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Forensics vs. Photoshop

Atila S. Guimarães

Since April 27, 2010, TIA has discussed with our readers the supposed Third Secret of Fatima, which, as far as I know, was released on the Internet on April 21, 2010. One of our readers sent it to TIA soon afterwards, but I did not open his message due to the heavy work load here. Nonetheless, six days later, after the discussion had already opened on other sites, we posted it. Given the importance of the subject – a possible message of the Mother of God – it was given due prominence on our website.

The reactions regarding this message have been quite curious: It does not awaken an initial excitement or sensation. People think: “Well, let’s see what this other secret tells us.” Indeed, after the Vatican released “White Bishop Third Secret,” which has all the elements necessary not to be believed, skepticism has grown in Catholic public opinion about Fatima’s Third Secret.

After this first reaction, however, we have noted a second. Blasé curiosity often becomes real interest: “Here is something that sounds authentic. It may be the real message. It’s at least worth considering.” From there, the interest grows and, depending on various turns of mind, questions and objections surface with varying degrees of temperamental warmth.

I have tried to respond to them showing that, from different viewpoints, this message may indeed be the real one, although I do not exclude it might not be. Since I have followed this course of action for about four months, I believe the moment has arrived for me to share with my readers a serious concern I have about this message.

Falsified date

Since my first reading, I have been puzzled by the date. I am a Brazilian, Portuguese is my mother tongue, and for any Portuguese-speaking person the order of dates is day-month-year, unlike the system in the United States whose order is month-day-year.

So, the date written in Portuguese in that message is either April 1, 944 or September 1, 944 insofar as the second number is a 4 or a 9, which is not entirely clear to me. However, we know from the serious, comprehensive and well-documented work The Whole Truth about Fatima by Fr. Michel de la Sainte Trinité, that Sister Lucy wrote the real Third Secret some day between January 2 and 9, 1944. On the ninth she assured Bishop da Silva that she had fulfilled his request that she commit the secret to paper. I reproduce below the cover of Fr. Michel’s third volume, and a photocopy of pages 46-47 where he affirmed this.

The cover of 'the Whole truth About Fatima the Third Secret'    text from 'the whole truth about Fatima the Third Secret'

Now then, how could someone pretend that the date on the true Third Secret were April 1 or September 1, 1944? There is a falsification at the very beginning of that message that needs to be taken into consideration.

The falsifier either changed the order of the original numbers on that message - instead of 4/1/994 he put 1/4/994 – or he invented a date of his own, copying and pasting numbers he found in other documents of Sister Lucy.

Below in the second and third rows, I illustrate how the original document could be and how easily one can change these dates:

example of how dates can be edited

an example of how dates can be edited

the date edited to show January 9th 944

On top, the date as it appears now, 1 April, 944; second row, 4 January, 944; third row, 9 January, 944

What did I do? I simply used the relatively simple technique of copying and pasting the numbers, transforming them into probable dates: 9/1/944 or 4/1/944.

The cathedral of Rome

Another point that raises the suspicion of a Portuguese-speaking person is the part in the message that says “the cathedral of Rome must be destroyed.” There is no cathedral in Rome that symbolizes the city. There is St. Peter’s Basilica, which, strictly speaking, is not in Rome but in the Vatican. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and his Cathedral is St. John Lateran, but few persons are aware of this fact, and St. John Lateran Church does not play any special symbolic role in Christianity. The symbol of papal teaching is the cathedra of Peter. Thus, it would make sense to say “the cathedra of Rome…” Again, reading the “cathedral of Rome” one senses a falsifier present on the scene.

Using simple Photoshop techniques, the falsifier most probably contracted the original word cathedra and introduced an “L” at the end. I am doing the opposite, and returning the text to what I believe was the original, as shown below.

the supposed original word cathedral

photoshop removed the L from cathedral

Above, as it appears now; below, after deleting the L and expanding the letters
I could easily copy my two additions and paste them into the original text. I believe that probably no one would discern my changes. I am using an outdated Photoshop program; more sophisticated ones and a professional illustrator could do a much better job.

So, my first conclusion: We have to be careful with this message because the person who originally posted it on the Internet changed it in at least these two points.

Forensic experts and Photoshop

Why just in two points? Why would the falsifier not take the real message of Sister Lucy and make some small twists or turns to various letters that would fool not only a normal reader but even a forensic analyst?

In fact, a professional calligrapher, who has the original document at hand, can analyze the different layers of ink that appear when someone falsifies a message; also the pen’s pressure on the paper changes when different persons write on the same letter. For uncovering such procedures, a forensic analysis is priceless. When one works with copies, however, especially copies posted on the Internet, we must adjust our criteria to what a computer can do in this realm. I believe that using a good Photoshop program one can go as far as to make it appear that Stalin had written a poem to St. Philomena…

My second conclusion: Do not expect too much from forensic analysts in this supposed Third Secret. Their efficiency is reduced to almost nothing when Photoshop-edited texts are being analyzed.

Who is behind the falsification?

Why should anyone falsify a message that is not true? It is difficult to imagine that someone would go to this trouble just for amusement. There should be some other more important reason. This is all the more probable since everyone knows that the 2000 Vatican Third Secret did not fly. So, in order to definitively relegate Fatima to the past, as Card. Ratzinger wished, or to bury the Secret in a deep well where it could never be discovered, as John XXIII desired, nothing seems more appropriate than to publish the true Secret duly adulterated so that it might be scientifically discredited.

Quo bono? Who benefits from this fabrication? Who would have a strong interest in making a Third Secret of Fatima that would be laughed at for bearing the April fools’ date? The answer is obvious to me: the Vatican. The Vatican has a long history of fraudulence regarding Fatima:
  • First, John XXIII refused to reveal the Third Secret, convened Vatican II and institutionalized the greatest apostasy in the History of the Church;

  • Second, the Popes from Pius XI onward did not make the Consecration ordered by Our Lady;

  • Third, the Vatican arranged an impostor Sister Lucy to betray the will of Our Lady;

  • Fourth, the Vatican (Cardinals Sodano and Ratiznger) released the false Third Secret.

I do not know why we should disregard the possibility of the Vatican making a final blow to Fatima by presenting the true Third Secret adulterated in such a way that “calligraphy experts” can step in and say: “In the name of science, we declare this piece was not written by the same hand that wrote the Memoirs of Sister Lucy.”

And the worse thing is that we cannot argue with the experts because the piece was in fact adulterated in several places.

Therefore, my third conclusion: We are in the dark regarding this message. We have to work with hypotheses that cannot be demonstrated. Therefore, we have to allow our Catholic sense to speak. My Catholic sense tells me this: If the enemies of the Church want to definitively bury this Third Secret, we should keep it afloat.

Time will show us if a more precise message from Our Lady exists. Meanwhile, barring those falsifications I mentioned above, this message meets enough of the criteria to receive the benefit of the doubt.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted September 2, 2010

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