Obama Conspiracy Theories original research
I have seen various reports on the Internet that there are two versions of the White House-issued PDF version of the President’s long-form birth certificate: an original and an unexplained replacement. I am skeptical about these claims because I haven’t seen any good evidence that two versions from the White House really exist.
However, there is one difference that may appear and that I address in this article.
If one uses Adobe Acrobat Reader (or full Acrobat) to display the PDF document properties, a dialog such as the one following appears showing that the file was created at 12:09:24 PM on April 27, 2011.
When we open the PDF with a text editor, the only readily-visible occurrence of the string “2011” is this:
Adding some punctuation to the date, we get: 2011-04-27 12:09:24 Z00.
According to the PDF standard Page 88 what follows the Z is the time zone.
Some reporters see different dates when they examine the properties of purported White House PDF files using other software. In particular one from the US Pacific Time Zone saw a time of 04:09:24 AM using a Windows XP properties dialog (I’m not exactly sure the software involved).
The time zone 00 is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC1) , what some may know as Greenwich Mean Time. It appears that the Quartz PDFContext software used by the White House does not set the local time zone in the file to the correct value of eastern US time. I know other PDF software has this same limitation, such as Image2PDF. Adobe Acrobat Distiller does set the time zone.
So the Adobe software displays the file date as-is: 12:09:24 PM but the “local time” for this on the west coast is –8 hours (in the summer), or 04:09:24 AM.
That is, depending on the software used, a White House PDF may appear to have been created at different times, but this doesn’t mean that the files are different, only that different software in different time zones can display different results.
To be sure a file has changed, use a cryptographic hash function.
1UTC is not a typo. The recognized abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is based on a hybrid English-French version of the phrase.