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Sunday, May 22, 2011
Corsi Thinks OCR Gobbledygook Is Secret 'Hidden Text'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

First there was the layers in the PDF of Barack Obama's birth certificate (created in a conspiracy to make the document more readable). Then there was the U.S. government's questioning Obama's citizenship (Aaron Klein didn't reveal until the second-to-last paragraph that the feds concluded he was one). Now, WorldNetDaily may have hatched its most desperate -- and utterly ridiculous -- attempt yet to discredit the certificate.

Jerome Corsi actually wrote this in a May 21 WND article:

Recalling Dan Brown's bestselling novel "The Da Vinci Code," computer experts have discovered strange anomalies in the Obama birth record released by the White House.

They include a different birth registration number that shows up in "hidden text," remnants of the short-form certificate apparently bleeding through the long-form and a "smiley face" in the registrar's stamp that does not show up on other recently issued Hawaii birth records.

Curiously, in a simple process run by Optical Character Recognition software that reveals hidden text, the registration number 10611 turns up, instead of 10641, the number displayed on the two birth records authorized for publication by the White House.


Is 10611 Obama's true birth registration number, the number on a document used by a forger or just a meaningless symbol beneath the text?

Corsi seems to be counting on the possibility that his audience of WND readers don't actually know how OCR software works. It's a way to convert scanned text on a printed page into a computer; while robust and well-trained OCR software will generally do a good job of doing such a conversion, it will fall short when the text isn't clear, and it will also attempt to convert non-text elements linke lines or dust spots into text as well, resulting in meaningless gobbledygook.

The number on Obama's birth certificate is clear to the naked eye as 10641, but because the copy Obama made public is itself a copy, enough of the "4" did not transfer over, causing the OCR software to read it as a "1."

For Corsi to treat this and other OCR gobbledygook -- generated when the software tried to interpolate non-text markings as text -- as secret "hidden text" is the height of absurdity.

Why should anyone who does such a thing -- and the "news" organization that publishes it -- deserve to be taken seriously?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT

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