Birth Certificate Whac-A-Mole

Would you like to play a neat parlor game with your friends?  Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate forgery contains so many forger's errors which are visible to the naked eye or which can be seen on your computer under slight magnification that you can play a fun game finding them, either alone or in a contest with your friends.  It's similar to the arcade game Whac-A-Mole, where you pound a mechanical mole back into its hole before it disappears on its own and randomly reappears in another one of the five holes in the game.  You can score by time per defect -- five points for each one found within two minutes, for example -- or by total score -- five points for each defect for the length of the game.  (Note: Conservatives will generally spot these defects more quickly than liberals do.)

To see these defects, we need to use the digital PDF of the forgery released at  (You can download your copy from here.)  The reason for using the digital PDF is that it is the original forgery -- rather than the Savannah Guthrie photo or the T-shirt I used in my article "Oblivious to the Obvious," published in American Thinker on April 10, which are a generation removed and can introduce distortion -- camera-lens distortion or twisted T-shirt fabric.  Also, you need to view the PDF on your computer screen, because some of the defects are not visible if you print the PDF on a computer printer and then look at the printout.

So let the game begin!

Mole Hole #3: Is the mole black and white or gray?  The forgery has several instances of bitmap -- that is, all-black -- information, and grayscale -- shades of gray -- adjoining.  In a true scan of a paper document, all information would be either full-color or shades of gray, so this is an indication of the forger's sloppiness.  The most obvious is the certificate number "61 10641" in the upper right-hand corner -- the digits "61 1064" are stark black, and the last digit "1" is grayscale, not dense black.  Even if you're not computer-literate and you can't tell grayscale from tree scale, you can still see that there is something "funny" about that last, blurry digit.

Two other obvious examples are in Line 11, Birthplace, where the "K" of "Kenya" is blurry grayscale and the rest of the information is solid black -- and in Line 13, Full Maiden Name, where the "S" of "STANLEY" is pale grayscale and the rest of the word is stark black.  All three defects are shown below in Figure GS.  You score 5 points for each additional occurrence you find in the forgery (and there are quite a few of them).

Figure GS.  A mixture of bitmap (all-black) and grayscale (blurred shades of gray) information appears in the Obama "birth certificate" forgery.

Mole Hole #5: Who lost the comma?  The (grayscale) comma following (bitmap) "August 4" in the forgery is way too far to the right of the digit "4" to have been typed as the next character on a typewriter.

Figure FD.  The text "6085 Kalanianaole Highway" is a third of a character shorter than the text "y & Gynecological Hospital."  Also "out of pitch" in the forgery is the day "August 4," here compared with the word "None" from Line 17a.

Actually, the forger did a pretty good job of maintaining typewriter pitch throughout the document.  There are only a few places where the pitch goes noticeably awry.  That wayward comma is in pitch; the day "August 4" is a half-character out of pitch, as you can see in Figure FD after I vertically moved up a copy of the word "None" from Line 17a.  The test I showed in Figure F in "Oblivious to the Obvious" also works for the digital PDF, and, additionally, you can see that some of the letters in "Kalanianaole" are in vertical alignment with "Gynecological" and some are not.  The pitch discrepancy is especially noticeable with the characters "8" and "&," and with the last "l" in "Kalanianaole" compared with the final "l" in "Gynecological."  I have vertically lowered the word "HUSSEIN" in Line 1b to show that the space between "Gynecological" and "Hospital" is more than a single character wide.  Of course, none of these discrepancies would exist if a real typewriter had been used.

Mole Hole #2: Kern you top this?  "Kerning" describes where one character intrudes into another character's space.  It's done by computers all the time for displaying and printing text which has letters of varying widths, to close up extra space between certain combinations of letters, such as "ay."  But monospace typewriters can't kern.

Figure K.  In Line 12a the first "t" in "Student" intrudes into the letter "u" which follows -- this is not possible on a typewriter.

Figure K shows one instance of impossible kerning in the forgery -- the letter "t" intruding into the subsequent "u" in the word "Student" in line 12a.  There are at least two more clearly identifiable character overlaps in the forgery, and a number of "maybes."  See if you can find them, for 5 points each.

Mole Hole #1: "T" for two?  There are at least two different typewriter typefaces used in the forgery, and likely three or more.

Figure TT.  Typeface differences -- letters "t," "H," and "i" in three different words in the forgery.

In Figure TT you can see that the two letters "t" in "Student" (from Line 12a) are differently shaped at the base and in the crossbar, and the "t" in "Hospital" (from Line 6) is different from the other two, as it has the shape of the first "t" in "Student" but a shorter crossbar.  By computer I measured the widths of the two "t"s in "Student"; the first "t" is 5% wider than the second.

Also in Figure TT you can see the differences in the letters "H" and "i" in "Highway" (Line 7d) and "Hospital" (Line 6c).  You score 5 points for each additional typeface discrepancy you find.

Mole Hole #3 (again): Elastic letters?  Look at the word "HUSSEIN" in Line 8.

Figure H.  The letters "U" and "IN" in "HUSSEIN" are taller.

Does it seem to you that the letters "U," "I," and "N" are a bit taller than the other letters in the word?  No, it's not your imagination -- computer measurement shows that they are 5.5% taller, by virtue of their bottoms being lower than the other letters.  (All of the tops of the letters are at the same level horizontally.)  Score yourself 5 points for each oversized (or undersized) letter you find in a word.

Mole Holes #1 and #4: Forgeries are not angelic; why the white halos?  All throughout the forgery you can see that the text has halos of white around each letter (or image).  Figure WS is a typical example (as is also Figure H):

Figure WS.  Definitely non-angelic "halos" surround each character or graphic image.

This halo effect is proof positive that the "birth certificate" is a digitally created forgery.  In a genuine scan of a document of black text copied onto real security paper, the scan into the computer would not produce any halo effect whatsoever.  These halos exist because the forger extracted the typewriter-character images from who-knows-where, then attempted with software to render the green security-paper image white in the areas where text was to be applied.  We can only speculate as to the exact method the forger used; we know only that the process used was imprecise, because white halos were created.

This halo effect appears throughout the forgery, so you don't get points for each instance you find.  Rather, it's worth two whacked moles; give yourself 10 points for each additional whole-document defect you find.  (I know of at least three.)

Nobody knows what a perfect score is for our little game of Birth Certificate Whac-A-Mole.  A winning score is 100 points; when you reach it, take your chit to the arcade redemption center for your prize of a matched set of four shot glasses, each bearing a different etched view of the White House on a dark and stormy D.C. night.

Note: Except for the pitch tests, none of this information is original with me, and I am indebted to the many other researchers who first noticed defects and published their findings on the internet.

Nick Chase is a retired but still very active technical writer, technical editor, computer programmer, and stock market newsletter writer.  During his career he has produced documentation on computers, typewriters, typesetters, headline-makers, and other pieces of equipment most people never heard of, and he has programmed typesetting equipment.  You can read more of his work at