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IRAN: Doctored missile image?

The New York Times is reporting today on its The Lede: Notes on the News blog that a photograph released by Agence France-Presse (AFP) of the Iranian missile launch Wednesday showed one too many missiles. This image was used on the front page of several newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The Palm Beach Post and Chicago Tribune. The New York Times used the image on the homepage of their Web site.

From The Lede:

Agence France-Presse said that it obtained the image from the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday. But there was no sign of it there later in the day. Today, The Associated Press distributed what appeared to be a nearly identical photo from the same source, but without the fourth missile.

AFP sent this note on the photos:

ATTN EDITORS - CORRECTIVE REFILE ADDING INFORMATION ABOUT DIGITAL ALTERATION TO IMAGE:A handout picture released on the news website and public relations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, shows an image apparently digitally altered to show four missiles  rising into the air instead of three during a test-firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert on July 9, 2008. The 2nd Right missile  has apparently been added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test.


In the photograph above, released on the online service of the Iranian daily Jamejam today, three missiles rise into the air as a fourth remains on the ground during a test at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert Wednesday. An apparently altered version of this image was released by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards news website, Sepah News, on Wednesday, which shows a fourth missile in mid-launch in place of the missile on the ground. (AFP / Getty Images)


The photograph above, released on the news website and public relations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, has been apparently digitally altered to show four missiles rising into the air, instead of three, during a test-firing Wednesday in Iran. The third missile from the left has apparently been added to cover up the missile on the ground that may have failed during the test. Numerous news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, published this image. (Iranian Revolutionary Guards)

--Patrice Roe, Los Angeles

Comments () | Archives (35)

we only defend are nation from becomming Afghanistan or Iraq!
The fourth missile was launched 10 seconds later& the video was released by IRINN !

All humor aside, what I've not stumbled across on this story is a good 'Photoshop' illustration that the general public will grasp and understand.

DIY time (<5 minutes in Photoshop)

Just click on the image for a full sized overlay of the two. The "missing missile" stands out quite obviously.


To: : Joe | July 10, 2008 at 02:17 PM
RE: (hey, what ever happened to Bin Laden, anyway?)

USA is trying hard to find him, if you read the news of today you will see that USA troops killed 47 civilians (most of them women) to find Bin-Laden! But as usual he was not hiding amongst the civilians again! US Troops keep killing Afghans just in case and by chance one day Bin-Laden might be amongst them!
My memory is a bit rusty but didn’t Bush 6-7 years ago say that he was going to help the Afghan people and build a democratic and developed country for them? So far he has only delivered death and destruction and thriving opium production!

Some dude just got his "mouse hand" chopped off " for making bad copy of photo using infidel software device. May Allah bring death to all the goat programmers at Adobe."
Israel has a different approach and likes to use the Lockheed Martin toolkit and SDK (a.k.a F-16). It is harder to use than CS3 but has an "earse from Google earth" function that is very useful.......

I would give you a intelligent objective reason but it has already been altered by forces beyond my control.

I read about the photoshopped picture on Wednesday evening at Charles Johnson's blog Little Green Footballs, several hours before the Times went to press. If there's no apology and credit to LGF in tomorrow's paper, I will cancel my subscription. Shame on the Times.

Photoshop will be the end of Isreal!

If the iranians have a time machine then we should all be scared of being sent back to the 14th century!

so someone was 2 seconds late on the switch! what's the big deal. publish the original. no big deal. no need to manipulate.

and I'm waiting for the revelation to come out that the Republican Party gets funding from the Revolutionary Guards or vice else to explaing the timing of this whole nonsense which knocks the embarassing (to the Republicans) insistence by the Iraqi Maliki government's wanting us out immediately if we don't produce a timetable for withdrawal off the lead story or front page...maybe Rove is on the Revolutonary Guards payroll...may he needs a course in we go again...just like the phoney Bin Laden tapes produced just after every potential Bush embarassment (hey, what ever happened to Bin Laden, anyway?)...

There was a Photoshop controversy in the Israel/Lebanon war of 2006 too, where Israel claimed that one baby had been added to the photo that showed 27 Lebanese children killed by Israel bombing their homes!
I hate Photoshop because one touch discredits the rest of the photo!
PS: I wonder where all those 9 missiles we see in the video landed!

Well, the dust clouds and exhaust plumes are sure identical. But that only proves one thing: the Iranians sent a fourth missile launcher back in time, and re-shot the photo. Indeed, for all we now, Iran only has one missile - and a time machine.

Kind of like a poor polar bear on an ice flow to whip the serfs into global warming hysteria. The question is which propagandist doctored the photo - ours or theirs? Mainstream media strikes again.

Good Job photo editors. It only took about 3 seconds to see this was a fake. Who is on the desk, Jason Blair? Front page no less. I bought it for posterity. Why would you run something whose origin is suspect? With all the cuts at your paper I know where I would make the next desk.

Shame on the LA Times and others to run with the photo without verifying its authenticity. Anyone in their graphics department could have spotted it as a fake in a few minutes.
The MSM is so hot to believe whatever comes from those hostile to the US that they'll print almost anything. No wonder their subscription numbers are plummeting.

Who took that picture? Was it Chuck Philips?

Why not Photoshop in some Submarines while you are at it?
Or ask our Military why they didn't catch it with their gigabuck hardware we bought?!!
Oh, that's right. It's on the Bush Agenda to attack yet another country before he leaves office.
Okay. Stupid question. But I would have expected better from CIA trained photoshoppers.

It was blogs who discovered this "error." Why doesn't the LAT give them credit? Otherwise, don't report it.

The oddest thing about Iran trying to look more dangerous than they are is that they are increasingly asking for a butt-whoopin', and they don't seem to realize that 'ol Five-Deferments Dick and Not-There-for-Roll-Call Dubya are all fired up for a Texas-style Tehran barbecue.

Not to mention the fact that Israel has shown time and again their willingness to air strike first and analyze targets later.

I'm not a big photo imagery analysis guy, but both photos are composite photos.

Use some light source analysis, and some military knowledge and you notice that some of these launches occurred at different times of day.

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