(Note: Originally, this post appeared as a late appendage to the one below. But this investigation is fairly detailed and deserves separate publication. Please spread the information. I think that what you are about to read is one of the most important posts I've ever published.
ADDED NOTE: Yes, I am aware of the important and horrifying events in Paris. I will nevertheless keep this story at the top of this blog, because it represents original research. The Epstein story is also quite important and should not be ignored. We'll look into the French massacre soon.)
As seen in our preceding post, Alan Dershowtiz associate Charle C. Johnson
has claimed that the photo depicting Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell with Virginia Roberts (the claimed "sex slave" of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein) is a forgery.
This allegation struck me as very unlikely. The photo was first published in 2011. It has been causing a huge public stir in the UK for years, yet neither the Prince nor Maxwell ever said "It's a fake." The UK has stricter libel laws than does the US.
Charles C. Johnson, the Dershowitz associate, now claims that he can prove that the photo reproduced above is a fake
We consulted with experts in photography and analyses performed using the computer program, Image-Pro Plus by MediaCybernetics.Which
The key to investigation is the size of the pixels. You would expect a photograph to have the same pixelation throughout. And yet the sections with Andrew and Virginia have different sized pixels that become clear when you zoom in.
experts? Any "expert" with impressive credentials would not hide his or her name.
(Longtime readers may recall my responses to the "expert" operating under the pen-name "Techdude," who caused a media flurry when he made the very first claims about alleged forgery in the Obama birth certificate. We never conclusively identified who Techdude was. If he had the qualifications claimed for him, he obviously would have divulged his real name. At any rate, my analysis was proven correct, and Techdude was proven to be a liar. Nevertheless, the "birthers" continued to propagate inane claims about that document.)
I was a little puzzled by Johnson's reference to Image-Pro Plus
, because I was under the impression that other applications were more likely to be used for such a purpose. If you Google the terms "Image-Pro Plus" and "forgery in photography," you will find that Johnson's "expert" seems to have been the first to use that app for this purpose. (At least, that is the story told by the first three pages of Google results.)
If you Google the phrase software used to detect forgery in photography
, you'll immediately be linked to a couple of very interesting articles -- here
. A number of important tools are mentioned. None of those tools are Image-Pro Plus. In fact, the "Digital Forensic Investigator" website has never in its history made a reference to that app
. Why didn't Johnson's "expert" use the apps that have been created for forensic purposes?
Now let's get to the meat of things.
Johnson -- or his unnamed "expert" -- claims that the pixel sizes differ in varying parts of the image. The pixels are smaller in the part of the image showing the Prince, as compared to the pixels in the part showing Virginia's face.
This, says Johnson, proves that two separate images were pasted together.
This claim about varying pixel size falls to pieces when we understand that Johnson never specifies the exact file used for analysis. In other words, Johnson doesn't tell us where he got the photo. He doesn't tell us which version of the photo he used.
Why doesn't he give us that information?
The picture has been published many times, with different jpg compression each time. Jpg compression will impact the apparent size of the pixels.
We don't have access to the original file made available to the first newspaper to publish the photo.
In the earliest publication of the photo I can find -- here
-- the pixels are uniform at 700 percent magnification. But there's a problem: That version of the photo seems to be smaller than the one Johnson used.
So I went searching for a larger, more detailed online version of the picture.
If you go here
, you will see a version published by The Mirror on January 4 of this year. It is cropped; Virginia's face is shown in a circular inset. The important point is that Virginia's face is shown in much
higher resolution than is the case in Johnson's version of the photo.
Let me demonstrate. Here is the evidence Johnson offers...
And here is Virginia's left eye using the above-mentioned Mirror image from January 4. (I'm using Photoshop, which is the
industry standard tool, but any graphics program will suffice for a simple zoom-in.)
I've zoomed into the eye 700 percent, as did Johnson's "expert." At this magnification, Photoshop shows each pixel as a discrete unit.
Obviously, the pixels are much, much, much
smaller in this version of the photo. I suspect that they are much finer still in the file first sent to newspapers in 2011. In short, the Mirror's image demonstrates that the original photo had much higher resolution than does the image used by Johnson's "expert."
I encourage each reader who owns a copy of Photoshop to replicate my experiment. Again: Here's the link
to the image I used. Note Johnson's strange refusal to link to the version of the photo he
used. Obviously, he does not want us to replicate the work he did. As far as we know, he may even have used two different reproductions of the photo.
Bottom line: Johnson's analysis is meaningless. Totally meaningless
The pixels which are the foundation of his argument are NOT the original pixels; they were simply an artifact of reproduction.
Moreover, any true expert would have known this. Any true
expert would have demanded the best available version of the questioned photograph before setting to work.
Frankly, I question whether there is
an expert. I suspect (but cannot prove) that Johnson simply zoomed into the photo himself. I suspect (but cannot prove) that the name of Johnson's expert is Charles Johnson.
We can definitely state that Johnson has committed two journalistic sins:
1. He does not tell us where he got his version of the photo.
2. He does not name the expert.
What kind of journalist would do
such a thing?
And why doesn't Johnson address the obvious question of "the silence of the photographed"? Again: If the photo is a fake, why didn't Ghislaine Maxwell or the Prince bring action against the British newspapers which published the photo in 2011? The UK has very strict laws against libel. Why didn't Maxwell and the Prince at least say in public
that the photo was a fake? The photo garnered much attention when first published. Maxwell cannot credibly claim that the photo was unknown
Charles Johnson was unknown to me until yesterday. However, a reader sent me the following information about Johnson:
He is in the habit of handing out addresses of people he comes into conflict with and he lies regularly. He likes to create controversy purely for the attention. Sometimes he might get the right info- but he is sloppy and lies.
I first ran across him, while reading about how a journalist had sued to have the sealed records of Michael Brown records. He refused to believe that the prosecutor, who stated that Brown had not been convicted of any crimes, was telling the truth.
Today--He even tweeted a lie today about Cassell-stating that he resigned after one year as a judge. Just not true.
These allegations are certainly disturbing.
One final item: Johnson's original post ends with these words:
Full disclosure: I worked for Alan Dershowitz who I believe has been falsely accused of raping Virginia Roberts.
In response, I wrote:
Frankly, it is starting to look as though Dershowitz persuaded a friend to perform a journalistic "hit" while he (Dershowtiz) himself keeps his hands clean.
Did Johnson see what I wrote? Quite possibly. Check out the new "full disclosure" blurb he offers...
Full disclosure: Alan Dershowitz, who is also falsely accused of raping Virginia Roberts, was an employer of Gotnews.com editor-in-chief Charles C. Johnson. As always, Johnson writes under his own capacity and without any involvement of anyone else.
Emphasis added. What was it Shakespeare said about protesting too much?
Given the shoddiness of Johnson's work (as demonstrated above), and given what I know of Dershowitz, I am not necessarily inclined to take this assurance at face value. That is to say: I would not be terribly surprised to discover that Johnson is acting as Dershowitz' agent in this matter. (I am not so stating. I am simply admitting that I would not be surprised.)
Would Dershowitz be willing to state under oath in court that he did not discuss the Epstein matter with Johnson before publication of Johnson's story?
Here's the ironic thing: In an earlier post, I expressed my belief that Alan Dershowitz was probably innocent of the charges leveled by Virginia Roberts. But now
Dershowitz claims that he is the innocent victim of an "extortion" conspiracy
. Obviously, there can be no extortion without a demand for money or services. When did this demand occur, Mr. Dershowitz? If there was no such demand, Mr. Dershowitz, do you not stand revealed as a liar?
Also: National Review
, of all publications, has pinpointed some fascinating curiosities in Dershowitz' filing. The details in his response do not match the details in the original complaint.
One has to wonder whether Dershowitz mischaracterizes these allegations in order to be able to deny them with such specifics. A more innocent possibility is that he wrote the draft declaration in a hurry and that he simply didn’t pay sufficient attention to Jane Doe #3’s allegations.
But the corrected motion filed three days later contains the same language. So hastiness is not the excuse. Remember, Dershowitz has also said that Virginia Roberts claimed to have sex with Clinton. I have yet to see any evidence that she made any such claim; in fact, she has denied
having sex with the former president.