August 06, 2006

Another Fake Reuters Photo from Lebanon

UPDATE: Reuters admits photo docotored, pulls all Hajj photos.

The story keeps developing. More photos have been uncovered as fakes. More importantly, it looks like dozens of photos were also staged. Please go to MAIN PAGE and scroll down for lates updates.


Another photo by Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj has been shown to be doctored. The photo, which proports to be of an Israeli F-16 firing missiles on Lebanon has been doctored to make the photo seem more sensational.

Here is the original Reuters photo along with its caption. (source)

An Israeli F-16 warplane fires missiles during an air strike on Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon, August 2, 2006. (LEBANON)

02 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Adnan Hajj

The F-16 in the photo is not firing missiles, but is rather dropping [ed update: not chaff] flares designed to be a decoy for surface to air missiles. However, a close up of what Hajj calls "missiles" reveals that only one flare has been dropped. The other two "flares" are simply copies of the original.

Reader Clemente offers this:

Here is another close up the original. Click it for larger view.


To confirm these suspicions, I copied flare #2 and layered it over flare #3. It was an exact match. So much so, that in the animated .gif I made of it, you could not even tell the images were changing! So, instead, I made this image, showing flare #2 next to flare #3. Click image for larger view.


When flare #2 is put next to flare #1, it is also apparant that they are the same. Only, this time, whoever had copied the flare also added a bit of length to the smoke.

UPDATE: Because some have doubted this, I have made the following two images. To save bandwidth, I haven't made a thumb of them, so just click the "view image" link below to see them.

In this one I cut the portion after the smoke tail of #1 that seemed to be added to see if it matches with #2. Perfect match.

View image

This one shows the portion of the smoke from #1 which I believe to be copied and then added to lengthen it an make it seem more real.

View image


[UPDATE: Jeff Harrell confirms with a bit more sophisticated analysis. The reason #1 and #2 don't mesh as well is, as I argue above, #1 is altered.]

So, the original photo of the Israeli F-16 was probably of a single anti-SAM chaffe flare being dropped. In other words, the F-16 which Reuters proports to show firing missiles at Lebanon, was taking defensive measures.

But what about the "bombs" that are in the photo?

Here is a close up of them. Notice anything? That's right. The top and bottom "bomb" are the same.


Doubt it? Here is an image of the bottom right bomb copied and pasted next to the upper left bomb.


The two are the same!

What about the middle "bomb". On a hunch, I moved the copy next to it and used a common Photoshop technique called "smudge" and "blur".


The center "bomb" is also a fake. It is simply a copy of the first, only reduced in quality to make it appear "different".

Which raises a very interesting question? Were there any bombs in the original or are they all copied from another photo altogether? Update: Or, are these "bombs" at all, and not just smudges that have been copied and pasted?

Update on "bombs": A retired Air Force pilot e-mails:

Whatever the three objects under the aircraft are, they are not bombs and didn't come from the jet in the photo. Bombs are dropped while in a wings level attitude for a number of reasons, accuracy being paramount, and never simultaneous with an evasive, high-G maneuver.

Okay, so two Reuters photos from Adnan Hajj Ali have been debunked? Any more? Yes. Dan Riehl finds more evidence here.

I believe we are seeing the tip of the iceburg. Here are a few other photos that appear to have been doctored. Scroll through them. If you have Photoshop skills, we could use your help.

Hajj fired!

UPDATE: Apologies for any problems with military lingo.

Michelle has tons of links and info.

Pajamas Media has extensive coverage.

My TBs are still not working. Sorry. Drop a comment, it's the best I can offer.

Thanks to Charles, Michelle, Captain Ed, EU Referendum, Small Dead Animals. Ace and others for the link. Each of them is following this closely and have very good insights that are worthy of checking out.

UPDATE: More faked & staged photos. Hajj implicated....again.

And check out this find from Drinking from Home.

Also, plenty of suspicious photos being mentioned in the comments below or in this post

Ha, Cox and Forkum!

UPDATE: A history of the Reuters / blogosphere dispute. This is not a recent development.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:05 PM | Comments |