September 2011


Before I show you all what some of us have found concerning Red Bandana Guy and Ponytail Girl I’d like to redirect your attention to the right foot of Red-Shirt-Runner-We-Suspect-Might-Be-Sarah in the foreground and the hooded runner we’ve come to know as Teletubby (aptly described by a commenter due to the complete lack of facial features and oval-shaped face some thought to be the shoulder of the giant runner just behind).

From the very first post on this subject commenters (I’ll have proper H/Ts for everyone in the final draft) have pointed out the odd pattern of pixels surrounding this shoe. Perhaps unnatural is the better word as there is a triangular block of pixels to the bottom left of the shoe that simply can’t be a natural byproduct of enlargement. [click image to enlarge thumbnails then use view/zoom on your web browser toolbar to enlarge even more]

Next:

The image of the faceless, black-hooded runner in aqua blue shorts and odd grey shoes next to the unnatural seam in the photo is a curiosity in itself as – like the runner we named Bunny Hop Lady – her two shoes appear to be side-by-side as if jumping in place rather than running forward. Wrap yhour head around that if you can – but that’s not the point of this slice of film.

This is:

Please note the lack of curb on either side of Teletubby.
From back to front, green lawn changes to dark soil edge to grey asphalt. On this beautifully designed, well-groomed street often used for races just like the Jump In & Run event of 04 Sept 11, with a beautifully trimmed and litter-free curb on the opposite side of the street we suddenly have no curb at all.

But wait! There’s more!

About one metre later (39 inches) we have a beautiful raised curb – shaped and squared off  just like the curb pictured on the other side of this roadway.

The lawn edge may not line up with the curb to the left but it does match the walkways in other photos.

 

 

Did our phantom photo-shopper mistakenly mix photos of runners from the two paths? Is that why there’s curbing just one meter away?

But then… just another meter further along…

…we have a rounded and concaved curb peering out between runners – right where one runner is missing an entire upper thigh and right leg. The curb itself is also making a rather odd turn on an otherwise perfectly straight street.

I admit there can be more than one style of curb along 7+ miles of road/walkways. But how many times do you see three distinct different curbs/lawn edges within only feet of each other? I’m guessing no more than 6-8 ft actually. Look at the original again:

The only two photos of Sarah Palin taken on the course by the SLRC photographer show our would-be-runner only in and at the back of the pack of 5k runners EVEN THOUGH she was registered to run the half marathon.  So unless someone attempted to shorten the distance between 3-4 shots of 3-4 different groups of runners taken at 3-4 different locations around the course in an effort to create the illusion that Sarah-I-have-the-tightest-abs-Palin at some point bolted ahead of the 5k pack to achieve her fabulous time of 1:46 and collect the winning second place medal, this photo of jumbled feet, missing limbs and mismatched curbs makes no sense at all.

My final post on this ridiculous photo tomorrow.

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[click image to enlarge] – or maybe not 😛

Wasn’t going to post this for another day but since the photos are now up at Storm Lake Running Club and no one seems to be able to find Sarah anywhere but running past the 5k walkers at the starting line and once more at the finish line I thought I might risk being labeled disrespectful in order to share my discoveries.

So… once more with feeling.

[click each image to enlarge – see also view/zoom feature on browser toolbar]

This is the image that has had us all bewitched, bothered and bewildered for a week now. We’ve dissected, lightened, darkened, enhanced and flipped our way around the image until most of us have simply gone batty.

A lot of details we thought might be bogus turned out to not be so bogus in the end:  The changing size of the runner’s bib, for example, can be explained by how runners check into the finish line and have bottom strips removed for either time confirmation or receipt of participant goodies. The red shirt and white headband so prominent in this photo yet gone in the finishing line photo can be chalked up to disposable clothing. And so it goes, one by one most of my original misgivings have been satisfactorily explained away.

Wait. Not so fast there buster. Like all things Sarah,  answering one question only seems to open the door onto a dozen more.  So here is the above photo, spliced and copies laid side-by-side  for all of you good people out there with younger eyes (than mine) to help me work out which feet belong to which runner and please – where have some of these runners legs and upper bodies gone?

Let’s look at the last half first…

The Case of Too Many Shoes and Not Enough Legs:

The first bit actually hurt my head. (Insert on left, blue outline on right.) Is this a single shoe with either a big sock or leg warmer folded down to cover the entire top of the shoe? Wouldn’t it drag on the ground and possibly catch on something if it were? And if it is one shoe why is it pointing more toward the camera than the direction in which the runner is facing? I tried to duplicate this shoe angle and almost fell over in the process. It just isn’t natural.

So what if it’s more than one shoe? If that’s not a sock turned down at the ankle, then its quite possibly a second foot (insert on left, pink outline on right) – one that doesn’t seem to belong to anyone in the photo, but will cause this runner to fall flat on his face if he keeps going forward and steps on it.

Then, of course, as some of you have already pointed out this poor man’s upper thighs appear to be well – missing with no sign of a right leg upon which to balance his left leg which happens to be very committed in  a forward stride. The angle of the leg/ankle/shoe suggests it is more straight than bent but if that’s the case we should be looking at a portion of his right, upper, inner leg under his ever-so-petite buttocks instead of the curb and wheel of a bike or wheelchair. Very curious.

I apologize to the poor man whose foot I removed (yellow outline on left) to demonstrate where I thought his missing foot should be. It is, of course, entirely possible that this foot is completely hidden by the  runner-in-red-sweatband’s leg. But not all that probable for nary an inch of it to be peeking through at the crux of the other runner’s bent knee. (Wine anyone?)

The lady we’ve come to know as the bunny hop lady could be running in place, like people do when they’re warming up but what I truly find odd is out of all these people she is the only one looking straight at the camera.

Now we come to The Case of the Extra Toes (pun not my fault – my mother made us watch Perry Mason every week):

This is the image I worked on for a couple of days and I noticed in comments that more of you picked up on this while I was off trying to enhance it. Sadly, my graphics program is simply not capable of enlarging an image to 200%+ and retain its integrity. That’s a problem of a generalized usage of 72 dots per inch – you can only advance so many generations before pixelation makes it impossible to see the image. However, I did try to alter the resolution, in spite of the fact that I don’t have the equipment to do a proper job.

In this case however and even just lo0king at the lower resolution I feel there is a compelling case for the white left shoe of the tall runner peeking between the black pants legs to belong to someone else entirely.

At first glance, the toe of the white shoe appears to belong to the extended left leg of the runner in the white sweatshirt and khaki shorts, to the right and behind the red-shirted runner we politely refer to as ‘Sarah’. Upon enlarging however, there appears to be a second ‘toe’. If it is a second toe that changes everything.

If this is a pair of white shoes rather than one left white shoe and a (truly odd) shadow, then the person who owns them is standing perfectly still, completely hidden between the tall runner in white sweatshirt and khaki shorts and the red-shirted runner.

How would that even be possible? (Maybe a tall vodka tonic…)

And now we come to the observation which I was slow to find but which most of you have already nailed as The Case of the Not-so-Hidden Seam. What are the odds a natural seam in a photo would run almost the entire length, perfectly straight – not one pixel out of line? Have a really good look at the disproportions of objects on the right of the seam compared to objects on the left.

On either side of this seam I found a missing shoulder, breast, knee, leg and curb. I also found either a foot way too big for it’s owner or a leg missing it’s foot above a curb taller than the one to the left of it. There is the sole of a grey running shoe that is perfectly straight, not one curve, not one pixel length difference  between the sole, the heel, the arch… Follow this line up into the trees in the first photo and then look carefully at the black-hoodie – why is this the only image in the entire photo with no facial features whatsoever? It’s not the farthest-most image. It’s directly in the center of the camera lens. Even the tall runner further behind has a distinguishable brow line and eye sockets. Why is this runner, with the oddly-shaped leg in blue shorts and misshapen shoe, the only runner with no face at all?

Okay that’s it – scotch, neat please. And make it a double.

One final note.

The story from the Palin camp is that Todd whisked Sarah quickly off to an awaiting plane after the race – this was the official explanation as to why there was only time for a few folks to have their photos taken with Sarah once it became known she had run the race. And we’ve seen where the toilets were along the route. Where and when did she clean her face adding the fresh make-up we see here?

Because Laura Novak is absolutely correct – face and eye make-up do not survive 13 consecutive 8-minute miles.

Oh Hell, just leave the bottle…

Anyone remember when Sarah made a public fuss over how she didn’t believe Pres. Obama had fairly earned his 2009 Nobel  Peace Prize?

Back at ya babe.

============  Update  ============

Hey everyone -After having written these posts, reading all your comments and digging through SLRC photos and then hearing comments from folks like Greta Van Susteran (et al) I think I may have actually formed a theory. It starts with some remarks  made by a few commenters regarding photos of Sarah just published on the Storm Lake Running Club website and grows to this question:

If running-with-scissors-sarah got one of the top run times, besting most of the runners even those half her age, why is she seen ONLY running at the back of the pack of 5k runners/walkers?

Maybe that’s the whole point of the photo-shopped picture. Maybe Sarah actually tried to run this race but either she or Todd realized early on that she was not going to be able to complete it. They would have little to no control over the hundreds of candid and pro shots that would inevitably be published, eventually showing how far she would fall behind. But they could create a diversion…

The visual of a full sprint Sarah running around the 5k pack into the heart of the half marathon pack would take our attention off her actual placement in the race and focus on the illusion that she runs so fast she could easily pull ahead any time she wanted to not only complete the course but to subsequently win the day.

Now any photos published of her with the 5k runners is of no consequence. The photo released by Greta Van Susteran on Fox tv is now sold as proof positive Sarah ran the entire half marathon. And the frosting on the cake? The photo-that-wasn’t was strategically placed to show the public that she is physically fit and therefore capable of jumping in at the last minute to win a race and run a country.

Except, of course, that’s a lie.

(Ok, who’s hording the cheap Inglenook?)

============  Update 2  ============

H/T to CO & kat:

Take a really really good look:


wait for it…

Well? Where’s the rest of the pony-tailed runner?

…spouse and I were watching television before going to bed. Channel 10 News interrupted to say something was happening in the US but the report hadn’t been officially confirmed. The wall behind the reporter changed to a live shot of the Twin Towers and one building had smoke billowing out.

As the reporter, listening intently to his earpiece, began to tell us that apparently a plane had crashed into one of the towers a second plane flew straight into the second tower. We watched it happen just as if it had been a special effects moment in a movie. It wasn’t real. It was too outrageous to conceive of being real.

Needless to say we didn’t sleep that night as if staying connected to the television might somehow shift everything back to normal. From California to Florida I called each of my children, my mother, sister, friends – I just had hear everyone’s voice – to know everyone was okay.

A lot of Ozzies with no physical connection at all stayed awake that night. The Australian government, at that time led by Prime Minister John Howard didn’t flinch at lending support to the US or following Pres. Bush’s lead into Afghanistan to hopefully ferret out bin Laden. A lot has changed on the political landscape since that night ten years ago but horror at the events of 9/11 remains eked in all our hearts.

To those we lost on that wretched day – even if we didn’t personally know you – know you’re missed.

 

 

 

Have not had a chance to go through all the comments yet but I’ve skimmed and just want all of you to know I really appreciate the civil discussion between so many people with completely opposing views. That’s what debate is supposed to be all about isn’t it?

I’ve had to install a new browser – very traumatic as I hate giving up stuff to which I’ve grown accustomed – like IE – it’s like having someone else clean up your office and for days you have no clue where anything is! So please bear with me while I fumble around – however I’m hoping this will have fixed my links problem. We’re about to find out.

Way back on the post of 06 September 2011 which began this bruhaha I mentioned a blog post by a man named Teledude who stated that his wife had run in the Jump In & Run race at Storm Lake Runners , Iowa on 04 September. According to his blog on that day, people knew as early as 7am that Sarah was running in the half marathon as his wife had called him to say get out here so you can meet her!

It stands to reason that if one person knew she was there and called her husband that other people would have done the same thing.  But Teledude’s post goes on to tell the tale of how she was there incognito and nobody knew she was there until the race was over.

(If you’ve followed Sarah Palin at all since 2008, you’d know that she doesn’t do anything incognito – nor does she do anything that doesn’t pay her substantially, upstage another politician or garner free publicity. I’m pretty sure having cameras in her face is how she breathes.)

This comment went virtually unnoticed on my first post on this subject so I’m putting a screenie of it here. You can decide for yourself whether it’s genuine or not:

This remark is pretty consistent with speculations made by other runners in the comments who are leary of the two groups all in the same shot (5k walkers and half marathon runners).

Plus – after almost a full week, no other observer has come forward on any of the Pro-Palin sites to make similar claims and add similar photos. (Please note Teledude got instant recognition as his story and photo with Sarah were subsequently published in an L.A. paper – so why wouldn’t another person have coughed up their photo? Are all Republican/tea Partiers modest?)

The Storm Lake Runner’s club photos have still not been posted. However, I’ve looked back at last year’s photos of the same event and noticed that all the race images posted on their site are for sale, so maybe the photographer needs time to code and crop. My only experience with club photos is with members each submitting their candid shots and all are uploaded to a page where everyone can then browse through to find themselves – none for sale, just a form of community involvement.

I do have more to add today but software troubles have put me behind with work (the nice lady who puts money in my bank account is looking over my shoulder with a raised eyebrow – wave to the nice lady for me!)

But before I go I’d like to say something about photo-shopping:

These are Christmas cards I made some years ago. The grevillea blossoms are about ten ft over my head in the backyard. The bow and ornaments are sewn together and adorn a floral arrangement.

Photo-shopping is easy.  But to do it right and without a lot of excess pixelation takes patience and practice. So I put Sarah’s running photo to you this way:

Before the race Todd grabs a shot of Sarah (or whoever this is) running. It could have been done any time actually. At the start of the race he takes candid shots of the runners and walkers and emails them off to someone who then merges images together and submits one to Greta Van Susteran. but whoever did the photo-shop was either quite rushed or not that experienced and got a few odd details wrong.

Following the wrong line, cutting off a portion of the image, not smoothing out edges after having trimmed off too many pixels, and getting image proportions a bit off are common mistakes. Not erasing properly around a removed image (we called it cleaning in my day) will leave puddles of odd pixels that look completely different from that pixelation which occurs when an image is enlarged or enhanced.

To my eye the image of the red runner at the start of the race looks like a rushed photo-shop job by someone who wasn’t actually there and had no reason to not put the walkers, the runners and the lady in red all in the same shot.

Then again – I can be completely wrong. It can turn out to be just a really bad photo taken with a really good camera 🙂

Back later – Oz

PS. by the way I hit publish by mistake earlier -sorry if you came into this with only half the post showing …

============  Update  ============

This probably means nothing at all but… it is a head-scratcher:

A & B are almost identical except A is missing the word Jump above and to the left of the #63

C on the other hand is totally different, offering a taller #63, shorter distance between the number and the bottom of the bib and a completely different font for the lettering.

Was there more than one #63 bib? Did they have two or three different sets of bibs?

Curioser and curioser.

(When my boss asks me if the next article is done I’ll say no – and it’s all FEDUP’s fault for distracting me because it was checking that thing that made me notice the bibs 🙂

The things pounded home in both Geoffrey Dunn’s book The Lies of Sarah Palin and Frank Bailey’s book Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin are simple.

1. It’s easier for Sarah to lie than it is to tell the truth.
2. No lie is too outrageous.
3. Her preoccupation with her public image will be her downfall.

[Click image to enlarge]

Over the past few days I have zealously instigated and contributed to an almost forensic examination of Sarah’s claim to being not just a runner – but a runner so amazingly skilled she didn’t need to prepare her body for a hearty race the way other athletes and runners would need to prepare. Sarah (who hasn’t had a recorded, successful run since 2005) had no need for special muscle-building diets or daily training on outdoor courses. She didn’t need a routine of going to bed early during the week before to guarantee she’d be rested and fresh for the September 4 event. She didn’t need a regime of daily exercises and leg stretches to tone her 47 year old muscles and tendons.

And sans all the preparation routinely performed by other runners, Sarah leisurely walked across the finish line, claimed completion of the 13.1 mile race in 1 hour and 46 minutes,(besting, by the way, all the runners – half her age) and snagged herself a second place medal.

Show me all the photographic evidence you like – I will not believe Sarah actually ran 13 consecutive miles at a time of 8 minutes each without stopping or cheating or somehow rorting the system. My gut is with those who say the course was around a lake – the pack broke up and people ran alone – all too easy to run a mile then slip off to the side and not re-enter until an appropriate appearance was called for – and then again towards the end. At best, I would concede she ran half the distance. Maybe. If forced.

No lie is too outrageous.

One month ago Sarah Palin faked a visit to a Kentucky museum. (Correction: Kansas WWI museum.) And she might have gotten away with it except a local newspaper outed her.

Two months ago she faked a family vacation. We know this because her youngest daughter Piper outed her.

Two years ago Sarah claimed the new healthcare proposal presented by the Obama Administration to guarantee no child would ever be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing ailment was based on death panels and people should be afraid. By the time she was called out – too many people already believed her and the new plan was picked apart like vultures had descended on a corpse.

No lie is too outrageous.

I began my post a couple of days back by saying I didn’t give a crap if Sarah ran this race or not. I still don’t. What I do care about is if she didn’t run this race, somebody needs to call her on it.

This is a woman who because of her image alone influences the way some American voters think and feel and spend their money. If her image is bogus – those people deserve to know.

This is a woman who projects herself as a representative of the American people then steps onto foreign soil and tells the world our president is a terrorist with terrorist ties.

And she’s about to take her Obama is a louse circus act to South Korea.

To those who think this photography-sleuthing of the Storm Lake Half Marathon was all just a silly, childish exercise I might remind you that had there been a few more outrageous souls in the Alaska press when Sarah first announced her amazing 2 month pregnancy, there may have been more photographic evidence saved, fewer computers and MySpace accounts scrubbed and more people in the know willing to come forward with the truth. It would have saved us all a horrendous headache.

So from now on no matter how trivial, we seriously need to hold every photo, every speech, every claim made by Sarah up to a light and say hey, does that look right to you? and not be afraid to be wrong . Otherwise we’ll never find the truth.

At the very least, if Sarah didn’t honestly run this race someone was cheated out of a medal they’d earned. Someone’s daughter, mother or wife. It may have been the very key to lifting this person’s level of confidence. It may have been the boost someone needed to jump an emotional hurdle.

Sarah – I hope you won this medal honestly. I do. You’ve just never given me a single reason to believe you.

======================== UPDATE ========================

Ok I know many of you are thinking Crapola woman nOw what! Well you’re not alone. The voices in my head are pretty much on the same rant – (only some of them are off-key and it’s really annoying) but here’s the thing.

See that haloed image above? The one of the first photo presented on foX as living proof Sarah was in the race? Something is still inherently wrong with that photo. In the previous posts we’ve talked about the raised sleeve, the missing word jump (which should have been visible ahead of the number 63) and the floating, pixelated feet. We’ve covered how nobody seems to see her coming, not even the woman she’s apparently about to run into when she trips over the curb she doesn’t seem to see… we’ve solved the issues of the crazy shoes and disposable clothing. But.  Something.

So when I went looking for a graphic to post here (because now a post without a graphic just seems – naked) I found myself playing with all my enhancing gadgets and liked the haloed neon effect given above – so there ya go. Graphic selected and post finished.

I grab a sandwich because I haven’t eaten all day, bring it back to my desk and start to close down my graphic program. On closing, one of the images grows really big because I’ve leaned on the enlarge tool by mistake and oh my good gosh look what stares me right  in the face!

You guys see the same thing I do?

How does a woman at least two feet behind and three feet to the left manage to get her foot OVER the image of Sarah’s bum? The pair of running pants Sarah is wearing are clearly, heavily outlined all the way around her legs and torso – but not so at the point of this woman’s shoe.

I removed the neon and enhanced it again, this time using the lead pencil tool. This does not distort an image. It makes objects sharper but does not change their shape or position in a photo. Look:

(This one you’ll need to click to enlarge)

That has got to be a sign it was photoshopped no? The runner number cloth is also now clearly cut into the bottom of the sleeve (as one commenter mentioned) and over the bottom hem in front of the red shirt that I mentioned and umm got scolded at for (pfft! Like I’ve never been scolded before…)

I just can’t seem to lose the word bogus when I look at these photos. And honestly, I really don’t mind being wrong about something – I just really hate feeling like someone’s out there thinking I’m so stupid they could pull this kind of shill and I wouldn’t notice.

Ok I’m ready… let the bashing begin!

I may have gotten some details wrong in my assessment of Sarah Palin’s marathon photos in yesterday’s post, but I was happy to add the corrections that could be proven. And I appreciated all the comments by all the commenters, even those who adamantly disagreed with me or thought my post would make things worse for our cause.

Two things – nobody who matters in the media is paying the slightest bit of attention to our cause. I hardly see how anything we  do out here can make that worse. And for the record, energetic discussion and accidental discovery is good for the soul even if not everyone agrees with us or what we find is not what we were originally looking for. At least some of us aren’t afraid to keep looking (/Oz winks at Gryphen) even if the only thing we find is that we were wrong  (/Oz winks at Mel)

Next – for those who keep saying it doesn’t matter if Sarah ran this marathon or not – I beg to differ. It most certainly does matter. Sarah accepted the second place medal. If she didn’t genuinely earn it, she’s stolen it from the runner who did.  Athletes have medals stripped from them for cheating and reporters go out of their way to get the stories. Usually, anyway.

I’ve only known Sarah to run in two other races during the past three years. Each time there were cameras along the routes and in each she found a way to not complete them. Weird for such an avid runner huh?

And I don’t know about any of you but I find it terribly odd that there are no photos of Sarah during this race – only a single photo at the start, again at the end – and both seem odd in and of themselves. (Just like the photos during her faked pregnancy with Trig.)

But here’s a thought – Sarah’s entrance into the half-marathon is being reported as the concept of her PR group. To not have set up staff or fan-based volunteers with cell phones taking action shots of her along the route is just crazy. Those shots would have been money in the bank and votes at the ballot box. If you were her PR man how would you have set this up for maximum return?

But hey anything’s possible right?  So… not to keep beating the poor dead horse here but…

These are the top running times as posted by the Storm Lake Running Club for the Jump In & Run half-marathon, 04. Sept 2011:

(Please Note: I freely admit to not having permission to use the shot of runner #43 below and would be happy to reasonably compensate the owner.)

This is a photo of the woman posted online as the winner of the race overall – alongside Sarah who took second in her class:

[click images to enlarge]

If someone would be so kind as to demonstrate to me how the earth could possibly have rotated around the sun fast enough to create this humongous difference between the shadows of the first place runner crossing the finish line and Sarah crossing the same finish line exactly 8 minutes later without tossing some of us off the planet entirely- I’m certainly willing to listen.

Hmm… the earth suddenly rotating too fast would definitely explain where all the flags went 🙂

(editor’s note:  Yes, I originally said 12 minutes – serves me right for trying to do basic math before 6 am!)

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