A Brugioni: Photo Fakery: The History and
Techniques of Photographic Deception and
Dino A. Brugioni was one of the founders of the
CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center.
He also co-authored the CIA's
"Retrospective Analysis of
the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination
Complex." In the "About the Author"
section of this book it notes that he "became the
CIA expert in photo fakery and photo
Of course this topic is of interest to
revisionists. It is doubly interesting in that the
self-admitted CIA expert in photo fakery is also
the one who wrote the CIA's report based on aerial
photos to prove the Holocaust.
Brugioni was hired by the CIA in 1948. He notes
"it became immediately apparent to me,
even as a neophyte in the intelligence game,
that the Soviets had embarked on a massive
program of misinformation during the war years.
On reviewing still photos, I found that the
Soviets had used heavy brush techniques to
delete details of their weapons. Care had also
been taken to portray their leaders in the most
favorable light. Reviewing Soviet newsreels, I
found that many battle scenes had been
deliberately staged; often, dramatic scenes of
one battle would be superimposed to show up in
films of other battles."
With this said, Brugioni attempts to lead the
uninitiated and the neophytes through the history
and techniques of photo fakery. The book is filled
with photographic fakes. Interestingly the 5th
chapter, entitled "Spotting Fakes" includes a
discussion of the concentration camps and
Brugioni's work on the subject.
Note that Brugioni in no way claims that these
aerial photos are faked -- although it strikes me
as incredibly odd that they conclude his chapter on
"spotting fakes." It almost strikes one as a sort
of game or challenge on the part of Brugioni.
The specific photos included in this chapter are
one of Belsen after the British burned the
barracks. It is followed by the same photo run
through various stages of computer enhancement to
"reconstruct" the camp from the ash left from the
also includes an aerial shot of Belzec. He notes
that the photo "revealed the massive pits where the
bodies were buried." He also includes one shot of
the Birkenau camp from 25 August 1944 and one of
Auschwitz I from the
same date. In his text he notes:
"In 1978, photo interpreter Robert
Poirier and I discovered World War II aerial
photos of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp that
had inadvertently been taken on leader film
during an Allied reconnaissance mission against
the nearby I.G. Farben Synthetic Rubber and Fuel
Plant. Using a variety of density slicing and
enlargement techniques, Holocaust victims who
had arrived in boxcars at Auschwitz could be
seen being marched to their deaths in the gas
chamber. Others could be seen lined up at a
processing center for slave labor assignments."
An examination of these two photos in comparison
with the CIA report is interesting. Neither picture
matches that in the CIA report. The photo in the
new book of Birkenau might be the same photo that
is labeled No. 4 on page 9 of the CIA report.
The Auschwitz I photo is closest to Photo
No. 2 on page 7 of the CIA report.
The Birkenau photo. In Photo Fakery
picture is cropped very differently (if it is
the same photo).
The labels are also different. In Photo Fakery
much more of the Women's Camp is shown and the "Gas
chambers" are at the very far right of the photo.
Actually you can not even see the extreme right of
KII or KIII. The photo goes right into the binding
of the book. Therefore the Undressing Room which is
clear in the CIA report (KIII) is not shown in
Photo Fakery. In Photo Fakery there is a label
reading "Gas Chamber Crematorium" which points to
the thick line (fence? hedgerow?) behind KII.
The label in the CIA report that says "Engine
Room" and points to KIII is now labed
"Crematorium." The label in CIA that reads
"Prisoners on way to Gas Chambers" now reads "Group
on way to Gas Chamber."
Although the labels are different and the
cropping is very different the prisoners seems to
match up exactly. Therefore it seems that Brugioni
chose to use the same photo in both books but to
alter its appearance in the new book. The odd
alleged "Zyklon openings" in KIII clearly visible
in the CIA report are now off of the photo
entirely. It's not that they don't appear, it's
that the photo is cropped to exclude them.
The four "dots" that line up behind KII are
still visible in the new book. Note that the photo
under discussion appears to be the same photo in
John Ball's "Air Photo Evidence" page 40.
The new book crops it from "Prisoners undergoing
disinfection" and cuts off at the vents of KII and
KIII. The Auschwitz I photo is similar to Photo 2
However in the CIA report it claims the photo is
from 4 April 1944 in Photo Fakery it is labeled 25
August 1944. The photo in Photo Fakery is on an
angle. Whereas in CIA the barracks are straight up,
they appear at an angle in Photo Fakery. All labels
are different. Otherwise the photos cover the exact
same section of the camp.
This photo is similar to John Ball's on page 44.
However the photo in Photo Fakery is upside down
and cropped to only show the far right of this
view. Actually there are details in Photo Fakery
which go further to the right than the photo in
A final word from Brugioni on False
"The falsely captioned photo differs
from other groups of fake photos in that,
although the photography has not been altered,
the context of what the photograph purportedly
conveys is simply falsified. Proper captioning
of a photograph includes descriptive data
regarding the 'who, what, where, when, and why'
of the subject or scene. In falsely captioned
photos only one or more of these elements is
usually mentioned. This type of fake is
frequently used in criminal cases to trap
defendants who have tried to silence witnesses
from testifying against them."
One wonders is that "group on way to Gas
chamber" "Prsioners on way to gas chambers" or
"Prisoners on way to Barracks" or "Group out on
Hebden points to certain unexplained dots on the
new 1944 air photo of Auschwitz