A tale of two images

I got an email from Charles Kerchner (Kerchner v Obama) pointing out that as far as birth certificates go, we have two images on the Internet, one saying President Obama was born in Honolulu and the other in Mombasa, Kenya. He says they are of equal value since they are just images, and indeed the Kenyan certificate is of greater value because while the Kenyan Ambassador has confirmed Obama’s birth in Kenya, and the President’s grandmother testified that she held the baby in Mombasa, no one has come forward to say they were present at Obama’s birth in Hawaii.

Click for larger version


Obama COLB


As with most birther misdirection, a little bit of truth is mixed with lies to fool the credulous.

The truth is that they are both pieces of paper on the Internet, but there are differences.

Kenyan Birth Certificate:

  1. Very low resolution photos, making it relatively easy to fake.
  2. The claim that Obama’s grandmother said she held him in Mombasa is a bald-faced lie.
  3. The Kenyan Ambassador denies ever saying that President Obama was born in Kenya.
  4. We have no idea where the document came from (no provenance)

Hawaiian Birth Certificate

  1. Confirmation of registration and Hawaiian birth by state health department
  2. High-resolution scans and photos, more difficult to fake, examined by independent news organization
  3. Birth announcement in 2 newspapers
  4. Clear provenance, campaign officials say it was ordered from Hawaii, and it was presented by (then) Senator Obama himself.

While this little forgery exercise does make it clear that one should be skeptical of documents on the Internet, it also teaches a lesson on authoritative sources and confirmation, vs things that some from nowhere.

There are various internal inconsistencies that have been pointed out that suggest that the Kenyan certificate is more a hoax than a forgery (e.g. the certificate number 47,044 – Obama was 47 years old when he became the 44th president of the U. S. )  One wonders if the signer ODUYA is a play on “Oh, do ya?”, not unlike “Oh really? — O RLY? Once folks on the Internet have had time to paw over it for a few days, I’ll issue a report.


The original document used to fake the Obama Kenyan Birth Certificate has been found. End of story, thanks to Koyaan.

About Dr. Conspiracy

I'm not a real doctor, but I have a master's degree.
This entry was posted in Birth Certificate, Charles Kerchner, Fakes and frauds and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to A tale of two images

  1. John says:

    I agree the 47 and 44 numbers sound little too coincidential. But, it is certainly not impossible. It could very well be a amazing coincidence. I know because people have pointed dozens of conincidences of the date September 11, 2001 regardng the attacks on the World Trade Centers.

  2. John says:

    – The Kenyan Ambassador did confirm Obama’s birth. He backpedaled when he got caught.

    – Sarah Obama did witness his birth in Kenya. She has never refuted that claim.

    – The Kenyan Assembly virtually confirmed Obama’s Kenyan Birth the day after the election.

    – The pictures on Factcheck are fuzzy and it obvious 2 different cameras or lighting environments were deliberately used in taking the photos.

    – The birth announcements prove nothing and have been proven suspect in themselves from WND investigators.

    The document may very well be real. We will just have to wait and see.

  3. kimba says:

    Oooo, the intersection of birthers and 911 myths!

  4. kimba says:

    The document isn’t real John. There is overwhelming evidence that Obama was born in Honolulu. This is someone preying on birther wishful thinking.

  5. dunstvangeet says:

    Sarah Obama has refuted the claim that she witnessed the birth. In the very same interview, she says multiple times that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Mombasa.

  6. John says:

    Even if the document is a hoax, it may well just a thing we need for Obama to release his Vault Copy Birth Certificate. It is obvious there is something on the Vault Copy BC that Obama does not want the American People to see; otherwise he would have released it long ago. The American People have the right to know what Obama is hiding.

  7. John says:

    Sarah Obama’s refutement was damage control.

  8. John says:

    47044 Number could be an amazing coincidence:

    The date of the attack: 9/11 – 9 + 1 + 1 = 11
    September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2 + 5 + 4 = 11
    After September 11th there are 111 days left to the end of the year.
    119 is the area code to Iraq/Iran. 1 + 1 + 9 = 11
    Twin Towers – standing side by side, looks like the number 11
    The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11
    State of New York – The 11 State added to the Union
    New York City – 11 Letters
    Afghanistan – 11 Letters
    The Pentagon – 11 Letters
    Ramzi Yousef – 11 Letters (convicted or orchestrating the attack on the WTC in 1993)
    Flight 11 – 92 on board – 9 + 2 = 11
    Flight 77 – 65 on board – 6 + 5 = 11

  9. kimba says:

    Unlikely. Birthers are being ridiculed in the media and blogs. The grown ups in the Republican Party are begging the birthers to stop. Showing it now would lend credence to a ridiculous conspiracy theory at the very time it is being shown to be simply that, a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory embraced by ignorant, conservative, southerners.

  10. misha says:

    I was waiting with bated breath – when were we going to hear from a combo birther/truther?

    John gets this week’s Darwin Award. (drum roll please)

    There was 9-11-2001, the earth is going to be destroyed on 11-11-2011, and Orly Taitz has 9 letters in her name. Coincidence?

  11. misha says:

    “The American People have the right to know what Obama is hiding.”

    Yes. He has to prove he is a free man, not a runaway slave, and not subject to Jim Crow laws.

    Because that’s where all this ‘show us your documentation’ bullshit comes from. And that you can take to the bank.

  12. misha says:

    Thank heaven I don’t have to share an office with you.

  13. Rickey says:

    Several problems with the supposed Kenyan birth certificate, some of which have been noted elsewhere:

    1. The birthplace of Obama’s father is misspelled as Kanyadhinng. The correct spelling is Kanyadhiang.

    2. It says that Obama’s father was 26 years old. Obama’s father was born in 1936, so he could not have been older than 25 in August, 1961.

    3. I’m no expert on fonts, but I’m hearing that the typeface is Schmutz, which was invented in 1995. It certainly looks like Schmutz to my eyes, but I’d like to hear from an expert.

    4. Somebody has affixed a seal to it, but it is impossible to determine what it is a seal of. Contrast this with the factcheck.org photo of the raised seal from the State of Hawaii.

    5. Ironically, this certificate is missing information which the birthers have until now insisted is essential, such as the name of the doctor.

    This may be the “document” which was briefly up for sale on eBay recently.

  14. kimba says:

    “119 is the area code to Iraq/Iran. 1 + 1 + 9 = 11”

    Oh it is not.

    “flight 77 – 65 on board” No, there were 64.

    You can play numerology with just about anything. Numerology is not coincidence.

    George W Bush = 11 Letters!
    John S McCain = 11 Letters!
    Dick B Cheney = 11 Letters!
    Barack H Obama = 12 Letters!
    Joe R Biden = 9 Letters!

  15. richCares says:

    john says “The document may very well be real. We will just have to wait and see.”

    Amazing, hate for Obama so strong that john is willing to accept pure garbage. Birthers are gullible and very stupid. Hey john are you proud of your ignorance? Meds will take those voices away.

  16. Mrs. Polly says:

    “Damage Control”– That’s a useful all-purpose rationalisation of any information you can’t accept!

    “Sarah Palin denying divorce”– Damage control!
    (For the record, I don’t believe the Palins are divorcing. )

    Since you’re already on this blog, then you must know that the transcript where Grandma Sarah said specifically that Obama was born in Hawaii was cut short, and only the misleading beginning reported.

    Even if it were true that she meant she was present when Obama was born, versus being present in Kenya while he was born in the States, no reputable person would omit the full transcript, making note of the discrepancy. Everyone who knowingly passes along the incomplete transcript is wilfully omitting information, and should be considered untruthful and unreliable. Period.

  17. misha says:

    “It certainly looks like Schmutz to my eyes, but I’d like to hear from an expert.”

    I’m a photographer. I have the Schmutz typeface for MS Word. There are two fonts: Schmutz, and Schmutz Cleaned Up. And I noticed that right away.

    It’s a prank. He’ll probably con Orly out of at least $10K for it. And if she is stupid enough to travel to Mombasa, it will cost her about $5K to look at the ledgers.

    The seal is from someone’s library. It looks like the ones I’ve seen on books.

    Orly and her coterie are screaming fake over a Hawaii COLB, but they’ll go running with joy to something from Corruption Central.

    Fools. And that shows what hatred can do. The more I observe birthers, the more I admire Mandela and Tutu.

  18. Mrs. Polly says:

    For extra giggles, somebody should take Polarik’s blatherings about pixels and apply it to the Kenyan BC and see what comes up.

    Of course, it’s only a photo, which is ingenious in its way; can’t be authenticated.

    If only the security paper weren’t printed in the wrong language! If only Kenya had been a Republic instead of a Dominion, and if only MOMBASA HADN’T BEEN PART OF ZANZIBAR IN 1961, it would be PERFECT!

  19. Mrs. Polly says:

    Everyone? Mombasa was part of Zanzibar, not Kenya, until 1963.


    Obama was born in 1961.

    Game over.

  20. misha says:

    misha marinsky = 13 letters!
    kimba = 5 letters!
    Max = 3 letters!
    asshole = 7 letters! (bada-bing)

  21. richCares says:

    This fake BC has actually debunked itself. If you Open up the IPTC data within the .jpg of this BC photo you will read the following:

    NOTICE: This image is a work of parody and political commentary. It is not a genuine government document. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. A certified copy of his birth record is freely available online. If you thought this was Obama’s real birth certificate, a “smoking gun” proving he’s not a natural-born citizen, then congratulations. You are an idiot. I made this from scratch. It is completely fake, and no document from Kenya or the United Kingdom resembles it.

    easy to fool Birthers!

  22. kimba says:

    I would cringe every time someone started with that cr@p after 9/11. The one about the twin towers standing side by side make 1-1 really bugs me. What about WTC 4,5,6,7 and the Marriot? Gah!

  23. Where can I get the image that has this tag?

  24. What security paper?

    BTW, Polarik has declared the Kenyan BC a fake. ROFL.

  25. The Schmutz samples I’m looking at do not have the heavy left side of the letter “o” that I see on the fake Kenyan BC.


  26. Nullifidian says:

    I believe richCares is confusing this with another “birth certificate” that purported to be of Obama’s birth in Kenya. That one had the exif info and a “security paper” message in Afrikaans stating that the document was a hoax.

  27. Shrieking wombat says:

    Hilariously Orly is also citing hearsay evidence in that filing.

  28. digger says:

    Greetings Doc,
    I suspect comments are about two separate documents, the one you have and another at NBC I think it is. Perhaps the latter is the last effort for sale on ebay?
    I enjoy your site immensely. All the best to you.
    Regards from Australia

  29. Jack says:

    [duplicate comment deleted]

  30. misha says:

    Crawl back under your rock. Thank you.

  31. kimba says:

    Please, point us to where Article II says anything, anywhere about dual citizenship. And while you’re poking around in Article II, tell us how it defines natural born citizen. Here it is:

  32. misha says:

    “tell us how it defines natural born citizen.”

    Donofrio and Orly say so, and they are experts on EVERYTHING. Was Donofrio the lawyer who made a living as a pro poker player?

  33. She does that. Berg does it too.

  34. “Sarah Obama did witness his birth in Kenya. She has never refuted that claim.”

    Incorrect. The full transcript and audio of the interview has her stating quite clearly that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    The audio and transcript are linked on this site. You might want to listen to them.

  35. So the full, unedited version of the interview is “damage control”??

    What colour is the sky on your planet??

  36. Mrs. Polly says:

    Dr. C., I think we’re all on the same (faked) page now: the security paper is from yet another fraud, but the awkwardness of Mombasa not being Kenyan till ’63 still stands.

    Apparently “Mombasa” actually means “place that is fought over” according to Wikipedia. In which case we could rename Hawaii and the White House Mombasa, too.

    Polarik is so behind the curve on this one I think the whole field has lapped him. And the big authentication expert doesn’t know how to spell “Mombasa.”

  37. Shrieking wombat says:

    It surely can’t be long before the ‘whitey’ tape is discovered.

  38. Mrs. Polly says:

    shrieking wombat, is it keeping you up at night as it is me?

  39. Shrieking wombat says:

    No Mrs Polly. It’s approaching late afternoon on the west coast of Australia.

    I do agree with you though – it’s hard to look away from this deranged lunacy.

  40. So many lies, so little time.

  41. Pingback: Can’t Stop Laughing | Iowa Liberal

  42. Pingback: Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » The Latest Birther Fantasy: Obama’s (Fake) Kenyan Birth Certificate

  43. Well, pro-poker, pro-chess, and he’s a performance artist as well.

  44. Bob says:

    A tidbit from Taitz’s motion. It is dated:

    “Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Why does Lincoln (excuse me, “Taitz”) add on the holidays celebrated on the day the pleadings are filed? Bastille Day was kinda cute, but Lughnasadh?

    It’s Judge David O. Carter, not Judge David O’Carter.

  45. Vince Treacy says:


  46. Vince Treacy says:

    Another in-joke, another laugh: Giving credit where due, poster “birther” at Turley caught Oduya’s relative, Col. Augustus Oduya in Torchwood: Children of Earth, a great SF series on BBC America in July.


    see wiki Torchwood for more on Oduya.

  47. Expelliarmus says:

    Here’s the apparent source of the template for the forgery. It’s an Australian birth certificate from 1959 posted on a genealogy web site. Note the many similarities, including the reference to “Book 44B, Page 5733”:

  48. AXJ says:

    All this man has to prove he was born in the USA is a fake short form certificate of live birth? Is he laughing at the American People?

  49. dunstvangeet says:

    AXJ, you do realize that the Hawaii Department of Health has said, “It’s a valid Hawaii state birth certificate.”

    They’ve also confirmed that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    But to answer your question without the obvious lies in it, yes, all Obama has to prove his birth place is provide a certified copy of his birth certificate, provided to him by the State of Hawaii. It’s the exact same thing that you’d do to prove your birth place. As long as it’s a certified copy of the birth certificate, it provides primary evidence of place of birth. And in reality, what proof do you have that it’s false? And when I say proof, I’d suggest you actually use people that might stand up to a Daubert hearing and be declared an expert witness.

    Are you suggesting that a short-form wouldn’t be enough to prove your birth place to the Federal Government? If that is true, then why does the Federal Government accept it as proof of citizenship (falling under birthplace).

  50. Did you want to offer some evidence that the birth certificate is a fake, are you just a wise ass who likes poke a stick in ant hills?

  51. AXJ says:

    A certificate of live birth anywhere in the world is not a birth certificate in a hospital with a doctor.

  52. Black Lion says:

    Do you happen to have evidence or some legal precedent to support your claim? Because according to the State of HI and the United States Department of State they consider a certificate of live birth the equivalent of a so called birth certificate. The state of HI made a statement that they have seen President Obama’s vital records and that he was born in HI. How do you explain that one?

  53. kimba says:

    Really? And on what rule of law do you base this idea? Pres Obama possesses a COLB for birth in HAWAII. Not “any part of the world”. It’s a US State, you know. By the way, most of the US Presidents were not born in hospitals. You must have slept through US History class. You also must be quite young, otherwise you would know that until the 1940s, most babies were birthed at home, 1950s in rural areas.

  54. Greg says:

    Actually, my Kansas “birth certificate” is actually styled as a “certificate of live birth” and is signed by the doctor.

    A Certification of Live Birth, as Hawaii has given to Obama, is a state “certification” that all the information contained in it matches the information they have in their records. Hawaii law allows the Department of Health to issue a certification instead of a copy of the actual birth certificate, and gives it the same evidentiary weight as a birth certificate.

    Federal rules of evidence allow that vital statistics in any form are not hearsay if issued pursuant to state law (FRE 803(8)-(9)). Any document issued with a state seal is self-authenticating (FRE 902).

    In short, what you have seen is fully competent evidence that Obama was born in Honolulu. If this were a court case, you would now have to meet your burden of going forward by showing through actual facts, not speculation or theory, that the facts contained on Obama’s COLB are not true.

  55. kimba says:

    I have an observation that since plainsradio and rsol have started password protecting and banning Reality commenters, there has been an influx of birthers to OCT throwing birther talking points and running. Like Doc pointed out, it’s stick in the hive stuff. They’re not technically trolls, because they don’t seem to understand what they are saying, and most of it is previously debunked nonsense. Perhaps they are a sub-group of trolls we can call “the hive-pokers”.

  56. AXJ: A certificate of live birth is standard in most states. Welcome to the 21st century and paperless data systems.

    BTW, the AXJUS.com web site is totally screwed up in the FireFox browser.

  57. amber says:

    his dad was born in kenya stupid

  58. amber: his dad was born in kenya stupid

    So what’s your point?

  59. superdave says:

    I get the biggest kick out of reading all of the intelligence going to waist .

    If there was a birth certificate this conversation would be a mute point. It is my highly valued opinion that there isn’t one but who really cares . Put up or shut up. If you can’t put up then stall and misdirect… sound familiar?

    Judging by the inability of the president to make a timely decision and the inability of him or his staff to perceive the cause and effect evaluation of his last 11 months in office.I think his time would be better spent telling Axelrod and Emanuel to get him some advisors that aren’t quite as arrogant and actually have the ability to negoiate compromise . The way the 2010 elections are shaping up he is going to need them. If you cant pass the legislation you have convictions about and you own the house and the senate, then you need to take some decisive action and tell that mental midget Emanuel to stop sending people dead fish. politicians would be more obliged to talk with you.
    Hey but they can play basketball… and from what I see a beer summit or two always gets the desired results.
    He is cluless concerning terror threats to this country and that will be the dog that bites him in the but and rips his shorts off. . Like I said who cares about a birth certificate

  60. aarrgghh says:

    the birth certificate became moot (note the spelling) when hawaii’s department of health publicly validated (twice) obama’s records. game over, man.

    unable to put up any evidence to the contrary, it’s the birfers who should be mute (note the spelling), but who instead are misdirecting …

  61. superdave, and the millions of others in your tribe, it’s “MOOT POINT” not “MUTE POINT.” Even I, who went to a one room log school that I built with my own hands knows that!

    Ask not for whom the clue phone rings, it rings for thee. While you were skipping English class, Obama published his birth certificate back in June of 2008.

  62. superdave: I get the biggest kick out of reading all of the intelligence going to waist .

    Condescension is not your strong suit. I suggest you keep your day job. And it’s “waste”, not “waist”.

    superdave: my highly valued opinion…

    Like I said, don’t quit your day job.

  63. superdave008 says:

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you guys. While picking apart my spelling,grammar, and insight . The bible says a little child will lead them.
    Here’s where we as a nation are going next …

    With each new socialist bill signed each new tax passed , each defecting representative and senator, defecting from the demo. socialist agenda let the reader understand … we move one step closer to the sweeping removal of big tax and spend liberal republicans and democrats in November.
    I really don’t care about the birth er issue and by november no one else will either.

  64. superdave008 says:

    To mr. conspiracy, You can’t be a Doc. you just confessed to being a carpenter. We know you’re not a cowboy either. Your definition of a horses bridal would prove that .

    You did get the tribe of millions part right , I was really discouraged when Mc Cain lost. Now that representatives and senators are defecting from the socialist democratic party I am lookinf forward to the Nov sweeps. How about you? If a representative switches parties its a no brain er (fyi you don’t even have to think about it) that millions of his constituents will switch too , as evidenced by Liberman switching and taking the state election.
    P.S. I left you a misspelled word show me your english skills.

  65. NbC says:

    Seems you have abandoned hope and are now using the fear tactics to guide you.
    Of course, what’s wrong with no life time caps or no pre-existing conditions coverage denial?

    These are quite sellable…

  66. NbC says:

    1 House member switched
    Not much of a shift really

  67. aarrgghh says:

    superdave writes to santa:

    With each new socialist bill signed each new tax passed , each defecting representative and senator, defecting from the demo. socialist agenda let the reader understand … we move one step closer to the sweeping removal of big tax and spend liberal republicans and democrats in November.

    it’s the season for gift-giving, so have some handy pre-digested talking points for post-election season 2010. there’s no expiration date, so they’ll still be usable in 2012:

    “democrats stole the elections”

    “soros bought the elections”

    “the voters are so stupid”

    “the voters are brainwashed”

    “the media is brainwashed”

    “obama threatened the media to keep quiet”

    “our candidates shouldn’t have played by the rules”

    “our candidates didn’t fight hard enough”

    “our candidates were rinos and traitors”

    “the system sucks”

  68. superdave008: P.S. I left you a misspelled word show me your english skills.

    I am not a doctor of anything (this is discussed in articles on the site) but I did find 10 errors in spelling, capitalization and punctuation. I didn’t even try to figure out your grammar.

    mr. conspiracy: Mr. Conspiracy (capitalization)
    conspiracy, you: Conspiracy. You (comma splice)
    horses bridal: horse’s bridle (bridal refers to a woman betting married; horses have bridles)
    right , I: right. I (comma splice)
    Mc Cain: McCain
    lookinf: looking
    Nov: Nov. (period required in abbreviations)
    no brain er: no brainer
    Liberman: Lieberman
    english: English

    Would you care to predict the magnitude of the “Nov sweeps”?

  69. The next election will pretty much depend on how the economy is going. (Don’t they all?)

  70. superdave008: While picking apart my spelling,grammar, and insight . The bible says a little child will lead them.

    My children had better spelling and grammar than you. (That’s not quite fair: one of my sons had a perfect SAT score in English and I can’t expect that level of performance from every visitor.)

    Historically, the incumbent party loses seats in Congress. I don’t know how many to expect next time. If the economy is picking up, the number may be quite small.

    I find your comment ironic. Conservatives make a big deal about Democrats being “tax and spend” and that label is not undeserved. But Conservatives spend just as much as Democrats, only without the taxes to pay for it.

  71. SFJeff says:

    Lets see- one Democratic congressman switched to the Republican Party this month and Arlen Spector switched from the Republican Part to the Democratic Part in April.

    Seems about even to me. I wouldn’t be heartbroken if the Democrats lost their majority in the Senate, or House, though I don’t think its likely yet.

    Just read in Newsweek that Obama’s ratings at the end of his first year are the same as that Socialist Ronald Reagan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.