. Although it can be used to handle and may contain “bitmap” images, it's used for complex line drawings, logos, and other images that may require extremely large output.

That said, Illustrator is often used by designers and “prepress” professionals to open and/or modify PDF documents. It has the ability to open them, and if typefaces are available, change text. There was no text in any editable form within the Long Form I analyzed. The Long Form in question had been opened in Adobe Illustrator by my friend's son. It makes sense to open PDF files in Illustrator if one wants to see what they're made of, so to speak.

Upon opening the file, there was an immediate blaring element: Layers. Layers are components of a single document that are essentially transparent in their created state. Drawing elements – be they type, lines, strokes, pictures (hence the use of bitmaps within a “vector” or mathematically-defined digital image/drawing), and even videos laid onto those layers “stack” onto underlying layers.

Upon further examination, I discovered that each of the layers contained an element known as a “Clipping Mask”. Clipping masks are used to isolate an element from its surroundings. A good analogy would be an image where a girl with long hair was standing in the breeze in front of a gas station and junky cars. The image – and the woman – are beautiful. Except for the rusted Ford Falcon in the background. To isolate and “silhouette” her hair, and place her on the beaches of Jamaica, one would use “Clipping Masks”. They would allow one Layer to contain the girl's hair, and the other the beaches. The edges of the wind-blown hair would merge softly into the background.

Amazed by the existence of clipping masks in what should have been a “flat” (layerless) image, I questioned why it was done as a PDF file, why it had Clipping masks on individual layers, and additional things that quite frankly should not have been contained in a scan of a birth certificate for distribution on the Internet to people interested in seeing the original.

In the first post on this blog, I said that Clipping Masks could never be generated by simply clicking the “Scan” button is incorrect. Layers can be generated if you apply Optical character recognition software to the process.
A file resulting from that OCR software intercepting the original “On the glass” is not the same as a “regular” everyday scan. Anyone wanting to investigate the document – be they journalists or simply curious to see the truth – would need a “flat” scan without layers, and certainly without clipping masks.

That said, clipping masks were not the only issue with the original PDF file supplied by the White House. There were more:

Most noticeable was a pattern in what appears to be standard ledger paper. The pattern on the “original” document is surrounded by a contiguous pattern identical to that on the Long Form itself. Scanners have white plastic behind the scanned document; not patterns identical to 1961 ledger paper. You would have had to put an identical piece of paper behind the original Long Form to create such a background pattern. The alignment to match the lines perfectly – as seen in the supplied Long Form – would be near impossible by hand. The resolution of the surrounding pattern is also – on careful examination – different than the ledger paper on the Long Form.

Bitmap vs Letterpress images in Characters on the document: Some of the letters are very soft, while others are very jagged. All the characters on the page should look the same, and would if the scan was done using normal accepted workflows. Letter-press – letters created by a metal arm striking (physically) the surface of paper results in soft edges on the characters – all look soft. The fact that there are some “hard edged” characters on the document and some soft letters on the document is evidence that some of the letters were processed differently. There is no telling whether it was done by software or by human intervention.

Kerning. There are indications of a technique called Kerning. Kerning is the alteration of the horizontal space between letters. Old typewriters provided exactly the same horizontal space for each letter of the alphabet. An example is the Capital Letter “T” and its common companion the lower-case “o”. Old typewriters were unable to “tuck” the lower-case “o” underneath the “cap” of the letter “T”. As such:

To or Ta or Ti

Typewriters in 1961 could not tuck the “o” under the “T”. Certainly not the typewriter in the place this birth certificate was generated.

In conclusion, I cannot say that the document is a forgery or that conditions could not have generated clipping masks in the PDF file I originally saw from the White House. Equally important, however, nobody could say it was an original. To do so, one would have to see a scan unaltered by the OCR process and resultant clipping masks, without a contiguous pattern and one without kerning (or evidence that the typewriter used to generate that Long Form had kerning capabilities).

The reality is that clipping masks are commonly used not to scan a document for preview or printing, but to merge or compose one or more images. It is – in my opinion and my opinion only – a document that was, in fact, merged from several originals.

In closing...

I never intended to become part of a technical argument or what some people believe is a conspiracy theory. My position at this point is that the document I analyzed is beyond being argued about. It contains discrepancies that could easily be resolved.

What is needed are ten-or-twelve flat scans. With this one in the middle of the pile. All done at 2400 dpi and without the intervention of any additional software. It's a simple request, and if the “birther” issue was one high on my agenda, I would make it myself. But the issue is one for much smarter and more dedicated minds then mine. I will vote the right way in November, and work to impress on our citizenry the importance of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Special thanks to author Jerome Corsi for his dedication to telling the truth.

Are all flat screen images the same? Only if not altered, as in correlation to the tires on your vehicle. Inflating to deflation in air pressures, can cause a slight alteration in the direction and speed one is traveling. The Long Form, being revisited by a request of Jerome Corsi, is of in the light of those who know more than I or all involved, with the exception of maybe, the White House Staff and President Obama, as they are privy to more than the public really knows.
We at The Political Sandbox, are of but a tool to play with while visiting our box, in seeking the truth and our Freedom of Speech. Is that not what the Free Press is all about, as well, all Americans because if it ain't the truth, we are not on a path of the straight and narrow. If it is anything less than the truth, to speaking from the heart; one might as well just throw away the tires, all together! Thanks too World Net Daily in printing the facts, as that is of which our Free Press is all about; speaking out, without fear of being crucified for it. Gary A. Anderson

Even the FREE PRESS in Canada is deplored and laughs at us, not with us as our Congress Fails to do nothing! END IT NOW with a Full Scale Congressional Hearing before it is too late.

1 comment:

  1. The kerning which appears on the document is easily explained.

    The typewriters of the '60's, of course, were not capable of kerning.

    Just the same, the OCR software of 2011 is not capable of faithfully reproducing the fonts from typewriter's of the '60's.

    When the birth certificate was scanned, OCR was enabled, and during it's attempt to interpret the characters from an old typewriter, it replaced the fonts from the '60's with font's from 2011, which ARE capable of kerning.

    In effect, Poyssick was examining a "document," from 1961, but the typed words he was reading were created from technology of 2011, which IS capable of kerning.


As always, your thoughts are appreciated.