It’s fun to be fooled with a really good April Fool joke, although it’s not quite as fun to admit that one has been really suckered in by one of those jokes. Well, I must admit that for a while there, WorldNetDaily had me going, thinking that their article, ‘The Obama code’: Hidden messages in birth document? was serious. I guess it’s my own confirmation bias, being willing to attribute any bad thing to Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily, that temporarily blinded me to one of the funniest things I have ever seen in this whole birther business.
WND has inspired me to do my own experimentation with Barack Obama’s long form to see what is really there, once one starts to think outside the box, and I found some things much more bizarre than the “smiley face” in Dr. Onaka’s signature.
From now on this is a serious story. As readers here know, I spent most of my career with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology, and while I am not myself an image processing expert (my PhD is in Rocket Science1), I know folks who are and, they were willing to share with me some of the almost magical software they use at the JPL to find and clarify images taken by our spacecraft.
This first image is a pretty simple transform of the positive image using first-order difference equations:
In this next image, we see the application of a combination of Fourier and Laplace transforms to provide greater detail. I circled what appears to be a foot!
That said, a rather technical and tedious process that our lay audience wouldn’t understand reveals the underlying secret of the birth certificate that probably more than anything else crystallizes the source of doubt in the long form.
The image file from the White House also contains an encrypted message in binary that says: “100, 99, 98, 97, … 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 May 22, 2011 end.”
1At this point, the reader should figure out that everything about this is a joke.