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?, ...).
Anyway, I was looking into the "Greendale School" thing, the sites linked mentioning their is no such one at the return address city. There is one in Quebec. And I found a Greendale Elementary School in western Virginia. in a town called "Abingdon." Connections???
Isn't there some Beatles music which,
if played backwards,
contains secret messages?
Pakistan probably produces its own paper,
Iraq probably imports it.
Surely they have done a chemical analysis
and know exactly where the paper comes from.
We'll just have to wait
until someone gives us that information,
if they ever do.
Now I'll go back to worrying about smallpox.
I just made two copies of a bill, one with the copier set at 100% and one at 99%. I can say the copy at 100% was dimensionally accurate, based on superposing the original over the copy on a light box. However, in the case of the 99% copy, the size difference was easily visible.
Yes, the domain name registration information for anthrax-letters.com was where I got the "name" that I listed at the top of the posting. (The date there is also the date of registration).
As I recall the college was in Tennessee and I was wondering if the perps slipped up and used a school name they had frequently seen while in route or if the school was mentioned in or involved with one of the classes or groups at the local college.
I was concerned because of the strong Muslim student groups across the U.S., the fact that student groups are a hot bed of radical politics and the fact of the bus hijacking in Tennessee. ABCNews Report
I still think it is a good lead, so please give me a heads up if you uncover anything!
You can do the same with a "popcorn" ceiling.
That being said, I think this fellow has something. Clearly many of his 'images' are imaginary...
Some of them might be stains caused by putting (e.g.) a wet glass down on the paper. Some of them might be imprints of drawings made on another sheet and impressed into the page by pressure (i.e., the other sheet that was being drawn upon was on top of the one he shows and the pressure of the pen or pencil made an image on the page beneath).
However one or two seem to me to be real.
The "skull" in particular. I think his drawings of a woman, a gazelle, etc., are sheer fantasy.
But that skull does bother me.
Ed Lake has a great deal of useful information, in terms of compiling and looking at the raw data. For some reason that I can't fathom, however, he ignores all the connections to 9/11 and international terrorism. The last time I looked at his web site he was focused on the Milwaukee scientist (who's been officially cleared) solely, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, and I really don't know why.
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.
We don't really know what the story is with these earlier mailings. There is said to have been a whole series of these (15?) mailed to people in the media, apparently postmarked in Indianapolis. Sean Hannity received some of these letters, Bill O'Reilly may have gotten one or more, and there may have been other recipients too. It's reported that Hannity said on his show that, when he saw the anthrax letters, he was astounded at the similarity. We don't know if the similarity was with the letters or the envelopes, and with the contents or the handwriting. It is clear that the earlier letters must have been striking for Hannity to have immediately remembered them out of the many crank letters he must receive. (One person posted on FR that Hannity had said that the letters contained something foul, perhaps fecal matter.)
I don't know what to make of the images except to say they are mysterious.
As I've said in response to some of the other posts, I don't place any credence in the claimed fanciful imagery on the anthrax-letters.com web site, nor do I place any importance in the "enhanced images" there. The "imagery" (which I don't even really see) consists of optical illusions, or technical artifacts, or the like. But the high-quality scans of the photographs are of interest; these aren't displayed on the web page -- you have to go near the bottom and download the TIFF images via the links there (there are 12 links to these, for 3 letters and 3 envelopes, each in a higher-resolution and lower-resolution scan).
I agree 100%, and I don't give the fanciful imagery any credence. I was just interested in the availability of high-quality scans of the photographs (before this person "enhanced" them) -- that's why I posted this. (I would not have posted it for the supposed bizarre "imagery".)
There was that whole silly "Paul is dead" thing, with people finding various bogus "hidden messages" in the Beatles songs, album covers, etc. The supposed "imagery" on the www.anthrax-letters.com web site is just as meaningless (it's easy for the brain to see patterns that aren't really there, and it's easy for technical artifacts to emerge from an "image enhancement" process).
If you want to see the interesting photos, download the links to TIFF files towards the bottom of the web page. These are apparently high-quality, unmanipulated scans of the FBI photographs of the letters and the envelopes. (These images are not displayed on the page itself; you have to download the images via the links.) These TIFF images are the reason I posted the information on FR.
I understand that, and I appreciate your posts (and especially the one with the information on dies, which was new to me).
Some of the correspondence I got from people indicated that they had quickly gone to the web site, had just seen the sample "enhanced images" with pictures, and didn't realize that the real point was the set of links to TIFF's at the bottom.
I feel that I'm in something of an ambiguous position here. On the one hand, I definitely do not want to be associated with pseudoscience (seeing pictures where they don't really exist); on the other hand, I really don't want to be critical on a personal level, since I genuinely appreciate the trouble that somebody went to in filing the FOIA request, scanning the photos in, and putting them on-line (even though his or her purpose in doing so is ultimately different from the use I'd like to make of the photos).
It's Postman Pat and the Beast of Greendale!
[I guess this is a reminder that coincidences do happen.]
No, I'm from the U.S.
I rememebr the song when I was a kid "Postman Pat, postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat!"
I've never heard that one. Is this a British song you recall from your childhood?
From the book cover that I posted, Postman Pat was apparently a TV show. Was this in the U.S.? I haven't heard of the show.
The 'UK', the whole worldwide,BBC,... 'UK'?
(Worldwide schools, Embassy/consulates/etc., Foreign 'stations' too!)
So what does Greendale refer to in the title? I'd guess it's a town, not a school?
Greendale is not that tough to come by if one watches TV-Land. Barney Fife was once offered a job as sherrif of Greendale, NC. It was also a town near Mayfield home of Beaver Cleaver. It is the setting for "Teenagers from Outer Space", "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", lives in Greendale, Postman Pat on the BBC delivers the mail in Greendale, there are Greendales in many us states, Greendale Independent Schools in Greendale Wi (neat town, one of the first planned communities, originated as a USDA facility) and Greendale Va, as well as Worchester MA, there is a Greendale nursery in Homestead Fla (my nephew met the pseudorapper, Vanilla Ice there once.) There are Greendale apartments, golfcourses, one of the student housing complexes at Stanford is named Greendale, etc, etc, etc. Hmm except for Postman Pat I really don't see why Greendale would be too uncommon