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Debunking Vogt’s 20 points of forgery: Part 2

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Douglas Vogt, believing that Barack Obama and others are guilty of felony and treason, submitted an affidavit in federal court in Seattle, asking a judge to forward it to a grand jury for investigation. In this affidavit, Vogt lists 20 proofs that Obama’s birth documentation is faked. Previously, Points 1-4 were debunked in Part 1 of this series..

Point 5 – Wrong size

The fifth point of forgery is that the size of the COLB is wrong if it was truly a photocopy of the original;

Vogt alleges that the Obama long form birth certificate released by the White House is 6.125 inches wide, representing a 12.5% reduction in size which is “not a standard reduction from a copying machine.” Vogt sells copying machines for a living, so he should know what most copy machines do (he’s not a dealer for Xerox). He further says:

The Governor and the director Fuddy wrote that Mr. Obama’s COLB was a direct copy “of the original Certificate of Live Birth” and copied on a copying machine which had the green security paper in it.

I don’t think that Governor Abercrombie ever wrote that, but I don’t dispute the accuracy of the process as coming from Fuddy. So let’s look at the details:

I inspected the background layer of the PDF to determine its size. I am not an expert in image scaling, but I agree with Vogt that the form width in the White House PDF is about 6.125 inches. The argument Vogt makes assumes that the White House PDF document is the same size as the certified copy from Hawaii. In order to try to test that, I compared the security paper in the PDF with an actual sheet of security paper, believed to be the same that the Hawaii DOH uses. As best I can measure, the security paper pattern repeats about every 9 cm on the actual paper and the White House birth certificate PDF, suggesting that the White House PDF is not reduced significantly—it’s same size as the original certified copy within my ability to measure it.

To get the reduction percentage, one must compare the White House PDF image to an unquestioned image. That’s where we run into problems. Vogt writes:

Paul [Irey?] and I had figured out the exact line length of the 1961 COLB forms measured from the bold vertical line on the left hand side to the end of the line on the right side. The original line length was 7-inches (504 points).

What did he measure? He doesn’t say exactly, but he subsequently confirms the result by measuring a Hawaiian death certificate—not a birth certificate, but a death certificate!

So we can’t really say how Vogt got his number, but let’s examine his claim that a 12.5% reduction is non-standard for a copier. He’s saying that the copy is 87.5% the size of the original. I went to the Canon web site and randomly selected a multi-function machine (D560/D530)  and looked at the operators manual (Page 37) and found:

image

So based on this example, copy machines can do scaling in 1% increments, and I don’t think Vogt’s measurements are accurate to 1/2%.

So this point remains somewhat open-ended. We can’t determine how Vogt got his numbers, but even if they are right, a copy machine could do that. Vogt hasn’t proven anything. Vogt claims elsewhere that his forger knew a great deal about authentic Hawaiian certificates, and I can think of no rational explanation for a forger carefully reproducing minute details in a document and then issuing it the wrong size.

Point 6 – Obama Sr.’s age

The sixth point of forgery on the COLB is that the age of Barack Hussein Obama, Senior was wrong;

Obama’s birth certificate shows the age of his father as 25. Vogt says it should be 27. Vogt claims that an unnamed conspirator went to the Harvard University records, retrieved an erroneous age for Barack Obama Sr. and used it to fake the birth certificate. Vogt assumes that the Harvard date is wrong because he finds two other official documents with a birth date that would make him 27. "Born 1936"Vogt’s research is rather thin including only 3 documents. When I researched this back in 2011 (see “When was Obama’s daddy born?”), I found twenty documents that included Obama Sr.’s birth date and 13 of them show him to have been born in 1934, which would make him aged 27 when his son was born, and 7 documents (8 counting the birth certificate) show him to have been born in 1936, making him 25 years old. Obama Sr.’s two known passports divide evenly, one from 1934 and one from 1936. Obama Sr.’s tombstone in Kenya also shows the 1936 date. I think the argument can be made equally well for one year of birth as for another. Since we really don’t know when Barack Obama Sr. was born, and we know that he used different dates on different documents, there is no reason to conclude that the age on the birth certificate is other than what Obama’s father provided (or Ann Dunham provided). Personally, I go with the tombstone as the most reliable date, since it comes from the family and is not tainted by the  capricious date use of Obama Sr.

Vogt also adds in the nonsense about the Father’s Race block that contains the word “African.” The race of the parent is open-ended, whatever the parent considers themself to be. Black Kenyans in 1961 preferred the term “African” to describe their race. The code table that Vogt presents is for the race of the child, which is a classification based on the application of rules to the parent’s race. I have written extensively on this topic before and will include that by reference and not repeat it here:

After completing this article, I lost interest, and so the final parts were not written; however, another complete debunking has been published: “Twenty Shades of Vogt: Digital Document Forensics for Amateurs.”

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31 Responses to Debunking Vogt’s 20 points of forgery: Part 2

  1. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Any suggestions on this one appreciated. I’d like to tie it up tighter.

  2. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    When Vogt ventures into the typewriting, he offers a valuable clue for how to determine the scaling factor. Assuming he is indeed correct about the form being sized for a standard typewriter of the time, and that spacing can be accurately measured by picas, we can measure the distance between form lines and compare it to the expected two-pica distance. Note that a pica is 12 points, and a point is 1/72 of an inch. Thus two picas is 1/3 of an inch.

    I opened a copy of the WH LFBC in Adobe Reader (my other computer has more powerful programs, but this is more of a proof of concept). I created a line that was approximately the distance between the form lines on either side of the line containing entries starting with the gender of the child (making sure to place it towards the center of the page to avoid the effects of the page curl). I then used this to verify the distance between the remaining form lines. The distance was roughly equal for all the form lines up to the attendant, which is visibly larger. I then zoomed in and counted the number of pixels (compared to the background resolution) my line required.

    My line was approximately 44 pixels long, on a background with a resolution of 150 ppi. This represents a scaling factor of ~88% (or a 12% reduction). Note that this is a very rough approximation, and there is definitely some error, in the range of +/- 2%.

    To give you an idea of how important finding the exact scaling factor is, a 1% error over 6 inches will result in an offset of 4.3 points – enough to completely skew any attempts at grid alignments.

    Another consideration is that the curl of the page causes the left hand side of the image to compress. Any gridding or measurement that includes the curl will be erroneous.

  3. avatar
    Keith November 5, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I compared the security paper in the PDF with an actual sheet of security paper, believed to be the same that the White House uses.

    Should that be ‘Hawai’i Department of Health’?

  4. avatar
    The Magic M November 5, 2013 at 4:16 am #

    but let’s examine his claim that a 12.5% reduction is non-standard for a copier. He’s saying that the copy is 87.5% the size of the original.

    7/8ths does seem like a typical preset, though. The peeps with access to a Xerox WorkCentre would probably be able to give more details.

  5. avatar
    Notorial Dissent November 5, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Gah, the stupidity and ignorance, it burns!!!!

    Unless things were markedly different back in the 60’s than they were in the 70’s when I was collecting such things, birth and death affidavits were on 8 1/2 by 11 in standard white paper. When they were sent to the registrar for processing and ultimately filming they were usually reduced a small percentage because of the filming requirements. When they are pulled back up off of the film, they are also (usually) reproduced [scaled] at a considerably smaller ratio than the 1:1 they were filmed at. So, yes, the image of the affidavit reproduced on the certificate paper is going to be smaller than the original. Because of the new requirements, the image has to be reduced to fit on the security paper and leave enough space for the required seals and whatever they use these days.

    I’m sorry, this isn’t rocket science, just common sense, and actually being familar with what you are making pronouncements on, which he so very obviously isn’t!!

    Vogt is a supposedly a copier specialist and he doesn’t know how to scale a document for reproduction?????

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 5, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    The state has always said that the certified copy was made from the original in a book, not from microfilm.

    Notorial Dissent: When they are pulled back up off of the film, they are also (usually) reproduced [scaled] at a considerably smaller ratio than the 1:1 they were filmed at.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 5, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Vogt hasn’t been particularly honest in his presentation.

    Notorial Dissent: Vogt is a supposedly a copier specialist and he doesn’t know how to scale a document for reproduction?????

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 5, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    A common scaling is 78%, the reduction needed to put an 8 1/2 x 14 inch document on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and copiers with a small preset list will have that one, but not 7/8.

    The Magic M: 7/8ths does seem like a typical preset, though. The peeps with access to a Xerox WorkCentre would probably be able to give more details.

  9. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    HDoH has a Xerox WorkCentre 245. I’ll check on the specs.

  10. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    http://download.support.xerox.com/pub/docs/CC232_CC238/userdocs/any-os/en/604P18228_QRG_US.pdf

    The options:

    100%
    Auto
    64%
    78%
    More…

    “More” allows you to specify the size in 1% increments.

    Also, this machine allows you to specify the dimensions of the original image and whether to center it on the printout. This is important because it explains why the vertical line on the left is cut off and why the image is centered on the page.

    As to why that particular reduction? At a guess, so they can fit two copies on a single sheet. When I went to college, my mom ordered several birth certificates for me “just in case.” When we got them, it was apparent that they had been printed two per 8.5″x11″ and cut with a paper trimmer – I remember fitting them together to find the matched sets.

    (We know the HDoH has this particular machine because the correspondence with the WH posted by HDoH was scanned on it).

  11. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    One detail I left out – you can save settings under the “Stored Programming” option. So all a clerk would have to do is position the book on the glass platen (top right corner of the document in the top left corner of the platen, easy to do), select the stored program (numbered 1-10), select whether it’s one or two images per page, and press “Copy.” Also keep in mind this is used for more than birth certificates.

  12. avatar
    JimmyJam November 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    When you start from the premise of let’s charge someone we don’t like with forgery, you get one set of questions and answers.
    When you start from the premise of let’s make some official state data available so that average citizens can see it for themselves on the Internet, you get a completely different set of questions and answers.

  13. avatar
    john November 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Thought you guys would like to know that I have taken steps to verify once and for all whether RC and NBC’s claims that Xerox WorkCenter Scanned and Produced the Obama Long Form Birth Certificate PDF have any merit or are just complete cow poo. I have made the contacts but I don’t know if they will help or not. We shall see in time how things go.

  14. avatar
    john November 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund: Xerox WorkCentre 245.

    Are you saying you know the printer that printed the long form birth certificate or the COLB. If you do, this might prove to quite fruitful.

  15. avatar
    john November 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund:
    HDoH has a Xerox WorkCentre 245.I’ll check on the specs.

    If This printer was involved this is key. As you might aware, many printers and perhaps this one leave forensic markers when they print out something like yellow dots. These forensic markers are used to identify and type or model and time the output was printed. The forensic markers are invisible to the naked eye but can be seen using other methods. If both certificate were printed out one a printer that leaves forensic markers, would it be possible to detect those forensic markers. I’m not sure. You might need access to the original. Unfortunately no birther or obots has access to the original.

  16. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    john:
    I have made the contacts but I don’t know if they will help or not.We shall see in time how things go.

    The voices in your head do not count, neither do waifus!

  17. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    john: Are you saying you know the printer that printed the long form birth certificate or the COLB.If you do, this might prove to quite fruitful.

    I’m saying that I know they have this particular model, that it was used (among other instances) to scan the HDOH’s copy of the correspondence (the same day as the press conference), and that it has the necessary features to create the LFBC. While it is a high probability, that does not mean it is a certainty.

    You would definitely need the original to verify. Xerox has confirmed that all WorkCentre Pro products produce these dots, but they don’t get picked up by scanners.

    Keeping on living the pipe dream, I see…

  18. avatar
    nbc November 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    john: You might need access to the original. Unfortunately no birther or obots has access to the original.

    Bummer, another dead end for the birthers… Poor birthers…

  19. avatar
    nbc November 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    john: Thought you guys would like to know that I have taken steps to verify once and for all whether RC and NBC’s claims that Xerox WorkCenter Scanned and Produced the Obama Long Form Birth Certificate PDF have any merit or are just complete cow poo. I have made the contacts but I don’t know if they will help or not. We shall see in time how things go.

    It’s about time that someone tries to do this. People are quick to accuse but then when the data contradict, they are reluctant to accept their errors.

    Good luck my friend…

  20. avatar
    nbc November 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund: HDoH has a Xerox WorkCentre 245. I’ll check on the specs.

    Seems to have JBIG2 and MRC compression so it would be fun to find an actual scan so that we can check for the embedded comment and quantization matrix.

  21. avatar
    nbc November 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund: (We know the HDoH has this particular machine because the correspondence with the WH posted by HDoH was scanned on it).

    No JPEG so no comment or quantization in these documents.

  22. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    nbc: Seems to have JBIG2 and MRC compression so it would be fun to find an actual scan so that we can check for the embedded comment and quantization matrix.

    I believe that the collection of laws that Vogt used and I linked to last week was scanned on the same machine, likely in response to an FOIA request. The 245 is an older model, so it may be using different matrices.

  23. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Hold on, let me double check that I have the right model number.

  24. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund November 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Xerox WorkCentre Pro 265, not 245. Memory failed me on that one. The guide is the same, just confused myself on the exact model number.

  25. avatar
    G November 6, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    ROTFL! True!!

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Looks like the case is going to be dismissed before I can get it debunked. That’s as bad as Obama releasing his birth certificate before Corsi could get his book “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” in the stores.

  26. avatar
    Whatever4 November 6, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Looks like the case is going to be dismissed before I can get it debunked. That’s as bad as Obama releasing his birth certificate before Corsi could get his book “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” in the stores.

    Birthers recycle, you’ll be able to use it sometime.

  27. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 6, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    John,

    Failing the original, you need a control document of similar construction. For obots this means a combination of handwritten signatures and typewritten text on a form similar to the LFBC format printed onto security paper with an embossed seal and a stamped signature. If scanning such a document on a Xerox workstation produces a pdf with the same sort of artifacts as the pdf posted on the White House website, then that would be extremely strong evidence that said pdf was the result of a scan of a physical document.

    My understanding is that this is roughly what the obots are doing—I believe that they are using a high-resolution image of the form, signatures, text, seal and stamp and printing it onto similar basket-weave security paper, which is less than ideal, but still shows that most of the artifacts are easily explained at the result of the scanning and optimization process.

    Birthers, on the other hand, would need to produce a pdf electronically assembled from multiple sources which showed all of the artifacts which they consider anomalous. Personally, I’m curious as to the effort required to manually create halos—something which is a necessary result of the scanning and optimization process, but painstakingly difficult to recreate by hand. Leave it to the birthers to tout an artifact which completely destroys their argument…

    It is tempting to suggest that John and the other birthers have failed to perform an experiment analogous to what Doc and others are doing because they are aware that doing so would utterly discredit their argument, but it is more likely that they just don’t understand what their burden of proof is, let alone how to carry it.

    john: If This printer was involved this is key.As you might aware, many printers and perhaps this one leave forensic markers when they print out something like yellow dots.These forensic markers are used to identify and type or model and time the output was printed.The forensic markers are invisible to the naked eye but can be seen using other methods.If both certificate were printed out one a printer that leaves forensic markers, would it be possible to detect those forensic markers.I’m not sure.You might need access to the original.Unfortunately no birther or obots has access to the original.

  28. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 6, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Doc,

    Again, I would consider whether this point makes it more likely to be authentic or a forgery. If the document is authentic, then any scaling can be explained by settings which allow for scaling in 1% increments. If, however, the document is a forgery, then a change in scale would be evidence of incompetence on the part of the forger since it could raise suspicions. All in all, this suggests to me that this point also makes the LFBC more likely to be authentic.

  29. avatar
    The Magic M November 6, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    john: I have made the contacts but I don’t know if they will help or not.

    Are those contacts VIP’s (Very Intuitive Printers)? Just askin’ ’cause you’re starting to sound like Gallups.

  30. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I have added Point 6 to the debunking.

  31. avatar
    gorefan November 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I have added Point 6 to the debunking.

    Lucas Smith has images of two of Obama Sr.’s passports. The one from 1959 list the DOB as 1934 and the one from 1964 lists the DOB as 1936.