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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/b/ball.john/fires-blanks-01

From: Laura Finsten 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: John Ball's "Smoking Gun" Fires Blanks
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 20:41:50 -0400
Organization: McMaster University
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Mr. Ball, the "smoking gun" which supposedly proves that World War II
aerial photography of Auschwitz-Birkenau has been tampered with is a
dud.  You claim that a series of peculiar markings on an aerial
photograph from August 25, 1944 are a fabrication and imply that in the
1979 CIA report, Brugioni and Poirier interpreted these as prisoners
standing in formation.

I draw your attention to the following points:

First, none of the illustrations in the CIA report label any feature on
any aerial photograph as "Groups of prisoners...standing formation", or
anything similar.  Any reader can check this by referring directly to
the CIA report.  Indeed, this reference is made only in the text of the
report (on p.8), albeit with reference to the August 25, 1944
photography.  Therefore, the "conclusion" that the marks you have
highlighted both on your website and in your book as allegedly
representing prisoners in formation is yours and yours alone.  If I am
incorrect about this and you have seen a publication which actually does
label those peculiar markings this way, I trust you will provide me with
a complete reference.  I will interpret silence as acknowledgement that
you are unable to dispute this, since it is irrelevant to your $100,000

Second, I draw your attention to a portion of the August 25, 1944
photograph which is reproduced as Photo 4 in Chapter 5.4 (page 42) of
your own book.  There are four barracks depicted below (west of) the one
affected by your so-called "smoking gun".  Between these buildings are
four smaller oblong markings, in a regular pattern and all oriented
perpendicular to the long axes of the buildings.  I admit that they do
not show up really well in the reproduction in your book, but they are
much more apparent on the unenlarged negatives, as I'm sure you know.

These markings are not included in the segment of the August 25, 1944
photograph published in the CIA report.  And I have noted with some
interest that you have cropped this portion of the photograph from your
website photo of this date, although it does appear in your book.  You
consider yourself to be an "airphoto expert", Mr. Ball.  Please tell me,
then:  Do you not think it far more likely that an expert in the
interpretation of aerial photography for intelligence purposes would
interpret these latter markings, rather than what are some glaringly
obvious flaws on the negative, as "Groups of prisoners...standing
formation"?  If you don't think that the markings I have drawn your
attention to here represent formations of prisoners, what _do_ you think
they are, Mr. Ball?

My suggested interpretation of the August 25, 1944 aerial photograph has
nothing to do with your "$100,000 challenge", because I agree that there
are "marks" on the photo.  There is obviously a flaw on the negative.  I
wouldn't agree with you about how they got there, though.  And clearly I
disagree with your disingenuous and highly misleading interpretation of
the "significance" these marks have had in the interpretation of World
War II aerial photography depicting Birkenau.  Since there is no money
at stake here, I eagerly await your response.


"If I can't dance.....I don't want to be part of your revolution."
          Emma Goldman

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