Be wary of what you see!

Be wary of what you see!

By Pedro Meyer



I have been warning about the level of misinformation going around the internet during these crucial times, suggesting that we should all learn to be very careful in questioning what we get to see.

The above mentioned image has been going around the Internet at the speed of light. First it arrived as an anonymous joke someone made up in Photoshop. However it then became something else. The latest version reads:

"Subject: Found in Trade Center wreckage
This is not sent as a joke. It was released by the FBI this morning, from a camera found in the wreckage of the WTC, developed by the FBI for evidence and released on the net.
...the guy still has no name and is missing ..."

What is so interesting is that this last version was forwarded to me by people who are intelligent and thoughtful but who just did not stop to think what they were looking at, and about the fact that people just plain invent stories and then pass them along without further thought.

First, let us inspect the image and observe the shadow on the man's face. We have there a clear indication of where the sun is located in relation to the building. So then why does the airplane not have one side darker than the other as would be the case if the airplane had actually been there at that time? Even the buildings of Manhattan in the background below have a side to them that is in the shadows.

Second, the perspective and angle of the plane does not seem right, considering where the man was standing and where the airplane hit.

Third, if you observe the focus of the image you will notice that the man is ever so slightly out of focus, with the background proportionally more so, all except the plane which was obviously dropped into the picture.

Fourth, aren't those date numbers on the picture, a bit too neat sitting atop the surface of the image?

Lastly, if you consider that concrete was turned into dust as the twin towers collapsed, how on earth does someone imagine that a tourist's camera would survive with its film intact, with all the fire, the collapse of a trillion tons of materials and everything else that happened in this catastrophe, details of which we don't even know about such as water damage.

The first time I got the image, I thought of it as an image done in haste and therefore not very well made, but just as a joke, a pretty tasteless one at that. But then when it started to take off and become increasingly more convoluted as to its origin, I thought it is time we really bring up the issue that we ought to think carefully at what we are actually looking at in this digital age.

I see this simply as a matter of education to discuss this matter, we all should learn how to view photographs. After all ZoneZero is dedicated to just that, we therefore considered this topic of particular relevance at this time when we will be increasingly subject to such materials. Please, let us have your thoughts on this matter as well.

Pedro Meyer
Mexico City
October, 2001

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