Path: news.voyager.net!chi-news.cic.net!arclight.uoregon.edu!worldnet.att.net!howland.erols.net!torn!hone!informer1.cis.McMaster.CA!usenet 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 Lines: 58 Message-ID: <335AB7CD.1AB6@mcmaster.ca> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org NNTP-Posting-Host: mac-finsten-l1.socsci.mcmaster.ca Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (Macintosh; I; PPC) CC: email@example.com 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 challenge. 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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