I’ve been on WorldNetDaily’s case lately for trotting out a steady stream of crank self-proclaimed document experts while avoiding the recognized professionals in the field.
I have not been completely fair in my criticism. WorldNetDaily, according to an article by Bob Unruh back on May 1, 2011, actually contacted two forensics professionals and asked them to look at the Obama long form PDF.
While WND has published links to the full reports of some of its crank experts, they have treated the real experts differently.
Unruh spends most of his article treating the report of Ivan Zatkovich of eComp Consultants. Mr. Zatkovich has an impressive career, having given forensic testimony in federal civil and criminal trials. While most of his activity seems to be related to patents and telephony, at least one case involved images. Mr. Zatkovich is not a crank by any means. What seemed odd to me then is why a link to his actual report was not published along with Unruh’s article.
To clear the matter up, I emailed Mr. Zatkovich with my questions, and he was kind enough to reply, and to include the missing report provided to WorldNetDaily. Mr. Zatkovich said:
Here is a copy of the full Obama birth certificate report which I submitted to World Net Daily. I believe it is fairly objective, and don’t believe WND’s excerpt was quite accurate.
I must agree. WND readers say that every expert who has looked at the long form concludes that it’s a fake/fraud/forgery. Mr. Zatkovich, while maintaining that the separation of the document into layers was manual, concludes:
All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document.
The Zatkovich report directly contradicts the report of WND crank expert Douglas Vogt, by saying: “A certificate was produced by the State of Hawaii and copied onto green safety paper, as per normal procedure.” Vogt claims the State of Hawaii produced no paper document at all. He also contradicts WND crank expert Mara Zebest when he reports that the layers were not due to Adobe Illustrator.
Jon Berryhill is the COO of Berryhill Computer Forensics. Bob Unruh says only:
A second opinion, from Jon Berryhill of Berryhill Computer Forensics, said for a complete analysis, access to the original document would be best.
No indication is given whether or not a report was provided by Mr. Berryhill, and what else Berryhill might have said. However, if Berryhill had called the long form PDF a fake, there is no doubt that Mr. Unruh would have said so. He didn’t.
WorldNetDaily contacted two legitimate document experts and asked them to look into the Obama long form birth certificate PDF. Neither of them called it a fake.