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One more observation on the POSFKBC

I mentioned in my previous article, “Smith posts another version of his POSFKBC" that I had been trying to figure out precisely what font was used to make his image. I did an experiment towards making that identification, putting text in a trial font next to his text on his own image and looking for differences in the character shapes. I thought that what I found was interesting enough to publish.

Presuming that the Smith document was at some point scanned, and given that scanners generally reduce the size of documents they scan just a bit to make counterfeiting more difficult, the font size of the Smith image is probably not a standard size. The program I used does not allow fractional point sizes, so my text is not precisely the same size. Also my text is a computer-generated original not printed and scanned, and Smith’s original document was saved as a JPG file at 44% quality, both reducing the crispness of the text appearance.

The font I used is True Type Garamond version 2.40, a font that was already on my computer and something that either comes with Windows or Microsoft Office. I do not claim any expertise on typography, but I think the similarity of my results to the Smith text is remarkable. What do you think1? Here’s the document (click to enlarge):


1I would not equate what I did here with the Dan Rather moment when the Bush National Guard letter was exposed as a likely-computer generated phony. The technique is similar, but the results not quite so compelling.

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24 Responses to One more observation on the POSFKBC

  1. avatar
    Bernard Sussman January 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Seems to me like you got him. Garamond type has been around a long time, but this fake b/c manages to have the exact same kerning as a Windows computer, something I would not expect from a non-computer typesetting of 52 years ago. I might add that I would like to see several more Mombasa b/cs from 1961 before I’d trust this one.

  2. avatar
    Loren January 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Here’s something about this document that never struck me before now: it gives Senior’s birthplace as “Kanyadhiang Village, Nyanza.”

    Now of course, it makes sense that a Kenyan birth certificate wouldn’t need to say “Kenya.” Nothing odd about that. But what *is* odd is that Kanyadhiang is the full name of the village. It’s not like “New York City” or “Salt Lake City.” Calling it “Kanyadhiang Village” is like referring to Ann’s birthplace as “Wichita City”. It’s not exactly anachronism-level proof of forgery, but it’s very odd. The sort of thing that might sound a lot more natural to a foreigner than to a local.

    So why would “village” appear unnecessarily on a supposed Kenyan document? Two good reasons spring to mind, both of which are tied to the fact that Smith’s document first appeared online in a YouTube video on August 22, 2009, and that he’d never specifically described the content of the certificate prior to that date.

    One, Senior’s Wikipedia page circa early August 2009 gave his birthplace as “Kanyadhiang village” (just as it gave his birthdate as just ’1936′). See http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Barack_Obama,_Sr.&oldid=305847878 .

    Two, the fake ‘Bomford’ birth certificate for Obama, which Orly released in early August 2009, gave Senior’s birthplace as…”Kanyadhiang village, Nyanza Province.”

    Of course, this is ultimately just an anomaly, and like most anomalies, it’s not proof of forgery in and of itself. But what makes this and the ’1936′ anomalies insightful is that they’re not just unusual choices by the person creating the document, but they’re unusual in *exactly* the way one would expect from an American creating the document in 2009 with the publicly available information of the time.

  3. avatar
    JPotter January 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Garamond is an ancient classic, first cut in the early 17th cent. Has been available for Windows since the early ’90s; what version of Windows was commonly available in 1961?

    AN aspect of this latest silliness from LDS is how all of the units are spelled out, utilizing American conventions, as grade schoolers are initially taught to do.

    Seems odd that this BC from a British colony (wink, wink) would reflect the editorial background of its …. ummm … “finder” … rather than that of where it pretends to be from, eh?

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Well that’s the thing: We don’t know what a 1961 CGPS birth certificate ought to look like.

    Bernard Sussman: I might add that I would like to see several more Mombasa b/cs from 1961 before I’d trust this one.

  5. avatar
    CarlOrcas January 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Well that’s the thing: We don’t know what a 1961 CGPS birth certificate ought to look like.

    Strange, isn’t it? A quick search indicates Kenyan vital records aren’t complete but rough figures indicate the population was a little over 8-million and live births per year between 1960 and 1965 ran about 449,000. How many at CGPS? At least a couple thousand a year, I would think.

    Interesting that Mr. Smith could only find one and it was for the future President of the United States.

    What luck!

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Kenya

  6. avatar
    welsh dragon January 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Well that’s the thing: We don’t know what a 1961 CGPS birth certificate ought to look like.

    The chances a 1961 CGPS birth certificate ever existing is really really quite remote. Hospital birth certificates are not a British tradition.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Today in Kenya, hospitals give parents a birth notification card that they take to the city hall or a district birth and death registry office to register the birth.

    The following Google query returned no legitimate hits (one was spam and the other didn’t contain the phrase):

    (“hospital birth certificate” OR “hospital issued birth certificate”) site:ke

    welsh dragon: The chances a 1961 CGPS birth certificate ever existing is really really quite remote. Hospital birth certificates are not a British tradition.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Jerome Corsi did a debunking of the original Smith Certificate for WorldNetDaily in a 2009 article titled “eBay birth certificate called fraud” . One of his objections was that the name of the hospital on the POSFKBC was wrong. Corsi wrote (citing others):

    Kenyan news sources have called into question the use of “Coast Province” or “Coast Provincial” as a correct reference to the official name of the Mombasa general public hospital in 1961, citing Professor Dan Branch of the University of Warwick who noted that the term “Coast Province” was not used in the early 1960s when Kenyan provinces were typically referred to as “regions.”

    The same report bears on how Barack Obama Sr. might have designated his race:

    “Mr. Nassir … What is the racial (African, Arab, Muslim, non-Muslims and European) breakdown … ?

    This particular objection is certainly bogus. I found references to the Coast Province General Hospital by name in the official record of the Kenya National Assembly from July, 1961.

    That referece also speaks to Corsi’s second objection:

    Until 1964, Kenya was the Dominion of Kenya, not the Republic of Kenya, and Mombasa was part of Zanzibar until Dec. 12, 1963, not a coastal province of Kenya.

    The Kenya Assembly report refers to CPGH as a “government hospital” and in a separate section we find this transcript:

    Mr. Mboya: Mr. Speaker, Sir, arising from the reply, and in view of the implication or implied meaning in the question tha the Coastal Strip is a country apart from Kenya, would not the Minister agree that it is time the hon. Member was disillusioned and the Government made it very clear that the Coastal Strip is an integral part of this country?

  9. avatar
    Whatever4 January 3, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    Interesting source, Doc. Lots of information about infrastructure and racial tensions. There’s no way a pregnant white American teenager would ever go near the country in 1961, no matter how adventurous she may have been.

    There was some testimony about practices in maternity wards, where there were separate wards for Europeans, Asians, and Africans, with different treatments for each. European women were fed soft food and had better outcomes, while Africans were fed cabbage and hard roots, with poor results. (Page 521) (also note that those were termed “races.”) A then-recent case came up numerous times. A very sick baby was admitted to a European ward as the mother was white, but was evicted when they discovered the father was Asian. This was brought up as an example of how segregation should be eliminated in the new country.

    The major and by far the best hospital in Kenya was the King George VI in Nairobi, but there were 3 or 4 provincial hospitals much closer to Obama Sr’s village than Mombasa.

    Clearly the CPH was funded by Kenya and not Tanzania, as there was discussion on plans to add a mental ward to that and other hospitals. Kenya was funding the hospital, schools, and other governmental institutions. Tom Mboya gave an emphatic speech that Zanzibar was not a country and that the Sultan was not the head of a country.

    Side note that the representative for Nyanza Province complained that the roads were so bad he couldnt get to parts of his constituency. (Nyanza Province is where Obama Sr. was born.) He said there were no Provincial hospitals in that province, only a Native Hospital at Kisumu and small missionary hospitals. Every village (he said location) had a health centre, but there were only 2 doctors for the entire north province. Another section speaks of communications difficulties, often taking an hour to get a line to call 40 miles away.

    The road between Mombasa and Nairobi was a terrible gutted dirt track in many places, and low on the list for paving. One member said it was shockingly bad and you wouldnt want to look at your car the next day. (a colleague of his said his car never ran again after the trip. ) Members of the assembly flew between the cities on rickety planes flying at 9000 feet. There was train service, but I didn’t see much on that.

    All in all, I really can’t imagine ANY pregnant white American teenager traveling solo halfway around the world to a village deep in the back country, then going to Mombassa instead of Nairobi to give birth in an even more segregated and foreign Arab area. Stanley Ann showed no signs of that level of adventurousness.

  10. avatar
    roadburner January 3, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    theres something that really jangles for me on this latest POSFKBC, and its the fields to be filled in.

    for the mother – place of birth, place of residence, and occupation.

    for the father – place of birth and occupation, and nothing else.

    if this were a standard form, why would the mother be presumed to have lived in a different place to where she was born, and why would it not be presumed of the father?

    plus he screwed up on the date – again! thought hed have learnt not to make that mistake the last time.

    its classic i, lucas daniel smith

  11. avatar
    foreigner=gsgs January 3, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    do the footprints match ?
    > On one inside page were his name, his mother’s name, and his date of birth;
    > on the other were his infant footprints.
    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2013/11/double-down-how-obama-beat-the-birthers-in-2012/

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 3, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    The document has not been published, but since Smith couldn’t have had access to these prints, they certainly won’t match.

    foreigner=gsgs: do the footprints match ?

  13. avatar
    JPotter January 3, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The document has not been published, but since Smith couldn’t have had access to these prints, they certainly won’t match.

    One of the ‘great’ unsolved mysteries of birferism …. whose foot is it? My money is on random online image, if only for my peace of my mind (The image of LDS inking some kid’s foot is way too creepy) and estimation of typical laziness on the part of the birfer.

  14. avatar
    Reality Check January 3, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    Smith could have always inked his own foot and reduced the size of the image. That would also explain why he got the size wrong for an infant. He guessed wrong on the scaling.

  15. avatar
    HistorianDude January 3, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    At the time of the original POSFKBC’s release, Smith was spending a lot of time in the Dom Rep, and even IIRC filmed images of the document there. At roughly 43 pesos to the dollar, I suspect he could have purchased as many baby footprints as he wanted, directly from real babies.

  16. avatar
    JPotter January 3, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Reality Check: Smith could have always inked his own foot

    No way! That would require him to get his feet dirty! ;)

    It looks (proportionally) like a baby’s print. For S&G’s, I looked up google images …. and sure enough, wasobamaborninkenya.com was one of the top hits. Whosever foot it is, it’s gaining notoriety.

  17. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater January 3, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    HistorianDude: At the time of the original POSFKBC’s release, Smith was spending a lot of time in the Dom Rep, and even IIRC filmed images of the document there. At roughly 43 pesos to the dollar, I suspect he could have purchased as many baby footprints as he wanted, directly from real babies.

    Yep he even tried claiming the footage from the dominican republic was video of him in Kenya. Who knows he could have had someone there forge it as well.

  18. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater January 3, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    JPotter: One of the ‘great’ unsolved mysteries of birferism …. whose foot is it? My money is on random online image, if only for my peace of my mind (The image of LDS inking some kid’s foot is way too creepy) and estimation of typical laziness on the part of the birfer.

    I’m sure if one searched hard enough you could find the image. I did a simple search last night and saw some similar but not down to the very detail. Like parts of the toes weren’t fully inked considering how dark the toes are I would assume he just took one of those and filled them in.

  19. avatar
    justlw January 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    JPotter: wasobamaborninkenya.com was one of the top hits

    Both “no.com” and “nfw.com” appear to be cybersquatted, so a rebuttal URL could presumably be had for an unreasonable fee.

  20. avatar
    justlw January 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    I haven’t researched this at all thoroughly (Googling for 1960s-era Kenyan forms of any kind, even beyond Mombasa birth certificates, is a bit problematic), but I’ll just throw it out there anyway: Isn’t the punctuation for the city and country a little peculiar?

    Mombasa. British Protectorate of Kenya.

    I understand that it’s a different country and a different time, but still, I’d expect this to be punctuated:

    Mombasa, British Protectorate of Kenya

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    That is certainly possible. I would note, however that taking a baby’s footprint (so I read) is not all that easy, and getting one as clear as this suggests someone who knows what he is doing. That’s why I was thinking he got it out of a book, although that would be a risky thing because the book might be found.

    HistorianDude: At the time of the original POSFKBC’s release, Smith was spending a lot of time in the Dom Rep, and even IIRC filmed images of the document there. At roughly 43 pesos to the dollar, I suspect he could have purchased as many baby footprints as he wanted, directly from real babies.

  22. avatar
    Whatever4 January 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    I’ve been spending a bit of time reading the Kenya Assembly report Doc found. I’m very surprised that race doesn’t appear on this alleged certificate. Race was a huge issue in hospitals and society. The case I mentioned above came up 3 times. And no designation on the document? Big flag for me.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 3, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    I think you have hit upon a significant point.

    Whatever4: I’ve been spending a bit of time reading the Kenya Assembly report Doc found. I’m very surprised that race doesn’t appear on this alleged certificate. Race was a huge issue in hospitals and society. The case I mentioned above came up 3 times. And no designation on the document? Big flag for me.

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