[WWI] Fwd: [ScaleModelingNostalgia] Fake WWI Dogfight Images

Dave Calhoun davecww1 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 16 13:37:28 EDT 2013

Interesting, I remember reading about these fake photos before, I think it was in the Time Life book Knights of the Air.  Too bad Archer did not save the models that he had photographed, they probably would have gotten more than the selling price for the photos! 

From: Douglas Anderson <djandersonza at gmail.com>
To: World War I Modeling Mailing List <wwi at wwi-models.org>
Subject: [WWI] Fwd: [ScaleModelingNostalgia] Fake WWI Dogfight Images
Sold At Auction
<CAHy60=cPoLQsRhLiaOit6qLeN8gvk0A6rvx7g=TcR4Ae=NZh3w at mail.gmail.com>
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>From another group. An interesting article


Fake WWI Dogfight Images Sold At

Wesley David Archer in the 1930s produced pictures of WWI aircraft
engaged in aerial combat that became a popular sensation in their day, but
decades later were discovered to be falsified, and Wednesday in Australia
they went up for auction. In 1933, the photos gained publicity through
their use in the book Death In The Air: The War Diary And Photographs Of A
Flying Corps Pilot. The publisher paid $20,000 for images that included
midair collisions and a flaming aircraft with its pilot falling from the
cockpit. But in 1984, when Archer's effects were donated to the Smithsonian
Institute in Washington, D.C., original images gave away the
truth. Wednesday, the fakes were expected to fetch more than $1000 from

A woman claimed at the time that her husband had flown with a camera
mounted on his plane and was later killed in battle. She disappeared from
public view after payment for the images. Decades later, in 1984, workers
at the Smithsonian discovered among Archer's still images photos similar to
those that had been published, but with one major difference. Wires could
be seen holding up the aircraft, giving them away as miniature planes.
Archer, who was an American pilot and later (after his images were
published) became a movie special effects creator, had airbrushed images
he'd taken of the model aircraft to remove evidence of the wires. And the
woman who had given credence to the origins of the purchased photographs
was later discovered to be Archer's wife, according to Petapixel.com. The
collection of images up for auction included 34 of Archer's "aerial"
photographs sold through Noble


Yours Sincerely

*Douglas Anderson*
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