Skip to comments.High-quality scans of anthrax letters
Posted on 04/20/2002 8:43:48 PM PDT by Mitchell
Here is my description of the information at the web site above:
An anonymous person has, through a FOIA request, obtained copies of the FBI photographs of three of the anthrax letters and envelopes. High-quality scans are posted on the web site in TIFF format. These are much higher quality than the images on the FBI web site, and the photos include rulers next to the letters, so the sizes can be measured.
The images are much too big to be posted here. Go to the web site and download them if you are interested. (Links to the TIFF images are near the bottom of the web page.)
The author of this web site has a bizarre theory that the letters have hidden imagery on them. I do not subscribe to this strange idea, but I appreciate the efforts of this person to obtain, scan in, and post these photographs.
The author and date listed above are from the domain name registration for the domain name anthrax-letters.com.
I measured the dimensions of the letters, and here's what I found:
Brokaw letter: 219 mm x 224 mm, 8.6" x 8.8"
NY Post letter: 162 mm x 224 mm, 6.4" x 8.8"
Daschle letter: 205 mm x 215 mm, 8.1" x 8.5"
I think these figures are accurate to within a few millimeters. (Some of the sides aren't very straight, so the letters aren't even really rectangles.)
As far as I can tell, these are not standard paper sizes. Moreover, several of the sides look like they were cut with a pair of scissors, with no real attempt to keep the edge straight or at a 90-degree angle with respect to the other sides.
Does anybody have an explanation as to why the preparers would have cut their pieces of paper instead of simply using standard paper out of the box? (Or are these unusual standard sizes that I don't recognize?)
I didn't realize there had been previous mailings nearly identical to the anthrax ones and that the anthrax mailings might have actually been a second batch of letters sent out by the same person. I don't know what to make of the images except to say they are mysterious.
Please tell me that he hasn't outlined what I think he has outlined in the Daschle letter.........
The letters appear to have the identical relation to each other -- horizontally and vertically. And the same idiosyncracies appear in both -- taller cap letters for nouns, heavier weight horizontal strokes in the same places, etc.
Why would they make a copy of a copy? And reduce it? Then, as you ask, trim the paper down? What purpose could have been served...???
I wonder if the Leahy letter was a copy of the same original as Daschle's. And whether one of them was a reduction of the other...
From what I've read, many copiers aren't quite 1:1 but rather enlarge things very slightly. This is to ensure that the copy can go all the way to the edge of the paper without misalignment causing the edge of the glass to show even with a well-aligned original.
As for why the paper was cut, this may be to avoid the types of die-cutter analysis described above. If someone buys a pair of scissors, cuts the papers, and then destroys the paper edges and the scissors analysis of the cut edges would be rendered unproductive.
Actually, even when set at 100%, I believe copiers reduce the image size by about 2-3%. This is mandated by law, so that a xerographic copy of dollar bill won't work in a vending machine.
But the reduction is so small it's not detectable by the naked eye.
The type on the Brokaw letter is perceptibly smaller, suggesting a reduction in the range of 10-15%. Which means they sought out a machine with a reduction function...and used it.
Your point about taking scissors to the paper in order to disguise the die-cut, though, might be very relevant. I understand that, while standard paper size in the US is 8.5" x 11", the standard for the rest of the world (along with the rest of the world's copy machines) is slightly different.
If these copies were made outside the USA, on differently-sized paper, the scissor cuts (if that's what they are) could be an attempt to mask this fact.
According to the web site, the FBI sent this individual actual photographs in response to a FOIA request. This person (not someone at the FBI) is the one who scanned the photos.
I don't give any credence to the fanciful images, etc., that the person says he sees. They're artifacts (whether artifacts of the mind, or optical illusions, or from the scanning doesn't really matter). I am interested in the high-quality images, complete with size information, and what they can tell us.
I'm not the person making the FOIA requests; I just found the site with the TIFF images in a web search.
I'll need to take a closer look and re-do the measurements I reported initially, since they're probably a little bit off for this reason.
This may support the idea that the edges have been trimmed by FBI lab people.
Just to be sure there's no misunderstanding, I give no credence at all to these claimed fanciful images, nor to the "image enhancements" posted on the web site. I do think that the high-quality scans of the FBI photos are of interest, however.
I agree. I've thought all along that it looks like it was written by the same hand, but under different circumstances (different pen?, different writing surface?, different emotional state?, ...).