Now let's look at Mr. Irey's analysis. He used commercially available software, Adobe Photoshop, to enlarge individual letters of a JPG copy of the LFBC that was published by AP. Mr. Irey claimed this copy had been taken down but a poster, BFB, at the The Fogbow easily located a copy on the Internet:
Mr. Irey produced a photo with the same letters side by side enlarged and claimed that the difference in characteristics of the letter is proof they were not typed with the same typewriter.
When I saw Mr. Irey's analysis I came to exactly the opposite conclusion. I think the similarities in the fonts support the conclusion that they were typed with the the same typewriter. Am I displaying confirmation bias? Possibly. However, I am not the one making extraordinary claims. I know that the responsible officials from the State of Hawaii have vouched for the authenticity of this document. To make the claim Irey makes you have to believe that a large group of officials are flat out lying. Mr. Irey does and he has called Alvin Onaka and Dr. Chiyome Fukino liars to boot.
There are many less than sinister explanations for the random variations in the letters that Mr. Irey found including variation in typing pressure, distortion from an unknown number of times the document had been copied and scanned, and uneven inking from a used typewriter ribbon, just to name a few. We do not need to invent conspiracy driven explanations.
Just for fun I used the same technique that Mr. Irey used to look at the preprinted letters on the birth certificate. I used a JPG image of the LFBC that Dr. Conspiracy has posted on his website to do this. Lo and behold I found similar variations in the letters when they were expanded and compared!
I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions as to the validity of Mr. Irey's analysis. I will offer him a chance to return to my show and defend his opinions. He also has some interesting views on the Kennedy assassination that time precluded us from discussing on the show last Thursday.
What about Mr. Vogt? He has also published a lengthy 28 page report on the LFBC and like Mr. Irey has made serious accusations that the President and others have committed crimes. I have invited Mr. Vogt to come on a future program. While he initially accepted he is having second thoughts. We are still in a discussion about whether he feels comfortable to come on my show.
Douglas Vogt's analysis of the LFBC mostly concentrates on the "layers" he found in the PDF document. This has been pretty thoroughly debunked on the Internet, particularly by Neal Krawetz (of Polarik debunking fame) on The Hacker Factor blog. Even Paul Irey on RC Radio said that he avoided using the PDF because of the compression and layers in the document that were the result of the scanning, compression, and optimization process that produced it.
One part of the Vogt analysis that gets a lot of play is his claim that some of the letters do not follow the curvature of the paper. The curvature is the result of copying the document on a copier/scanner while it was still in the binder. I decided to examine this claim. Mr. Vogt included this image in his 28 page report:
Vogt is obviously trying to intimate that the letters in the typed word "Male" do not follow the curvature of the paper as do the preprinted letters in the word "Sex" above. One thing I immediately noticed is that Mr. Vogt drew the red lines in a deceptive way to enhance what he claims is an anomaly. Let's take a closer look, however. I took the JPG image and copied another "M" from the flat part of the document next to the "M" in "Male". Here is what I found:
The obvious conclusion is that the "M" in "Male" does follow the curvature of the paper after all. Another reason for the optical illusion that the word "Male" doesn't appear to follow curvature of the paper in Mr. Vogt's analysis is that the capital letters on manual typewriters often are misaligned vertically because of the timing of the shifting and the striking of the key to the paper. Anyone who ever used a manual typewriter is familiar with this problem. Fortunately, we can see this effect right on the same photo. Look at the "Ma" in "Maternity".
You can see how the capital "M" in both words is misaligned upward by about the same amount. This is what caused the optical illusion that tricked Mr. Vogt. The "K" in "Kapiolani" is also misaligned higher.
Both Mr. Vogt and Mr. Irey have let their beliefs color their judgment. They have both made incredible claims of fraud based on suspect "evidence". I must assume that confirmation bias played a significant role in both of these cases as it does in other amateur analyses made by Birthers. I have no doubt that untrustworthy sources like World Net Daily will continue to find amateur "experts" with no reputation to lose who ware willing to state various contrived claims of forgery. I do not doubt that Mr. Irey and Mr. Vogt are sincere in their beliefs. However, no one can dispute that when a person has convinced themselves of the existence of an "evil conspiracy" being perpetrated by some poorly defined group of perpetrators like the "evil government" or the "New World Order" crowd, that person can always find proof in the tea leaves, even where many benign explanations exist. Such is the case here.
[Update] I should have linked a debunking article on Mr. Vogt's claims that Dr. Conspiracy published last month. Reply to Douglas Vogt. Doctor Conspiracy also pointed out in this article that the red lines drawn by Vogt to attempt to show the lack of curvature in the word "Male" were drawn deceptively to attempt to bolster his point.