The Bizarro World of Barack Obama's Birth Narrative

The search for truth in Barack Obama's sketchy 1995 autobiography Dreams from My Father continues with a look into the many discrepancies and oddities in Barack's birth narrative.  Although not mentioned in Dreams, it could be said this birth narrative officially began in 1960, when Barack's "mother," Stanley Ann Dunham, reportedly moved to Hawaii just after graduating from "Mercer Island High School."  This "little-known secret" wasn't revealed by Barack until October 26, 2006 at a Democratic rally in Bellevue, WA.

Surprisingly, the 1956-1960 Seattle/Honolulu Polk directories do more or less agree with Barack's Mercer Island narrative.  (1) The 1956-1959 Seattle Polk directories (with an exception of 1958) lists the Dunhams on Mercer Island.  (2) The March 1960 Seattle Telephone directory lists the Dunhams on Mercer Island.  (3) The 1960-1961 Honolulu Polk directory lists the Dunhams at 6085 Kalanianaole.

But while, according to the Polk directories, it does appear that Stanley and Madeline Dunham left Mercer Island for Honolulu in 1960, it is unknown when Barack's "mother" specifically left Mercer Island.  Claims vary from Stanley Ann leaving Mercer Island "the day after" or "a few days after" her June 1960 graduation, or even "stay[ing] on the mainland for part of the summer."

However, the appearance of an "Ann Dunham" in the 1960 Seattle Polk directory certainly raises eyebrows.  A library date stamp of "5-31-61" is used to estimate the names gathered for the 1960 Seattle Polk directory in late 1960/early 1961 – when Ann was supposed to be in Hawaii canoodling with a Kenyan.

The "Ann Dunham" in the 1960 Seattle Polk directory appears to have been a UW laboratory student residing at Virginia Mason Clinic's Blackford Hall, located at 1000 Seneca St.  "Ann Dunham" doesn't appear in the 1959 or 1961-1962 Seattle Polk directory, and it is unclear if the "R" is an initial for an "Ann R Dunham" or an abbreviation for "room."

Are "Ann Dunham" and Stanley Ann Dunham the same person?  Janny Scott's 2011 A Singular Woman does hint that "a short stint" in "nursing" was the "standard female trajectory" for Mercer Island female "teenagers."  Moreover, "Ann Dunham's" residence at the Mason Clinic on Seneca St. was barely over a mile from "Mrs Anna Obama's" address listed in the next year's 1961-1962 Seattle Polk directory.

But "Ann Dunham" doesn't appear in any of UW's 1959, 1960, and 1961 Tyee yearbooks – which listed many nursing programs and sororities.  So, for now, it will be assumed that "Ann Dunham" and Stanley Ann Dunham are, in fact, two different Ann Dunhams who were coincidently attending UW at about the same time in 1960-1961 – and therefore the entire Barack Obama birth narrative hasn't been destroyed.

Whenever Stanley Ann left Mercer Island, discrepancies and oddities begin appearing in Barack's birth narrative soon after his "mother" reportedly changed her name from Stanley Ann to "Ann" sometime in the fall of 1960.  Discrepancies/oddities shown in previous articles (here and here) include: (1) conflicting reports about Ann majoring in either mathematics or anthropology, (2) Ann's apparent impossible University of Hawaii (UH) grade point average of 1.35, (3) family members' reports of where Obama Sr. lived in Honolulu conflict with the Polk directories, (4) Obama Sr.'s UH transcript mysteriously turned up missing soon after being viewed by Obama "biographer" Sally Jacobs, (5) no one knows concretely when Obama Sr. and Ann were married, (6) evidence shows that Obama Sr. never lived with Ann and Barack Jr. as a family (despite what we were told in Dreams), and (7) evidence that baby Barack never lived with his "mother" in Seattle in 1961-1962.

Nevertheless, despite the many discrepancies/oddities in Barack's birth narrative, on June 12, 2008, when the debate over Obama's birth records was beginning to heat up, a simple-looking computer-generated birth certificate for Barack mysteriously appeared in PolitiFact's e-mail (from the "Obama campaign") and appeared on the Saul Alinsky-inspired website Daily Kos, whose founder enthusiastically claimed, "[H]ere is Obama's birth certificate."

Then, in July-August 2008, two birth announcements (Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy., son, August 4) from the Aug. 13, 1961 Honolulu Advertiser and Aug. 14, 1961 Honolulu Star-Bulletin mysteriously appeared on the web—notably, soon after Honolulu resident Thelma Lefforge Young passed away. Thelma, according to the 1962-1963, 1964-1965, and 1965-1966 Honolulu Polk directories, lived with her husband, Orland (UH associate professor & 1970's UH director of curriculum) at the 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy address sequentially after the Dunham family.

But, curiously, and for no apparent reason, misinformation was spread by those "in the know" that the birth announcements lists in the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin were identical.  A couple of examples: (1) former Honolulu Star-Bulletin managing editor Dave Shapiro claimed that "those were listings that came over from the state Department of Health, they would send the same thing to both papers"; (2) Advertiser staff writer Will Hoover stated that "the exact same notice appeared the following day in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The numerous birth announcements above and below the Obama listing also were identical in both papers, which were unaffiliated, competing publications."

While it is safe to assume that identical birth lists did appear in the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin sometime after joint operations officially began on June 1, 1962 (sampled 1965 and 1971 newspaper microfilm indicates this), technically, contrary to Hoover's statement, "identical" birth lists did not appear in the two August 13-14, 1961 newspapers.  As noted in a previous article, the 25 births (#22 Obama) from the 8/13 Advertiser appeared as the first subset out of the 58 births in the 8/14 Star-Bulletin.  Therefore, even on the onset, the two newspaper birth lists weren't "exactly the same" or "identical."  In fact, as detailed in the previous article, confusing jumbled subsets of births from the August 12-14, 1961 (Sat.-Mon.) newspapers infer some sort of confusing "birth notice process" taking place in 1961.

Furthermore, analyzing the August 1961 Advertiser and Star-Bulletin microfilm revealed no consistent weekly birth notice pattern between the two newspapers and revealed no Advertiser and Star-Bulletin Saturday-Monday combinations even remotely similar to the August 12-14, 1961 (Sat.-Mon.) combination containing Obama's birth.  For example, the 16 births found in the Sunday 8/20 Advertiser were broken up into three subsets and placed more or less randomly in the midst of 100-plus births in the Thursday 8/24 Star-Bulletin.  And adding to the confusion in 1961, many births listed in the Advertiser weren't listed in the Star-Bulletin, and vice-versa, many births listed in the Star-Bulletin weren't listed in the Advertiser.

As a control sample, a similar Sat.-Mon. combination from February 18-20, 1961 was analyzed and also revealed mind-boggling confusion.  Eighteen births (out of 24) from the Sunday 2/19 Advertiser were broken into four subsets.  Two of these subsets were found in the 55 births in the Sun. 2/19 Star-Bulletin; one subset was placed in the Mon. 2/20 Star-Bulletin; one individual birth was found in the Sat. 2/18 Star-Bulletin.  The 36 births from the Mon. 2/20 Advertiser were broken up into four subsets and placed in the 55 births in the Sun. 2/19 Star-Bulletin.  The 54 births (out of 55 births) from the Sun. Feb. 19 Star-Bulletin were broken up into 14 subsets (including individual births) and placed in the midst of the 2/20 and 2/21 Advertiser.

It is now evident that some sort of incredibly complex (and incoherent) "birth notice process" between the two newspapers was taking place in 1961.  This raises a question: was anyone "in the know" in 2008 claiming the two newspapers published "identical" or "exactly the same" birth lists in August 1961 either ignorant, purposely deceitful, or a combination of both?

Moreover, analyzing the August 1961 Advertiser microfilm showed the newspaper publishing morning and afternoon editions with birth lists generally appearing at the beginning of the morning B-Section classifieds.  On all August 1961 dates except two – August 13 and August 20 – the birth announcement list from the morning Advertiser was repeated on the same page number in the afternoon Advertiser.  The morning 8/20 Advertiser contained 16 births (a subset of ten births and a subset of six births), while the afternoon 8/20 Advertiser contained only the morning subset of ten births.  On August 13, however, the morning Advertiser birth list was completely missing in the afternoon Advertiser. Thus, the only time in August 1961 when the birth list in the morning Advertiser didn't repeat in some form in the afternoon Advertiser was on August 13 – the day of Obama's birth announcement.

The cause of the missing 8/13 Advertiser afternoon birth list was that, for reasons unknown, a "Global Report" from the morning Advertiser's A-section was moved to the afternoon Advertiser's B-section.  This move threw several pages in the Advertiser's afternoon B-section into disarray and caused several articles, including the morning paper's birth list (#22 Obama), to be eliminated.

Additionally, analyzing the August 14 Star-Bulletin microfilm, also revealed page 23 repeating just before Obama's birth announcement (#22 Obama) on page 24.  No other instance of a page repeating just before the birth announcements was found in the August 1961 Star-Bulletin microfilm.

And how about the Nordyke twins, born the following day (Saturday, August 5, 1961) in the "same" hospital as Barack, and yet the twins were not listed in the August 13-14 newspaper birth lists with Barack?

Eleanor Nordyke, called "trailblazer" for "setting up" and "establishing" Planned Parenthood in Hawaii in the 1970s, explained that her twins were not in the same newspaper birth lists with Barack since “they probably collected the list of births through Friday for the August 13, 1961 report, while the Saturday deliveries went into the next August 16, 1961 Department of Health newspaper listing.”  Sounds reasonable.  But while the Nordyke twins were, in fact, listed in the Wednesday, Aug. 16 Advertiser, they were not listed in any August Star-Bulletin.

August 16 Advertiser afternoon

So we see what a difference a day made in August 1961 in the "birth notice process": Obama's August 4 birth was listed in the 8/13 Advertiser morning paper and in the 8/14 Star-Bulletin, but not in the 8/13 Advertiser afternoon paper; yet the Nordyke twin's August 5 births were listed in both the 8/16 Advertiser morning and afternoon papers, but not in any August Star-Bulletin.

For the record, similar to other sampled 1961 dates, the 8/16 Advertiser birth list containing the Nordyke twins showed no rhyme or reason when compared with the Star-Bulletin.  The birth list totaled 80 births, which included four subsets (18 births, 14 births, two births, and one individual birth) for a subtotal of 35 births.  These four subsets were listed in the 120 births from the 8/17 Star-Bulletin.  The rest of the 80 - 35 = 45 births, which included the Nordyke twins, were not found in any August Star-Bulletin.


Nordyke also curiously claimed that her twins, Susan and Gretchen, "finally emerged at 2:05 and 2:12 p.m."  Yet, her twins' birth certificates specifically state that Susan and Gretchen were born at 2:12 p.m. and 2:17 p.m., respectively – not at "2:05 and 2:12 p.m."  It is unclear why Nordyke apparently doesn't know when her own twins were born.

Interestingly, the Honolulu Polk directories from 1960s to 1990s revealed that Eleanor as a UH instructor, a UH researcher, and, most importantly, a UH East West Center researcher, all at about the same time when Ann Dunham was attending UH and UH's East West Center.

Finally, how about the computer-generated LFBC released on April 27, 2011?  It is noted on the LFBC that Barack's "father" age was "25" – implying a birth year of 1936.  Yet, according to Obama Sr.'s Immigration files, Obama Sr. used a "June 18, 1934" birthdate from 1959 up until around the fall of 1962 when, for reasons unknown, he changed his birth year to 1936.  Notably, Obama Sr. used a 1934 birthdate in a file stamped "Aug. 31 1961" (where the name of someone married to Obama Sr. was thoroughly scratched out and "Ann Dunham" added) just a few weeks after Barack's Aug. 4 "birth."  Therefore, Obama Sr.'s age should be 27, not "25" on Barack's LFBC.

But what difference, at this point, does yet another discrepancy/oddity in the Bizarro World of Barack Obama's birth narrative make?


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