I realize the general question has been covered before but there is new supposed evidence "uncovered" by Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, as presented in a recent press conference (part of which is in this youtube video). As was widely reported:

Arpaio and his aides announced that a five-year investigation had "proved" that Obama’s birth certificate from Hawaii in 1961 was a fake. An accompanying presentation highlighted what they called “9 points of forgery” on the document, which focused on the angles of date stamps, typed letters and words.

According to the theory, the birth certificate presented to the public was created after copying and pasting information from the legitimate birth certificate of a woman born in Hawaii.

They claim that this has been verified by two leading forensic experts.

Is this actual, valid forensic proof that the birth certificate of a woman named Johanna Ah'Nee was used as source material to forge Obama's birth certificate?

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    Please include the 'facts' stated in that video. As the question is now, I fail to see a notable claim (here). Who is Joe Arpaio anyway?
    – user22865
    Jan 12 '17 at 11:26
  • @JanDoggen Nobody important, but a lot of people including the current PEOTUS listened to him anyway.
    – Shadur
    Jan 12 '17 at 13:23
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    The O of Oahu is clearly vertically misaligned in the Obama certificate and yet it's claimed that Oahu is copied. Also the X in a box is better centred on the Ah'Nee certificate. It really isn't surprising that two certificates typed by (probably) the same person, on the same typewriter, onto the same paper form are similar. The only surprising thing is that the rubber date stamp angles are similar but I suspect an analysis of all similar certificates would show a very similar angling pattern. Jan 12 '17 at 14:03
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    @themathemagician What you've got here is basic confirmation bias -- rather than saying "determine whether this is a fake or not", they said "prove that this is fake" and then went out of their way to look for anything that supported their position while ignoring anything that contradicted it. It's much like antivax or climate change denialism works -- 500 studies say it's bullshit, one study indicates that, in a certain light, from a certain point of view it might not be complete bullshit, and they hold up the latter and pronounce it gospel.
    – Shadur
    Jan 12 '17 at 15:08
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    @TheMathemagician or all of the certificates have similarly aligned typewritten data, and they choose this one because it had the closest angle on the date stamp.
    – phoog
    Apr 26 '17 at 23:14

While I obviously cannot prove or disprove myself that the PDF on WhiteHouse.gov is a forgery, I will raise the following points, which you may find helpful in judging the credibility of the claim:

  1. The expert examiner Reed Hayes, on his website, suggests far less certainty regarding the results of his analysis than Arpaio's investigator reports.
  2. According to Arpaio's investigator, Zullo, anomalies in the document were first identified not by the experts he had asked to examine them, but by Mark Gillar, who is not an expert in document analysis. Zullo then called the expert examiners and told them about these anomalies.
  3. Zullo cannot explain the "unbelievable coincidence" of the authentic birth certificate that (according to his experts) was used as a template for Obama's, coming out years later.

The "leading experts" who examined the documents are named as:

The first expert used was Reed Hayes, a court-qualified handwriting document examiner in Honolulu with 40 years of experience. He's also a board member of the Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners. The second expert was Forlab in Italy, which specializes in analyzing data retrieved from multimedia files. This group trains law enforcement in Europe. Both worked independently and came to the same conclusions.

Regarding Reed Hayes, Mike Zullo, the lead investigator on the matter, reportedly told the World Tribune:

We have obtained an affidavit from a certified document analyzer, Reed Hayes, that states the document is a 100 percent forgery, no doubt about it.

Also, in the video (note: you can read transcript on YouTube), he claims to read the following excerpt from Reed Hayes's report:

The evidence noted herein is clear and convincing proof that the Obama certificate of live birth posted on whitehouse.gov on April 27, 2011 is a fraudulently manufactured document. Evidence indicates that the certificate of live birth of Johanna Ah'nee is one source utilized in the construction of the certificate of live birth.

However, Reed Hayes himself claims far less certainty on his website:

I have never stated in any of my cases that I am “100 percent certain” of anything.

He further clarifies that he is not legally permitted to share the report that he produced for the investigation. However, he does share the following summary of his conclusions, which does not suggest the same level of certainty as Zullo claims:

In short, there are indications that the Obama Certificate of Live Birth released by the White House in April 2011 may be a manufactured document or perhaps even an outright forgery. But without examining the original document housed at the Hawaii Department of Health, there can be no absolute certainty.

and he also says:

My report also makes it clear that I suspect the document released by the White House may be a fabricated document intended to bring down President Obama.

(which was not mentioned by Zullo).

Zullo says in the video that the analysis was conducted by

independent forensics examiners from two different disciplines.

However, his own account of what happened suggests something else. He says that the investigation happened

in assistance with - actually, the gentleman who makes my videos, Mr. Mark Gillar.

He reports that Mark Gillar (who according to his Twitter bio is "Host of The TEA Party Power Hour") is the one who found the date stamp anomaly, which Zullo himself then told the two "independent" examiners about:

when Mark made the adjustment those date stamps lined up perfectly. So we stopped. And I sent it to Italy and I sent it to Hawaii. And I waited.

Then, after they agreed that the date stamps were at the same angles,

I called Mark Gillar back, I go "Mark, now that we got the date stamps we need to start looking at the document." We're both looking at the machine at the same time. He's in Texas, I'm here, and he starts to line up the 61 that's on the top...

(and then Mark discovered more anomalies, which Zullo then told the examiners about, etc.)

He does not explain why he told the hired experts what the anomalies were supposed to be, rather than leaving them to independently draw their own conclusions.

Zullo says in this video that it is highly improbable that this would occur by coincidence, and that this is evidence that the Ah'nee birth certificate was used as a template to forge the Obama birth certificate:

What are the odds that two stamps in two separate boxes stamped by hand 16 days apart would have the exact same angle in box 20 and the exact same angle in box 22?

Here is another coincidence acknowledged by Zullo:

Reached by The Arizona Republic shortly afterward, Zullo said he obtained Ah’Nee’s birth certificate from a man named Jerome Corsi, who had authored a book on the matter. Zullo said he was unclear what led Corsi to Ah’Nee in the first place. “I have to be honest with you, that’s a really good question,” he said. “Because either that’s an unbelievable coincidence, or there’s something else going on.”

How did Ah'Nee got involved? According to WND:

a WND reader born in Kapiolani Hospital in Hawaii within about two weeks of Barack Obama’s birth voluntarily submitted to WND her own known-to-be-authentic birth certificate for analysis.

(In the WND article, the birth certificate is redacted, but you can see by comparing to the video that it's the same as the Ah'Nee birth certificate.)

So, there are two possible interpretations of the phenomenon:

  1. Two birth certificates that were stamped by hand have both date stamps at identical angles.
  2. The birth certificate provided to WND by a reader (after they reported on the difficulty associated with getting an authentic Obama-era birth certificate for comparison purposes) was the exact birth certificate used as a template to forge Obama's birth certificate years earlier.

Zullo finds it incredible that improbable things happen, but he does not have another explanation for the "unbelievable coincidence" in item 2 (other than "there’s something else going on").

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    I'm wondering, did anyone check the stamp angles of other birth certificates around that time in that district? There must be quite a few around there. Maybe more have similar angles, which would resolve the question if it's really such a coincidence.
    – daraos
    Jan 20 '17 at 5:28
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    @daraos They looked at 9 other birth certificates, according to the video. (I don't doubt that it's improbable for hand-stamped dates to occur at similar angles on two documents, but improbable things happen. It's a textbook implementation of the prosecutor's fallacy.)
    – ff524
    Jan 20 '17 at 5:42
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    @ff524 Actually it's very likely hand-stamped dates to occur at the same angles. Since this is a form, the stamp needs to go in the box, it you are stamping form after form, you'll develop muscle memory fairly quickly and while not every stamp will match a good number of them will. That's why they are using a template form, to minimize differences.
    – ventsyv
    Jan 24 '17 at 16:26

Sheriff Joe's "9 points" were disproved within about five hours after the press conference.



http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2016/12/remarkable-dissimilarity-between-ahnee-and-obama-birth /-certificates

At his last press conference before this one Sheriff Joe claimed that he had proved that Obama's birth certificate was forged because of the penciled numeral '9" besides one of the entries.

Sheriff Joe claimed that the numeral "9" meant that the box was not filled in, and since the box was indeed filled in, that must mean that the birth certificate is forged. And then it turned out that Sheriff Joe got the meaning of "9" from a coding book FOR THE WRONG YEAR.

And of course you will remember his sending a team to Hawaii to see whether there was an original birth certificate in the files of the DOH----and neglecting to tell that team that A WARRANT would be necessary.

Then there was the claim that "layers" proved that Obama's birth certificate must be forged. But in fact layers are normal in PDF, and you can scan your own birth certificate---or any document on security paper, compress the result, put it into PDF and then open that file with Adobe Illustrator and SEE LAYERS. (And if you don't believe me, you can try that out for yourself with your own birth certificate.)

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    Of course he wouldn't tell them a warrant was required--the objective is to show that Hawaii is part of the coverup, not to actually see the paper. Apr 26 '17 at 22:42

The answer is - it is irrelevant whether the document presented is fake or not. The Secretary of State of the State of Hawaii has officially stated that the original certificate of birth for Obama exists and is on record. Now, why he would create a fake when a real, authentic version exists, I don't know. You don't get a more authoritative pronouncement than that.

State of Hawaii - Obama Birth Certificate Is Real

But, let's say it is relevant. When the short-form document was originally released (again, the sole, official State of Hawaii document), FactCheck.org had forensic document experts examine the actual document, itself (not a "scan", so no cut and paste possible), and published high-resolution scans along with its analysis, verifying its authenticity.

FactCheck.org - Obama's Birth Certificate

Claims like the new ones have been made and debunked in the past, ad nauseum. This detracts from the credibility of trotting out the same arguments for a different document that contains the same information as the previous one. Sheriff Joe trotting out another version of similar claims does not carry much weight, especially compared to FactCheck.org's examination of the actual document.

As to the conspiracy-sounding claim that Obama's document is simply information pasted into a "legitimate" birth document, that's what ALL birth documents are - information filled into a standard document template (hence the name "short FORM" or "long FORM"). The fact that one birth document almost exactly matches any other, except for the actual data in the fields is how it is supposed to work. The fact that documents were probably printed in the same office as others means that the same typewriter, for older documents, was used on multiple documents, accounting for matching type. Again, this is an EXPECTED result.

The fact that the stamp seems to have the same angle - ever stamp a pile of documents? The documents would be aligned the same, the person stamping them would be stamping them with their body in the same position, at the same angle, trying to stamp in the same location, holding the stamp the same way as all the other documents. We would expect a similar angle. Since their "proof" of forgery is, in fact, exactly what one would expect to see in non-forged documents, they really have no proof, at all.

Where did they get the document they claimed was copied? From an often-debunked conservative conspiracy author, Jermoe Corsi, who has written on the conspiracy topic or Obama's birth before.

Why revive the claims? Arpaio was voted out of office after several decades This was, probably, his last chance to grab the spotlight that he seemed to enjoy over the years.

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    For what it's worth, FactCheck looked at the "short form" birth certificate, not the "long form" one that Arpaio is referring to in the current forgery claim. (Your points were raised in the answers to Is Barack Obama a natural born US citizen?, which the OP is aware of, but he asked for this question to focus on the specifics of the "new" forgery claim. The FactCheck thing doesn't address this specific claim, because they didn't examine the document that the claim alleges is forged.)
    – ff524
    Jan 19 '17 at 23:54
  • @ff524 - for what it's worth, the "short form" is THE official birth document for the state of Hawaii. That distinction is a BS one. If the short form is legitimate, analysis of any other documents are irrelevant, because the official, accepted documentation is legitimate. Jan 20 '17 at 16:53
  • @ff524 - the fact that a previous version with the same information was verified as authentic, and, point by point, debunked almost identical claims about the short form demonstrates that the information on the pdf of the long form is legitimate. Why would someone Photoshop legitimate information into a faked document when the same information would show up on a real document, as verified and proven, already? Makes no sense. Jan 20 '17 at 17:06
  • @ff524 - It was only important to make it sound like what he provided was somehow lacking when it wasn't. Remember, for conspiracy nonsense to have legs, you have to create the illusion of something fishy. That was the only reason for the distinction. Most people citing that complaint were completely unaware that the short form was the officially accepted document and the only one that Hawaii would provide. Jan 20 '17 at 18:51
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    @dan-klasson - Not sure why that's interesting. People die. It happens to everyone. Now, what's particularly NOT interesting is that she issued the certificate and certified that what was on the certificate was true and accurate, exactly as her successor did. I'm not sure why or how someone, who had nothing to add or change from the status quo, dying suddenly becomes "interesting." May 2 '17 at 13:52

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