As I said in my previous post, some of the evidence that points to everything being exactly as represented is very compelling. Yet, there is more - presented here - that just makes you go "Whoa!"
(Most every picture in this post can be made larger by clicking on it.)
Evidence which raises questions concerning whether Bristol Palin was actually pregnant, commencing in late spring 2008 and culminating with the birth of Tripp Johnston on December 27, 2008.
1. The open secret: One of the first "proofs" that Bristol was pregnant was an article published within 48 hours of the announcement that Palin was going to be the running mate that took a sort of "happy-go-lucky" spin on the Bristol pregnancy. Purporting to have interviewed several "locals" in Wasilla, the pregnancy was termed "an open secret." But there is in fact considerable evidence that the "open secret" was not all that open and was a lot more of a secret than has been put forth with that casual ("It's no big deal.") announcement.
First, we have the teens' MySpace and Facebook pages. Many pages are private, but many are not. (Or at least were not months ago – some have since gone private.) My research assistants have poured over the comments on scores of pages. There is not a single mention of Bristol being pregnant anywhere. If the secret was really nothing to fuss over, if the couple was openly together, if at least one set of parents were "happy" about the news, the absence of any mention regarding this open secret concerning the impending parenthood of these two popular kids seems impossible to explain.
Some kids in Bristol's circle have literally thousands of comments on their MySpace pages in 2-3 years. Many girls have babies, and chatter about baby showers and pregnancies, while maybe not exactly commonplace, is also not rare either. Levi's sister, Mercede, also was a very popular young lady. Yet not even a mention by the soon-to-be auntie that her brother, someone she is close enough to to have his name tattooed on her wrist, was going to be a daddy? Nope. Not a one.
This would make sense if the Palin family had asked the Johnston family to keep the news quiet, but, to repeat, the newspaper article published on takes the diametrically opposite position: that the news was an "open secret," and no big deal. This group of kids regularly posts photographs of themselves engaged in blatantly illegal behavior. In the past, Levi's relationships with other girls had been discussed, in sometimes "TMI" detail. In the face of this, the absence of a single acknowledgment or comment from a single Wasilla teen of the Levi / Bristol relationship OR pregnancy seems odd to say the least.
Second, I have in my possession emails which prove that an ADN reporter was still looking into the questions concerning Trig's origins in July 2008. The timing of this has always been significant to me, because it is well before Sarah Palin was picked as VP nominee, yet nearly three months after Trig's birth. There's no evidence whatsoever that the ADN reporter who was actively looking for information about the birth story in Wasilla ever heard that Bristol was pregnant, even though by mid-July she would have been four months. Certainly, when the story broke in September, ADN made no reference to the fact that they had already had the information.
Third, former ADN editor Michael Carey gave an interview with PBS on September 2nd. This is not some pajama-clad blogger in his parents' basement. This is a well-connected former editor of the Anchorage Daily News who had been sent by the ADN to Minnesota to cover the convention. He's asked point blank about Bristol being pregnant and he's very matter of fact.
Had HE ever heard that Bristol Palin was pregnant? No, Carey had not heard that Bristol was pregnant as of September 1 at all. But he had heard that Sarah had faked a pregnancy to cover for Bristol the previous spring. And he'd heard it LONG before the news broke on the Internet, at this point about four or five days previously.
I think his comments are so important that I am going to include them here verbatim.
MICHAEL CAREY: Well, I'm not there; I'm here. And I have not -- I'll give you an example of how this took people by surprise. On Friday, I went into work and started working on this particular story about the -- about Palin becoming vice president. But in the middle of the afternoon, the editor, Pat Doherty, said, would you like to go to Minneapolis? I said, yes. That's about what I knew at that point and none of us knew that Bristol Palin was pregnant. We didn't know anything.He is calling seriously into question the idea that it was "common knowledge." He specifically states that he does NOT think it was common knowledge based on the fact that, in their newsroom, he never heard it.
I mean, I think there have been in the Daily News and some other reporting sort of the thought that, oh, yeah, this was common knowledge among certain people in Wasilla. People have said that, that being the governor's hometown. But I don't think that -- in a newsroom, as interested and gossip and good stories as ours, I did not hear this. I heard the other story, which is the fake pregnancy story. And maybe you want to go on to that at some point.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, that --
MICHAEL CAREY: The other part of the soap opera.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, that seems to have been what smoked out the Bristol Palin story, the attempt to put the first story to rest that came. Tell us more about the first one, which I guess was highlighted on the Daily Kos website.
MICHAEL CAREY: Yeah, that's been -- that story has been around for quite a while. I first heard it when a lawyer who I like very much and is a very smart guy presented this to me as the absolute truth.
RAY SUAREZ: That is, that Governor Palin was not pregnant?
MICHAEL CAREY: No, and that the whole thing was faked because she was covering up for her daughter who was pregnant. And the daughter was having the child and Sarah claimed it was her child and faked the pregnancy so as not to embarrass the daughter and not to create I guess political backlash for some kind of conservative values concern.
2. Bristol's appearance raises questions. Before I continue I need to say categorically that I am not happy that I am having to sit here, analyzing the potentially pregnant body of a 17-18 year old girl. Bristol Palin is younger than my own daughters and I find this very distasteful. But … I believe that it is precisely this emotion that the Palins had hoped to engender by "throwing Bristol under the bus," i.e., that reporters would be just too squeamish to ask the hard questions about and to take a good long look at the physiology of a pregnant minor.
First, Bristol's bust on the night of 9/3/2008 was padded or enhanced in some way. Analysis of many high quality photographs show this unequivocally, and she's padded so heavily that it borders on the ludicrous. Whoever dressed that MINOR, that CHILD that night should be put in prison. I mean that quite literally.
Contrast to this picture, which at first glance seems like a shot of John McCain, with Gov. Palin and Piper. Yes, but look at the background. It's a perfect profile shot of Bristol, emerging from behind Levi's body. Her bust is literally larger than her head. There is no way, based on other photographs of her, that this can be natural.
She is not only much larger that night than she was just ten days earlier (in spite of having a windbreaker on in this picture,
it's clear that the bust is not there), in several shots it appears as if the padding has slipped and that she is actually lopsided.
My experience with my own pregnancies and the pregnancies of countless other women is that bust size typically increases early in pregnancy ("bigger boobs" is often the first sign of pregnancy women report, far earlier than any discernable "tummy") and then stays more or less consistent until quite late. Photographs of Bristol from July (when she would have been 17-18 weeks pregnant)
and late August (only ten days prior to the RNC - see above) show no evidence of a bust anywhere close to the size on 9/3. Photographs of her from later in pregnancy (we don't have many but we have a few) also show that "bolster bosom" is gone.
Why would you pad/enhance the bust of a young woman who is genuinely pregnant? It is what it is. If she's really pregnant, why would it even occur to anyone to make her look more pregnant? If Bristol pregnancy was "as reported" on September 5th, in due time, the baby would be born, the veracity of the Palin/McCain's statements to the press would be born out. But putting any sort of padding or artificial enhancer on her at all can only have one goal: to give the appearance of something that is not true. So what would that be?
Second, we have very few photographs / screen shots of Bristol Palin during the campaign. She does not appear to have traveled with campaign nearly as extensively as Willow, Piper, and Trig, but she was present on at least a couple of occasions. In one brief sequence filmed, we believe, around the 15th of October, Bristol is shown some time apart on the same day. The size and shape of Bristol's pregnancy appears to change between the time of the two shots. In addition, the motion of her body as she deplanes seems odd. Pregnant women in their seventh months go down stairs slowly, leaning back slightly, protecting their bellies. Bristol bounces down the stairs. (Watch for the very brief clip beginning around the :35 point.)
Watch the motion of the belly as she moves. I cannot say that it appears natural, though it's hard to put my finger on just exactly what is "wrong."
Now look at the screen grab of her as she gets back off the bus to get on the plane.
To my eye, the belly seems to have increased in size – rather significantly. Although I do not know who far apart in time these two shots were taken, it hardly matters if it's half an hour or three hours. Based on Bristol's clothes, I believe it is the same day.
Third, in one additional quick shot of Bristol that is available, she is shown walking into church services on December 10th.
She would have been in her ninth month of pregnancy, approximaly two weeks prior to Tripp's birth. Look at the screen grab carefully. It appears as if she could push the vest, which does not appear to be a maternity jacket, closed easily.
She is certainly NO bigger than she was in this shot,
two months earlier, and may be smaller which defies all laws of pregnancy physiology. (Can that vest be pushed closed? I don't think so.)
She does not move like a pregnant woman. Pregnant women have a very distinctive "gait" due to connective tissue in the pelvis softening and loosening in response to late pregnancy hormones. This has nothing to do with age or the number of children a woman has had, though in subsequent pregnancies, the effect is usually apparent sooner. But not Bristol. She's really hoofin' it over the icy path, and when she sees the cameras she almost starts to run. Contrast her gait with some of the people (who presumably are not pregnant) walking into church ahead of the Palins. They walk gingerly and catiously over the ice. In my opinion, Bristol Palin does not appear as if she is nine months pregnant here, two weeks away from giving birth.
3. The announcement of the birth itself was handled to a way that can only be termed bizarre.
First, on Monday December 29th, People Magazine broke the story on the website: According to Bristol's great aunt, (so it would be the great great aunt of the child) the child had been born in Alaska. The aunt lives in Washington state and had learned of this by email. Initial reports had several different weights and dates, but finally consensus seemed to agree on 12/27. Numerous other news outlets, including the Anchorage Daily News followed suit on the announcement by quoting the People source. As far as I can tell, to this day, not a single media source ever verified the information in Alaska independently.
Read this again: The news that Tripp Palin was born came from a great-great aunt who had learned of it via email, had never seen the child, who lived in another state, and who had been cold-called by a national publication, which then posted it on their website. No hospital was ever named as his place of birth. No happy fellow Wasilla resident ever mentioned anywhere that "Bristol Palin had her baby the same day as me, and isn't that cool?" Hospital staff are bound by privacy regulations, but other patients are not. Not one word ever leaked to the press that Bristol had given birth, even though Palins and Johnstons and other of Bristol's friends should have been trouping in and out of the hospital for 1-2 days. But no one was ever spotted by anyone.
Second, then the Governor's Office refused to give an unequivocal statement on the birth for another 48 hours. Citing "privacy" they would not confirm or deny that the birth had even taken place. Privacy? PRIVACY???? Good God! This is coming from the woman who told about six billion people that her seventeen year old daughter was pregnant in the first place, instead of, oh, having her doctor give a news conference or releasing a birth certificate on September 1st. It's an absurd hypocritical construct, and she should have been called on it on the spot. Instead, everyone in the press just sort of hung around, dumbfounded.
Tripp's birth was – as I said – the Cornerstone of Sarah's "I'm Trig's mom" campaign. This was her BIG PROOF. This should have been a HUGE moment for her on a HUGE day. She's vindicated! And then the baby is born, and they won't even discuss it?
Critics will point out that it was Bristol's baby and she WAS entitled to privacy. There's no dispute there when it comes to personal details of the birth and photographs of the child: It's Bristol's call. But considering just how much was riding on this for Sarah, the fact that she did not give a personal simple statement to the press as new grandmother standing in the hall of a hospital, (even if the baby was never shown) is odd at best.
Sarah could have done this on her own, regardless of Bristol's wishes. Even if Bristol did not want her baby shown, would it even have occurred to Bristol to tell her mother she could not stand in the hall of the hospital, and pronounced herself, "Happy, tired, and proud."? Considering how on many other occasions Sarah has behaved like the pitbull she calls herself – on steroids - Palin's keeping herself completely out of the public eye in the days after Tripp's birth was very inconsistent with her general behavior. At least with Trig's birth, we got Chuck and Sally Heath in the hall of Mat-Su hospital holding a baby. With Tripp we got nothing.
4. No one outside the family has ever come forward to say they saw the baby prior to the Greta Van Sustern interview on February 18th, almost seven weeks after the birth.
Initially the explanation was that no photos could be taken because Bristol was negotiating with several publications for "first photos." But like so many other stories, this one was just dropped. Was this nothing but a delaying tactic? No publication appears to ever have gotten the touted "first photos." Bristol was possibly paid something by People for the photos of her and Tripp connected with her graduation… almost five months later… but the fantastic price tags that had been used to explain why there were no early photos of Tripp with either Sarah or Bristol, well, that story just faded into oblivion.
John Ziegler, who did an interview with Sarah Palin on January 7, would not confirm that he had seen (or even heard) a newborn in the house. He stated that he saw Bristol, and mentions specifically that she was post-partum, but when asked by me point blank if he ever saw a baby, would not say he had. I have always personally found it inexplicable that Sarah didn't at least show the baby to Ziegler that day, and possibly have a photo taken of her holding her new grandson, even if they chose not show the baby's face.
5. There was a significant discrepancy that has never been followed up concerning Levi Johnston's whereabouts in the days after the birth. The Anchorage Daily News reported on January 5th that Levi's lack of either high school diploma or GED rendered him ineligible for the electrician's apprentice job he had, and that he had quit and according to his father, that evening (Monday night, i.e., January 5th) was flying back from the North Slope. But according to Levi's mother he had spent the entire first week plus after Tripp's birth on 12/27 at the Palin home taking care of newborn Tripp. So where WAS Levi? With Tripp and Bristol? Or at work hundreds of miles outside of Wasilla? Seems like the ADN placed him, with eyewitnesses, on the North Slope. So... what's the real truth here? (Of course, all this indicates is that Levi was not in Wasilla the first week in January, 2009. Since in other places, it's already been alleged that things were off between Levi and Bristol before the birth, it's entirely possible that the "lie" is that Levi was actively involved with the baby, at the Palin's home, after the child was born. However, what that still leaves us with is that a whole lotta fibbin' is going on somewhere.)
5. Levi seems to have a curious lack of photographs of himself with Tripp. When asked for one, on March 16th (more than 2 1/2 months after the birth announcement) as he sat in front of his house in his truck if he had a photo of Tripp, he produced an ultrasound.
When on the Tyra Banks show in April to discuss presumably his relationship with Bristol and his son, one of the photos provided to the Tyra Banks show was of Levi holding, not Tripp, but Trig the previous spring (almost a year earlier.) No photo of Levi, with Bristol and Tripp has ever been released, even though according to the official "line," the young couple's breakup did not occur until well over a month after the baby was born.
6. It is inexplicable to me that Sarah Palin, given her family values philosophies, has never chosen to do any sort of informative, positive media event on the fact that she and her daughter had babies less than a year apart, with both of them having made difficult decisions. Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, or one of the Christian family publications would have been thrilled to have the opportunity to do a sit-down with Bristol and Sarah jointly. So what's the problem? Sarah has never shied away from publicity (she certainly used Trig relentlessly during the campaign), and Bristol has shown herself open to media as well: she agreed to the GSV interview on Feb. 15, and did interviews and appearances for Candies in April. The silence is deafening.
There are other discrepancies as well. Sarah's own demeanor towards Levi was very very cold in an interview less than two weeks after the election, even though the official line is that everything was fine between the young couple and with the families until after the birth. In several interviews, Sherry Johnston as well as her son, can't seem to get basic details straight. You get the sense with Sherry on numerous occasions that she's talking about a baby... but not the baby that was supposedly born on December 27. She tries to do time frames, and she never quite gets it right. And Levi, how old WAS Bristol when she got pregnant? 16 no uhh 18. (If Tripp's pregnancy was as reported, she would have been 17.)
All in all, what's the old saying? "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." I think that so many people have told so many lies for so long that I wonder if anyone knows the truth.
Bristol Palin's pregnancy, like the one Sarah presented to the world in early 2008, does not add up. Unlike Sarah's, which I am sure was not "as presented" I honestly do not know what to conclude about Bristol's. Photographic evidence, prior to the announcement of the pregnancy, seems to indicate she WAS pregnant. It also shows clear indication of obfuscation: bolster bust on the night of September 3, 2008. Palin's behavior around the time of the "birth," seems inexplicably disinterested in what should have been a huge event for her, yet there is a baby who appears to be the right age for having been born around the end of 2008.
You decide. It's all I can say.