Thursday, May 05, 2011

Is this a real photo of Osama Bin Laden's corpse? WARNING: GRAPHIC

Earlier tonight a photo arrived and, I've been doing my best to research the bejeebers out of it but... I can't locate it anywhere. And I've shown it to a few trusted associates, asking them if they think it could be a Photoshop job. None of them came back with a decisive "yes it is". They don't know what to make of this either.

As best I can tell, the damage is pretty consistent with the details about how Osama Bin Laden went down, with the associated skull damage that we've heard about.

I thought long and hard about how to make a post of this. In the end, I chose to post the pic straight onto the blog. I'm not claiming that this is Osama Bin Laden after joining the choir invisible. In fact, I would welcome any and all evidence to the contrary. If it is Bin Laden's actual corpse, well... I don't see any reason why this should be hidden away. We have photos of Mussolini's corpse, of most of the Nazi high command's corpses following their executions, of Pol Pot's corpse... among many others. We even have photographs taken during the autopsy of President Kennedy, and those are also fairly available.

If this is the bodily remains of the mastermind of 9/11, I don't see how it should be treated any differently.

So here it is:

(EDIT 12:11 p.m. EST: The picture has now... and I am glad to report... been determined to be a fake. I am removing it from this post but if you do choose to see it here is a much better version of the same image.)
Comments?

(And now back to work on the real post that I've been pouring my heart out into all night, which will be much better, in my earnest opinion!)

EDIT 1:14 a.m. EST: In all seriousness, please: if this is NOT Osama Bin Laden's body, then I want to take this photo down at once. I only ask for substantial evidence that it is not. Real history isn't something I wanna play games with, y'all.

15 comments:

Adam said...

Idk, it looks fake to me. For one thing it's not a very good quality picture. There's a lot of noise in the beard that shouldn't be there, and a lot of posterization around some of the red parts (too much sharpness on the edges). The left eye and the nose look like they've been stretched, like with a smudge tool, and they just don't look very realistic. I call photoshop.

Chris Knight said...

If it's a Photoshop, it's darn better than that other one that's been all over Facebook the last 2 days! :-P

Danny de Gracia, II said...

Looks fake to me

Chris Knight said...

But if it IS a Photoshop job, maybe that's all the more reason to keep it up, and letting it be known in no uncertain terms that it's not genuine.

I don't know. I wouldn't have published this if there was any concrete doubt that it's not real. And I'd welcome proof that it's not real. But also, I would welcome evidence that it is.

Such is trying to accurately document history in the age of digital manipulation...

Buddo said...

I won't rest until Obama releases pictures of Bert's dead body!

Anonymous said...

It could be real. It looks like a frame capture from video.

David said...

That's not a bullet wound, though, unless maybe they shot him in the back of the head and what we're seeing is the exit wound. =P

Chris Knight said...

I dunno. I've seen all kinds of entry and exit wounds for bullets. If it was hollow jacketed rounds they were firing, I could kinda see how it would make a mess of the back of his head.

I really, really and genuinely hope this isn't a real photo of Osama's body. This blog has seen more than enough... well, stuff. I don't want it to also be known as "hey it's that site that broke the picture of the dead body of the most wanted man in American history".

Seriously.

Adam said...

Yeah, it's possible that it's from a cell phone camera or is a capture from a low quality video source. That could cause the type of artifacting that I descibed. Chris, is that the same file that you received? There wasn't any EXIF information in the file to indicate when it was taken etc...

Chris Knight said...

Adam it was originally a PNG file. Write me at theknightshift@gmail.com and I'll send you the original. You seem to have a better head than I for this sort of thing: maybe you can figure it out :-)

Anonymous said...

Dunno, I wonder if it is a modification of a suicide photo - that amount of catastrophic damage usually occurs from point blank contact range. Now, of course, the SeAL operator could have indeed been that close, in which case the damage indeed would be that bad.

I surely hope that old OBL does indeed look that bad after the USN got done with him.

I just wish that he had been cremated with bacon and pork chops and then had his ashes flushed in the NYC sewer system.

Good riddance vermin!

Anonymous said...

Fake: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=54f_1304387423

Chris Knight said...

THANK YOU for that link! I have edited the post and put that instead of the photo itself.

I was working on a far better project for publication, when that pic came in last night. Glad that it gets to come down and now I get to post the other thing without that distracting from it :-)

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that CNN, Fox, CBS, NBC, and NPR have been reporting on fake OBL pictures for 2 days but you decided to take it down after getting confirmation from "Live Leak". You, sir, are a journalistic giant.

Chris Knight said...

There was further correspondence this morning from other sources, indicating that this was not a genuine photo. That is what led to the removal of the pic, but with a link to it still for reasons which should be apparent.

I, and by extension this blog, am only interested in the truth, in all matters. If this photo turned out to be a fake, I am fine with that. I never claimed with absolute certainty that it was one way or another. Only by presenting such material and applying rigorous scrutiny upon it, can any final truth be arrived at.

And that is what I endeavored to do.