Thursday, May 24, 2007

Not entirely a Ludicruous Diversion but...

Gregory: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

/ big Sherlock Holmes fan


Postman Patel has just blogged about a short Youtube video that attempts to deconstruct the only photograph that has been released of the four alleged 7/7 suicide bombers.

And fair play to him for doing so. This photograph is worth looking at and thinking about


There are, I believe, grounds for caution about expending too much energy on tearing this particular photograph apart or fixating on its significance as a potential ‘smoking gun’ of security force misbehaviour on 7/7. I have tried to raise those concerns in the past and, for my troubles, on one occasion was accused of being part of the ‘7/7 Conspiracy’.


First off, the picture is dodgy. No doubt. And it may have been tampered with...

But so fucking what?

Those of us who dabble with and challenge 'official' conspiracies need to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the psychology of denial - be we fighting it or, dare I say, suffering from it

Broadly speaking, the Luton photograph has one of three possible biographies…
  1. the photo is legitimate and the flaws are simply the result of compression and sharpening algorithms

  2. the photo is legitimate but was retouched slightly because… (insert plausible sounding official excuse here)

  3. the photo is illegitimate and a total mock-up

Even if they become aware of the flaws in the photograph, the people who believe the official account, and that is the vast majority of people, will be eager to believe that photo is flawed for some perfectly legitimate reason and they will embrace any reason that they are given.

The question for 7/7 sceptics is, if the photograph is such an obvious piece of shit, why is it so 'obviously' flawed? Are we to assume that state security forces don’t have the necessary in-house photoshop skills to do a decent job?

Or is it a deliberately rubbish piece of work

And if it is deliberately rubbish, why?

The Zapruder Film - 44 years of inconclusive mental masturbation and counting...

If people want to spend time taking the Luton picture apart that’s fine. However, they should be mindful of the fact that the results are unlikely to interest anyone except for people who already have doubts. On top of that, there’s a possibility that the photo deconstructors are taking someone’s bait.

Be careful

There is one claim made by the video that is flat out wrong. Near the start it says that 7/7 Luton photograph is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and says this is so because it is such a bad fake. Not true. Copies of the photograph are all over the web – including the Metropolitan Police’s own web site.

So, if it’s a cover-up it’s a pretty rubbish one.

As a slight aside, one thing that did freak me out a little was discovering that if you type ‘luton bombers 77’ into a Google Image Search a picture of me pops up in the first page of results...

Oooh-er, I'm not sure that I like that

And even though, and I stand on my record on this one, I am as interested in chanting monks, lunatic secret societies and all that other illuminati/ masonic/ Unified Conspiracy Theory
stuff as the next person, mixing it in with questions about 7/7, as the person who uploaded the video does, detracts from those questions and is likely to turn people off.

If the people grappling with 7/7 and using the Net as their mouthpiece aren't searching for evidence and lines of reasoning that will reach out to and win over the majority of ordinary people then what the fuck are they doing?

Whilst poring over the only photograph that has been released don’t let that be a distraction from the much bigger, potentially more fruitful question…

Where are all the other photographs and videos from that day?

As even the person who uploaded the video analysing the sole 7/7 photograph says in the description

London is crawling with CCTV cameras. There should be 100's of clips of cctv footage showing these supposed bombers on that day. Where are they all?

You could ask the same question about eye witness accounts of that day’s events or the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes a couple of weeks later. The paucity of imagery and witness testimony from those days available in the public domain is quite peculiar and a reason for concern in itself.

The existence of one shonky picture of the alleged 7/7 bombers is not a core factor in my personal scepticism about official accounts of that day. The fact that it is the only picture is.



paul said...

Right on, man.

I've sort of settled on a minimalist conspiracy outlook, on the things that didn't happen, the planes that didn't scramble, the evidence that wasn't retained, the missing trains ,the i.d. that wasn't incinerated in the explosion and the lack of any sort of evidence backing up the 'narrative'.

This gives plenty to be answered and the burden of proof must always lie with the purveyors of the official line, and what has been offered is very thin gruel indeed.

Getting tied up in hypotheses concerning things I have no grasp of is not for me, you end up with shite like loose change, the joke cigar of 9/11. (How long have they had to clean that up? Why don't they?)

Apprentice said...

That copper on the news the other day who was talking about us being an Orwellian society said that there's a CCTV camera for every 14 people.

I have a much better photo of you, and more um, anonymous too. Change it, quick!

Going off to check back to see what I've missed. Did you see that Toby & Phil of the B52 two got off? Wtf is that all about then? They were expecting 10 years, indeed they did as much time as possible on remand, where life is allegedly sweeter. Theories?

Stef said...


Toby and Phil have a lovely website...

My eyes have been focused elsewhere lately but I'm catching up on their adventures right now (ish)

Stef said...

BTW Here's the link to that statement on the RMT page about the Stockwell Shooting I was talking about last time we met...

“It is extremely disappointing that at the Mayor did not give the assurances that our members are seeking on key safety and security issues,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.

“We are seeking straightforward commitments to dropping plans to cut station staff and to ensuring that safety regulations for sub-surface stations remain in place, but these were not forthcoming.

“I am sure that Tube users would agree with us that we need to see more uniformed staff on stations, not fewer, and that safety regulations brought in after the Kings Cross fire should remain in place.

“In the absence of positive responses on these and other concerns we put forward, I have today requested a direct meeting with the Mayor on Monday, and will be consulting the general secretaries of our sister unions and members of our parliamentary group over the weekend.

“Our members and all LUL staff have shown immense courage and commitment through the awful events of the last two weeks, but their concerns at the way yesterday"s alert was handled are serious and there are many other issues that remain to be resolved.

“Their concerns will have been fuelled by the revelation that an innocent Tube driver today found himself with a police gun at his head during the incident in Stockwell station in which a suspect was shot dead.

“No apology could ever be enough ever take away the trauma that that driver has suffered and there should be a full inquiry into the handling of the incident,” Bob Crow said.

No follow up to that AFAIK

Wolfie said...

Not wanting to detract from your other valid points Stef but there is one thing I wanted to clear up.

It is a common feature of digital video that records a static scene for long periods for the background image to "burn into" images of passing objects. This gives a strange "doctored" look to the images but is nothing sinister at all.

Just a Red herring, that's all.

stef said...


yup, agreed

just because a frame looks a little weird doesn't mean that it has been doctored

one thing I didn't mention in the post is that there are at least two versions of that image in circulation - one with a timestamp, one without - so, on a very basic level at least the image certainly has been post processed in some way

but like I said I wouldn't hang anything on this image and its debatable flaws, no way

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to the Luton cctv picture without the timestamp?

Stef said...


A reasonable request but ... er, no

I did see a non-timestamped version of the photo on television a couple of times but not on the Net.

Just to make sure my memory wasn't playing tricks with me I've checked with a couple of other folks and they recall the same thing

I'm not leaving it at that and am looking to confirm the existence of a 2nd version and will post if I find it

Anonymous said...

Thanks Stef

I am pretty sure that if there is a picture without the timestamp then it would probably just be a cropped image.

The timestamp is overlaid onto the cctv image as it sent to the video recorder so if there was an image without a timestamp then that would make it all the more suspicious as the timestamp on the image has all the distortions you would expect to find if it had been recorded to video tape. If it were added on afterwards then someone has gone to the trouble of making it look like it was present in the original image.