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Autograph Alert
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News & Information!
In the News: May 2010 to August 2010

Breaking News:
August 29, 2010
 
“PSA” DNA
Please Stop Authenticating”
Where’s Law Enforcement?

How bad do things have to get before someone in law enforcement gets involved? The following are just a handful of random quotes from folders of emails we have received from our readers.
 
“PSA/DNA’s full page ad with the photo of Bill Clinton bearing a machine signed signature, says it all. John Reznikoff is their presidential authenticator. That says volumes.”

“I am reluctant to send anything to PSA/DNA because of an item they authenticated that I know for a fact was signed by a friend of mine at a garage sale as a joke.”

“We do not use PSA at this auction house, nor do we ever accept their opinion on anything. Period!”

“What little trust I had in PSA is gone….what a joker!”

“I am in the middle of a legal matter with PSA/DNA”

“I am thankful to have found your site. I just wish I had found it and read your articles before being scammed out of almost $1,000 by the crooks at PSA/DNA”

“The worst company by far is PSA/DNA”

“PSA/DNA is a joke along with the other authentication companies”

“PSA/DNA has their heads up their asses”

“the award contains a printed facsimile signature, not hand signed, worst part is someone paid over six thousand dollars for this rare award with PSA/DNA certification in the American Memorabilia auction in SCD”

“I don’t understand how ‘experts’ (PSA) can miss a printed autograph”

“This whole PSA thing makes me ill”

“I had the displeasure of dealing with them (PSA/DNA) this past weekend”

“because PSA/DNA charged me $2,295.00 for nothing... I am outraged”
 
“makes me wonder did they even look at the signature”

“I am not surprised PSA authenticated it…a fake is a fake and they are totally wrong”

“PSA What a Joke…JSA even worse, I wasted over 3 hours and $375.”

“PSA’s got a good scam going”

“further proof that PSA/DNA doesn’t have a clue”

”I (well known auction house) will not accept PSA/DNA as an authority”

“if ever you would like to have a good laugh and a head scratch at some of my horror stories with PSA I’ll be only to happy to email you…be warned my stories could make your hair turn gray”

“I recently got stung by the PSA/DNA quick opinion”

“PSA did it again. I really can’t understand why they haven’t been shut down”



www.autographalert.com received an email from the CEO of PSADNA stating: “Our employees-authenticators do not buy or sell.” A quick response from one of the country’s largest and most active autograph auctions response was: “send him Zack Rullos’ (PSADNA authenticator) $1,500 plus winning bid on my eBay sale”

Is this a conflict of interest? Look at the high profile names who are presently listed as their so-called experts. Kevin Keating, John Reznikoff and Bob Eaton who also buy, sell and auction autographs.

Steve Grad is responsible for thousands of errors over the years. The very married Steve Grad is not even allowed to enter the premises of a well known Las Vegas auction company because of poor judgment with a female employee. The very same Steve Grad who “under oath” could not recall if he was removed from a National Sports Convention for selling forgeries.

John Reznikoff, the disgraced owner of University Archives. Removed from one autograph organization because of ethics charges filed against him. He chose to resign from another before being removed for his participation in the largest sale of forgeries in the history of our hobby. He also has a reputation for not refunding customers who purchased bogus material from him.

Kevin Keating recently removed a high priced stolen George Wright signed item from his inventory. One has to ask themselves why would anyone associate their name with a company who has so many documented problems. Many know Keating has had problems in the past with items he submitted to an auction who used PSA. Keatings items were turned down. Could this be a way of being on the team and not having to worry about your items being turned down in the future? More about Keating in this article.

One major autograph dealer has published a story on his web site about these so called autograph authenticating companies. He discusses their numerous mistakes that are well documented. The web site challenges any of the so-called authenticating companies to respond to any or all of the criticisms leveled against them. To date not a single authenticating company has responded. The dealer has contacted PSADNA and specifically asked them to respond. PSADNA has not responded!

PSADNA has changed their web site and the information posted is all but insulting to anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge about autographs. They claim PSADNA is the worlds leading third party authentication service for autographs. They refer to their authenticators as “experts.” They state “the world’s leading autograph authentication experts have been pooled together.” Who ever wrote this, their nose must have grown into another zip code!

Someone who apparently never graduated the eighth grade said to us recently: “I was told that if it comes with a PSADNA Certificate it will be worth more money.”

The response was: “if it came with a PSA/DNA certificate, it probably has a 50% chance of being accurate.”

We did a little research last week on eBay and this is what we found.

This is the power of a legitimate autograph dealer’s COA verses a third party guess.

Muhammad Ali, boxing glove, item # 180534196549, COA Super Star Greetings, Sold $578.

Muhammad Ali, boxing glove, item #220639089727, PSA COA , Sold $543.03

Mickey Mantle signed baseball, item # 220645972486, COA Sports Investments, Sold $317.45,

Mickey Mantle signed baseball, item 380254890667, COA Legends are Forever, Sold $405.00

Mickey Mantle signed baseball, item # 230504128701, JSA COA, Sold $260.00

Mickey Mantle signed baseball, item # 270611959073, PSA COA, Sold $275.00

Ted Williams. Signed baseball, item # 110566909270, Seller admits no COA, Sold $203.49

Ted Williams signed baseball, item #130411373039, PSA COA, Sold $170.01

Michael Jordan signed basketball, item # 310232571276, UDA COA, Sold $1,719.99

Michael Jordan signed basketball, item #260629191320, PSA COA no bids at $900 minimum bid.
 
We checked eBay for all items listed with a PSA/DNA COA. Of the top 400 mentioned items with their COA, only 141 of them sold with 80% of the items selling for under $10.00 each.

According to one of our readers, Coaches Corner Sports Auction is auctioning off a PSA/DNA Certified as genuine a Judy Johnson Perez Steele Celebration card. Lot #888 currently at $50 having 6 bids. PSA/DNA’s certification # is 83049796. See illustration below.
 
Judy Johnson PSA/DNA Certified Signed Perez Steele Celebration card
Johnson was incapacitated by a stroke and in a nursing home in 1988
 
Every person we contacted who has knowledge about sports cards stated the same. “Judy Johnson was in a coma (from which he never woke) before these cards were sent to press. There is simply no way he could have signed it, but that didn’t stop PSA/DNA from giving it the thumbs up.”

Another expert said: “Celebration set consisted of 44 cards…pre-deceasing the release of the card issue were Lefty Gomez, Billy Terry and Judy Johnson.”

Yet another expert states: “The set was intended to feature all 44 living Hall of Famers. Though not all the players gave signed on. Sometime between the design and the release, three players - Lefty Gomez, Judy Johnson and Bill Terry passed away making the autographed set complete at 41 cards.”

Remember PSA/DNA’s “BS” on their website? “The world’s leading authentication experts have been pooled together…” How about, shame on Steve Grad and Kevin Keating being the fellows who claim to authenticate sports autographs and not knowing Johnson passed away before the card was issued. More embarrassing, both these guys couldn’t spot a Judy Johnson forgery.

As of the writing of this article, one of our readers supplied us with this information. Go to eBay, item # 230492484032, the bid is at $139.00 for a baseball according to PDA/DNA is signed by Pete Runnells. The seller states: “why take chances on items guaranteed to pass PSA/DNA when you can get the real thing certified by a third party company eBay recommends?” Who authenticates baseball signatures at PSA/DNA? Steve Grad and Kevin Keating of course! PSA/DNA is the company that eBay recommends. Shame on eBay and shame on Grad & Keating as this baseball contains the signature of Rick Reuschel. So much for the PSA/DNA BS pooling the leading autograph authentication experts. This is false advertising at its best.

PSA/DNA claims this item is Certified Genuine. What does that mean? They are wrong, the item is not what they claim it to be and they offer NO guarantee. The person who submitted this item to PSA/DNA got a bad deal and is out of luck and money.

Has anyone noticed the amount of third party authenticators that had tables at the recent National Sports Convention in Baltimore? It was a record number. Some have watched how much one can get away with by being an autograph authenticator. New autograph authenticating companies are opening up as you need no background in autographs, no need to take any educational course and no need for a license. And yes, there are still plenty of morons who will pay for someones uneducated guess. A cheaply printed COA, a business card that claims you are an “expert” and money to take a table at a show and you’re in business.

Are laws being broken by these autograph authenticating companies? Are they selling a bad product, giving wrong opinions for a fee and all this crossing state lines through the U.S. Mail?

The following two short stories are some of many we have on file.

1) Lance Armstrong’s agent studied eBay for six months. He counted over 300 fake Tour-de-France replica jerseys that contained forged signatures of Lance Armstrong. Every single jersey was authenticated as genuine and came with a COA from PSA/DNA.

2) Very recently a major autograph auction house who issues their own COA with each purchase sold a signature of Roger Maris for $323.90 which includes the buyer’s premium. The not so bright seller decided he wanted to have a second opinion to enhance the COA from the professional auction house. He sent the item to James Spence along with his payment of $75.00. Spence who is well known in the industry for not getting it right, even in front of TV cameras saw whose COA came with the item. Since this auction house will not use Spence for authentication and will never give a refund based on Spence’s guesses, Spence turned down the item as not genuine. The collector then tried another high profile authenticating company who also charged $75.00 for their opinion. This time the other company declared the item as genuine. Now the collector has exactly what he had in the beginning, a genuine signature because the professional auction house guaranteed it was real. However, the collector now has invested an additional $150.00 over his initial investment of $323.90 totaling $473.90. How long will it take this collector to break even on his investment?

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. How much more proof does anyone need that an investigation of the so called autograph authenticating companies needs to begin!

Car 54 where are you? Where is law enforcement?????????


Breaking News:
August 27, 2010
 
WWW.AUTOGRAPHALERT.COM
Win A Free Polo Shirt - A Collector’s Item

Attention all readers: send in your personal horror story/experience in dealing with a third party so-called autograph authenticating company. The best story of how you have been screwed by one of these outfits will be published on www.autographalert.com (writer’s name omitted upon request.) The winner of the best horror story will be awarded a fabulous, superior quality, Two-Ply Pima Jersey Classic Polo Shirt. The shirt is a rich royal blue in color with the custom www.autographalert.com logo embroided in yellow.

Official www.autographalert.com Polo Shirt
 
Send in your story NOW!
Breaking News:
August 26, 2010
 
 
Neil Armstrong Signed Baseballs

If you are going to read this story, we would like to have reader participation. We understand the bulk of our readers don’t claim to be authenticators of autographs but if you have a set of eyes that work, you should have a comment or two to make.

Anything signed by Neil Armstrong is desirable and commands a high price. We found about a dozen baseballs that have been offered in the last 15 years and all commanded high prices.

It appears that Neil Armstrong does a very good job signing baseballs. His signature differs little from when he signs a flat item.

Of the dozen we found that sold, we illustrate two below that would reproduce fairly well for this article.
 
Two baseballs containing genuine signatures of Neil Armstrong
 
These genuinely signed baseballs sell easily for over $1,000 dollars. Now, let’s assume you are attending a flea market or garage sale and see the following baseball being sold for $100. Would you buy it?
 
Neil Armstrong baseball at a flea market/garage sale
 
This is your educational web site so please participate. Let’s hear from you, send an email to: autographalert@aol.com
Breaking News:
August 25, 2010
 
www.autographalert.com Sold?
Just rumors, not true!

There is one person going around saying www.autographalert.com has been sold. This is not true.

What is true, is someone in the hobby discovered that we are getting an average of over 10,000 visits a months. That is more than the members of all the clubs combined, and add to that the subscribers to the industry’s magazine. No one can argue that this site is the most read autograph educational web site or publication in the world.

The entrepreneur/investor who wanted to purchase this site was thinking about possibly turning it into a members only site, runs stories like a magazine, use it as a store front, take monthly advertisements from dealers and auction houses and remove all the old stories that appear on this site.

There were one or two hiccups and the deal did not go through. So for the record, this site was not sold and we have dozens of stories ready to go.

Keep watching!
The Management

Breaking News:
August 22, 2010
 
Collecting the Wright Brothers, Right or Wrong?
by Stephen Koschal
Since www.autographalert.com is an educational web site, the following observations were made that need to be brought to the attention of readers.

A fairly good study on the signatures of the Wright brothers was published in April 2000. However like any study more could always be added at a later date.

During some recent research for a dealer, I have come upon a couple of remarkable discoveries. I want to get this information out as soon as possible so collectors and dealers could avoid a future disaster. In some cases collectors may use this study as a basis to get refunds for some very expensive purchases they made in the past.

The following six illustrations are known genuine signatures of Orville Wright.
 
Six Genuine Signatures of Orville Wright

Collectors and dealers must keep a sharp eye out for cut signatures or slabbed/authenticated signatures of Orville Wright that have been actually signed by a secretary. They all come from genuine checks however filled out and signed for Orville Wright by his secretary. See example below.


Secretarial Signature of Orville Wright (note clipped corner)
 
If you come across one of Orville Wright’s checks signed by the secretary, the secretary placed their initial “L” just below and to the right of the “t” in Wright. Examine your Orville Wright Check closely. Unscrupulous sellers of autographs try to erase the secretaries initial “L”. We have even seen a check made out to Orville Wright where the secretary has filled out the check and signed his name.

One must be very caution purchasing a clipped signature or one that has been slabbed and authenticated “as genuine” by one of the high profile companies who claim to authenticate autographs. When cutting the secretarial signature of Orville Wright from the check, they purposely clip away the secretary’s initial as above.

On a grander scale, it appears there could be a proliferation of spurious signed photographs being sold said to be autographed by both Orville and Wilbur Wright.

The following photo was item #108 in a Sotheby’s, June 1993 sale. Examine the signature of Orville Wright and compare it carefully with the six known genuine examples above. Some differences should immediately become apparent. The formation of the “r” in Orville and the capital “W” in Wright stand out. The presale estimate on this photograph was $5,000-$7,000.
 
 
Photo from Sotheby’s 1993 Sale

Interesting at a later date, a different photo appeared in a California auction bearing the almost identical Orville Wright signature. How can anyone deny this signature was copied from the signed photograph sold at Sothebys?

Orville Wright Signed Photograph Sold at a California Auction
 
 
What becomes more interesting is that within a few years four more of these so called rare signed photographs have appeared for sale all bearing the signatures of Orville and Wilbur Wright. In every instance the signature of Orville is nearly the same as the one sold at Sotheby’s. The problem is they don’t match any of the original signatures illustrated at the beginning of this article. Uncanny is that the photographs illustrated below and the one above from Sotheby’s all bear the signature of Wilbur Wright and all signed almost exactly the same. They do not resemble genuine signatures of Wilbur Wright found on his handwritten letters.
 
 
 
 
 
One has to come to the conclusion that all the signatures of Orville and Wilbur Wright on the four photographs illustrated above and the one sold at Sotheby’s are not genuine.

Estimates on these photographs ranged from $5,000-7,000, $10,000-$15,000 and $12,000 to $15,000 each.

You have to ask yourself why would multiple consignors of such rare and expensive photographs choose Sotheby’s, Rhode Scholar and two to be sold at M. Bennett Stamp Auctions? Obviously they felt they can fool the persons in these organizations. This could be a perfect and easy case for law enforcement. If these auction houses would open their books to who the consignor was, we may find out all five photos was consigned by the same person. That person would probably also be the forger of these very high end items!

More research can always be added to my observations. I would appreciate hearing comments from the readers of this site. You can email me directly at skoschal@aol.com

Breaking News:
August 18, 2010
 
John Reznikoff & Bob Eaton
Appear to Create a Circular Firing Squad

www.autographalert.com is getting overwhelmed with stories from collectors and dealers about those we have exposed on this web site. We don’t want to overload our readers with stories about the same hot dogs in the autograph industry but we want you to know the stories from our readers confirms everything you have read on this site.

The following is simply comical and amusing. Perfect example of how these jerks screw each other. After reading stories like this, you can just imagine what they can do to you.

John Reznikoff is the disgraced owner of University Archives. There are 3.5 autograph clubs in the United States, one he had to resign when he discovered he was going to be removed from the organization because of his participation in the largest sale of forgeries in the history of collecting. The other club, he attempted to resign when he discovered serious ethics charges was filed against him. He resignation was denied. The ethics board after an investigation found him guilty of the charges and his membership was terminated.

Bob Eaton is the owner of RR Auctions. Simply follow the stories on this site from the beginning on this auction house. Make your own determination.

Getting back to our story: this story first broke on July 4, 2009. The debacle is over a large collection of items all containing genuine signatures of Barack Obama. The signatures came from a great source with excellent provenance. The person selling these items worked with Obama during the Democratic National Convention. Many of the Obama items were sent as consignments to RR Auctions. For some unexplainable reason, RR Auctions continues to use Resnikoff to try and authenticate presidential signed items. We and many others will never understand this. Who isn’t well aware of all the Reznikoff blunders made in RR Auctions and elsewhere including authenticating printed and machine signed signatures as genuine.

The signed Obama items were returned to the consignor because RR Auction said their authenticator (John Reznikoff) stated the items were not genuine.

Shortly after, believe it or not, Reznikoff contacts the dealer/consignor directly and wants to purchase the collection outright. It certainly appears that Reznikoff told RR Auction the items were not genuine so he could purchase the items himself.

The collection of Obama autographs was purchased by Reznikoff. Then Reznikoff had them authenticated by PSA/DNA (a company Reznikoff is associated with and supposedly authenticates their presidential autographs). Anyone see a major conflict of interest here, or worse? Reznikoff told the autograph dealer the reason why he wanted these Obama autographs was because it was his opinion that most of the Obama autographs that were being auctioned by RR Auctions in the past are not genuine! Oh my.

You just can’t make this stuff up. You got to love how these knuckleheads stab each other in the back.

Breaking News:
August 15, 2010
 
AUTOGRAPH magazine going kaput?

Try to find someone who doesn’t hear the fat lady warming up in the background. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that when the anti-Semitic and racists statements that were coming out of the office of Autograph magazine would be the beginning of their demise.

Just as bad was the attacks by the publisher Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin against industry icons. Cykin was given some erroneous information and without doing any homework went along with it in print. Proven wrong, he refuses to apologize to those he has harmed. Cyrkin has been paying dearly for this ever since. Everyone he has attacked were non or ex advertisers ( who left on their own because of lack of response) in his magazine.

Collectors have had enough of Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin. Cyrkin has now created a website which appears to be a disaster for him. He is constantly removing messages left on the site which blast Cyrkin and the few miserable advertisers he tries to protect.

A message just left a few days ago from a well respected industry leader and autograph expert from Europe blasts Cyrkin and “little Epperson” for: “but all your (Cyrkin) doing is helping the sellers of forgeries.” Cyrkin immediately took the message down.

We have mentioned before about the numerous phony messages being put on Cyrkin’s site attacking legends in our hobby. Cyrkin has admitted messages on the site are being left (with his approval) by a few using made up names. Now the latest ghost uses the name of Dirk Bullen. Since he’a phony, of course he won’t put up his own picture. The picture he uses is none other than John Lennon. This is typically how Cyrkin runs his business, with the intent to deceive the uneducated.

Industry leaders tried to do something positive for the International Autograph Community. They believed a good start would be run a major autograph show in the popular vacation State of Florida. Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin took part in the cancellation of the show. The guest speaker committed to do the show and give an educational course was Todd Mueller of Todd Mueller Autographs, once eBay’s largest seller of autographs. Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin had no problem in sending emails stating: “Todd Mueller said he would never do the show.” This evil practice was a way of spreading rumors that there would not be a guest speaker or educational course. These things that Cyrkin does is NOT in the best interest of collectors or the hobby in general. We have confirmed that it’s been years since Todd Mueller has spoken to Steve Cyrkin or returned his phone calls. This was just a way for Cyrkin to throw a monkey wrench into the show most likely because the show promoters would not take out an ad in Cyrkin’s magazine.

Mueller was once advertising in Autograph magazine with two full page ads. He confirms he stopped running his ads after months of not getting a single call from readers. When he stopped his ads Cyrkin tried some creative back billing.

Autograph magazine is left with just a handful of advertisers. Many don’t understand why anyone would advertise in that magazine since Cyrkin’s anti-Semitic remarks. The following is just who's left advertising:
Signed, Sealed & Delivered. Roger Epperson
University Archives, John Reznikoff
PSA/DNA, Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin is a co-founder
Bags Unlimited- plastic bags and pages - half page ad
A. Lovell Elliott - ½ page ad
Brian & Maria Green - 1/3 page ad
Markus Brandes Autographs - ¼ page ad
Leg Signatures - ¼ page ad
J.B. Muns - 1/12 page ad
Elmer’s Nostalgia - 1/4page ad
Occasionaly a few auction houses.

Many we have spoken to cannot understand why anyone would place an ad in Autograph magazine. Many collectors absolutely refuse to do business with any of Cyrkin’s advertisers. They feel the advertisers must agree with Cyrkin’s anti-Semitic statement and the way he has been handling himself over the last two years. Many simply boycott the advertisers.

Let’s look at Cyrkin’s own words on his website. He “brings the fun and challenge of collecting autographs and memorabilia each month.” The missing February 2010 issue paid for by subscribers was no fun!

"...the knowledge you need to protect yourself against forgeries…”

My goodness, what kind of mushroom’s has Cyrkin been eating? Let’s just take a look at his only three full page advertisers. Aren’t these the businesses he should be protecting us from???????

1) Roger Epperson, who is basically finished in this hobby. He has already admitted to selling forgeries. He has not issued refunds. RR Auction’s rock n roll section is constantly removing items from their sale erroneously authenticated by Epperson. An autograph organization has printed an announcement that their members do not recognize anything authenticated by Epperson. Epperson has been so incompetent he repeatedly authenticates modern signed items by people who have been dead for over 10 years. No need to go on.

2) John Reznikoff of University Archives. Member in good standing in the ABAA & UACC.
Autograph magazine is trying to protect you from buying forgeries and the magazines full back page advertisement is by the guy who holds the world’s record for helping to sell 7 million dollars worth of forgeries. And that's just one incident of many. So you thought you have read it all about this jokester. We are working on a story that will scare the hell out of you should you even consider offering this guy anything.

3) PSA/DNA - Cyrkin writes: “we’re dedicated to protecting you against buying autographs that aren’t genuine.“ Cyrkin’s a co-founder of this what do you call it. If you laid down all the PSA/DNA COA’s that have been mis-authenticated you would be shocked to see how long a road that would be.

Last but not least Cyrkin states: “…we help you learn how to tell if autographs are real or forgeries.” That statement is a belly buster. Steve (anti-Semite) Crykin’s autogarph selling website has been shut down for two years. He admitted in writing he was pulling forgeries from his inventory. It’s been two years, how many forgeries does he have? For crying out loud, he knows so little about autographs he has offered a fake autograph as a prize in his magazine.

At this point we can find only one person who still supports the survival of Autograph magazine and we can assure you this person is one who gets a free ad in Autograph magazine.

www.autographalert.com recently ran a poll. Fifty emails were sent to collectors and dealers asking if they support Cyrkin and his magazine.

Most responses read about the same so we will give you a sample of just a few:

“I dropped the subscription over a year ago…”

“No, after all I read the past few years I never renewed…”

“No, I haven’t and the sad part is I don’t really care. I use to LOVE that magazine and look forward to it every month, but it has gone from being a top trade magazine to a useless, pointless, boring rag…”

“..I wasn’t even aware the magazine was still being put out. It was once a very informative magazine, the pulse of the hobby but the last issue I received, some four years ago was a joke. The magazine did not care what I as a reader wanted to know or hear about. It had a story about some C-Star extra in a B-rated monster film I could care less about. Another stupid story about Star Wars toys written by some collector and a bunch of out dated addresses. Quite frankly, one could learn more about autograph collecting from watching Entertainment Tonight. I heard the magazine switched to a web site where they attack their non advertisers which doesn’t surprise me based on the lack of management they had when I thought it was still in existence.”

“…I believe the paper wasted on printing the last two years of Autograph magazine would have been put to better use making toilet paper. I’m sick over the damage the owner Steve Cyrkin has done to our hobby. In addition he has sold many questionable items through his defunct Starbrite autograph business. Now, he’s going after some good people in this hobby simply to keep the eyes and pressure off himself. The man appears to be pure evil. I cancelled my subscription right after his anti-Semitic remarks. I also see who advertises in that magazine and that alone speaks for itself. I can’ see how anyone could associate themselves with Cyrkin and his magazine as a writer, subscriber or advertiser unless they are cut out of the same mold…”

“…I’m surprised you didn’t mention in your last article that Autograph magazine hasn’t shipped out the July issue OR the August 2010 isssue, and very little has been conveyed to the reader base as to why….”

Some we have spoken to feel Cyrkin’s is having much difficulty financially due to the lack of paid advertising. Lack of support, negative emails being sent to Cyrkin about his actions and cancelled subscriptions has to be devastating. Cyrkin knowing the February 2010 issue was not going to be published made a last ditch effort to build revenue by raising his subscription rates from $29.95 a year to $39.95 a year. Cyrkin's got to be keeping busy refunding all those who want to cancel their subscriptions and get a refund not to mention all the others asking for credit for their missing magazine. Cyrkin’s thank you to those who were foolish enough to get sucked into that price increase was no publication of a July magazine. The August 2010 issue of the magazine was due weeks ago. In a week or so September should be due. Who’s holding their breathe? Who’s left that even cares?

Breaking News:
August 12, 2010
 
 
3rd Part Authenticating Companies
Still Hitting The Skids

Our spies at the National Sports Collectors Convention held in Baltimore last week tell us collectors and sellers of autographs are not supporting the 3rd party authenticating companies as much as they have in the past. During the show their were many times no one was submitting autographs for a third party “guess.”

It certainly appears more in this hobby are being educated about the scams in this part of the hobby. It still baffles us how anyone can spend money for someone's “guess” when the person who calls themselves an “expert” still can’t tell the difference between a printed signature and a signature signed with a pen. This an worse has been proven many times.

When web sites and even an autograph organization tells collectors that they do not recognize the “guesses” on any 3rd party authenticating company, that should speak volumes.

www.autographalert.com challenges anyone who works for a high profile 3rd party authenticating company to come forward and convince us with their back ground in autographs that they are even close to being an expert. We will publish their name and story! This won’t happen because it can’t.

Matter of fact, not a single person who is on the payroll of any 3rd party authenticating companies has taken a single autograph educational course. Fifteen different autograph educational courses were taught around the United States and at this time there is a basic autograph educational course available on the home page of this web site. Numerous collectors and sellers of autographs have taken this course and requested a Certificate of Completion. We can assure you, not a single person who works for any authenticating company has requested a Certificate. It appears that they just don’t care and it is reflected in their work.

For example, there is a Farrah Fawcett presently on eBay. Item number 320564399524. Identified as an index card hand signed by Farrah Fawcett, and authenticated as genuine by PSA/DNA. The items opening bid is $200. Ask a professional autograph dealer who deals in modern celebrities about this signature? They will tell you that this signature was signed by Fawcett’s secretary. They even know the name of the secretary but we won’t list that here and help educated the dummies making guesses at authenticating companies.
 
 
Secretarial Fawcett Autograph (above)
With Accompanying Certificate of Authenticity by PSA/DNA (below);
Note the tag is on the verso
 
 
Why do the professional autograph dealers know the answer but not the bozo’s at the authenticating companies? Solely because they have been proven to have little or no knowledge about autograph authenticating. More sickening, is PSA/DNA who hasn’t a clue about Farrah Fawcett’s signature and those of countless others are one of the authenticators for eBay. Countless honest sellers of genuine autographs have had their genuine items removed from eBay and in many cases the seller has been removed only because they are targeted by one of eBay’s authenticators. The only way to get back on eBay is to pay one of eBay’s approved authenticators to come to your office and stick on their worthless stickers that are unsightly and most probably will over long term do damage to your item. According to one major dealer. He paid $5,000 for one of eBay’s approved authenticators to come to his office. These two persons were not able to even identify many of the signatures. They applied stickers and a little fairy dust to all the items they once failed and now for a whopping fee all the same items were now instantly genuine.

Back to the National Convention, the latest gimmick by James Spence of JSA is asking most everyone “where did you get the item?” Based on what he was told the item was instantly authentic or not likely authentic. It’s gotten to the point if the person who holds a position of being called an autograph authenticator and they know you, like you and you spend money with them, then what you sell is authentic. It has become a fraternity of self proclaimed scammers. What ever happened to “Let me see and examine the autograph.” Let me examine the ink and paper and compare the signature to the dozens of genuinely known exemplars from the same period that I have behind my curtain.” Guess it no longer makes a difference, if you don’t know how to authenticate than you authenticate the item based on the source.

We said it before and we’ll say it again, your barber needs a license to give a $10 haircut but these scammers can take a worthless pure white baseball, with a forged signature of Babe Ruth, write a COA stating it’s genuine and the ball sells to some ignorant collector for $50,000+. They get away with this because these scammers will tell you their “guess’ is backed by nothing. No guarantees. No anything. Just an “uneducated” opinion!

Anyone notice the Better Business Bureau has dropped PSA/DNA’s rating to an “F.”

Breaking News:
August 11, 2010
 
 
Our National Treasures Are Being Stolen

Paul Brachfeld a former Secret Service Agent is the Inspector General of the National Archives. The National Archives holds approximately 10 million documents and reports state that some of our national treasures are missing from this institution.

Just a few of the missing items include:

The Wright Brothers 1903 flying machine patent publication.
Target maps of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Telegrams written by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
A copy of the Dec. 8, 1941 “Day of Infamy” speech hand signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

During the last few years a team of manuscript experts representing history organizations on Capitol Hill are screening catalogs, auctions and web sites of approximately 60 autograph dealers around the United States. The investigators are part of what is called “Operation Historic Protector.” The screeners have found nearly 400 suspicious documents that were for sale. This information has been forwarded to the National Archives.

At an autograph show held in Alexandria, Virginia, two investigators from the National Archives moved throughout the room looking for possible stolen documents.

It’s not only the National Archives who is suffering from thefts. Many wills of famous personalities and sports legends are missing from court houses around the country. WWI General Billy Mitchell’s records of his divorce are missing from the court house in Milwaukee. In addition, copies of his divorce records that were held in his Army files at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis are also missing.

Brachfeld states the Office of Management and Budget has refused his request for an increase in funds to support his team. His goal is to build up his group joining a network of outside experts who will tip off his agents.

The Archival Recovery team is asking the American public to help find missing documents which rightfully belong to them. They published a pamphlet on how to recognize an historical federal document and who to call if you find one.

Breaking News:
August 10, 2010
 
Who The Hell Is Josh Board,
Or Is It Josh Bored?
“The New Quasi Collectible Hair Expert”

www.autographalert.com was forwarded an email regarding a story put on that fledging internet site run by Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin of Autograph Collector magazine.

A posting was made by a Josh Board or Josh Bored. We made a handful of phone calls to find out who this yo-yo is. One individual who used to get Autograph magazine thought he may be associated with the magazine in some way.

Well that explains it all! Seems like it’s getting much harder to find something accurate when is it associated with this rag.

You have to listen to what this one writes, it’s pathetic and look at the circles he mixes.

“….What I always tell people when famous hair goes on the market - I play racquetball with a guy whose mom had a best friend that cut Elvis’ hair. The woman decided to save some of it off the floor (did she sweep the floor after the last person got their haircut?) in a bag. She got a call from a guy a month later (how did he know she swept up hair from a barbershop floor?) that wanted to buy it. She figured…what am I gonna do with this bag of hair (you must have thought about that before you decided to sweep the floor or what else would you have saved it) Might as well sell it.

She made an easy $500 or something (explain something, just curious). The guy that bought the hair told someone else, who called and was willing to pay thousands. (Now who can we imagine that would be?) She was about to say ‘I don’t have anymore.’ She then realized, her floors fill with LOTS of black hair (just like they were when she got the first batch?) and she took some random hair of the barber shop floor the next day, and that’s what she sold the guy.” This lady who is knowingly selling fake hair, shouldn’t she be considered for autograph sainthood? Nice people this Josh Board and his mom associate with.

Well doesn’t that explain a lot. Remember when the bag of Elvis hair sold at Mastro’s auction. Wasn’t it authenticated by the disgraced John Reznikoff. Didn’t the buyer have the hair DNA’d and was proven the hair was not genuine. Mastro had to refund we believe was $150,000.

Board continues with this madness. “I often see locks of Elvis hair on a card (we can’t find a single person who can claim they see locks of Elvis hair on a card, selling at auction for a mere $25. I laugh, knowing it could be the fake Elvis hair” (at best there is a very small piece cut from a single strand. Board must be seeing locks through the bulging eyes of John Reznikoff.)
 
Here’s where it gets better. We can only find one company who made a card containing a small strand of what is said to be hair from Elvis. As Board continue to laugh, he can start to cry if he ever sees the back of the card.

Back of the cards read in part: “Certificate of Authenticity, Certified Authentic. The accompanying Elvis Presley hair was acquired from the April 23, 2003 MastroNet Auction lot #583 and was originally obtained from…..The Elvis Presley hair was examined and authenticated by John Reznikoff of University Archives…..as stated by MastroNet…..” Also Certified as genuine (obviously a rubber stamp authentication) by Global Authentication.

Assuming Josh Board is still laughing he just slammed John Reznikoff, one of the last of the full page advertisers in Autograph Magazine. A complete circle jerk. When will the collectors of celebrity hair be convinced they just collected the wrong thing?

Josh, you got us all laughing now!

Breaking News:
August 6, 2010
 
Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin of Autograph Magazine
Up To His Neck In The Autograph Cesspool

The autograph hobby will never forget and will never let Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin forget his remarks calling a Jewish autograph dealer a “kike.” The problem continues to have legs as Cyrkin has been given several opportunity’s to apologize for his horrific remarks and he has refused to do so. All this means is that Cyrkin stands behind his nauseating words and the autograph community is making him pay dearly for it.

Secondly, Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin clearly goes off the deep end by calling a well respected autograph dealer and historian a “forger.” Cyrkin was proven 100% dead wrong. He has been given several opportunities to apologize and refuses. Steve “anti_Semite” Cyrkin only hopes the autograph community will forget and this will go away. That is not going to happen until an apology is received.

Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin of Autograph Magazine has had his hands full with problems. Unpaid taxes has been ongoing for years not to mention not long ago loosing his business license.

Even Cyrkin, who is the leader of the so called “White Hat Gang” is experiencing problems with his own members. They can play Cyrkin like a fine instrument. How does one get a very unusual and rare few page interview in Cyrkin’s Autograph magazine, when it is printed? It seems all a person needs to do is drop their full page ad for several issues and “voila” you get a free few page interview promoting yourself. Of course your full page ad has to start in the same issue as the interview. This is a fine example of the band leading the conductor! Imagine, the industry’s only part time magazine is so hard up that they promote as legitimate someone who took part in the largest sale of forged autographs in the history of our hobby. The advertisers partner went to prison. We have yet to find one person who got a refund. How embarrassing or worse is that? Then you read Cyrkin’s own BS: “we’re dedicated to protecting you against buying autographs that weren’t genuine.”

Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin’s Autograph Magazine when published is a shade of its former self. Subscribers are still looking for their February 2010 issue. A true sign there are major troubles ahead.

The anemic looking April 2010 issue also has its share of problems. The US subscription rate is still raised to an insulting $39.95 and the cost to International subscribers is a whopping $79.95. In this issue Cyrkin even insults some of his advertisers. He wastes a page of the magazine printing his version of an “Autograph Approved Dealer List.” Out of the hundreds of professional autograph dealers in the world, his list contains the names of only 14 dealers/auction houses. He recommends his own defunct website Starbrite Autographs. This site has been closed down for nearly two years. The site still reads it will re-open August 6 (2009). Cyrkin once stated he was puling the fake autographs out of his inventory. How long is this going to take? If Cyrkin has any power over his own site (some say it was shut down by a higher power) he can at least change the date to 2010, 2011 or 2012.

PSA/DNA is another company on his recommended list. This a company which he helped found and he is a stockholder. Something wrong here? Maybe a very serious conflict of interest? Cyrkin lists Safka & Bareis Autographs and Main Street Fine Books & Autographs which are non advertisers yet he insults two of his advertisers Brian & Maria Green and LCG Signatures who are running ads but not qualified to make his “Approved Dealer” page.

The above and more are reasons why the industry is flocking away from Steve Cyrkin. Loss of subscribers, major advertisers and now even writers are dropping Cyrkin and Autograph magazine. Noticeably contributing writers such as Jon Allan, Steve Grad, Richard Jurek, Seth Kaller, Ron Keurajian, Kevin Nelson and Anthony Pizzitola are no longer listed since the Cyrkin scandals unfolded.

Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin seems to thrive on keeping negative fires burning throughout our hobby. Many feel Cyrkin needs to be shut down. Cyrkin goes after those who expose his insanity. For instance Cyrkin’s comments calling a Jewish autograph dealer a ‘kike” was brought to light by Stephen Koschal who thought the comment was sickening even to a non-Jew. Cyrkin tries to turn the tables against Koschal by sending an email dated June 10, 2010 to an autograph dealer we shall not name here. In this email Cyrkin states: “…your friend Koschal has been called anti-Semitic, even by Mike Frost….” Koschal was recently advised of this latest Cyrkin insanity and he was sent a copy of Cyrkin’s email. Koschal was well aware of how dangerous a person Cyrkin is but was basically in shock finally seeing in black and white how low Cyrkin can go. Koschal knew in his heart that Mike Frost could never say that about him. This is nothing more than another example of Cyrkin stirring the pot with outright lies and spewing hate throughout our entire hobby and industry.

Koschal’s next move was to email Mike Frost advising him what Cyrkin said. As expected Frost responded in writing: “…what are they (Cyrkin) crazy? I have never said nor heard that you (Koschal) were anti-Semitic! The only anti-Semitic remarks I have ever heard in this hobby have come from Steve Cyrkin…..!” Frost continues: “I have in no way ever thought or have I believed that you were in any way racist or anti-Semitic. I have spent 100’s of hours with you and never have I heard you even say an anti-Semitic joke or statement. You were the first person to speak up and be alarmed at the Steve Cyrkin anti-Semitic and racists comments. As far as Steve Cyrkin is involved I do not even like to mention him or think about this type of low life racist animal. He has been exposed and I do not even wish to think of him and his negative lies and propaganda again. Thank You, Mike Frost.”

The International autograph community has to ask itself why does Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin make up false statements, then spread his lies which continue to create havoc within our hobby? Numerous autograph professionals have told him he is wrong and to stop?

To continue to pollute the hobby, ever since Cyrkin has made his anti-Semite and yes even racist statements he has created a website. Has anyone counted the messages from collectors complaining about their dealings with Roger Epperson that have been posted on the site and immediately taken down by Steve Cyrkin?

Cyrkin’s website is a farce to say the least. His site is corrupt, by Cyrkin’s own admission. Cyrkin allows his few followers and cohorts, to use false names, to write messages on the site that approve of Cyrkin’s actions and those of his three member “White Hat Gang.” Unfortunately a few uneducated readers read these mostly fabricated messages, get tangled in Cyrkin’s web of deceit and respond. Cyrkin censors the messages hourly. Anything in favor of one of the fake messages is left on the site, anything supporting those who have exposed him is instantly removed.

The following is a email from Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin responding to a person who is questioning messages that are left on Cyrkin’s blog. They claim the information is wrong and misleading. Cyrkin admits he is aware that messages on his site are spurious.
 ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: FW: Come join me on Autograph Magazine Live!
From: "Steve Cyrkin <steve.cyrkin@autographmagazine.com>
Date: Sat, June 19, 2010 2:48 pm
To:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't know who Mike Miller is, and like some he may not be using his
real name. Unfortunately, we're very limited with what we're allowed to
and can edit ……… It's the rules we
have to go by to help assure our immunity from liability.
Thanks,

Steve Cyrkin Autograph Media

So here you have it, Cyrkin admits messages on his site are by persons that are not using their real names. They can’t use their real names, they are cohorts of Cyrkin and they are posting erroneous information that just continues to stir the pot of hatred. They are posting things Cyrkin wants up on his blog. Hiding their names, using false Id’s and writing false information. The poor uneducated readers fall for this game and take the time to respond. It certainly appears Cyrkin’s Blog is no better than his failing magazine!
 
Has Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin hurt the hobby and collectors? Those who are educated and understand the damage this man has done and continue to do are sending him emails. Some are even hate emails. The following email we can only quote in part because of the nature of the content:
 

From: (we have to refrain from posting their name)
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 9:39 PM
To: Steve Cyrkin
Subj: Come Join me on Autograph magazine Live!

“Cyrkin, you are an atheist, an anti-Semite, a loser, and a queer. So many people have written me saying you are crazy…..you remind me of a drowning rat…you are so sick that I can’t even feel sorry for you. It is so sad that you have to send me this email to try and convince me that you have friends……”

The above was in response to Cyrkin’s request for this collector to join Cyrkin on his blog.
 
A Florida Autograph Collector is told by one of Cyrkin’s “White Hat Gang” that the autographs he sold were fake. The following email is sent to a collector from Roger Epperson. Epperson admits he sold fake autographs to the collector.

Subject: Re: PIECES PURCHASED FROM SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED
Date: 2/14/2009 9:06:57 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: rogerssd@ix.netcom.com
Reply To:
To: jondris@aol.com

you know, i now realized that all the autographs i sold you were fake. i will refund the purchase price like agreed according to my ny catalog policy. please return them asap as the catalog states or they will be yours as stated by the purchaser agreement. i cannot at this time admit that they are in fact authentic. i have the original purchase agreemants here and will refund you in full you r purchase price.

roger r Epperson
 

The collector goes to Cyrkin’s Autograph Live blog and posts Epperson’s admission of selling fake autographs. Within minutes the message was taken down by Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin!
 
The Collector writes and complains to Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin about his supporting Epperson.
 

 Subj: WHY CAN’T ROGER SHOW US THE 3 ITEM I SIGNED FOR
Date: 7/6/2010 12:32:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From: JOondris@aol.com
To: steve.cyrkin@autographmagazine.com
Cc: autograph alert.com

MR CYRKIN......
IT APPEARS THAT YOU ARE COVERING FOR ROGER EPPERSON..IF YOUR MAGAZINE IS UNBIASED AS YOU CLAIM HOW DO YOU ALLOW HIM TO STEAL FROM MEMBERS OF THE AUTOGRAPH COMMUNITY ?
STOP BLAMING THE NEGATIVE STUFF ON FORGERS WHO WANT HIM OUT OF THE INDUSTRY. ROGER IS A THEIF WHO STOLE MY MONEY WHEN HE FAILED TO DELIVER WHAT I PAID FOR...

At this point you have clear evidence of misconduct of Roger Epperson and I ask you how with clear mind and holding yourself to the highest moral character can you continue to iucensor me for telling the truth on your forums in regards to Roger.

Steve (Cyrkin), at the very least it appears you are covering for Roger and allowing him to "duck the issue" or Roger can produce the three times I signed for the info as he claims to have , why is it that Roger is now running ......
Until Roger Epperson either admits he failed to pay for services rendered or produce the documentation that HE CLAIMS TO HAVE you have sacrificed your ethics and I must inform others of your bias.

Respectfully,

 
Cyrkin’s response:
 
In a message dated 7/6/2010 2:08:17 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, steve.cyrkin@autographmagazine.com writes:

Every dealer sells fake autographs in their career. The reputable ones sell them mistakenly and admits it. The disreputable ones don’t. Roger is one of the reputable ones.
Steve Cyrkin
Publisher

Why doesn’t Cyrkin just tell the truth? He has seen all of Epperson’s blunders. He has seen all the newly made albums signed by people who were dead over ten years before the albums were produced and authenticated “as genuine” by Epperson. Cyrkin has read Epperson’s writings about what Jimi Hendrix would not write and Epperson proven wrong again and again and again. Why can’t Cyrkin just come out for once, and tell the truth and that is Epperson is one of Cyrkin’s last advertisers. Perfect example of the captain willing to go down with his ship!
 
The Florida Autograph Collector Pins Down Cyrkin:
 

Subj: Re: I have asked you nicely
Date: 7/6/2010 2:28:07 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From: Jondris@aol.com
To: steve.cyrkin@autographmagazine.com

Steve ,
I assume you consider yourself to be a leader in the autograph community and I have a hard time understanding how Roger Epperson who admits that he sold fakes and then takes money for COA's for the same autographs he previously stated were fakes and then he never delivers all of the CERTS he was paid for basically stealing from me and you consider him to be an honest guy?
 
Why don't you arbitrate this and ask roger to send you the 3 set of numbers proving I signed for 3 packages in 2009 and 2010.....let ROGER prove himself to you I will make a deal with you ....I put 10,000 dollars in a trust account AFTER Roger signs an affidavit under the penalty of perjury and then show where I signed for 3 envelopes per his email AND if he can prove it you keep the money ...if he can't you then allow me to write a 2 page article in your magazine about Roger selling me fake autographs ..
DO YOU WANT TO TAKE MY 10 GRAND?

No Response From Cyrkin. All messages that are posted by this collector on Cyrkin’s blog are instantly removed by Cyrkin. Thus the autograph community is having news censored by Cyrkin. Neo-Stalinist Cold War Tactics!
Keep the facts away from his blogs readers.

Another Collector Leaving the Hobby Over
Steve (anti-Semite) Cyrkin

Subj: Re: How come???
Date: 7/5/2010 3:48:34 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From: Jondris@aol.com
To:raiderman_16@yahoo.com, steve.cyrkin@autographmagazine,com
cc: Autographalert.com

The reality is that this is the exact reason that I will not buy stuff anymore and that I am no longer acquiring items, I can now go around and say that STEVE CYRKIN has done me wrong...

How does Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin settle this matter. After all his “White Hat Gang” boy has admitted to selling “fake” autographs. Cyrkin not only removes the collectors messages from his blog but this is Cyrkin’s response to the autograph collector.

“You have been suspended from Autograph Magazine Live!”
Autograph Magazine is having losses in readership, subscribers, advertisers and contributing writers. Clearly the autograph community is sending a message to Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin. GO AWAY, the hobby is better off without you!!
Breaking News:
August 1, 2010
 
www.autographalert.com
Offers Its Help to the UACC

The UACC has been admitting for some time that they are in financial difficulty. The president of the club states in writing that during 2009 he was hiding under his desk avoiding ALL the UACC creditors.

In an effort to try and stabilize the autograph hobby and pump some much needed life into the troubled UACC, the officers of www.autographalert.com have voted to help the UACC out of its financial difficulties.

www.autographalert.com requests the UACC emails them the club’s last two accountants financial reports listing all expenditures and income. At our expense, we will have the reports examined by an independent accounting firm and pass all recommendations to the Board of Directors of the UACC.

www.autographalert.com does not want to see any autograph club disintegrate, therefore we offer an extended hand.

The email address for www.autographalert.com is: autographalert@aol.com

Breaking News:
July 30, 2010
 
www.autographalert.com Calls for UACC
President’s Resignation A Second Time

Numerous collectors and dealers have long predicted the current state of the UACC. It is a horrible disaster!

Go back on this web site and read just some of the stories about the UACC.
 
 April 2005: “UACC Problems Continue to Escalate”

January 2007: “The Universal Autograph Collectors Club, A Shadow of its Former Self”

February 2007: “UACC Latest Scandal? Deceit? Incompetence?”

May 2007: “UACC Takes One Giant Step Backwards”

May 2007: “UACC - Hello Anybody Home?”

June 2007: “UACC Problems Continue”

July 2007: “UACC and The Evil That Lurks Within”

September 2007: “UACC - Has The Club Become Delusional?”

September 2007: “UACC _ Problems Continue to Escalate”

November 2007: “UACC’s Latest Blunder”
 
Michael Hecht has been president of this club since March 1, 2004. In the view of many, the club has deteriorated tremendously. This is being witnessed by the Executive Board who basically sit silent.

Some of the stories above refer to scandals and more such as “Hecht Gate” and “Michael's Folly.” A lengthy (must read) ethic’s charges were filed against Michael Hecht and published in the September 2007 story on this web site. The failing club which “boasts” of having an ethics board would not even acknowledge receiving the ethics complaint. There were several requests to act on the complaint but the “Pick & Choose” ethics board sat silent and covered their president‘s derriere. The September 2007 story clearly called for the resignation of Michael Hecht.

Members of the club can believe it, as bad as things were, they got considerably worse. Empty promises continued and Hecht sang while Rome (UACC) burned. Under Hecht’s presidential term, membership fees have increased and the members got less. Promises of an improved club journal fell very short.

The last several issues, of the journal that were actually published (2008-9) are difficult to read and were based on single themes. For example, if you are not interested in astronauts, that entire journal was a waste of your time and money.

The club is overwhelmed with problems, many of which have been ongoing for a very long time. The club boasts about having an ethic’s board however few members are aware that not all complaints are even acknowledged by the Board. Before Hecht, the last two president’s of the UACC had serious ethic’s charges filed against them. Not one was acknowledged by the ethic’s board yet the club will waste much of it’s time attacking non members of the UACC. All this allowed under the watch of puppet president Michael Hecht and his Board of Directors.

Dwindling membership for years, yet the members watch as the Board give themselves awards. This caper has become an industry travesty.

Hecht appears to be so out of touch that he can’t even list the correct address for the UACC web site in his message in the April 2010 issue of Autograph magazine.

Continuing “Hecht’s Folly”, 2009 was a disaster for the club. During late 2009 he foolishly stated that the autograph world has much to be happy about in 2010. He says: “First, it is no longer 2009.” Is this guy even awake or is he capable of talking while in a coma? Yes, 2009 was a horrific year for the UACC. However, it is now halfway through 2010. For those in the US paying a whopping $35 membership fee did anyone receive a January/February issue of the club journal? How about a March/April issue or a May/June issue? Hecht is still spewing words like “the UACC is moving forward…” Enough is enough of the pathetic BS! What’s funnier is they still are wondering why the membership continues on its downward spiral. Is everyone happy with Hecht’s “New UACC?”

Hecht finally admitted in the last issue of the club journal way back in “Fall 2009” “our loyal readership is down.” Well how loyal were they, Mr. Hecht? They flew the coup as they got little or basically nothing for their $35. Hecht stated in the March 2008 issue that his goal was to double the club membership and in the course of one and a half years later, membership is DOWN! It’s obvious they are gone! HECHT WOULD NEARLY HAVE TO DOUBLE THE CLUB MEMBERSHIP JUST TO GET IT BACK TO 1990’S LEVELS.

In the same issue he states “the Pen & Quill could not hold to our vigorous publishing schedule, therefore missed issues…” What vigorous printing schedule, the club has been publishing the bi-monthly journal for decades? Hecht goes on….“the panic is over…” Really! That was said several months ago and there has not been a journal printed since. A recent insult to the membership was printed by Hecht: “We are back on track!” Hecht, just show us one reason how?

Hecht also has stated in their club journal that the Autograph community as a whole has fewer advertisers and for this reason the club journal (for the same high membership fees) will now be printed ONLY 4 times a year. For the record the club journal has maintained the same amount of advertisers for many issues. As a matter of fact one needs only to go back to 2006 and see that UACC advertisers have increased over 20%. So more bloody hot air from Michael Hecht.

Someone needs to wake up Hecht and ask him how one cannot have a negative attitude watching a 40+ year club collapse? How can you not have critics?

It appears what’s left of the club is basically a web site for the $35 a year membership fee. A web site that anyone with a computer can access FOR NOTHING! The club has been around since 1965, tries to impress it’s members that the club web site gets 425, 000 hits a year. That figure means very little. It’s not the number of hits that are important it the number of visits that means something, a figure they don’t reveal. For Hecht who ran for president with the goal of increasing membership, this is an embarrassment. For example, the www.autographalert.com web site is enjoying and celebrating it’s fifth anniversary. In a little less than the last twelve months, from July 2009 through the middle of June 2010 this site received 2,775,497 hits. Clearly more than six times the hits of the UACC web site.

Hecht continues his diatribe, stating others who are critics of the UACC post lies and have negative attitudes. Easy to say but why can’t he just come up with one of the so called lies? Simply more empty words and statements backed by nothing but more hot air from Michael Hecht.

The UACC seems to thrive on posting mis-information, white lies and fabricated stories about people who are not even members of the UACC. To mention a couple, the UACC posted wrong information on it’s web site about what they were told were so called forgeries of autographs of the rare autograph of Charles Russell. The club claimed the so called forgeries was coming out of Florida. They were proven wrong by a non UACC member. Before publishing the erroneous story, wasn’t there anyone in the UACC capable of correctly authenticating the signature of Charles Russell? The story was removed with no apologizes. Just hopes that the clubs blunder would fade away going unnoticed. Another article on the club web site was about non UACC member Stephen Koschal. The article was as inaccurate as any could possibly be. It was basically fabricated. This story was also removed. They went to the trouble of making it appear they were quoting from an interview with another non UACC member, Mike Frost. They tried desperately to get Frost to say negative things about Koschal, actually trying to put words in his mouth. www.autographalert.com spoke with Mike Frost and he clearly stated that he did not say what the UACC wrote about Koschal. He stated Al Wittnebert wrote the story. This is so unprofessional and deceitful, enough said. All of this allowed while Mike Hecht as president of the club wears a blindfold.

It certainly appears the Board of Directors can’t get their own club in order yet they continue to chase after non members who only illustrate the club’s shortfalls. This can only happen and will probably continue until the club has something positive to say about itself.

The following are on the Executive Board of the UACC. Anthony Pizzitola, Dave Ginsberg, Al Wittnebert, Andy Alas (see past story on this web site about this character, a must read) Al Hallonquist, Ben Benson and Dave Phillips (UK). Many feel these people are also responsible for the last two years of disaster of the UACC. Some we have spoken to feel there needs to be a suicide watch for some of those on the Executive Board.

No magazines, no publishing costs, no mailing costs for six months, this is a whopping savings for the club. Yet, Hecht in the last issue of the UACC magazine that was published, way back in the Winter 2009 stated: “we would still be hiding under desks, hoping to avoid ALL of the UACC creditors.”

How many club members knew the club officers were hiding under their desks? However, at the same time told you of all their great expectations.

Many in the hobby would love to see an account of the club’s finances. Not something thrown together from a club treasurer, but a report from an independent accountant like they used to publish in the Pen & Quill. When was the last time this club published a report from the club accountant? It’s been decades! As an estimate, say the club is down to about 1,000 US members. At $35 a pop that’s $35,000. Let’s say they have 100 foreign members at $50 each which equates to $5,000. Now take a look at the registered dealer program. This membership has almost collapsed to a low of about 166 members from 302 @ $75 each per year. Take that $12,450, plus $35,000, plus $5,000 and the intake should be approximately $52,450.00. Let’s not even consider the huge amount of money being taken in by advertisers in the phantom Pen & Quill and the money coming in from the sale of back issues and the items in the UACC Warehouse. Go with the very low figure of $52,450 and look at the so called expenses? No magazines, no mailing costs, no shows, no membership directory no anything and the president is hiding under his desk from ALL the UACC creditors. How could this happen? The UACC Treasurer has supposedly decades of experience? Where’s the club management? Is anyone watching the cookie jar?

Those with publishing experience of small journals will tell you that the revenue from advertising should easily pay for the cost of the club journal.

Remaining members of the UACC should be outraged. Pretty soon, in the months to come, it will be time to send your dues once again. That will equate to another $52,000+ for a web site you can access for free. How much abuse is the remaining members of this club willing to take? How many of them would have sent in their dues last year if they knew what was coming?

In an effort to wake up the board of directors of the UACC, at least one autograph dealer is offering a 10% discount to all non members of the UACC.

The UACC is a club that has since its inception counted its own votes in the elections of club officers. This is the problem, they were told this decades ago, solutions were given and ignored. This UACC mess was predicted!

Hecht has been at the helm, he has witnessed his club go down the drain under his time as president. It is also quite obvious he has little power in making change.

In the best interests of the hobby, and to help get the club off life support, it’s way past time for Michael Hecht to step down and resign his position as president.

Breaking News:
July 28, 2010
 
UACC President Strikes A Low Blow

What is going on with UACC president Michael Hecht? Where is his head and where is he coming from?

Has anyone read the latest words from his pen? Shocking doesn’t even come close to express the feeling for many of those we have talked to. It almost appears that Hecht is doing things on purpose to loose club membership.

You can probably count on one hand how many members of the UACC want to be associated with one of the autograph hobbies “bad boy,” the disgraced Herman Darvick.

This is the same Herman Darvick who was expelled from the UACC over 20 years ago by the club’s ethics committee. He has basically been in exile ever since

The whole situation seems to be some sort of joke. This disgraced bad boy has been chased for years by those trying to get refunds. Darvick was stressed using funds from his auction sales that should have been given to consignors. He used that money to build an extension on his house. At his young age, in December 1999 the stressed caused him to have a heart attack. It required open heart surgery having a quintuple by-pass. Not a year later in October 2001 the evil Darvick wrote to an author: “I’ll write something great for the book jacket which will really upset the UACC.” This disgraced bad boy has truly expressed he has no love for the UACC.

On January 27, 2001 Darvick continued to spew his venom. He talked about Michael Hecht and how much Hecht was involved in Darvick’s expulsion from the UACC. At the time Hecht was a member of the so-called Ethic’s Committee. Even as long ago as 2001 Darvick was saying “maybe one day the UACC will get back to its roots. Maybe there should be term limits for officers. At least one officer has been there too long.” The officer that Darvick referred to is still running the club from behind the scene.

Hence, the club has been in a downward spiral for quite some time. Their huge loss of both collector and dealer membership is embarrassing. The club journal that they promised to be an improvement turned out to be a disaster. The club officers decided to give some lame excuse why they will no longer run six issues a year of the club journal and reduce it to four issues and still charge the same high membership dues. Do they think what’s left of the membership is stupid?
On the UACC website, Michael Hecht announces that “we are proud to have former UACC President Herman Darvick back with us.” Darvick will be writing a monthly column for the club’s website.

Responses to Darvick’s first article one dealer writes: “piggy backing of the deceased, how sweet. One witness you cannot call to court to verify this story is the dead he writes about. In doing so he attempts to use sympathy of the dead and an organization as a pedestal for his personal vendetta…even Roger Epperson called Darvick the biggest fraud rip off dealer ever…”

REMOVED FROM THE UACC WEBSITE IS THE NOTATION: “Mr. Darvick was expelled from the UACC for failure to pay a member monies owed from a sale at his auction and failing to return unsold items to the same member.” We can assure you this is not an isolated complaint as Darvick has done the same thing to others through the years.

Darvick is one very sleazy character and a known forger of presidential autographs. Forging autographs is something he can’t even deny! Darvick was very proud of his forgeries and would brag to anyone who would listen at the old UACC shows. He would sign many different presidential autographs and give the forged examples to those who would ask for them. He has openly forged several signatures in front of one of the officers of this website. We still maintain Herman Darvick’s forgeries in our files. Forgeries of Darvick’s signatures of Gerard R. Ford can be found published in the “Signature Study of Gerald R. Ford.” Darvick is also a well known liar and thief. Not only did he not return autographed items to the person who filed the ethics complaints but to others as well. As of this writing Darvick still holds boxes of items he has refused to return and much worse. We are saving that juicy story for a future article.

It certainly appears Herman Darvick has all the qualifications to be a new member in Steve “anti-semite” Cyrkin’s “White Hat Gang!”

Yes, Hecht in his own words is “proud” to have Darvick back in the club. It certainly appears that Michael Hecht is a few French Fries short of a happy meal.

How many additional club members and dealers will join the mass exodus over the last decade and resign or not renew their membership over this debacle?

Breaking News:
July 27, 2010
 
ROGER EPPERSON
POSTER BOY FOR A LOSER

Emails are coming in from all over the world about Roger Epperson, the self proclaimed autograph authenticator. Various sites now carry stories about many of Epperson’s horrific and inexcusable mistakes. They are even being posted on Steve (anti-semite) Cyrkin’s Autograph site. However, when truthful negative messages are posted about one of Cyrkin’s boys, they are usually immediately removed. The following is a very recent email received. We believe everyone who reads this message will get an understanding of the meaning of a genuine loser.
     
    A BUSINESS LEADER SHARES HIS 2 CENTS & WISDOM
    ON DEALING WITH A LOSER

    It has been disheartening for me to see a dealer named Roger Epperson
    throwing around fictitious comments on his site. It is not wise to engage
    those that have nothing to lose. Everyone can see from his writings
    alone that he is not honorable nor forthright. Have you observed that
    legitimate autograph companies have one thing in common.....None of them
    use Roger Epperson for any reason!

    I think Roger’s comments about those more honest and successful than
    himself speaks loudly. It displays he will go to the lowest ends of the
    earth in an attempt to defend his shortcomings. None should be
    intimidated by his duplicity.

    Roger claims he “calls it like it is.” This is farcical for he assumes he
    knows what it is. He couldn’t be more erroneous. What I think he meant
    to state is he calls it like he thinks or wishes it to be because Roger is
    a lifetime away from knowing what it is or is not.

    Another point of interest that I notice when I read Roger’s ostentatious
    rambling’s. He cannot spell many words nor articulate his anger and
    hatred towards others very effectively. It is improbable that he went to
    High School but his hatred towards others, his peers in this hobby is very
    evident. I would like to direct your attention where he tells his readers
    to believe in him. There is a saying that if it walks like a duck,
    quacks like a duck, than it’s a duck. Most of us trust others until we
    come across someone who tells us to do such. If your dishonest it would
    therefore make sense to remind the sucker over and over again of what you
    are not (i.e. “Trust me,” “I am honest” etc.) and this is what he does
    which is detestable at best.

    I think third party authenticators try to be accurate most of the time.
    There are many mistakes and nothing is perfect. I believe it can be
    important to get another opinion on an item that someone spends a lot of
    money on. It can give the buyer added comfort. But I do not believe
    people like Roger Epperson should be in this role. There should be
    standards in authenticators but it’s a misfortune this is not the case.

    It has become apparent to me that Roger is a very unhappy and miserable
    human being. People that display such characteristics as found in his
    writings attract other angry and unhappy people all living in denial of
    their fate. An attorney once gave me great advice when I was entertaining
    going to court over a sucker like him in my sector which is the rubber
    mold manufacturing Industry and I quote him here; “Going after losers is a
    losing proposition because they never pay the judgment because they have
    nothing, that’s why they are losers.”

    My advice to autograph alert is keep up the good work for checks and
    balances are healthy in any industry but leave the losers alone. They
    thrive off the attention they do not deserve.

    I think we have all seen enough about Roger Epperson to know what is going
    on. Its repulsive. I believe his own words and how great he thinks of
    himself have harmed him ten times more than anything I have read on your
    or any other website. I am confident that If every dealer were like
    Roger Epperson, nobody would collect. Let it go and move onto important
    issues for he is a zero. Thanks for listening.

    Sincerely,

    Walt R.

 


Breaking News:
July 24, 2010
 
Collecting Rock 'n Roll Autographs
A Very Risky Business

“When the truth is found to be lies,
And all the joy within you dies.”
 
These are the opening words from the fabulous song "Somebody to Love" by the “Queen of Rock & Roll,” Grace Slick.

These can also be the words of every autograph collector who has purchased a signature of a rock & roll celebrity that came with a COA from some self proclaimed autograph authenticator. Since the purchase, you probably discovered that your item is not genuine.

Yes, the joy within you can die and you may no longer want to collect autographs. More discouraging is when you obtained your autograph “in person” and was foolish enough to spend money to have some high profile authenticator look at it and declare your item is not genuine. This happens very often, especially with some of the incompetent authenticators used by eBay.

Many new collectors have left the autograph hobby strictly due to the mis-authenticated autographs they had purchased. The uneducated collectors trusted the “guesses” from the opinionators working for the so called autograph authenticating companies.

Remember the name Frank Caiazzo? A handful of auction houses promoted this guy as a authenticator of Beatles autographs. Don’t hear much about him anymore since his last problem regarding one of his opinions. The other individual being promoted, by just a few, as an authenticator of music, is Roger Epperson. We have in our files a lengthy email from a noted autograph dealer about a conversation he had with Epperson’s competitor Frank Caiazzo. Caiazzo said some very unbelievable things about his knowledge of Epperson’s dealings with someone referred to as Mr. Clean. (In an email from Epperson dated May 23, 2009, Epperson refers to Joe Long, known as Mr. Clean, a forger.) The details are incredible and will not be made public on this site. We’ll let Caiazzo and Epperson sort this one out!

We have emailed Mr. Epperson regarding his relationship with Mr. Clean and asked him approximately how many items he has purchased from Mr. Clean in the past. Mr. Epperson refuses to respond to this question!

For many years, non genuine rock & roll autographs have been appearing in auctions. One of the reasons is usually the owner/consignor knows or feels the signature on an album is not genuine and does not want to try and sell it under their name. They let the auction house put their name to it. A handful of auction houses feel the same and will use these incompetent authenticating companies to authenticate the item. This way the auction house bears little or no responsibility. They can all blame the authenticator when the item is eventually found to be not genuine. Some of the auction houses who played this game are no longer in business.

How many times we have seen the same rock and roll autograph once declared genuine fail years later by the same authenticating company. In many cases it’s not the autograph that’s being authenticated but who is submitting the item. This is what can determine if the item is going to pass or not.

The person who now calls himself “an expert” in the rock and roll field is Roger Epperson. His name seems to have shown up on nearly every authenticating companies list of authenticators. He was with Global, then moved on to PSA/DNA. According to an email from Epperson dated Oct. 27, 2007 he said the following about PSA/DNA: “….as to PSA, they didn’t tarnish my name at all, they tried to do so that’s why I left. Also they were very tough to collect my money….”

Now Epperson is with JSA but states in an email dated May 25, 2009: “….I won’t be working for Jimmy (Spence) forever and he knows it…..”

Roger Epperson has rubbed many people the wrong way. One collector recently emailed a dealer and wrote: “I was asking him (Roger Epperson) about a Bob Dylan today and we got to talking about stuff, and brought up mistakes made by his company, RR and others and he started to slam all the guys that I get stuff from….”

On April 16, 2002 the IACC/DA received an ethics complaint against Roger Epperson. Filed by Marty Peters, the claim is that Roger Epperson bought back a Beatles album which he had purchased from Epperson in 1994. After many requests for payment and hearing: “the check is in the mail” and “he was out of town” and ‘the check will go out tomorrow” and finally when the check didn’t come he inquired about it and Epperson’s response was ‘yea Marty I’m going to cheat you out of it!!!!”

This was the straw that broke the camel's back. The IACC/DA was holding shows around the United States for several years. Roger Epperson had a booth at almost every show but often the show promoters received complaints about the items Epperson was selling. On May 6, 2002, Epperson was sent a letter notifying him about the complaints during the last several shows and that he would not be able to have his regular booth at the next show which would be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on November 23, unless his autographs were vetted by a professional. Epperson did not respond, therefore he was not allowed to do the show or any others in the future.

Roger Epperson has a long history of purchasing fake items from forgers. In a recent email from Epperson dated September 22, 2009, he states: “I did buy a few items off Danny…one was an Elvis LP which was fake….when I realized he was starting to sell some doggy stuff, movie stuff and Hendrix sigs I didn’t contact him again.”

A few years later another high profile dealer was involved in selling forgeries. His name is Bill Linehan. In a July 28, 2009 email Epperson writes in part: “Bill Linehan supplied more than a handful of dealers with forgeries. That’s a fact, Luckily I didn’t have much money then and bought very few items off him…”

Interesting is that Epperson admits buying from forgers but it always seems that he claims to be lucky stating he didn’t buy much.

How much can anyone believe what Roger Epperson says? Remember in the paragraph above Epperson states he bought very few items of him (Linehan). Not two months later, Roger Epperson was again asked if he ever purchased items from Bill Lineman (forger). Epperson responded in his email of Sept. 15, 2009: “Did I buy from Bill? No.” Roger Epperson just got caught in a lie!

Most parents tell their children: “If you tell the truth you never have to worry about what you once said, your answer will always be the same.”

When Epperson was recently asked about another forger he was hanging out with his response via email was: “….again, if I did do something wrong back then I apologize but I can’t comment either way what happened. That was too many radiation treatments ago.”

We try to avoid at all costs getting into personal lives but Roger Epperson has recently been attacking some industry icons on a personal level on his website. For him to spread stories about someone’s 21+ year marriage while Epperson’s own marriage lasted only four years tells you a little about Epperson’s personality.

Epperson has admitted in emails that he has cancer and has had many radiation treatments. This may be one of the reasons for all his mistakes authenticating autographs. What can’t be explained is his claim to support Pez Candies and Vlasic pickles on his website.
Epperson’s State of Hypocrisy

Roger Epperson must feel he is better that others who sell autographs. He certainly holds some sort of disdane for only some of those who sell “rapists, murdering autographs.” Epperson says in his email of Sept. 16, 2009: “…no dealer I would call well respected ever sold such filth….” Epperson was referring to a dealer who sold some autographs of John Wayne Gacy. We checked our files and the following are just some of the dealers who have sold items by John Wayne Gacy. Mark Allen Baker, editor and publisher of the UACC’s Pen & Quill is presently selling a collection of bad guys including Gacy, Berkowitz, Dahmer, the Menendez brothers and much more. Others who have handled Gacy items are Leland’s Auctions, Gallery of History, Lone Star Autographs, Walter Burks Autographs, Stephen Koschal, History Makers, JFF Company, Todd Mueller Autographs, Remember When Auctions, RR Auctions and many more. Doesn’t Epperson work for RR Auctions? I’m sure RR Auction is pleased to know that Epperson doesn’t respect them.

If this is what Epperson thinks of those who sell Gacy signed items what does he think of those who sell Lee Harvey Oswald or Hitler signed items?

www.autographalert.com checked its files and found many dealers who have handled Oswald or Hitler items. They include Charles Hamilton, Alexander Autographs, Robert Batchelder, Nates Autographs, Remember When Auctions, Paul Hartunian Autographs, RR Auctions, The History Buff, Lone Star Autographs, Mastonet, Gary Hendershott, Signature House, EAC Gallery, Gallery of History, Profiles in History, Smythe Auctions, Christies Auction House and so many more.

Interesting Epperson stated: “..no dealer I would call well respected ever sold such filth.” Who else but a dummkopf could make such a statement? Not only is Epperson’s statement stating some of the above are not well respected, in his opinion, a handful of them use Epperson for his “guesses” and or “opinions.” Very, very embarrassing!

Epperson continues to rant and states he only sells rock and roll. Many of the rock and roll celebrity autographs he sells are drug addicts, outlaws, many are associated with crime, attempted murderers and some have committed suicide even by hanging. Some of the autographs he sells are Pete Doherty who is now an artist and will sign his artwork using his own blood, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, P. Diddy, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Keith Richards,, Jim Morrison, Ozzy Ozborne, Kurt Cobain, Corey ‘C-Murder’ Miler, Richard Manuel, Lead Belly, Nichole Ritchie, Amy Winehouse, Vince Neal, Simon LeBon, Steven Tyler, Britney Spears, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Is it possible that Roger Epperson, based on what he sells, doesn’t even respect himself?

Mr. Epperson claims he is an expert with the signatures of bob Dylan. Lately, Mr. Epperson has been whining about a Bob Dylan signed portrait he purchased from a reputable dealer in 1993. Epperson who claims he only deals in music and is a Dylan expert purchased this signed photo. He held this photo in his personal collection for 16 years and now because he dislikes the dealer who sold it to him, Epperson is claiming the Dylan is “an obvious forgery.” Epperson will not say who stated the item is a forgery and he has been asked this on three different occasions. As expected, no response from Epperson. Interesting, Mr. Epperson has recently emailed a music collector stating: “I will not authenticate any Bob Dylan material from after 1985...his signature has become far too inconsistent….” This does make Epperson look foolish as he purchased the above which was signed in the early 1990’s. In addition, Epperson was reminded that when he purchased the photo, it came with a lengthy detailed handwritten letter from an extremely well known “in person” collector who lives in Brooklyn. The letter explained in detail the time and place when Dylan signed the portrait. Mr. Epperson can’t recall the letter, maybe too many radiation treatments ago.

Not long ago we got another complaint from a female collector who contacted us who works for a charity auction. She stated: “we only get our signatures face to face.” She continues: “I recently had a gentleman win an item we provided to an auction that was signed by U2. I know it was good because we were face to face with the band. This guy Roger Epperson was asked by the winner of the item to authenticate it and Epperson stated it was not real.” The pattern continues of Epperson apparently being unable to authenticate autographs accurately that were obtained in person.

There are many more complaints about Epperson however one thing in Epperson’s responses to collectors is his habit of being crude. He tends to respond by calling his correspondent a “moron” or “the way I handled…was the way I handle idiots.”

Sports and modern entertainment autographs at one time were the fields of collecting to be cautious. With modern music selling for high prices, collectors are walking through a minefield of fake autographs authenticated as genuine by so called autograph authenticators.

In some cases, depending on who you are and how much business you give the authenticator, paying for their opinion can also control the outcome of the opinion.

It certainly appears that Mr. Epperson does not think highly of many of his peers. However, the following are two emails he has written to www.autographalert.com. On Sept. 20, 2009 Epperson writes: “I’ve learned so much from this site. Thank You, I am now a real autograph authenticator…you are the greatest.” The very next day we received another email from him. Sept, 21, 2009 he writes; “I know I just can’t stop learning….I’m filled with new found knowledge! I feel like I need to tell the whole world!”

www.autographalert.com recommends collectors who want to purchase autographed items in the field of rock and roll to only purchase from a reputable dealer. It is most important to understand their rules for return. Also recommended are those auction houses who do their own authentication They do not rely on outsiders and stand behind what they offer.

Breaking News:
July 22, 2010
 
RR Auction Doesn’t Do The Right Thing!
Neil Armstrong's Customs Declaration Form,
Allegedly Stolen, Seized From Auction House
 
What’s wrong with Bob Eaton of RR Auction? Does he not have common sense?

When someone comes to any legitimate autograph dealer or auction house and they offer for sale an “Official” legal document belonging to the United States of America, what is the first thing you would think of? You are absolutely right, no question, it’s stolen!

That light bulb doesn’t go off inside Bob Eaton’s head. Someone offered Eaton a United States Customs Declaration filled out and signed by Neil A. Armstrong and Eaton went for it.

When was the last time anyone saw an original United States Customs Declaration for sale, anywhere?
 
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong’s Stolen Custom Declaration Form Offered by RR Auctions
 
It is said this form was allegedly stolen by a U.S. Customs worker who along with a cohort tried to pass it off through RR Auction based in New Hampshire.

The two men will face a federal grand jury and if found guilty of stealing an official government record they could face 10 years in prison and a very hefty fine of a quarter million dollars. What about the dimwit who tried to sell it at auction?????? Isn’t the seller part of this fiasco? It is our opinion, proper procedure would have been to get as must information as possible from the consignor, take possession of the item and immediately call the authorities. That is the right thing to do, not participate in the sale of an obvious stolen document that should be in the files of the United States Government.

Armstrong was returning from his well publicized trip overseas visiting U.S. troops as part of the “Legends of Aerospace Tour.” His March 13th American Airlines flight 105 from London to New York was diverted to Boston, Massachusetts due to inclement weather.

One of the customs inspectors at Boston was Thomas Chapman and he received the Customs Declaration from Neil Armstrong. Instead of filing the form as required with Homeland Security officials, it is said Chapman kept the document.

Chapman showed the form to his friend Paul Brickman and the two located an unidentified individual who had experience dealing in autographs. The item was consigned to RR Auction and with a ridiculous opening bid of only $200 in their May 22, 2010 auction. Bids exceeded $1,000 before the item was seized by Homeland Security.

One dealer commented “it was refreshing to see a genuine item being pulled from an RR Auction instead of the usual mis-authenticated items.”
Breaking News:
July 20, 2010
 
Autograph Collectors, Autograph Dealers
Looks Like The Hobby is Going to Change For the Good

How many of you are frustrated with buying and selling autographs on the internet? How many of you have been removed from an internet site by incompetent autograph authenticators? The alternative is coming!

www.autographalert.com had a private meeting for three hours with someone who we believe will change this hobby for the better.

The new company will be a centralized depository of autographed items to be managed and shared. Collectors can simply list their items so they are Internationally documented. Dealers can list their items for sale. In both cases there will be no charge for any listing.

The only charge will be $5.00 when an item is sold. The $5 fee is an ownership transfer charge and the fee will not be charged until both the buyer and seller is satisfied. The $5 fee is a flat fee. It doesn’t matter whether the item sells for $20 or $20,000, the fee will only be five dollars.

It is in the best interest of the seller to put up as many items as you can as the company encourages the seller to list their website name in every item description. Simply if you list 100 items, there are 100 chances potential autograph buyers will find your website.

The company will also have a searchable database for celebrity information and addresses. Addresses will be listed for thousands of celebrities where collectors have had success obtaining an autograph.

Anticipated startup for the company is expected to be by the end of this month. It is expected millions of autographed items will be put up by sellers of autographs. The company will not be taking advertisement from the autograph community but from corporations like airlines who would want access to millions of consumers.

The name of this company is MemorabiliaRegistry.com based in Phoenix, Arizona. Available is their test site and you can access it by going to: www.MemReg.com. To see a sample of how a registered item for sale will look, after you click onto the website, click on “Go to Registry” then click on “historical.”

It appears to be a no-brainer that this company is the way of the future in autograph collecting and selling. No more excessive high fees for listing an item for sale. No longer will your genuine items be removed because the incompetent so called autograph authenticators are unhappy with the personality of the seller. This company also trades on the public market. This may be the opportunity to get in on the ground floor,

Finally something positive in this hobby we can all look forward to.

Breaking News:
July 19, 2010
 
RR Auction Problems Never Seems to End!

The following email is received from another unhappy RR Auction customer.
 
 

Subj: RR Auctions
Date: 7/10/2010 1:11:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From: sftony1@comcast.net
To: autographalert.com

Hi,

I also wish to tell you of an incident with Bob Eaton and RR Auction.

 
At one time I would bid and buy many items from RR Auctions, until one day I decided to sell some of my autographs. The two that come to mind are an Elvis Presley signed military photo and a signed program by Louis Armstrong and some of his band members.
 
Before I submitted the Elvis photo I spoke with Rich Consola and he told me to be very careful with RR Auctions and any dealings with Bob Eaton, however he would not go into detail other than be very careful.
 
After I submitted some of my items I received a letter from RR Auctions informing me that they would accept my items for auction. I called them on the phone and spoke Kay Burris and I mentioned that Rich Consola said the Elvis signed photo was authentic, I could then hear Kay inform someone in the back ground that Rich Consola authenticated the Elvis.
 
Shortly after this phone conversation with Kay,I received a letter from Bob Eaton informing me that all my items were forgeries.
 
I became upset over this and asked them why did they say the autographs were authentic and then retract and say everything was fake only after I informed them that Rich Consola authenticated the Elvis, I don't remember the exact answer other than Bob Eaton told me he had no personal vendetta against Rich Consola.
 
I then sent the items to Mastronet and they sold them for me.
 
Now, here is the kicker!
 
A few years latter I am looking at some of the items being sold at an RR Auction, and low and behold there is my old Elvis photo being auctioned by none other than Bob Eaton and RR Auction. I have never bought anything from RR Auction since and I will never do ANY business with Bob Eaton and RR Auction ever again!
 
You can go here to see my old photo that I am writing about. http://rrauction.com/past_auction_item.cfm?ID=3129569

Thank you for all your great work!

Sincerely,
Tony Lapshinoff 650 515-5961
 
Tony, your story is hysterical. It’s a great lesson to all. Watch what you say as it may come back to haunt you. We must admit we never heard of this guy Rich Consola. We made a few phone calls and those we called never heard of him. However, we did find that he is now working for RR Auctions as one of their authenticators. How funny is that? The ultimate embarrassment!
www.autographalert.com


 
Breaking News:
July 12, 2010
 
Herman Darvick & John Reznikoff
Autograph Outlaws & Members of the U.A.C.C.
Team Up With The Brother Of A Presidential Assassin

Here we go, what seems to be two of the most hated individuals in the autograph industry team up.

Herman Darvick, is an ex Brooklyn School Teacher and long time flunky in the autograph hobby. He was disgraced by being expelled from the UACC over twenty years ago for serious ethics violations. He is known as a Forger, Liar and Thief. Copies of just some of his presidential forgeries can be found illustrated in back stories on this website.

John Reznikoff is known to many as being part of the famous sale of over 8 million dollars of forged John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe autographs. His partner went to prison. He beats Darvick by being permanently expelled from one of the major autograph organizations because of ethics violations. Secondly, a major dealer organization accepted Reznikoff’s resignation which avoided the embarrassment of him being expelled. He is also known for the numerous amount of mistakes made in mis-authenticating high value autographs. This includes authenticating the wrong person and even one signature upside down. He came to this industry from the stamp business where he had a dark side.

It’s no secret that collecting the signatures of “undesirables” is very popular. Many collect the signatures of famous forgers like Cosey, Spring, Weisberg and Eugene Field II. Some collectors are fascinated by owning items signed by John Wilkes Booth, Charles Manson, James Earl Ray, Jeffrey Dahmer, Dr. Joseph Mengele, Adolf Hitler and Lee Harvey Oswald. Very collectible and rare for collectors would be something signed by Mark W. Hoffman, the forger of Mormon autographs and a convicted murderer.

Now collectors have an opportunity to obtain the signatures of Darvick and Reznikoff on the same item.

Darvick and Reznikoff have teamed together with Robert L. Oswald, brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated our beloved President, John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. They have created a limited edition card which contains three original ink signatures. One of Robert L. Oswald the other is of John Reznikoff as owner of the item on the collectible card and Herman Darvick as Agent for Robert L. Oswald. This is the only place where collectors of “undesirables” can find genuine ink signatures of Darvick and Reznikoff on the same card. Some in the industry have purchased the collectible card and have added the photographs of Reznikoff and Darvick to the item. Only 300 of these cards were produced and are hot ticket items. One collector recently said that when one of these cards is offered it’s easier to get a ticket to a Lady Gaga concert than to be the lucky buyer of one of these cards. We have seen these cards for sale on a dealer’s website and in auctions.
 
Reznikoff/Darvick both ink signatures on the same card
 
We have spoken to one collector in Indiana who has purchased several of these cards. He feels, based on their shady backgrounds, that Darvick and Reznikoff are both very capable of making national news in a big way. Best to get their signatures now.

It won’t be long before this edition is sold out and if you’re a collector of weirdo’s or undesirables this is you best chance to obtain one of these cards before they disappear from the market.

Breaking News:
July 9, 2010
 
Roger Epperson “Out of the Groove”

Roger Epperson is back in the headlines. This is the same guy still backed by Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin of Autograph magazine. Cyrkin is well aware of the numerous embarrassing mistakes that have been made by Epperson for over twenty years. He has been told this by numerous collectors and dealers. The only reason we can come up with why Cyrkin continues to back Epperson is most likely because Epperson is a full page advertiser in Cyrkin’s failing magazine.

How can you or anyone tell when a person doesn’t know what they are talking about? All you have to do is read what they, in this case Roger Epperson, has to say. Statements like “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” is quite appropriate in this instance.

We quote from Epperson’s profile. He clearly states in writing that “I learned that knowing the history of a person is a very important part of authenticating their signature…”

The following, in Epperson’s OWN WORDS was published on the RR Auction site. This was taken right from PSA/DNA’s profile of Roger Epperson.

“…for instance, Jimi Hendrix would have never signed ‘Stay Groovy’. It just wouldn’t have happened. So when I see something like that, I know it’s not in line historically.”

Let’s go to the RR Auction of June 16, 2010. Item #893 Jimi Hendrix. See illustration below.
 
“Stay Groovey, Jimi Hendrix” Certified as Genuine by Epperson
 
 
Description: Vintage ballpoint signature, “Stay groovey, Jimi Hendrix…pre-certified Roger Eperson/Real and RR Auction.” The item actually sold to some uneducated collector or dealer for $2,339.00

There is no question Roger Epperson has a serious problem attempting to authenticate autographs. He can’t even remember what he once said? How much more proof does anyone (including Cyrkin, RR Auction and JSA Authentication) need to prove Epperson has no clue what he is talking about?

In the past when Roger Epperson was asked about his mistakes or memory lapse his response is “too many chemo treatments ago.”

Could Epperson even be the consignor of this item? We have asked RR Auctions a few times about items that may have been consigned to their auctions by Epperson but RR refuses to respond.

The whole situation and association of Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin and Roger Epperson smells, very badly!

Breaking News:
July 7, 2010
 
 
Collecting Celebrity Hair
You Have Been Warned Again!

A few of the biggest crooks in the industry got involved in selling hair they claim are from the heads of celebrities. By now you know who they are, as they are always involved in scandals, selling forgeries of autographs and not having the ability to authenticate.

Some of the scoundrals felt “celebrity hair” is the way to go, big profits and not really traceable. WRONG!

For example the sale of Elvis Presley’s hair at the MastroNet Auction held in Chicago. An educated buyer spent the money to have the hair DNA tested. This is most unusual for a collector to do so because of the expense of DNA testing. It was determined the Hair was NOT from Elvis Presley’s head and appx. $150,000 was refunded by Mastro. Not hard to figure out who the consignor was?

Some estimate that more than 75% of all the hair being offered is NOT as described. Some also say the amount of Washington’s and Lincoln’s hair that has been sold over the last 25 years is more than they could have ever grown in their lifetime and still more of their hair is available in the marketplace.

When purchasing hair, rule of thumb is to know the source and the seller. If the seller has had problems in the past selling forgeries, etc, it’s best to stay clear of them.

Even when the source appears to be good it doesn’t mean the hair is genuine. For example, there was a lock of hair at the Cleveland Museum that was said to be from the head of Amelia Earhart. A group of adventurers looking for DNA evidence of Earhart on a Pacific Island recently asked the International Women’s Air & Space Museum for a sample of the hair for comparison. The museum executive director stated the analysis determined the specimen was simply a piece of thread that looked like hair. The executive director also stated the museum obtained the artifact 20 years ago from the Smithsonian Institution.
 
 
Amelia Earhart Sporting Her Locks
 
www.autographalert.com predicts that within the next twenty years DNA testing will be available inexpensively and available to the general collector. It will be like sending out a blood sample for testing with results coming back quickly. It’s going to be interesting to watch those who are dishonorable in our hobby scramble when collectors know the truth about the hair in their collections.

Today some sellers of hair outright lie about their acquisitions. They will falsely tell you they purchased the hair directly from the celebrity. They have a spin for everything. In a recent major case the barber for Neil Armstrong denied even knowing the name John Reznikoff. Yet, Reznikoff proclaimed he was the purchaser of the hair.

For more on this read the article on www.autographalert.com, September 27, 2008.
 
 

Breaking News:
July 6, 2010
 
RR Auction Feels Bad For Collector, Huh?

The following email was received from one of our readers. The writer signed his name to the email which we have omitted to protect our readership.
 
 “Wow….all these years I thought that R R was the most reputable autograph auction around. Your articles really opened my eyes. I bought a few things from them over the years and now I’m nervous about their authenticity. Although I did get a little suspicious about them because several times I offered them items for sale or consignment and they said they were not real. The funny thing is they were items that I obtained IN PERSON along with photos of the celebs signing them and they STILL rejected them. I wonder how Bob Eaton sleeps at night (probably with his pillow stuffed with money lol). Many years ago a relative obtained Abbott & Costello autographs on a picture, and then gave it to me. I sent it to R R and they told me it wasn’t real but then offered me $100 because they felt bad for me…HUH? Why would they offer me money for something that wasn’t real? Hmmmmmmm, makes you think. Anyway, thank you for your wonderful site and I will check back often.”
 

Breaking News:
July 5, 2010
 
 
 
Herman Darvick:
The Autograph Hobby’s
Bernie Madoff?

Most anyone who has been in the hobby for 20 years is familiar with the Herman Darvick autograph auctions held in New York City. These auctions were well known for picking up fakes at low prices. Some fakes got through at high prices. Before the auction would start some dealers would meet in a corner and discusss al the fakes that were in the auction. Many felt Herman Darvick had to know of the fakes but few knew at the time that Herman Darvick was also forging signatures.

Darvick will never tell you why his auctions failed so miserably but many who attended those auctions knew of the Darvick scam.

The following story is printed word for word from an email we received from one of our regular readers from New Jersey.
 

"The Herman Darvick story was interesting. I’m sure you’ve heard all this before, but I figured I’d give you my take on some of what was going on back when he ran his auctions.

I consigned a number of items through Herman over a couple year period. What I found really odd was that Herman very much encouraged consignors to use their sales from that night as a credit against winning things from that same auction! So I’d attend the auction in NYC, get there early, and Herman would tell me some of the mail bids that had already been placed on my items. I’d then be able to bid knowing I wouldn’t have to come up with any cash. At the end of the night, I’d just collect my winnings and leave. I stuck with a lot of presidential documents, so hopefully avoided the chunk of fakes he was passing through the auctions. At one point I wanted cash, but it just never seemed to arrive, so I went right back to using the credit and taking stuff.

After a while I just got the feeling the entire auction was a huge ponzi scheme. Here I was not paying for things others had consigned, and they in turn may not have been cashing up for the bids they placed on my items. As each month went by, more and more people were just using credits and taking things rather than actually come up with cash. Herman’s way of handling the credits was crazy too. I’d just walk up to the table, tell Herman what I won was even with what he owed me, and he’d just shake his head and say “Oh, OK”. Never crunched any numbers. I never got a statement later on that said either I owed him a little, or he owed me a little. It was all just done real loosey goosey, and that’s not the way you run an auction house!

I can’t even imagine how many people who were waiting for their cash were stuck at the bottom of that scheme. If you told me Darvick worked for Bernie Madoff, I wouldn’t be shocked!”

 
Note: At one point Darvick used money from his auction sales to put an addition on his house. Dumb Darvick when confronted actually admitted to this to the irate consignor. The sleazy Darvick still holds onto consignments from his auctions that to this day he refuses to return to consignors.
Breaking News:
June 29, 2010
 
Herman Darvick Linked to
Forged Al Capone Memorabilia

The disgraced former president of the UACC who was expelled by the club’s ethics committee twenty years ago is back in the news.

According to a news report printed by the St. Petersburg Times on Friday, June 16, 2010 a Christmas card was signed by Al Capone and came with a Certificate of Authenticity stating the signature was genuine.

A South Florida collector found the item on line and paid $2,500 for it. Several months later the same collector bought another Al Capone item from the same dealer. This time he paid $6,500 for a baseball signed by Al Capone. The money was sent but the baseball never arrived. The buyer suspicious, had his Capone Christmas card examined. The examination stated the signature of Al Capone on the Christmas card was fake, a forgery.

The purchaser of the card notified authorities. A Pasco County Sheriff’s Officer arrested Kenneth Edward Lane of Port Richey, Florida on a charge of grand theft.


Photograph of Kenneth Lane
 
The article doesn’t mention these facts but when the officer entered Kenneth Lane’s home they spotted a .45 fitted with a silencer stuck between the cushions of his living room sofa. He observed Lane inching closer to it at which point nearly gave Lane two (bullets) in his head. The officer also found a high powered rifle, also fitted with a silencer. Because of the unusual weaponry, Lane is now being investigated for a potential homicide.

Interestingly but not surprisingly, the Christmas card with the forgery of Al Capone’s signature came with a Certificate of Authenticity stating the signature was genuine by none other than the autograph hobby “bad boy” Herman Darvick. Darvick is well known as a forger of autographs and seller of many forged autographs through his auctions during the 1990's.

Readers should also know that the funky Herman Darvick is presently on the team of James Spence Authentication and working in the office of John Reznikoff of University Archives.

Our thanks to a dedicated reader of www.autographelert.com for alerting us to this story.

Breaking News:
June 24, 2010
 
Stephen Koschal Declines Award
 
 
 
The votes are in for the www.autographalert.com International Award for Excellence.
 
Stephen Koschal of Miami, Florida is the winner of this prestigious award.

Koschal was notified of the Award after his return from a 8 country tour spreading the good word about autograph collecting.
 
Koschal (second from left) at the June 12, 2010 meeting of the
ADA1986.de International Autograph Club meeting held in Kesswil, Switzerland
 
When advised of the Award, Koschal responded: “I am proud and humbled that the autograph community has voted for me for this most prestigious award. I feel this award was not offered to me, the person, but for the work I have done exposing those who do not have the best interest of our hobby in mind and for promoting those individuals and groups who are trying to get our hobby back on track. I believe there is very little leadership in the United States regarding cleaning up the problems in this hobby. An auction house recently wrote they were getting consignments from a gentleman quite active in the hobby for years but to be honest the hobby has soured him and he didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.” Koschal continues: “I politely decline accepting this award as I believe there are others who deserve it more. I also do not feel it is appropriate accepting this most prestigious award while I am associated with www.autographalert.com”

Some of the comments attached to votes for Koschal:

“I nominate you (Koschal) simply because of all your service to the hobby for all the decades…writing all the books to help educate those…and for teaching the only online course …”

“you (Koschal) are one of the few left to cringe at the scams. You have led the fight against corruption, against those that sell bad items under the cover of third party scams. You have called out the jokesters…”

“…I nominate Koschal for best contribution to improving our hobby…”

“…Koschal writes a story about the scams these guys pull off and thousands read it. So the corrupt respond in anger on Cyrkin’s blog site which few read. It’s pretty funny to see all these rats scatter, scream and call him names over him exposing them. He (Koschal) has single handedly pissed off the entire industry of scam artists and scoundrels….”

“…in the good guys vote lets face it there can be only one that makes any sense (Koschal)…keep up the good work…”

Koschal has been the recipient of many awards, commendations and prizes through his 40 plus years of service to the hobby. The UACC awarded him the Sixth Annual H. Roger Phillips Award, the IACC/DA awarded him several distinguished awards and he won The Gold Coast Autograph Club Presidents’ Award. He was voted by Compuserve the “1994 Philographer of the Year.”

Breaking News:
June 19, 2010
 
www.autographalert.com
Sends Thanks To Our Loyal Readers

It’s so hard to believe we are just shy of a few months before our fifth anniversary. During October 2005 we were extremely excited to receive a few hundred visits. There was no advertisement for this site, the good word was spread by honest collectors and professional dealers who had a thirst for learning the positives and negatives of the autograph hobby.

There is an autograph group that have been around since the 60’s and still have only a little over 1,000 members. When www.autographalert.com received a few hundred visits in our first month, our management considered this a colossal achievement.

www.autographalert.com is now averaging over 10,000 visits per month. That’s many more visitors than if you combine all the world’s autograph clubs memberships. Adding to that you can throw in the paid subscribers to the industry’s autograph magazine.

Just as important as the number of visits to this site is the sincere support from our readers. Our files are bulging with emails, sending thanks for the educational information we have supplied . Many have thanked us for saving them thousands of dollars because of what they discovered on this site. We have helped law enforcement on all levels with information from our files.

Most importantly, we must mention, that much of the information found on this site is supplied to us by our faithful readers. We can’t thank all of you enough for your vast amount of emails sending us information or directing us to certain sellers of autographs or to specific items in auction catalogs.

www.autographalert.com has been referred to by many, Internationally, as the trusted source of autograph information.

Intelligent readers are well aware of the difference of this site compared to other blogs or sites. When we offer you a story, we back it with the facts. If it’s a bad item being sold at auction, we tell you the date of the sale, the catalog name and the item number. When we tell you someone is constantly authenticating “as genuine” newly made items and the signatures on the item are of persons who have been dead for over 10 years, we show you the illustrations and identify the incompetent authenticator.

When we show you a secretarial, machine signed signature, rubber stamped signature even a printed signature authenticated “as genuine” by an incompetent seller of autographs, an auction house or an autograph authenticating imposter working for some company who claims they authenticate autographs, we list their name and illustrate their ignorance.

This is the difference between www.autographalert.com verses clubs or magazines who are very careful to protect their paid advertisers.

The management team of www.autographalert.com wants to thank all 10,000 plus visitors for making us so successful. We look forward to continue to supply you with updated information about those who in our opinion do not have the best interest of our hobby in mind and of course of ways to educate yourselves and avoid wasting your hard earned dollars.

We continue to look forward to your support. Let’s hear from you when you see information that’s educational and can be informative to our readers.

Breaking News:
June 10, 2010
 
Petition for eBay to Suspend PSA/DNA?

The following is an email from one of our readers. Any comments from our readers would be great appreciated. Send you comments to either the writer or www.autographalert@aol.com
 
Hello,

I recently got stung by the PSA/DNA quick opinion service and it resulted in my 4 year, powerseller, 100% FB ebay account being suspended. This was my main source of income and it is likened to being fired from work on the shady opinion of another company which is ridiculous.

Anyway I have been researching PSA’s dodgy practices and to no surprise they have done it to many others as well, there is a lot of talk about “we need to take them to court” but no one actually seems to be doing anything about it.

I propose to set up a website for all of the people just like me and any others that have been done wrongly by PSA/DNA, I already have a fair few contacts, it’s not only to voice their concerns but to make an official international petition to have ebay remove them as “approved authenticators” and also an official sign up page for those that are willing to take it all the way in regards to being apart of a international class action against them, we may need temporary sponsorship down the road so I need to get a site going to show potential sponsors we mean business, I’m sure there are certain legitimate authentication companies out there that would be willing to lend a helping hand.

Would you be interested to pass on to me or pass on to them anyone who is disgruntled with this scam company so I can start to get the site rolling, also once it’s up and running would you be happy to post it up with a little description on your site?

Great work by the way, keep it up and may much good fortune come your way.

Best Regards,
Faber Wilson
email: ebay0717@tpg.com.au

 

 
Breaking News:
June 2, 2010
 
Let’s File A Law Suit Against PSA/DNA

We are hearing this more often than you would expect. Readers of www.autographalert.com are saying enough of the autograph authenticating scams. Millions of dollars are made by companies who claim to authenticate autographs and they have proven over and over they can’t even tell genuine ink from a printed signature.

Where the hell is law enforcement?

The following is an email from a reader named Jeff. It says what other emails state, just clearer.

“I enjoy your site. I wanted to point out yet another reason some sellers use PSA and JSA. PSA has the ability to email eBay with their “Quick Opinion” findings, and eBay will then immediately hit a button and close the item down and remove it from the system. All based upon an email from PSA, without any info being given to the seller. If you have 5 Sophia Loren’s listed, and PSA decides in their infinite wisdom they don’t like them, eBay then (because of multiple closures) sends you an email that REQUIRES you as the seller to get every item you list in the autograph category pre-authenticated by one of their approved companies. And even worse, I’ve also heard from sellers who have been completely suspended due to these emails from PSA. Only PSA has this system set up with eBay….PSA charges $7.50 a pop, then “shares” the info a potential buyer paid with eBay. This really does give PSA sole authority over what is, and isn’t listed on eBay. There are tons of cases where PSA closes an item that’s 100% authentic. The seller is left holding the bag. eBay won’t share the email they got from PSA, and won’t give more than a canned response to any requests for info.

The only way to stop PSA from doing this is for sellers who have items closed down, and have been financially damaged, to file suit against PSA. A seller basically can’t sue eBay, as they have a ton of rules set up to protect them as part of the user agreement. IF enough people go after PSA, maybe the $7.50 an item won’t feel like enough to go through all the trouble.”

www.autographalert.com’s response is that many, for years, have been calling for a law suit to be filed against PSA. Some attorney needs to come forth and take on these incompetent authenticators who are scamming collectors. Collectors and dealers who have been harmed will come forward! For the record, eBay largest seller of autographs (over 100,000 feedbacks) got caught up in this authenticating scam. 100% authentic autographs were removed on eBay from the sellers site and they closed him down. He could not get back on unless he paid one of eBay’s incompetent autograph authenticators to go to his office and authentic the autographs he would put back on eBay. Could this be collusion between eBay and their so-called authenticators? Could the authenticating company have shared the money with eBay, sort of like a finders fee? It cost the dealer $5,000 to have an autograph authenticating imposter, approved by eBay to come over and attach stickers to every item the seller showed him. The seller told us that the authenticating imposter was not aware of many of the names he was placing the silly stickers on. After the scam was said and done the seller got a lousy tea shirt. You may find this hard to believe, but the same authenticating company asked this seller of autographs to be one of their authenticators. This seller is willing to tell his story to a judge in court.

For the record, this seller opened his own website, is holding weekly auctions, and after a year, sales are much better than they ever were on eBay. Not to mention no longer paying the buying and selling fees and being held hostage to Payal (owned by eBay).

A fabulous and we mean fabulous, alternative to eBay is coming. Scheduled for October 2010, in our opinion, sellers of autographs will be ecstatic when they hear the news.

Breaking News:
May 31, 2010
 
RR Auction/John Reznikoff, An Autograph Train Wreck

Has anyone seen the latest RR Auction catalog? We have to thank our readers who notified us of just a few of the horrible mistakes made and we didn’t even get past item # 45 in the first section.

You have to just giggle when you read that the items come with the COA from RR Auction and to make you feel real secure (ha, ha, choke) John Reznikoff is the authenticator for the presidential autographs. You know, the guy who has screwed up authentications on most every president or some refer to him as the guy who needs to be in the Guinness Books of Records for being involved in the JFK, 8 millions dollars worth of sold forgeries.

Ever wonder what has to be the real reason behind RR Auction still using Reznikoff?

We received an email from a person who would not sign their name. One other from a person using a fictitious name. They both state we are picking on RR Auction. Further from the truth! We are dedicated to enlightening our readers to the awful high volume amount of mistakes made by self imposed experts. Hopefully our readers, in a timely manner (before auction ends) will be educated and not bid on bad items being offered for sale.

The first embarrassment in the current a RR Auction is item # 37. Dwight D. Eisenhower. See illustration below.


RR Auction, June 16, 2010, item #37
 
This item has been “professionally” authenticated by the infamous Reznikoff who also represents PSA/DNA. It not only comes “precertified” by his magnificent set of unusual eyeballs, but this card is also backed by the RR Auction COA. What’s even laughable is in their description where RR states what they are selling appears to be close to a know Autopen example and they are selling it anyway.

Now just take a look at the following illustration. Everyone we asked, who is not an “autograph authenticator” agrees this is a darn close match. Slight differences because different pens were used on both cards. Most importantly the placement of the signature. Take notice in the “h” of Eisenhower and where it falls on both cards, proving it’s not the same card. The experts we talked to all agree the Eisenhower signature on the above two cards are variants of the machine signed Eisenhower signature #7 illustrated in the book Presidents of the United States, Autopen Guide by Stephen Koschal and Andreas Wiemer.
 
A different Ike card bearing a machine signed signature
 
The second RR/Reznikoff gaff is in the same section of the catalog, item #45. You got to love the description: “Official White House card” WRONG! Only Theodore Roosevelt signed “White House” cards. Roosevelt later in his term changed them to “The White House” cards and every President since (some very occasionally) has used “The White House” card. RR continues to illustrate their lack of expertise in autographs: “Ford is quite scarce in authentic “White House” cards. This makes you believe that the one they would like you to bid on is one of the scarce cards. It’s not. It’s not even signed. It’s a very common card which contains a printed signature! See illustration below.
 
Gerald Ford “The White House” card in RR Auction, item #45
 
RR Auction and their presidential experts still can’t tell a printed signature from real ink. Matter of fact if RR Auction would build a useful reference library on autographs they will easily find this same card illustrated twice on page 105 of The History of Collecting Executive Mansion, White House and The White House Cards Signed by the Presidents and their First Ladies by Lynne Keyes and Stephen Koschal. See illustration below.
 
 
 
Two different Gerald R. Ford cards with the printed signature.

Sick to our stomachs we tossed the catalog in the garbage and didn’t read further. Years ago this website asked John Reznikoff to “PSA” PLEASE STOP AUTHENTICATING. This long term flooding of bad material into uneducated collector’s hands by wannabe authenticating imposters is an abomination

 
Breaking News:
May 13, 2010
 
Steve Cyrkin and Roger Epperson
Is a Divorce On The Horizon?

Steve Cyrkin publisher of Autograph Magazine may be best known for putting anti semitic remarks in writing and being dumb enough to falsely accuse an accepted autograph expert of being a forger. In both instances, Mr. Cyrkin has been given multiple chances of apologizing to those he has harmed. He refuses.

Mr. Cyrkin has a history of making these types of serious mistakes with the hope that they will just go away.

Mr. Cyrkin knowing well of the failures and embarrassments of Roger Epperson with regard to authenticating autographs still accepts full page ads in his struggling magazine from Epperson.

In an email sent by Cyrkin during January 2010 he writes in part: "I’m the publisher of Autograph Magazine, and I’m appalled by these relentless, desperate attempts by the autograph fraud industry to destroy the reputation of Roger Epperson."

Mr. Cyrkin, take off the blinders, the autograph fraud industry was right! Epperson destroyed himself with all his mistakes in authenticating. Epperson authenticated as genuine and sold signed albums (U2, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eagles, Rolling Stones, etc.) to collectors several years ago. Years later when Epperson was shown the same albums he said the signatures were not genuine. Epperson refused to issue refunds. Epperson has admitted in writing he purchased autograph albums from known forgers. Epperson authenticated signatures on many albums as genuine, the albums were produced after the celebrity had died. These were the final nails in Epperson’s autograph coffin.

How low can Steve Cyrkin stoop for advertising dollars?


Roger Epperson wearing a Five Gallon White Hat
on what looks to be a One Pint Head
 
Cyrkin continues to ramble and cover up for one of his last full page advertisers: "Roger Epperson is Autograph Magazine’s lead music authenticator.."

Mr. Cyrkin, it seems like most everyone in the autograph community is wise to the incompetence of Roger Epperson except you. This may be just one of the reasons many no longer subscribe to your magazine and why so many advertisers have left.

Cyrkin’s email continues: "…we state our reputation on him (Epperson) every month with every magazine we publish."

Mr. Cyrkin, your reputation?????

The dumb mistakes Cyrkin has made includes using his magazine to go political and attack dealers (who refuse to advertise or even be associated with the magazine) were just the beginning of ruining his reputation.

Many still want to know why Cyrkin’s autograph company StarBrite basically disappeared. Cyrkin did admit his inventory contained forgeries! Everyone wonders how he would know which items to pull? The StarBrite website has been shut down for nearly two years.

The magazine is failing, it’s no secret possibly the worst story printed in any autograph magazine was the story written by a UACC Director. It was about how he obtained two dozen signatures of modern musicians on his guitar. Cyrkin did not do his homework and check the facts before publishing the story. The signatures were all forgeries and Cyrkin’s face will forever remain red. Now, all paid subscribers got screwed, no February 2010 magazine was published. StarBrite has basically failed and now Cyrkin complicates his own matters by creating a website where people can post messages.

It is certainly clear it’s not only the "autograph fraud industry" that has successfully exposed Roger Epperson and his horrific mistakes. Now the educated collectors are joining in and are speaking out regarding Epperson’s incompetence.

Cyrkin’s own magazine website comes back to bite him in the ass. A knowledgeable collector who appears to be a genuine expert on musical autographs joins those exposing Epperson.

The following message is posted on Cyrkin’s blog by a collector. It’s all about Roger Epperson who let’s not forget is the one who Cyrkin states his reputation. Ooooooouch!

Have you read the latest blogs on Autograph live web site?

Comment by S. Maxwell on April 29, 2010 at 9:41pm

Another thing that was mentioned in this blog (by Josh) was Roger Epperson who also wrote a Zeppelin article for the magazine a couple months ago. I was quite thrilled to see that an "expert" had finally done an article on Zeppelin autographs. This is a band who's autograph history is almost as enigmatic as their musical career, so I was really excited to read it. Boy was I disappointed (read: pissed, frustrated and more or less insulted) by the article and the supposed "expertise" of Epperson. It was mostly a really vague overview of the bands history with so much BS that I couldn't even believe it. Many key dates that he listed in the article were wrong!! According to him, Zeppelin both toured AND broke up in 1979!?!? This is wrong on both counts. He shows a signed copy of Presence with examples of their "1978" signatures. Funny, because they were totally out of the public eye during this whole year and didn't play a single date making it virtually impossible for someone to have aquired these signatures in '78. As for the '79 thing, the band only played in two places in 1979: two dates in Copenhagen and 2 dates at Knebworth. They did not however break up in the 70's. How could anyone possibly trust Roger to authenticate signatures by a band that he doesn't even know the most basic of information on? I picked out all of these year mistakes off the top of my head upon first read, but for those "classic rock experts" who need a little help, these are all very easily varifiable dates. And being that Zeppelin is in the top three biggest, most important bands of all time, how could you not even know the year that Bonham died thus forcing their break up.?!?? Or do you also think that John Lennon died in 1979 too? And once questions like this are raised it puts a serious cloud over his whole operation in my mind. In the article he claims to have met Led Zeppelin and to have gotten an album signed by them. Why was this not pictured in his article? A signed ticket stub from Dundee, Scotland with a 'November 13" date on it is attributed to 1973 by Epperson. Wrong. While the band did indeed play Dundee in 1973, it was in January. This stub is actually from the Dundee show they played on November 13 1971, two years prior. Now, these might seem like minute details, but for someone who not only claims to be an expert in these matters, but who is also writing an article that compares (and varifies) band signatures from different years, this is a major blunder. Getting the time frames and years and touring history straight would be essential information to do the kind "authenticating" that Roger claims to do. I call MAJOR BS. And if this isn't proof enough, then maybe Roger should go work at Antiquities. Not only do his ethics appear to be on par with theirs, but maybe he can then tell us what year all of their Zeppelin albums were signed.
 

 
Breaking News:
May 9, 2010
 
PSA/DNA, an eBay Approved Authenticator
Continues To Be A Disgrace

The self appointed wannabe workers at PSA/DNA who call themselves autograph authenticators are at it again and failing big time.

The numerous mistakes they make can no longer be called mistakes. It is nothing less than incompetence. Some call it an authenticating scam, others plain fraud perpetrated against ignorant collectors.

Just follow this one example and learn how dangerous it is to purchase any autograph supposedly "examine" by the high profile third party authenticating companies. eBay. Item #330420191533 is being sold by a seller using the name authentigraphs-ink.

This hot dog has 5,369 feedbacks. This story alone will prove that selling bad items, mis identified items on eBay has nothing to do with good feedback. So you can basically ignore sellers feedback in the future. It does not prevent you from being taken by a bad seller.

In this sellers description they clearly state: "We acquire our autographs in person! If we do not see it signed we will not sell it!" Hogwash is what we have to say. In this case, looks to be an outright lie.

This seller is offering a Kate Hudson signed index card slabbed by PSA/DNA with an opening bid of $149.00.

Anyone dealing in modern autographs can tell you a genuine Kate Hudson index card should sell for about $15.00.


Geniuses at PSA/DNA authenticate a Kato Kaelin signature as Kate Hudson's
So moving along, this seller of autographs (we certainly cannot call him a dealer) gives their Kate Hudson card, they got in person, and the geniuses at PSA/DNA authenticate the card and put it in their silly plastic holder.

The seller of autographs states in their description (to make you feel secure) PSA/DNA is the Top Third Party Authenticator and is eBay’s Pre Approved Authenticator.

Ebay, you must be so proud!

Actually this so-called "in person" signature of Kate Hudson is a signature of Kato Kaelin of O.J. Simpson fame. Mr. Kaelin was contacted regarding this signature and he confirms it is his. As for the expert authenticators, they obviously haven’t the slightest clue of what a signature of Kate Hudson looks like. However these incompetent authenticating companies will still take money from ignorant collectors and corrupt sellers of autographs. Shouldn’t an inexperienced autograph authenticator know how to spell Hudson. How unskilled are these bloks/pirates. Let’s remove they eye patches and start with the spelling of Hudson. Hudson starts with an "H" not a "K." Kaelin hastily dots the "i" in his last name. There is no "i" in Hudson. These unqualified "experts" need to walk the plank!

This is only one of many similar inexcusable blunders to be found made by PSA/DNA. How much more proof does anyone need that the people they hire to authenticate are totally incompetent. Shame on eBay for their continuing relationship with such an incompetent group. We have to wonder since this incompetence is acceptable by eBay for autographs, what is going on with the rest of eBay.

The following are the names of the so called authenticators associated with PSA/DNA.

Steve Grad - Principal Authenticator
James Camner - La Scala Autographs
Bob Eaton - RR Auctions
Kevin Keating - Quality Autographs of Virginia
Kevin Low
John Reznikoff - University Archives
Zach Rullo - Senior Authenticator
Bob Zafian - Green Jacket Auctions

How much more ridiculous can this get. The seller still blowing smoke rings on his eBay description continues: "Once the item has received the Thumbs Up by PSA/DNA we offer it to the public." They started their description by saying they got the item in person, why would anyone want to pay an incompetent authenticator to examine a signature they got in person. And to get it wrong adds insult to injury.

Shame on the seller, shame on PSA/DNA and shame on eBay! Potential bidders BEWARE!

Note: We have interviewed many sellers of autographs who push third party authenticators. They are all very well aware of the incompetence of the authenticators. Some still use them and their excuse is "you can’t blame me for selling something bad, we are selling it because the authenticating company said it was good." Others have said: "I don’t care if the item is good or bad, blame the authenticating company." A few smart ass responses were: "If you don’t like the authenticating company, don’t buy it." We think we’ll take that advice!

 

 

 

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