Thanks to Loren’s “The Secret Origins of the Birthers” article, we have recorded one of the earliest mentions of the Born in Africa myth. It goes this way:
… Obama’s mother was allegedly visiting Kenya with Obama’s father in the final months of her pregnancy and was not allowed to board a flight in her late term to return home.She allegedly had Obama in Kenya and quickly boarded a flight to Hawaii. Airlines do not accept late term pregancies but do not refuse passage to a newborn, usually issuing a 10% or free fare ticket for the trip.Once in Hawaii, his mother registered him as being born in Hawaii.
There are a few details that I note:
- Obama’s mother and father were in Kenya
- They flew back to the US
Assuming such a trip took place at all, those details are almost reasonable (except for the prohibitive cost of the air fare). It would seem to make no sense for Ann Obama to travel to Kenya alone—18-years-old, pregnant, not knowing anyone.
However, we now know that this particular scenario didn’t actually happen. The first evidence is from the FOIA files on Barack Obama, Sr. We learn from those files that he did not travel outside of the United States in 1961.
In 1964, Barack Obama Sr.’s last entry into the United States was in 1959.
Now, we have further confirmation of that, from a statistical report of persons entering the United States. Surprisingly only one alien embarked from Kenya and traveled to the United States by air in the entire year ending June 30, 1962. Wow! Only 1 in a whole year: That kind of travel was REALLY UNCOMMON! Since President Obama would have been an alien under US law had he been born in Kenya, he and his alien father could not have both arrived in the US by air. (Please don’t look at the following chart YET—it’ll spoil the surprise.)
So the story gets complicated with no father in the picture. The birthers have concocted an alternative out of whole cloth. They now say that Ann Dunham made the trip to Kenya alone to give the baby up for adoption (which she didn’t). That way, baby Barack could have been the only alien. It’s complicated for all the other reasons of the original story, but it requires a reason for adoption. One reason given for the adoption is that Ann Dunham’s family was outraged by their daughter having a mixed-race child. That contention is borne out by this tense photo of Obama with his grandfather in Hawaii:
Add that to the fact that Obama Sr.’s father was furious at his son for marrying a white woman. That’s really complex.
But the greatest complexity of all is not only was it impossible for Barack Obama Sr. to have flown to the United States with his new-born son. It was also impossible for his mother to have flown home either, because according to the INS report, a total of ZERO US citizens arrived in the United States from Kenya by air for the entire year ending June 30, 1962.
OK birthers, dump the air travel. You’ve got to by sea. Or maybe via Canada, yeah, Canada. Ann Obama traveled on her husband’s British passport—oops, he wasn’t there.