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

Kerry Lynn kerlyn2001 at verizon.net
Fri Aug 16 14:18:57 EDT 2013

Peter Grosz debunked the Cockburn-Lange photos in CCI
16.145-167 "In Search of Mrs Cockburn-Lange, Part 1"
after the collection came to NASM.  (I don't think there was
a part 2.)


On 8/16/13 1:37 PM, Dave Calhoun wrote:
> 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!
> Dave
> From: Douglas Anderson <djandersonza at gmail.com 
> <mailto:djandersonza at gmail.com>>
> To: World War I Modeling Mailing List <wwi at wwi-models.org 
> <mailto:wwi at wwi-models.org>>
> Subject: [WWI] Fwd: [ScaleModelingNostalgia] Fake WWI Dogfight Images
> Sold At Auction
> Message-ID:
> <CAHy60=cPoLQsRhLiaOit6qLeN8gvk0A6rvx7g=TcR4Ae=NZh3w at mail.gmail.com 
> <mailto:CAHy60=cPoLQsRhLiaOit6qLeN8gvk0A6rvx7g=TcR4Ae=NZh3w at mail.gmail.com>>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> >From another group. An interesting article
> **
> Fake WWI Dogfight Images Sold At
> Auction<http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Fake-WWI-Dogfight-Images-Sold-For-Thousands220431-1.html>
> 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
> bidders.
> 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
> Numismatics<http://www.noble.com.au/auctions/lot/?id=308042>
> .
> __._,_.___
> Yours Sincerely
> *Douglas Anderson*

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