Is this picture fake?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MONDARIZ, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I’m a member of a Historic Aviation forum and the following aircraft image has recently been discussed there. It appears that a large number of forumites consider the image a modern fake.

    There is a general consensus, that the “pilot” in the aircraft is a dummy, as it’s impossible to position a limp body in that pose. The aircraft has furthermore been moved from its original location and has sustained damage not consistent with a “belly landing”.

    The picture is thus a “fake” crash. But is the picture a period (WWII) photograph, or is it a modern reconstruction based on a model aircraft (it’s quite possible to make such a detailed model – if you are a model geek!)?

    We all agree that the picture has some kind of a “fake” quality, but not about why it looks fake. It would be interesting to see, what a photographer thinks of the picture.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. mJs

    mJs TPF Noob!

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    I'm no expert, but he does look a little large for the cockpit... just the height of him compared to the windscreen...
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It doesn't need to be a modern fake. Why couldn't they fake it back then? People could fake some magnificent images long before the advent of computers.

    The only thing that looks fake is the pilot. But while your typical accident would likely see him slumped forward in the seat, I don't see why he could have slumped back too.
     
  4. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ TPF Noob!

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    True, but the idea is that they didn't need to. In the last months of WWII there were crashed aircraft everywhere in Europe. This picture is supposed to be from the private collection of an American GI. Also, the aircraft is of a particular model, that it would make little sense of faking back then. Meaning that if it’s faked it’s faked by someone with a very good knowledge of historic aviation. These data was generally not available to the average GI back then – and neither were such detailed models.

    The seat is much lower. To pose like that in the cockpit, he would have needed to be propped up, or stiff as a board, or alive, or a dummy.
     
  5. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you look the plane is on a mound so his seat could have been pushed up
     
  6. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ TPF Noob!

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    It’s simply not possible, that the body in the cockpit is the pilot. It’s not just the position of the body (the cockpit area is armored and would not be popped up, by a small mound of sand), he is not wearing flight gear either.

    The aircraft has also been on the ground for some time in this picture (and has probably been moved, as there is no “landing” marks behind it). There are a number of indications towards this, but primarily the machinegun breeches are open, which must be done from the cockpit – pretty hard with a body inside it. Furthermore has someone been around and pillaged souvenirs – access panels are open and most of the engine cowling is removed. The tail has been vandalized on the ground. It would not be possible to “belly land” an aircraft with the tail in this condition and it can’t be impact damage – maybe it has been used for target practice by passing aircraft, or is might have been removed as a souvenir (a sought after item, as it bears German markings and possible aerial victory marks).

    The real pilot probably walked away after the “landing”, it looks very survivable unless he was injured before the plane hit the dirt.
     
  7. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    ...and if a plane had been there long enough to be in such bad and weathered
    condition, a human body of the dead pilot would not be so intact...
     
  8. MrRamonG

    MrRamonG TPF Noob!

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    If the body had been sitting there a while, wouldn't it bloat up, making it appear larger.
     
  9. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I'm not expert for picking out fakes, but one question I always ask when someone says, "That's a fake!" is this. What would be the purpose to fake this shot? If you can think of an obvious motive to fake it, then it stands to reason that it's possible it is a fake. If you can't think of an obvious motive to fake it, then it's likely to be genuine. Obviously, this doesn't always work, but it makes for a good starting point. OP even said that it makes little sense to fake this.

    Now, if there is no possible way that the 'person' in the cockpit is a dead person, and if it's obviously moved, I'm confused as to why you are asking if this is faked. If both of those conditions are as you say they are (and not being an aircraft expert, I need to take your word on it), then it is obviously a fake. I don't think the photo has been manipulated, but obviously, the aircraft subject of the shot has been physically manipulated.

    Why would they fake this? Who knows. There could be any number of reasons why.
     
  10. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ TPF Noob!

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    Good question. The image depicts a Messerschmitt Bf 109K-4 Kurfürst, the last version of the famous German fighter aircraft. They were only produced in relatively small numbers and collectors are ready to pay top price for original images (according to rumours up to 1000 euro).Personally I think producing a quality fake image would be too much work for 1000 euro (unless it’s CGI and even I can see it’s not), but who knows.

    By fake I mean, is it a period photo (1944-1945) of a real aircraft and not a small model made to look real (much later). I was purely wondering if there are any tell tale photographic clues that a skilled photographer with a keen eye could pick out.

    If real, then, as you write, who knows why the set the scene like that – possibly they were just messing about and took some pictures.
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I doubt that the plane is fake, or even that it's been moved. But I guess it's possible that the pilot is either fake or a live person posing...

    The additional damage to the plane is probably what made it crash - not the result of it being moved later on.

    Some of the most famous pictures from WWII were staged. It's called propaganda.
     
  12. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    It looks like a model...
     

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