Typeface analysis shows images come from different machines
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2011 WND
The online image of a Hawaiian "Certificate of Live Birth" was trumpeted by the White House when it was released on April 27 as "proof positive" that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.
Now an expert in typefaces and typography says it sure was "proof," but not of what the White House would have wanted.
Paul Irey, a retired professional typographer with 50 years experience in his business, says an analysis of the typefaces used in the Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate that the White House released on April 27 reveals it absolutely to be a forgery.
"My analysis proves beyond a doubt that it would be impossible for the different letters that appear in the Obama birth certificate to have been typed by one typewriter," Irey told WND.
"Typewriters in 1961 could not change the size and shape of a letter on the fly like that," he said. "This document is definitely a forgery."
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Irey acknowledges that an IBM Selectric typewriter could have produced different typefaces in a given document, but only if the Selectric ball was changed every time a different typeface letter was struck which would be unlikely to have been done to produce the word "Student," for example, that had two different styles of the lower case "t."
"This would have been a cumbersome procedure and the average hospital clerk typist would have no reason to change typeface with each individual letter in preparing a birth certificate," he noted.
Additionally, he argued, IBM only introduced the Selectric in July 1961.
Such machines were in short supply in August 1961, when Obama's birth certificate purportedly was prepared by the nurses or clerks at Kapiolani Hospital, and few government offices could afford to make the switch from manual typewriters to the expensive top-of-the line Selectric typewriters when they were first introduced.
Irey told WND that he is convinced the Obama birth certificate released by the White House is a cut-and-paste composite created by using different parts of presumably authentic birth certificates that had been typed in Hawaii in 1961 on different typewriters.
To prove his point, Irey used as a source document the Xerox copy of the Obama birth certificate the White House press staff handed to the press assembled in the White House pressroom on April 27, as seen in Exhibit 1:
Exhibit 1: Obama long-form birth certificate given to press April 27, 2011
From this source, Irey extracted individual typed letters and prepared a chart listing each typed letter in the document, seen in Exhibit 2:
Exhibit 2: Typed letters in Obama's long-form birth document
From there, Irey compared different individual letters, producing a chart, seen here as Exhibit 3, in which the different typefaces used in the document are evident by comparison:
Exhibit 3: Letter-to-letter comparison of typeface in Obama document
To make the point even clearer, Irey annotated differences in typefaces that he felt made the argument the Obama birth certificate released by the White House on April 27 was a composite document constructed by extracting letters as needed from various authentic 1961 Hawaiian birth certificates that had originally been typed on different typewriters, as seen in Exhibit 4:
Exhibit 4: Comparison of enlarged letters in Obama's document
In Exhibit 5, Irey draws his conclusion that the typeface analysis of the individual letters in the White House-released Obama birth certificate makes clear the document is a forgery:
Exhibit 5: Selected letter comparisons in Obama's documentation
Irey has concluded that the forgers worked from authentic Hawaii birth certificates from 1961.
"The forgers did not want to make the same mistake Dan Rather made," he said. "So, they used letters they picked up from actual 1961 birth certificates, making sure the typeface that appeared in the document was authentic to the era."
The mistake, Irey claims, was to use more than one birth certificate from which to select the letters.
"Even if the typeface was from the period," he said, "the mistake was to forget that each typewriter has its own fingerprint. No two typewriters, even of the same make and model, will type any given letter exactly the same."
Irey has produced a T-shirt that he feels provides an easily accessible understanding to his analysis, as seen in Exhibit 6:
It was in 1967 that Irey started Bergan Graphics in Fort Lee, N.J., and the company at its height had 60 employees working three round-the-clock shifts. It later operated out of the company office at Marine Plaza in Guttenberg, N.J., with a satellite office in Manhattan at 6th Avenue and 31st Street.
Irey was a pioneer in photo typography, working with prestige clients that included Montgomery Ward and Acme Markets ads for the east coast.
Brochure from Irey's company
In 2007, CBS News anchor Dan Rather lost his job after Internet bloggers discovered that the typeface on what became known as the "Killian documents" attacking George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War were forgeries because the typeface in the documents was unavailable in military typewriters in the 1970s.
A report from the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin, in fact, said critics of the Democrats in the 2004 election campaign, outraged over what they considered fabrications in the documents, "set about proving as much, pointing to the fact that one of the fonts used in the memos didn't even exist when the documents were said to have originated. Others recreated the exact papers in Microsoft Word."
"The network soon realized its documents couldn't be verified and admitted its mistake."
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