In several posts on this blog, we have discussed photos which were obtained from Mercede Johnston's public MySpace page. These images - and numerous others - were scrubbed from the Internet sometime during the late afternoon on September 1, 2008, shortly after it was announced that Bristol Palin was five months pregnant. These photos have been discussed in three other posts on this blog, The Smoking Gun, At Long Last, and The Prom Photo.
Fortunately, the links to these photos had been posted and many people saved them and entire screen shots before they disappeared.
We had identified the series of photos, discussed in "At Long Last," that contained Mercede Johnston, Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, and Trig Palin as having been taken in the Palin's home in Wasilla. The date is unknown, though is almost certainly sometime between April 23rd and the first week in May, due simply to Trig's tiny size. He is definitely a newborn.
The final photo about which there were questions was discussed in The Prom Photo. Here it is again.
Here are the whole series of prom photos, listed on the MySpace page as "Prom 08." It's easy to see that the photo of Mercede and Bristol is squarely in the middle of the series, and Mercede's hair and jewelry match in every photo. There's absolutly no reason to think and no plausible argument to suggest that somehow the photo of Mercede and Bristol was taken on a different date.
But what date? That was the critical question. It's been stated on this blog multiple times that I believe that Gov. Palin has been dishonest about numerous aspects of her birth story. I believe that the evidence strongly suggests that she is not Trig's Palin biological mother. However, if that is the case, then someone else must be. The evidence has always suggested that Bristol Palin, seventeen last April, eighteen now, was the most likely candidate to be Trig's natural mother.
The "prom" photo, however, seemed to raise some considerable questions. Bristol Palin is clearly not visibly pregnant in the photo. Research into Wasilla area proms showed that there were three: Palmer High School Prom on April 5th, Colony High School Prom on April 12th, and Wasilla High School Prom on April 19th. If this photo was taken in conjunction with either the Palmer Prom or the Colony High Prom, AND Trig was born on April 18th, Bristol Palin could not have been Trig's mother. If the photo was taken on April 19th, it would have been theoretically possible for Bristol to still be Trig's mom (since it would have been taken 36 hours or so after the birth), though for practical physical reasons this would be very unlikely. If the dating on the photo was accurate to one of those three days, it would come very close to proving that Bristol could not be Trig's mom.
But I wanted to dig deeper. That made no sense to me. We KNOW that photos were scrubbed from the Internet frantically on the afternoon of September 1, including all of these. The McCain campaign's "big plan" to prove that Sarah Palin was Trig's mother was to prove that Bristol could not be. As we all know, to do this, they announced Bristol was five months pregnant. If a photo existed that could be reliably dated to early April which showed a clearly non-pregnant Bristol, why hide it? Why not broadcast it to the world? But they didn't.
And then I got lucky. I got a tip. There was a fourth prom, held at Burchell High School on April 25th. Burchell High is the Wasilla area's alternative high school. The tipster alerted me to the prom and also told me that Mercede Johnston had been there that night. Now, we had to determine whether or not this series of photos was taken that night.
Luckily, the local newspaper had published an article about the prom, which contained several photographs. Through careful Photoshop sleuthing, I was able to isolate a few details from the backgrounds of both the photos published in the Frontiersman and from the backgrounds of Mercede's photos which matched exactly. (There's something to be said for tacky decorations!)
Here's one of the original photos from the paper.
Here's a detail from over the girls' heads.
Now, here's one of the photos from Mercedes Johnston's page.
There's nothing there at all, you're probably thinking. But you're wrong. You'd be surprised how much detail is in the back of this photo that's just waiting for us to see if we adjust the contrast.
So here's the same photo with the contrast jacked up really high. Take a good look at the wall high over the young man's head. Though there's not much, the match on the black and white squares is definite. Here's a bit more of a close-up on that.
This was not the only match I found. I spotted strings of lights in one of the Mercede' photos that are also visible in the Frontiersman photo and got a match on the gym floor. Furthermore, the group shot of Mercede and her friends is in front of a backdrop that seems to have a faux stone look. We're told in the Frontiersman article that the prom's theme was Medieval Masquerade.
I feel very confident in dating these photos to April 25, 2008, seven days after Trig Palin's birth. While they certainly do not bring us any closer to knowing the truth about what happened on April 17th, 2008, this photo, taken seven days after Trig Palin's birth, does not preclude Bristol being Trig's biological mother.
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