*but that doesn’t mean Switzer didn’t write it
Sigh. It would have been so unbelievably cool, wouldn’t it? To be able to say that a CIA Project Artichoke report was typed up on Doc Switzer’s typewriter—a 1947 Smith Crappola, I’m guessing—with its wayward y’s and c’s and capital R’s, would have been too, too cool. A smoking typewriter could have saved this girl a lot of additional sweat and heartache and saved you all from having to read any more 3,000-word blog posts. (Oh, relax. This one’s shorter.) It would have been time for the party planning to begin because we would have attained our goal. Because, you guys, we’ll probably never know for sure what happened to Ron Tammen. The only thing we can probably hope to know is whether St. Clair Switzer indeed had CIA ties. And if the CIA was anywhere near Tammen during the second semester of 1952-53, then they made Tammen disappear. Plain and Simple.
But the report that had been written for the Psychological Strategy Board on September 5, 1952, wasn’t written on St. Clair Switzer’s typewriter. We know this because a forensic document examiner compared the three surviving pages of that report to a job application and letters that Switzer had typed up in 1951. She’s certain that they came from different typewriters, and now, so am I.
In the world of forensic document examination, a questioned document (Q) is compared to a known document (K) to see if they came from the same source. In our case, the Q is the 1952 Project Artichoke report and the K is Switzer’s job application and letters. Our examiner, Karen Nobles, concentrated on the typefaces of the two documents to arrive at her conclusion, and the evidence is compelling.
Here’s what she found:
- the uppercase M: the center does not extend to the baseline on the questioned (Q) text, but does extend to the baseline in the known (K) text
- the number 2 has a flat base on the Q, but a curvy base in the K
- the bottom of the number 3 extends downward in the Q, but curves up in the K; the top of the 3 in the Q is rounded and in the K it is flat
- the number 4 in the Q has an open top, but in the K it is closed
- the number 5 in the Q has a flag on the top that extends upward and the bottom bowl extends downward; in the K the number 5 is flat on top and curves upward in the bottom bowl
- the top of the number 6 extends upward in the Q, but in the K it curves downward and has a ball ending
- the number seven may or may not have a downward extension on the top left in the Q but in the K, the 7 has a significant downward extension
- the number 8 is much narrower in the Q than in the K
- the number 9 extends downward in the Q, but curves upward and has a ball ending in the K
She also created this chart that shows the above differences in the numbers and letters:
So the report wasn’t typed on Switzer’s typewriter after all—OK, fine. That doesn’t mean that Switzer wasn’t on the RDB’s ad hoc committee or even that he didn’t write the report. It only means that our job isn’t over and we need to keep searching for clues.