- Breaking News:
- December 30, 2010
- James Spence & John Reznikoff
Mistakes Keeps Coming
- John psychic authenticator Reznikoff
is the person who authenticates presidential signatures for James
We understand why James Spence would need someone else to authenticate
presidential autographs but why choose the guy who participated
in the sale of 7/8 million dollars worth of Marilyn Monroe and
John F. Kennedy forgeries to over 150 investors.
Be it as it may, heres another classic error, mistake,
goof, slipup, boner and blunder by this infamous duo.
Go to eBay, item #110412169328, President Warren Harding Signed
Auto, JSA (James Spence) Typed Letter. See illustration below.
Harding letter on eBay for $499.00 with COA from James Spence
- Go to most any reference book on presidential autographs
such as one written by Charles Hamilton or the article written
by Mary Benjamin and you will find the signature on the above
letter was signed for Harding by his secretary.
www.autographalert.com will save you the trouble. The following
is just one example published in reference books about Hardings
secretary George B. Christian.
Harding secretarial signature verses genuine example
- Lets no longer accept the guess
or opinion from a psychic authenticator and those
who need to hire someone else to authenticate for them.
Be your own expert and match the secretarial signature
on the letter authenticated by Reznikoff/Spence as genuine and
you choose which signatures are alike/same.
Can you image someone still pays good money for these authentications?
What word would you use to describe an authenticating service
that makes such irresponsible goofs?
- Breaking News:
- December 27, 2010
and a John Reznikoff Sighting
The Antiquarian Booksellers
Association of America was established in 1949 and was generally
considered a prestigious organization throughout the 50s,
60s, 70s and 80s.
This organization boasts of a membership of approximately. 450
dealers who pay $625.00 a year to be a member.
They publish on their web site a Code of Ethics which
is adequate, but only if it is adhered to.
The following email was received by www.autographalert.com
Subj: Reznikoff at Boston ABAA Show
Date: 8/2/2010 11:03:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: (name removed as per request of sender)
Hello. Thank you for being the only voice of Reason out
there for the Autograph Collecting Community. I read your Breaking
News as soon as a new article is on your site. I find it disheartening,
when after reading about John Reznikoff, I then attend the Antiquarian
Book Sellers Show in Boston and see him sitting at his University
Archives Booth. It is disgusting. The ABAA obviously has no knowledge
of his Track record. Please contact them! Please do not publish
my name or email address, as I live in MA, not far from Reznikoff
and do not want him bothering me. I have small children. Please
keep up the Good Work that you are doing! Best Regards
- We have news for this individual, the ABAA is well
aware of Mr. Reznikoff and his past.
Mr. Reznikoff of University Archives, Westport, Connecticut was
involved in the sale of over seven million dollars worth of Marilyn
Monroe and John F. Kennedy forgeries. One hundred and forty investors
were involved including television celebrities, a television
news anchor, sports figures and lawyers. Some of the most explosive
documents purported to detail a series of secret agreements between
JFK and Marilyn Monroe in the early 1960s, in which Monroe
agreed to remain silent about an affair with Kennedy in return
for his establishing a trust for her institutionalized mother.
Reznikoff took part in the authentication of the JFK/Monroe forgeries.
Then Reznikoff along with his partner the forger, used a clever
but unethical way of authenticating some of the papers. His partner
used his wife and under her maiden name sold some insignificant
items to two major dealers. The hope was the dealers would purchase
the documents then resell them with their certificates of authenticity.
Within weeks a Texas autograph collector contacted the two dealers
and purchased the letters. The Texas collector did so because
Mr. Reznikoff had asked him to. The collector stated: I
bought them and sent them to him, and he sent me the money.
The collector also said he had no earthly idea that
he was helping the original owner (Reznikoff) to buy back the
Both dealers who bought the bogus items stated that they had
been duped. The New England dealer said the unusual process of
authentication taken by Mr. Reznikoff and his partner are familiar
patterns of a hoax.
Many news papers and TV stations picked up the stories including
the New York Times, and on one occasion you could see Reznikoff
on a TV news station running away from news reporters in a parking
Throughout this whole ordeal Mr. Reznikoff was not cooperative.
He did not take up the offer to have several specialists on handwriting
analyze the documents or take chemical tests. Mr. Reznikoff had
declined repeated requests for comments about his role and was
not reachable by phone.
We have found no record of anyone receiving a refund for the
purchases of the 250 forged items.
In the history of the autograph collecting hobby, Mr. Reznikoff
now holds the record for participating in the sale of the largest
amount of forgeries. The old record was held by Mark Hoffman,
the murderer and forger of Mormon documents which sold for 3
Mr. Reznikoff was a co-founder of the Professional Autograph
Dealers Association (PADA). Over the JFK/Monroe forgery incident
this organization was prepared to expell Reznikoff over all the
broken ethics violations but to save embarrassment Reznikoffs
resignation was accepted. Mr. Reznikoffs membership in
the International Autograph Collectors Club and Dealer Association
(IACC/DA) was also terminated over ethics violations.
However, the ABAA did nothing about Mr. Reznikoffs membership
in their organization. Interesting is that there are 18 members
of the ABAA that are also members in PADA. Its nearly impossible
to believe why the 450 members in good standing in the ABAA allow
John Reznikoff to continue be a member of the organization.
Somebody had to try and wake up the organization. www:autographalert.com
received an email on 1/1/2007 from firstname.lastname@example.org.
It said: I always heard re Rez & the JFK scandal, that
he claimed he was acting as a middleman and did not refund money
from buyers after selling JFK fakes. He was kicked out of PADA
but bought expensive homes in Westport, CT and Cape Code with
the dirty money plus 2 million dollars worth of inventory. See
link below for mention that the sales amount was 7 million. Again,
he would not refund money even though he supposedly has a lifetime
authenticity guarantee and now sits on top of all the authentication
How is it that this dealer is a member in good standing of the
Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABAA). This needs
to be brought to the attention of the autograph and book collecting
community. This organization is satisfied having members with
this background and they claim to hold a high standard of ethics?
The word about this is starting to get around.
www.autographalert.com went to the ABAAs Code of Ethcis
and here is what some of it has to say.
..members shall be responsible for the accurate description
of all material
members shall vouch for the authenticity of all materials
offered for sale
material shall be returnable for a full cash refund.
Violators of ANY Association guidelines may be grounds
for censure, suspension or expulsion.
On August 1, 2006, a complaint against John Reznikoff was filed
with the ABAA. The Chairperson of the Ethics Committee was David
M. Lesser of David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books. Mr. Lesser
runs this business out of Woodbridge, Connecticut basically a
neighbor of John Reznikoff. The complaint with accompanying documents
was ten pages long.
On August 22, the complaint was acknowledged by Mr. Lesser as
being received basically asking if he had received the entire
file and ends with stating: Be assured that the Ethics
Committee is committed to upholding the highest standards of
the antiquarian book trade, and that your allegations will receive
its serious considerations
Allegations???? Attached to the file was copies of the articles
from the New York Times.
Only three weeks later on September 18, an email was received
from David Lesser stating in part:
can not, as a practical matter undertake a detailed study of
Lesser goes on to say:
committee has neither the resources nor the expertise to engage
in the type of formal hearing necessary to determine the truth
of sharply conflicting claims
Why bother having an ethics committee if you cant handle
such a complaint?
Much has happened in the autograph industry with regard to John
Reznikoff and his way of doing business. In a court of law, under
oath, Mr. Reznikoff stated that he never sold fake autographs
of Elvis Presley. Then why did he refund over $100,000 to a new
England autograph dealer who purchased two sets of Elvis Presley
forged signed lyrics directly from John Reznikoff? Maybe the
question was asked the wrong way? Just maybe, in Reznikoffs
mind, since he sold forged items, got exposed, but took them
back and refunded the money, he can say to convince himself he
never sold them.
So, the ABAA still claims to hold high standards. There is one
thing we know for sure, there are collectors and dealers who
are aware of this situation and will not attend any ABAA show
or apply for membership. Maybe, the ABAA Code of Ethics
needs a few downsizing adjustments?
Existing members should be outraged!
- Breaking News:
- December 20, 2010
- Autograph Authenticating Scams,
There are still many uneducated collectors who pay for a guess
or opinion from authenticating companies who have
no experts on their staff. These company called experts
have little or no experience and without a doubt little or no
formal education on the subject of autographs.
There is not a single person working for a high profile autograph
authenticating company who has taken one of the fourteen different
educational courses taught by true experts that were held around
the United States. Courses were given in New York, Chicago, Los
Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. More ridiculous not a single
person working for the high profile authenticating companies
has even taken the free basic autograph course where
a link to the course can be found on the home page of this site.
www.autographalert.com held a two hour plus conversation with
one of the leading sports auction houses in America. The discussion
was held with Robert Lifson, President of the prestigious auction
house Robert Edward Auctions based in Watchung, New Jersey.
Mr. Lifson is well versed on the subject of autographs yet still
uses the services of a company who claims they can authenticate
Mr. Lifson, is well aware of the serious and costly mistakes
James Spence has made with what would be valuable items if the
signature on them were actually genuine. Items with a value in
excess of $20,000 if authentic but were mis-authenticated by
James Spence. We asked Mr. Lifson why he aligns himself and his
companies good name with an authenticating company that makes
so many mistakes. Many of the mistakes are simply inexcusable.
Mr. Lifsons response surprised us!
He stated that: some of my bidders/customers request the
use of a third party autograph authenticator.
As we have said many times, there are still many uneducated collectors/bidders
who are unaware of the incompetence of most of the high profile
third party authenticators.
All bidders and collectors who have depended on having a COA
from these third party authenticators will be shocked when they
discover the garbage they may have in their collections after
reading a book to be published by Baseball Hall of Fame signature
expert Ron Keurajian.
Auction houses are spending small fortunes to have their items
authenticated by third party authenticating companies. It was
explained to Mr. Lifson that by using these companies, auction
houses are helping to flood the market with mis authenticated
autographs. This makes the individual auction house not only
look bad but the potential educated bidders do not like to see
an auction house with a good name associating with an incompetent
authenticating company. There are others we have spoken to who
absolutely refuse to bid with any auction house who uses a third
party authenticating company.
After careful thought, for quite some time www.autographalert.com
has been trying to come up with a solution as long as the authenticating
companies remain in business. Our temporary belief is that auction
houses should no longer have to pay an incompetent authenticating
company. Why pay for some uneducated guess on anything
in the future? A huge savings for the auction house.
Many auction houses use multiple authenticating companies in
a single auction which also continue to be a waste of money.
Some of these houses wrongfully believe that two COAs from
different authenticating companies are better than one. This
logic has been proven false many times.
Getting back to this unfortunate situation and suggesting all
auction to stop using companies who claim they can authenticate
Our solution is that auction houses print in their terms of sale
a statement such as the following:
We understand some of our customers/bidders prefer to see
an item they are interested in bidding come with a COA from a
third party authenticating company. Some customers/bidders prefer
one authenticating over another and for our customers convenience,
we are listing all the high profile authenticating companies
and their phone numbers and email/website addresses. For a fee,
the authenticating company of your choice will offer you their
Keeping this in mind, the auction house no longer has to associate
themselves with an incompetent authenticating company. If a bidder
does not trust the auction houses own in house authenticators,
the potential bidder can now choose the authenticator of their
choice and now live with their own decision. Bidders who are
prepared to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars will gleefully
spend $50 or so or less for a COA from the authenticator of their
In closing, the auction house saves a fortune with each auction
and the bidder still gets a COA from their choice of authenticating
company. Keep in mind, the authenticating company still backs
their opinion with NOTHING!
- Breaking News:
- December 17, 2010
Be Cautious, Be Educated or Simply Beware!
One major autograph professional has finally come out and said
it and he said it to law enforcement. Basically what he said
is 3rd party autograph authentication companies have done more
harm to the autograph hobby than the forgers of autographs.
Many of the forgers continue to exist because their works are
backed by Certificates of Authenticity from autograph authenticating
Thousands of collectors and uneducated sellers of autographs
have been victimized by autograph authenticating companies.
The result is that the collecting base is shrinking as people
look for another hobby.
Some things you need to know. These high profile companies have
on numerous occasions authenticated as genuine secretarial signatures,
machine signed signatures, rubber stamped signatures, forged
signatures and on many occasions even authenticated the wrong
This is one reason why these companies will not guarantee their
work. They guarantee nothing.
They claim they have experts who give opinions. Does
that sound to you like that has been written by an attorney?
If you truly have an expert why cant they say your item
is real or not? Isnt that what you want to know and are
First question, if youre even thinking about spending your
money with one of these high profile companies you need to ask
what is the name of your so called expert that will look
at my item? We can almost bet they wont tell you.
Next, should you be lucky enough to get a name, your next question
is what is this persons qualification to be called
See if you can get them to admit not a single one of their experts
on staff has taken even one of the fourteen autograph educational
courses that were available around the United States. Matter
of fact not a single one of their experts has even taken the
basic course on autographs available on the homepage of this
web site. So what makes them an expert?
Now realizing they have no genuine experts on their staff, what
makes you think if they even use exemplars that they know the
exemplars are genuine? In may cases, they dont! This is
why these companies make so many mistakes turning down genuine
items because the signatures on the genuine items dont
match their bad exemplars. This is very common and happens more
often than you could imagine.
Some companies would like to tell you that you need their authentication
because your item will be worth more. We have experienced so
many times where a reputable dealer is getting more money for
a similar item than one with a COA from a high profile authentic
company. Reason is many in the hobby have been educated and are
well aware of the very high percentage of mistakes made by these
authenticating companies. Many will tell you if it comes with
one of their COAs you need to have a professional autograph
dealer examine your item.
One statement recently adapted by an authenticating company seems
to be outrageous and has caused quite a stir. The company states:
a sellers reputation is of paramount importance.
True and a reputable seller has done his own homework and guarantees
what they sell. The authenticating company continues: Those
with the best reputations have their collectibles graded and/or
. Sound like an attorney wrote this
one. Why would a professional, reputable seller of autographs
need a third party authenticating that cant come up with
a genuine expert to offer simply an opinion?
Now, the kicker: If you are known as a seller who does
not, your credibility may suffer.
Can these people be serious? Do they think everyone is dumb?
It is our experience that those professional sellers who do not
use these third party autograph authenticators and who guarantee
what they sell hold the highest standards in the autograph industry.
For a reputable, educated seller of autographs to offer something
that comes with a COA from an authenticating company is almost
an insult. It gives the appearance the seller knows little and
needs a guess or an opinion from a company
who has no genuine experts. Red Flag!
By the way, the company who had made these outrageous statements
had a full page advertisement in an autograph publication that
illustrated a machine signed signature of Bill Clinton on a photograph.
So much for their experts!
- Breaking News:
- December 14, 2010
- John Reznikoff of University Archives
Knowingly selling bad autographs?????
So many stories are coming in from our supporters about John
Reznikoff and none of them are good.
The following is about as bad a story as one can get other than
the previous story of Reznikoff suggesting a dealer forge signatures
of Thomas Edison on several unsigned letters.
Reznikoff contacted a major U.S. autograph dealer and offered
him 10 checks signed by John Gotti, the organized crime boss
who was convicted of murder and racketeering and sentenced to
life imprisonment without the possibility parole.
The dealer purchased the checks from Reznikoff for $6,000.
- John Gotti Check sold by R&R Auction
- The checks were basically all the same from a Scorpio
Marketing, Inc. New York, New York made payable to John Gotti
and signed with a rubber stamped signature of a company
officer. On the verso of each check was an ink signature J.
Gotti. Below the signature is a rubber stamp reading For
Deposit Only Victoria Gotti.
The dealer placed the first check on eBay in July 2003. It was
eBay item #2183718353.
Four days later the dealer received a very disturbing email from
Victoria Gotti, John Gottis wife. Mrs. Gotti stated: you
are engaging in fraud and I will be consulting my lawyer, that
is NOT John Gottis signature but mine, his wife. I would
suggest you destroy this check or face legal ramifications.
See original email below.
- Email to autograph dealer from Mrs. Gotti
- Upon receiving this email the dealer forwarded
the email to John Reznikoff. The dealer also called Reznikoff
on the phone asking a refund and Reznikoff agreed. However, the
same old catch, no cash refund from Reznikoff but the usual credit
Reznikoff was now well aware the checks did not bare genuine
signatures of John Gotti.
Two months later one of the returned checks was being offered
in an auction by Larry Rosenbaum of EAC Galleries which was then
located in Roslyn Height, New York.
Then the other checks, numbers 1474, 1498 and 1513 started showing
up in auctions held by R&R but only came with an R&R
COA. Interesting that Reznikoff authenticates for R&R but
did not on these checks.
Reznikoff is also a so-called autograph authenticator for PSA/DNA
and Gotti checks started showing up slabbed and authenticated
by PSA/DNA. In the December 2006 sale of Heritage Auctions in
Texas, item #33963 was check #1513.
- Heritage Auction Gotti Check
We have to assume that Reznikoff was the consignor to R&R
and Heritage Auctions but we cant confirm this as Reznikoff
will not respond to our requests for an interview on this subject.
What is also interesting is that there are many differences in
an original signature of John Gotti verses one one that is signed
for him by his wife. Every person even thos with limited experience
in autographs that we showed John Gottis original signature
verses one signed by his wife easily picked out the differences.
John Reznikoff knew the signatures of J.Gotti on the checks were
not genuine and still sold them!
All the checks in this collection were during a 3 month period
in 1992. Research on John Gotti with Marion State Federal Prison
indicates that during the time these checks were issued and cashed,
John Gotti was in a 23 hour a day lock down.
- Breaking News:
- December 10, 2010
Reznikoff of University Archives,
Seems if you Deal with Him
You are almost assured to be Screwed! Part 2
Just two days after our Part One
story dated Oct.18th about John Reznikoff screwing a major dealer
big time, the $7,500.00 contract by Thomas Edison was taken off
Reznikoffs website. Just a little too late as many collectors
followed up on our story and saw the item on his website. Hes
fooling no one.
However, the story gets much worse. After the story was published
on www.autographalert.com the dealer who got screwed by Reznikoff
contacted us again to add more to the original story.
When John Reznikoff originally contacted the autograph dealer,
he told him all the letters were written and signed in pencil
. The dealer upon receiving the collection discovered some letters
were signed as Edison others were signed with just
an E and seven letters were NOT SIGNED.
The dealer paying $400 a letter called Reznikoff on the phone
to discuss why Reznikoff did not mention there were seven unsigned
Reznikoffs response was: Just take a pencil and add
an E to the bottom of each letter. The dealer
responded I could never do that! Reznikoff added:
no one would ever know.
The message above clearly states that John Reznikoff was telling
the dealer to forge seven signatures of Edison as an E
in pencil on the unsigned letters.
The dealer telling us this story clearly says that this is the
absolute truth and that he would have no problem repeating this
under oath in a court of law.
May we remind our readers that there are two autograph clubs
that will have nothing to do with Reznikoff. In one club his
membership was terminated over ethics violations. The other accepted
Reznikoffs resignation over his participation in selling
7/8 million dollars worth of forged Marilyn Monroe and John F.
Kennedy autographs. Embarrassing, this is a club Reznikoff was
John Reznikoff is currently authenticating autographs for PSA/DNA
and JSA, James Spence Authentication.
We have attempted to contact Reznikoff to solicit a comment from
him on this matter but he refuses to respond.
- Breaking News:
- December 6, 2010
- Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin
Running Out Of Places To Go!
Many in this once wonderful hobby were simply getting sick of
Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin. Some feel the reason this
fellow is so weird is that he may be participating in the California
medical marijuana program.
The industry witnessed the fall of his autograph business Starbrite.
Last we heard from Cyrkin was that he was pulling all of the
forgeries out of his inventory. Was there anything left in the
inventory to run a business?
Cyrkin started the name calling and that began the fall of his
magazine. For example in one of his last issues he writes this
now famous statement in his Inscription column.
With Regrets. Unfortunately, we found out that one of our
long-time advertisers has been offering autographs that we consider
very questionable. Lets look at this comment. The
dealer in question always took a full page ad beginning in December
1991. Many of the autographs being sold were illustrated. The
real experts in the industry who subscribed to the magazine would
have noticed obvious questionable autographs and
reported that to the magazines editor. Never happened!
These full page ads ran for 18 years. Not only did they run,
Cyrkin listed this dealer in his magazine as an approved
dealer. Cyrkin continues: Weve never had a single
complaint about Richard MacCallum and valued his relationship
with the magazine, but his last two-page ad featured many items
that raised the eyebrows among our authenticators.
Cyrkin, who many feel is part of the autograph mafia,
tried to have MacCallum have all his autographs authenticated
by an authenticating company. Keep in mind Cyrkin is a major
stockholder in PSA/DNA. When MacCallum refused to be bullied
into this, knowing well his own expertise is way above anyone
who works for an authenticating company, Cyrkin starts to go
after his material.
After Cyrkin foolishly states, we never had a single complaint
he continues: we (who is we?) decided that we will no longer
be running his ads in the magazine. Cyrkin continues the
Mafia style intimidation: If youve purchased items
from Richard MacCallum, I recommend that you get a second opinion
- All this by a guy who was obviously not aware for
years his own inventory contained forgeries. So when did Cyrkin
become an instant expert?
This was published in the December 2009 issue of Autograph
magazine. There was no February 2010 issue. It all went down
hill a few months later when the magazine went to its grave.
So many in the hobby rejoiced thinking Cyrkin was gone. So far
only his Strabrite autograph business and his magazine is gone.
He starts a blog and tries to reinvent himself as some sort of
expert. In one of his blogs he writes: easily half my day
is spent helping collectors and or dealing with hobby issues.
I dont mind it, because I consider it part of my job.
(What job?) His autograph business and magazine both went bust!
Cyrkin makes the following unbelievable statement: But
because I help. Im constantly being threatened (we would
love to see proof of just one threat), defamed, (its not
defamed if its the truth, check the dictionary) harassed
(no, just being reminded of some of his foolishness) and attacked
(just show someone one scar, any broken bones?) by the autograph
fraudsters. Photos of my daughters have been circulated by someone
quoted and referred to on AA. AA? Alcoholics Anonymous?
We have to admit, Cyrkin has done something to clean up the hobby
of fraudsters and that was by closing down his own business,
Starbrite Autographs. We would love to hear from him and find
out what he did with all those forged autographs that were in
If all the above is not enough just check out the following coming
from Steve anti-Semite Cyrkins pen.
Some collector goes on Cyrkins blog site asking if a signature
of John Lennon is real.
Comment by Steve Cyrkin: Dont buy it based on my
opinion, but I say its real.
Cyrkin who cant authenticate the autographs in his own
inventory is now authenticating some one elses autographs.
Comment by the infamous John Reznikoff:
Additional comment by Cyrkin (hope yall sitting down for
this belly buster):
Now that Im awake, having coffee and looking
at a few exemplars, Im not comfortable with it.
The industry has John psychic authenticator Reznikoff
who thinks he can authenticate an autograph without even seeing
it and now we have Cyrkin who apparently authenticates while
The following is just a sample email www.autographalert.com has
received about Cyrkin since his magazine went kaput.
Oct. 31,2010 12:29:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: ---left intentionally blank
Im out and over with Autograph magazine. I remember
when that magazine was more a fanzine waaaaay back in the day.
It went from that to even greater, to a bird cage liner, then
death! Hopefully I wont get a please come back letter from
Not our words but words from the autograph community!
- Breaking News:
- November 29, 2010
Some Comments From The Autograph Community
Our folders are bulging with emails
from our readers about their horrific encounters with James Spence
This story was delayed as we went to his website as saw the quotation
Follow the Leader under his company name. It took
www.autographalert.com awhile to compose ourselves before we
could continue to type.
The following are comments about James Spence Authentication
from our readers. We have chosen these out of the ones that we
received in just the last few days. You can imagine the size
of our file on James Spence authentication after 5 years.
- 1) Subj: Your gonna love this!!!
Date: 10/24/2010 9:31PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: left intentionally blank
"Jeff Wolfes auction ended yesterday. Check this
out. A PSA/DNA Muhammad Ali glove graded 10 Mint sold in his
auction for $666.00. I consigned one with NO AUTHENTICITY and
sold it for $1,034.00. John Reznikoff states PSA or JSA ALWAYS
brings more. Bulls$%* !!!"
2) Subj: Spence Article
Date: 11/2/2010 9:09:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: left intentionally blank
"Great job pointing the Comiskey out. Spence hit a double
on that one: authenticating a secretarial on a stolen item
3) Subj: JSA
Date: 11/2/2010 6:11:04 P< Eastern Daylight Time
From: left intentionally blank
"This recent article really put me over the top with
3rd party authentication. I recently submitted several autographs
at a recent show in Raleigh, NC last month. I am a power seller
on eBay and have been in the sports memorabilia business for
years. But just recently got into the autograph business. I also
submitted a auto to JSA at a show in Charlotte. Neil Armstrong
to be exact. They failed it. Each time they ask me where did
I get the autographs from. This was a sure sign they were not
sure about any of the autos I submitted. The recent 2 they failed
at the Raleigh show, he told me, one would pass, and they would
send me the LOA in the mail. James Spence, Jr. lied. After 3
weeks later I got a letter stating not authentic. There is no
doubt my autos are real. I have over2 thousand autos in my personal
collection from real experts. JSA is one big scam. Thanks for
your time and love your website keep up the good information.
You can email me back at
- Comment from www.autographalert.com
These high profile companies who claim to be able to authenticate
autographs have been pulling the where did you get it from
business for quite some time. You saw it was obvious they dont
know what they are doing. However what you did not see is that
they want to protect those that follow them. It seems John Reznikoff
has told almost anyone who will listen to him if youre
not with us youre against us! Some type of Autograph
Mafia talk. If you told the authenticator you purchased the autograph
from one of their supporting dealers, the item will likely pass.
For quite some time its the seller who gets authenticated
and NOT THE AUTOGRAPH!
- 4) Subj: Great Site
Date: 11/2/2010 3:36:40 Eastern Daylight Time
From: intentionally left blank
as I was searching the web I came across your site.
I have collected for a long time autographed baseball memorabilia,
all in person signings. Well as time went on, and I needed to
value this stuff for my kids, I began sending it off to PSA/DNA..the
so called God of authenticators. Having no fears, just concerns
of the extra money I was putting out, to be able to prove to
someone else (I already knew they were real) I stood there and
got them, they were authentic. Well imagine how I felt when I
received my items back (very quickly I might add) and they were
turned down. They were deemed fakes. These items which I stood
there waiting to get autographed were deemed fake, and thats
not the worst part of it. I understand that when they deem them
fake, they actually put an invisible dye or something on the
ball, which can only be seen under a certain light! So now my
items are worthless to my kids. Thanks to PSA/DNA and James Spence,
because I had tried to get them re-authenticated by James Spence,
and he turned them down based on this watermark being there.
They wouldnt listen to me, but after I had found out, true
or not I am not positive, that James Spence used to work for
PSA/DNA. So now my items have a Scarlett watermark
if you will. Disappointed is a nice way to put it in my books
greed has hurt many people out there, and it needs to come to
a stop. Thanks for sharing that website for all to see.
- Comment from www.autographalert.com
Indeed James Spence did once work for PSA/DNA and is well aware
of the invisible ink PSA puts on items. Spence can easily check
items for the ink and this way his authentication
can be consistent with the other authenticating company. You
paid two companies and got screwed by both! You still
know what you knew before you wasted your money
- Breaking News:
- November 22, 2010
- Herman Darvick Admits Being A
Forger of Presidential Autographs
We are all pretty much aware that Herman Darvick of Rockville
Center, NY has finally admitted to be a forger of presidential
autographs. www.autographalert.com wrote about this awhile back
on August 13, 2007. Recently Darvick reacted to that article
and outright denied being a forger on other internet blogs. However
when proof of some Darvick forgeries were produced on this site,
Darvick claimed someone else did them and were setting him up.
Our investigations found that Darvick forged the signatures of
Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter.
www.autographalert.com has original Darvick forgeries of these
presidents in our files.
With all that pressure and proof on Herman Darvick, here is his
latest spin. He even admits to forging more presidents than we
were aware of.
Darvick writes: ..longtime reputable autograph dealers
can show you how certain famous people signed their names.
www.autographalert.com comment: This is true however they go
to their file for exemplars and also to autograph reference books
written by professionals to show a collector how certain people
write their names. They dont practice writing a presidential
signature so often to try to get it so close to an original that
they can sit and sign the presidents name on whatever they choose.
Later these signatures find their way into the autograph marketplace.
Darvick continues: yes (admissions of being a forger) I
would show collectors at UACC shows (Darvick was expelled from
the UACC) how certain signatures looked such as Truman, Eisenhower,
Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan.
www.autographalert.com comment: Darvick finally admits to being
a forger. He adds Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan to the
list of signatures we already knew he forged regularly. Note
that all the signatures he forged are common signatures found
in any reference book so why would anyone spend the time practicing
these signature until they thought they got it right and now
forge them for collectors?
Darvick continues: I probably did so in front of Stephen
Koschal (Darvicks last post was he never forged signatures
and Koschal probably wrote the signatures just to frame him.
Darvick uses the word probably, he knows darn well
that he did. The Darvick forgeries listed on this site in August
13, 2007 were done in front of Koschal just like the story says).
- Darvick is presently working for John Reznikoff
of University Archives located in Connecticut and is also working
as an authenticator for JSA, James Spence Authentication.
- Breaking News:
- November 13, 2010
Father of Baseball
- Who is The Father of Baseball? The
answer is very controversial!
In 1895 upon the death of Harry Wright, Henry Chadwick commented
that Wright was virtually the founder of professional base ball.
In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt presented the title of Father
of Baseball to British born Henry Chadwick who is the only
sportswriter enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1905 the Mills Commission was formed by Albert Spalding. It
consisted of many major base ball executives including:
Abraham Mills, National League President
Morgan Buckeley, National Leagues First President
Arthur Gorman, ex-president of Washington Base Ball Club
Nicholas Young, Fifth President of the National League
A.J. Reach, former Philadelphia Athletics player
George Wright, former player 1869 Cincinnati Red Jackets
James Sullivan, President of the Amateur Athletic Union.
These men issued their final report on December 30, 1907 and
declared that their final decision was Abner Doubleday invented
Alexander J. Cartwright was inducted into the Base Ball Hall
of Fame in 1938 and enshrined in 1939. His Base Ball Hall of
Fame plaque reads that he is The Father of Modern Baseball.
Harry Wright comes back into the picture when Christopher Devines
2002 book is published with the title Harry Wright The Father
of Professional Baseball.
Ron Keurajian who is accepted by most as the leading autograph
expert on Baseball Hall of Fame autographs. One expert in the
field recently stated that if you put all the so called self-proclaimed
autograph authenticating experts who are on the staff of authenticating
companies they wouldnt add up to a pimple on Keurajians
Keurajian is working on the finishing touches of his massive
book on Baseball Hall of Famers. He recently wrote a letter to
Bud Selig who is the ninth Commissioner of Baseball and he has
held that position since 1998. Keurajian asked Selig who he thought
was the Father of Baseball. Seligs response
stated he believed that Abner Doubleday is the Father of
See copy of Bud Seligs letter below:
Original letter from Bud Selig to Ron Keurajian
- Enter into the picture someone by the name of Keith
Olberman. Many we have spoken to were unaware of who Keith Olbermann
is. A quick check on Google states that he is an American News
Anchor, sportwriter and political commentator. One article states
he was fired by MSNBC another states he has been suspended by
On Olbermanns blog he now becomes an autograph authenticator.
He states: There is a chance thats not actually a
letter from him (Selig)
so who knows, maybe this is
a faked Selig letter.
www.autographalert.com was asked to comment on Olbermanns
statement and we had our genuine well documented autograph experts
examine the Keurajian, Bud Selig letter. Every one has stated,
without a doubt, the letter from Bud Selig is genuine and has
been hand signed by the Commissioner.
Olbermann opens mouth and insert foot!
- Breaking News:
- November 8, 2010
Party Autograph Authenticating
and the F.B.I.
It certainly appears most everyone
has had enough of the 3rd party autograph authenticating companies.
These companies claim they can authenticate autographs.
Not one has a bonafied autograph expert on their
payroll. Not one has taken a single autograph educational course
sponsored by autograph organizations and not a single person
working for the authenticating companies has at the minimum taken
the free educational course offered on the homepage of this web
Yet, for a fee these companies will not give you a guarantee
of their work but simply offer you their opinion, which is backed
by nothing. Opinions from an incompetent person has no value
and eventually causes much damage. However the industry for the
last decade has been glutted with Certificates of Authenticity
that have erroneous opinions/guesses. Thousands upon thousands
of Certificates stating that secretarial signatures, rubber stamped
signatures, forged signatures, machine signed signatures and
printed signatures are genuine.
These mistakes have caused collectors to spend multi millions
of dollars for pure junk. These authenticating companies are
so bad at authenticating that one had a very common machine signed
signature of Bill Clinton on a photograph that was used in their
advertisement in a hobby publication. The ultimate embarrassment.
For five years collectors and dealers have been complaining to
www.autographalert.com about their horrific experiences with
the high profile authenticating companies. Our files are bulging
with actual experiences these collectors have experienced.
Apparently, the third party authenticating companies are just
in this business to make a buck and nothing else. They certainly
could care less about image as the high profile companies have
as associates those who have very dark sides in this hobby. One
is an admitted forger, another has admitted to purchasing autographs
from two different forgers and a third who is associated with
multi high profile companies holds the hobbys world record
for participating in the sale of over seven million dollars worth
of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy forgeries.
One well-known and respected veteran of the hobby has had enough.
Under the condition of anonymity, he informed autographalert.com
that he has been working with two F.B.I. agents and advising
them about how horrific this situation is. It is now way past
being out of control. This individual has written a very lengthy
and informative letter to the Director of the F.B.I. He tells
it like it is and pulls no punches. Many of you have been victimized
by these third party authenticators and the Director of the F.B.I.
gets to hear your side of the story.
Something is being done for the health of the autograph hobby
and it is suggested if you have had a bad experience in the past
with one of the high profile autograph authenticating companies
or when you have a bad experience in the future that you sit
down, do your part and write a letter explaining how you have
been victimized to:
Office of Director, Robert S. Mueller, III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20535-0001
For your info two Special Agents with the F.B.I. are also actively
working on autograph fraud and they are well aware of 3rd party
Take your complaint/observations one step further, send a copy
of your complaint to:
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dont forget to copy autographalert.com: eMail
It is time for the hobby to come together and fight back. Advise
law enforcement of autograph authenticating companies atrocities.
Help them build a huge file. Hobbyists and consumers should no
longer be loosing millions of dollars a year purchasing forgeries
and other non authentic signatures authenticated as genuine.
- Breaking News:
- November 6, 2010
- Autograph Quarterly Magazine
(For The Love And Education
Of The Hobby)
The Autograph Hobbys Only Magazine
- www.autographalert.com has just heard from the
editor of this new autograph hobby magazine which Vol.#1, Issue
#1 is scheduled to be available March 1, 2011. The editor says
things are ahead of schedule and they are presently laying out
the look of the magazine.
There has been wonderful cooperation from the autograph community
with excellent International presence. Articles and columns from
Norway, Hungary, England, Germany and India have already been
Notably, columns from the International Clubs is unique for an
autograph hobby magazine. Many American dealers are not aware
of how many International collectors purchase from the United
States because of the low US dollar. The club in India has 500
We are told by the editor that Issue#1 will have many interesting
stories on conservation, Oscar Winners, Bank Checks, Muhammad
Ali, Baseball, Presidential, book reviews, book shelf section,
column on autograph authentication and a column on autograph
auctions. There will be an updated price guide section with over
1,000 items and also a section for facsimiles. Yet, there is
so much more. Each copy of issue #1 will have enclosed a free
collectible gift and this copy will be dedicated to Charles Hamilton
along with a dedication article.
The magazine still wants collectors and dealers to submit articles
for this issue and that can be done by sending your article to:
29910 Murrieta Hot Springs Road
Suite G PMB 338
Murrieta, Ca 92563
They can also be contacted through their website at: www.autographquarterly.com
Those who want to subscribe to the magazine can do so through
the magazine website.
Dealers should also pay special attention to the very, very low
advertising rates. Keep in mind this new magazine is a quarterly
so no need to pay for monthly ads. The low rates will work for
you as each issue is fresh for three months.
If you believe the autograph hobby needs its own magazine, then
this is the time to support one. Get in on the ground floor of
this exciting new autograph adventure!
- Breaking News:
- November 1, 2010
Spence of JSA Authentications
An Open invitation
James Spence, its way past
time for you to have to answer some questions!
James Spence, you need to be held accountable!
- James Spence is one guy whose high volume of mistakes
just cant stay out of the news. Mr. Spence does not return
phone calls or respond to email requests for an interview from
This fellow loves to get in front of a camera and talk with the
media (and usually even then embarrasses himself) but surely
seems to avoid anyone who understands the autograph industry
and has intelligent questions to ask. The list of mistakes in
authenticating by Mr. Spence seems to be endless. Unfortunately
for uneducated collectors, many of the mistakes are running into
the thousands of dollars per item.
Recent headlines: Heritage Auctions Withdraws Another letter
Suspected Stolen From The Baseball Hall of Fame sparked
our interest. In the April 2010 sale of Heritage Auctions they
removed a few letters which were stolen from the archives of
the National Baseball Library in Cooperstown. In their Sunday,
July 4 internet auction was a October 1913 letter from Charles
Comiskey, Chicago White Sox owner and member of the Baseball
Hall of Fame.
The letter was accompanied by a letter of authenticity from James
Spence Authentication. The COA stated the letter bore an authentic
signature of Charles Comiskey.
Everyone we talked to with the slightest experience in authenticating
signatures of members of the Baseball Hall of Fame agree, the
signature of Comiskey on this letter is a common secretarial
example. Everyone except the so-called autograph authenticator
We have to ask ourselves and the handful of auction houses who
use James Spence how long can this insanity of using authenticators
that make so many mistakes be allowed to continue to exist?
All we have spoken to want to know what efforts James Spence
put into the authentication of this item? Others want to know
why some are still so foolish to pay for COAs from a person
who has made so many mistakes. which have infiltrated the autograph
We have an open invitation to James Spence to meet with a representative
of www.autographalert.com, in person, and explain the process
he used to reach the opinion that the signature of Comiskey on
this letter is genuine.
- Letter signed for Comiskey by a secretary
authenticated as genuine by Spence
- On October 22, 2010 a collector wrote the following
about James Spence on some autograph blog that basically no one
reads. I had to sell 2 full sized helmets and the guy wanted
JSA, took them to the Chantilly show and Spence himself failed
them. I asked to talk with him (Spence) and showed him the pics
of him (Johnny Unitas) signing and holding the EXACT helmets
and he (Spence) walked away with no excuse! I just think this
whole 3rd party crap is just that. Crap!
This is how Spence reacts to a collector when proven his authentication
is wrong. Spence had a good thing going for awhile but collectors
are finally realizing 3rd party authentication is not working.
Uneducated collectors are basically the blame for this getting
as far as it did. What in the world makes a collector pay money
to all these persons who simply and falsely claim they are autograph
experts? Take any one of them, they are basically all self proclaimed,
check their backgrounds in autographs. They guarantee nothing
because they cant!
- Breaking News:
- October 30, 2010
- Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin
of the Defunct Autograph magazine
SLAMS John Reznikoff
of University Archives???
Would you believe, the well documented Steve anti-Semite
Cyrkin finally said something that makes sense?
Cyrkin is behind a blog basically read by well know forgers,
scammers, fraudsters and those who sell newly made items signed
by people who have been dead for over 10 years before the item
was manufactured. Of course lets not forget by the person
who holds the hobbys world record for selling the most
Anyone with any decency, dignity and self esteem would never
want their name associated with this site. The few honest people
who have tried for whatever reason had their statements immediately
You can count on one hand the amount of persons who are not using
their heads and have fallen into the trap of associating their
good names with Cyrkin and his blog. They are writing and associating
themselves with the forgers and sellers of forgeries in this
Cyrkin somewhere along the line has taken an intelligent
pill however it only lasted for a few minutes. This pill proves
that even one of the most despicable persons in the hobby is
capable of saying something that makes sense and something we
can all agree upon.
Cyrkin, who many believe is the center of the autograph fraud
industry had this to say on September 14, 2010:
wary of trusting an authentication company that misspells Authentication
on its COA. Not that statement took a minimum of
Illustrated below is a prime example of what Steve anti-Semite
- COA issued by John Reznikoff of University
- John Reznikoff of University Archives signed 300
of these COAs. If Reznikoff cant get the basic thing
of spelling Authenticity correct, what chance do
you think the Lincolns hair is genuine?
In Reznikoffs defense he only made this mistake 300 times
so lets give him a little slack since he somehow manages
to hang onto staying in this hobby/business. Oooooops, he did
it again, on Oct. 19th Reznikoff left a message on Cyrkins
failing blog which we quote part of here: ..there is no
place for arrogance in the autheticating world.
Reznikoff is an authenticator for PSA/DNA , JSA and RR Auction.
Need we say anything more? Reznikoff took part in selling the
7/8 million dollars of forged Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy
forgeries. He took part in selling the Elvis forged lyrics and
he is recognized for not refunding money for items he sold that
were proven to be either not authentic or stolen.
We tried to contact John Reznikoff about this subject however
he refused to respond.
- Breaking News:
- October 25, 2010
2009 Annual Report Reveals
Interesting Comments on PSA/DNA
Interesting information for collectors can always be found in
a Corporations Annual Report. The 2009 report for Collectors
Universe is no exception.
On March 2, 2009, following a poor holiday season, the Company
implemented a plan to discontinue and dispose of the diamond
and colored gemstone authentication and grading business.
That being said, they are left with four divisions. PCGS:
for coins, PSE for stamps, PSA for trading
cards and event tickets and PSA/DNA for autographs
In September 2009, given an un profitable beginning to
the year and merging credit crisis, the Board of Directors decided
to eliminate the cash dividend
.we hope that, in light of
what has happened to so many other companies this past year,
our stock holders recognize the prudence of this difficult decision.
Some may consider the following statement could be a conflict
of interest. We also generate revenue from sales of our
Of interest to autograph collectors is the following statement.
Additionally, we warrant our certification of authenticity
and the grade that we assign to the coins, trading cards and
stamps bearing our brands. We do not warrant our authenticity
determinations for autographs and memorabilia.
One has to ask themselves why do they offer warranty on everything
but autographs and memorabilia? The answer is very, very obvious.
As for PSA/DNA, the company claims it employs three autograph
experts with an average of 24 years experience. The company continues:
vintage autograph authentication can involve the rendering
of an opinion of authenticity by an industry expert
In addition they state: Our experts reference what we believe
is one of the largest databases of known genuine examples of
signatures for comparison to a submitted specimen and draw upon
their training and experience in handwriting analysis
Now, you have to ask yourself, who determined what they have
in their database are genuine examples? Where did the exemplars
come from? Are they exemplars from auction catalogs where many
items being offered in the auctions are NOT genuine? Who in the
entire professional autograph industry other than the management
at PSA/DNA recognizes the people they hired to look at autographs
are experts? Even if one was an expert why the thousands
of mistakes? So many outrageous mistakes, this is the only division
of Collectors Universe the company will not guarantee the
so-called experts guess/opinion!
Why cant these so-called experts tell the difference between
a rubber stamped signature and real ink? Why dont they
have the rubber stamped signatures in the database?
While taking a deposition, why cant their lead so-called
autograph expert remember if he was physically removed from a
Chicago Sports Collectors Convention by security guards
for selling forged autographs? His response, under oath was I
The sixty-four thousand dollar question should be: Since PSA/DNA
claims they have experts who have had the so called training
(not a single one of them took one of the 14 different autograph
educational courses that were taught around the US) and experience,
why dont they offer a money back guarantee like they do
in their other services? Is there no company confidence in their
experts guesses or opinions?
Finally, the annual report hits the nail right on the head:
talented authenticators and grading experts in collectibles
are in short supply
we have recently
increased our focus on training young authenticators
Presently, they dont have the confidence in their claim
that they have seasoned authenticators. They wont guarantee
the guess/opinion of their so-called seasoned authenticators.
Does this mean this whole fiasco of mis-guessing can get worse
with the next generation of young inexperienced hirees?
The finale for those interested in autographs: We issue
an authenticity or grading warranty with every coin and trading
card authenticated or graded by us. Arent there coins,
stamps and trading cards that have been reproduced, forged, altered
and so forth? Why are the persons who work for Collectors
Universe in the other division able to have a warranty on their
guess verse the guess of those in the autograph division? Collectors
Universe continues: ..if a coin or trading card that has
been authenticated by us is later determined not to have been
authentic, we are obligated under our warranty to purchase the
coin or trading card at the price that the then-owner paid for
How great are the experts in the other Collectors Universe
divisions? The company continues: in the second quarter,
and early in the third quarter of fiscal 2008, we incurred warranty
claims that were significant in relation to our historical claims
experience and, as a result, we recognized the second quarter
of 2008, an additional expense of $822,000 for those claims.
Does anyone still wonder why this company will not issue a guarantee
based on who they claim are their industry experts??
- Breaking News:
- October 21, 2010
psychic authenticator Reznikoff
One Small Step attempting to authenticate, but takes one Giant
Autographalert.com wrote a story on August 26, 2010 and asked
our readers what they thought of a baseball that had a signature
on the sweetspot that was said to contain a signature
of Neil Armstrong.
All the responses are in and believe it or not, every single
person who responded to the test said they would not purchase
A handful of responses are as follows:
I would not buy that ball. There are two may differences
from genuine examples
Based on two genuine examples of Neil Armstrong signed
baseballs, I would pass
.the signature doesnt match
No, I would not buy it, the sweet spot autograph scares
me as well.
Looking at the flow of the individual letters I would probably
pass on it.
I believe I would pass on it, looks like someone is trying
to cash in on something signed on the sweetspot
Armstrong signs rather large and purposely on the side panel
This signature compares to none I have seen. It does not
appear to be real.
The flea market one is a no good. Too many inconsistencies
A person is usually consistent on where they sign..
I wouldnt care what letter of authenticity came with
the ball, some signatures shouldnt/cant be authenticated
based on a consignors say so..
There you have it, just some statements from our readers. By
the way this ball sold at the Mastro Auction on May 2002. It
was item #1224 and the lone outside authenticator issuing a COA
was none other than John Reznikoff of University Archives. He
is now on the list of authenticators for PSA/DNA and JSA.
- Breaking News:
- October 18, 2010
Reznikoff of University Archives,
Seems if you Deal with Him
You are almost assured to be Screwed!
This guy, most assuredly, has to
be at the bottom of the autograph cesspool. To be fair and balanced,
we would love to write just one positive thing about John Reznikoff
but we have yet to hear anything even passable about his activities
in the autograph hobby. Before entering the autograph business,
Reznikoff came from a very, very shady background in the stamp
During his short stint in that hobby he couldnt even tell
the truth about his education on his company web site. He lied
about the amount of time he went to college. He made it appear
that he graduated when he actually dropped out. This was confirmed
in writing by the college. He mislead everyone right from the
Two major autograph clubs want nothing to do with him, forced
to resign from one and thrown out of another.
One has to chuckle as John the Psychic Authenticator
Reznikoff tries to fool new comers with self serving messages
on blogs. Only a few respond. They obviously do not realize they
are participating in a conversation with the John Reznikoff,
the person who holds the hobbys record in participating
in the sale of 7-8 million dollars worth of Marilyn Monroe and
John F. Kennedy forgeries. This he KNOWINGLY did including using
unethical trickery, and to make matters worse, we have yet to
find a single person who has received a refund. Those who respond
to Reznikoff on a blog might not realize the autograph world
is watching. Their association with this person makes them appear
to look very questionable if not outright bad.
Many persons and organizations have come forward with an extreme
warning about dealing with John Reznikoff of University Archives.
Here is one dealers story.
John Reznikoff came to me with a deal to purchase a collection
he claimed to be exactly the way he bought it. Reznikoff stated
the entire collection, as he bought it, contained 110 letters
signed by Thomas Edison. Reznikoff wanted $45,000 for the collection
which equals about $410 per letter.
The deal was completed, Reznikoff sent the collection and the
purchaser paid for it. The ONLY reason why the deal was made,
is the purchaser was told the collection was complete as it was
purchased. The purchaser believed what Reznikoff said (a major
mistake) and felt he would control the market on this Edison
False, Reznikoff eventually got caught in a major lie and another
scam. The purchaser was told by someone in the hobby/industry
that the collection was originally purchased by Reznikoff for
$16,000 at a Heritage Auction. The purchaser got hold of the
Heritage catalog and discovered the collection consisted of 160
letters, not the 110 that Reznikoff lied and said was the complete
collection. Five Edison letters that were illustrated in the
Heritage catalog had the best content. They were not included
in what Reznikoff sent the purchaser. The purchaser was now aware
he got completely ripped of by John Reznikoff. The purchasing
dealer was furious.
Not only did Reznikoff include those five excellent content letters,
he kept four dozen others as well..
To make matters worse, of noticeable interest in the Heritage
catalog description was a contract signed by Thomas Edison regarding
the production of records. This was possibly the best single
item in the collection.
Reznikoff was immediately called about the missing contract and
his response was: I never got it, Heritage never mailed
it to me with the collection.
Its been two years since the dealer purchased the collection
from Reznikoff, the dealer will never purchase anything from
Reznikoff in the future. Besides never purchasing another thing
from Reznikoff this dealer will never even take another of Reznikoffs
The kicker in this whole scam, Reznikoff has recently placed
the so called Thomas Edison signed contract he claimed he never
received on his web site for $7,500.
Our attempts to contact John Reznikoff and solicit comments from
him over this Thomas Edison collection produced no response.
If this is what John Reznikoff of University Archives can pull
over on a seasoned dealer, can you imagine what he can do to
an individual who is barely familiar with the autograph business/hobby?
Many want to know, why is John Reznikoff of University Archives
not in jail?
- Breaking News:
- October 15, 2010
Certificates of Authenticity
- Worst In Autograph Hobby!
It wasnt long ago we told you Herman Darvick, the disgraced
ex-president of the UACC, forger, thief and liar was in hiding
for many years. As a starter, this bozo screwed many collectors
who purchased non authentic items in his auctions. Many tried
to get refunds but were not successful.
Some are still trying to get refunds but Darvick now states that
his guarantee is no longer valid because he claims that he is
no longer in the autograph business (outright lies).
For our new readers, we had mentioned before Darvick basically
went into hiding, he even dropped his long time Post Office
Box so you couldnt contact him.
One person who unfortunately used the Darvick auctions drove
to Brooklyn, New York where Darvick was a school teacher. A lot
of money was involved and the consignor waited out side Darvicks
classroom in order to confront him. Darvick, shocked to see the
consignor explained that the money from the sale was used
to put an addition onto his home. Darvick is quoted as saying:
you dont know what its like to be married to a
Jewish princess. Darvick, his eyes filled with tears,
begged the consignor not to go to the principals office with
the dispute. With added pressure it took about two years for
the consignor to receive the money from the sale but even to
this date, many years later, Darvick still holds and refuses
to release several thousand dollars worth of autographs from
that consignment which he did not offer in his auctions.
Darvick was spotted at a sports show a few years ago and in front
of three witnesses well known in the industry, Darvick promised
to ship the items to the consignor and never did. He stole
the autographs consigned to him.
Herman Darvick recently tried
to deny on some silly blog that he never was in hiding. This
man simply seems to be incapable of telling the truth.
Illustrated to the right is one of Herman Darvicks Certificates
of Authenticity. He certifies as genuine signatures of Babe Ruth
and Lou Gehrig on this fishing photograph. The COA simply mentions
Darvick's name and bears his ink signature. No address, no phone
number and no contact information. These were issued for years
while Darvick was in hiding. How many times has Darvick lied
on blogs saying he was not in hiding? Even some of those in the
hobby who purposely try to deceive the public with their COAs
will at minimum put a phony address and phone number on their
Certificates. Darvick clearly stands a few steps below the deceitful.
- Herman Darvick continues to this day to be the
poster boy of autograph deceit. May we also take this opportunity
to advise our readers that this photograph clearly states by
Herman Darvick the signatures of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are
genuine. PSA/DNA was sent the same original photograph for a
second opinion and they say the signatures are clearly forgeries.
Could Darvick have expanded from forging U.S. presidential signatures
to forging sports autographs as well? Or, is this simply another
example of Darvicks incompetence.
Need to find Darvick, not surprisingly, he works for John Reznikoff
at University Archives or you can find him as an authenticator
(you read it right, an authenticator) at JSA (James Spence Authentication).
The autograph hobby has been Darvicted once again!
- Breaking News:
- October 13, 2010
- "A HABITUAL LIAR
- and so much more..."
- Herman the disgraced Darvick
is one hell of an accident, that has happened. If there was nothing
else, just read what the U.A.C.C. has to say about him: 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 incident. However there is so much more!
On this site, www.autographalert.co has proven in writing that
Herman Darvick is a forger, thief and liar. After each story
exposing him and his antics on this site, Darvick had the opportunity
to contact this site, and attempt to prove we were wrong, and
we would make the changes and apologize. This is spelled out
on our homepage. That NEVER happened because everything published
about this screwball is the truth. The only thing Darvick continues
to do is say on other sites that we tell lies about him but he
never singles out a lie. He simply makes empty statements.
Darvicks latest gimmick is fabricating a situation telling
the few that will listen to him that an individual will send
out negative information about him to his neighbors and friends.
Then Darvick will most likely write the letter himself and mail
it to a few in his neighborhood. Then he can blame whoever he
wants to for sending the letters. This is the Darvick way of
thinking he can gain sympathy from those who read his message.
If you have any doubts about how corrupt this individual is,
simply think about why the UACC expelled Darvick from their organization.
All you need to do is read the original complaint about him and
hes toast. Is everyone wrong?
What was written about Darvick on this site came directly from
only some of the individuals who got screwed by Darvick. They
were specific with their information and were not afraid to add
their name to their emails. No one was hiding anything, it was
just that they were so frustrated with Darvick hiding from them
and for not issuing refunds for the bad material he sold.
A very few were able to find him in person at the school where
he worked or at shows. At shows Darvick clearly stated his guarantee
for refunds no longer applies because he is no longer in the
autograph business. Add another outright lie to Darvicks
resume. Unfortunately Darvicks comment has ruined the creditability
of the word guarantee for many legitimate dealers.
It appears Herman the disgraced Darvick is not only
a liar but a habitual liar. Very recently Darvick posted a message
on Steve anti-Semite Cyrkins blog. This pair
of losers is like two peas in a pod! Matter of fact try to find
two legitimate names that are respected in the autograph industry
on that blog. Its just another Cyrkin embarrassment.
When exposed with hard facts proving Darvick is a thief, liar
and forger, this miserable wretch whines and writes self serving
lies on the blog crying:
hes called me a liar,
a thief, and a forger without any evidence whatsoever to back
it up. He creates incidents that never happened, fabricates quotes
that I never said. Darvick continues to whine: he
makes up stories about me which have no factual basis
says I have autographs that belong to consignors
His tears are falling just as they did in his Brooklyn School
where Darvick, his eyes filled with tears, pleaded with a consignor
not to go to the schools principal about Darvicks
inability and unwillingness to pay the consignor.
The following is cut and pasted from Steve anti-Semites
Comment by Herman Darvick on September 23, 2010 at 5:46pm:
Steve Koschal runs Autograph Alert. Everything you read on Autograph
Alert is written by Steve Koschal. When he writes quotes of others,
is the one making up the quote, such as, in his "Breaking
28, 2010," Koschal wrote: "Even as long ago as 2001
Darvick was saying
'maybe one day the UACC will get back to its roots. Maybe there
be term limits for officers. At least one officer has been there
long.'" I never said that, not in those words or any
words. In fact, I
do not believe in establishing term limits for anything (we
have term limits; it's called an election). As far as a connection
between Mike Frost and Steve Koschal, I do not know for sure.
believe that Frost and Koschal used to be partners in P.A.A.S.
- The habitual liar, Herman Darvick, is exposed as
he gets nailed again. This stubby Pinocchio continues
to step on his tongue. He continues to lie to those who are dumb
enough to follow his rants.
First of all the pathetic Darvick states Koschal writes everything
on www.autographalert.com. This is simply another Darvick fabrication
then followed with his usual lie. Anyone who knows anything about
the site knows this is not true, just what the disgraced Darvick
would like you to believe.
During an in person conversation with Darvick at
a northeastern sports show, Darvick was asked who is the individual
in the UACC he was referring to? Instantly, his hatred was evident
for UACC Board Member, Al Wittnebert. Darvick said ..you
know exactly who I mean Big Al, the fat, ugly one who has been
running and ruining that club for years, hes the perfect
reason why term limits should be implemented.
To add to all of Darvicks habitual lies, the following
is a partial cut and paste from an email sent by Herman Darvick
to SKOSCHAL on Jan. 27, 01. We have the original email on file.
Portion of email sent by Herman Darvick
- Herman Darvick just got finished posting a message
on the blog printed above stating: I never said that, not
in those words or any words, In fact I do not believe in establishing
term limits for anything
This is nothing more than
one dangerous individual who is a liar, thief and forger and
not only supported by Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin but
Darvick is listed as an authenticator for JSA James
- If anyone wants to challenge the validity of Darvicks
original email, send a $10 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation
http://www.wish.org and we
will mail you a copy of the email in its entirety.
What more has to be written about Herman Darvick to prove the
guy is an unbalanced habitual liar? Many believe it was the destruction
of Darvicks autograph auctions that was the final blow.
At this point the may have realized he just wasnt going
to do anything productive for the hobby for the rest of his life.
We cant continue to waste space on this site to prove to
the autograph community that what has been written about Darvick
on this site is the truth. Without a doubt, this guy just outright
lied again to everyone, proven above. Darvick will never come
up with anything specific and just whines when he is exposed.
Seems the best thing he can come up with to try to continue to
mislead others is quoting statements from current movies.
Darvick is a Cyrkinopath and is accepted and remains
as a writer on that awful blog of mis-information. Cyrkin will
never learn from all his past mistakes however his bad decisions
continue to make great stories. According to one of our readers
emails they stated:
Cyrkins new blog that came
out after his failed magazine is a full fledged circus of clowns
without the cotton candy but with plenty of nuts
Many we have spoken to will not go on that blog simply because
they will not associate their name with liars, thiefs,
forgers and someone who holds the hobby record of participating
in the sale of 7-8 million dollars worth of forgeries.
It is almost unbelievable that the person who holds the worlds
record of selling forgeries is making comments about the validity
of other persons autographs. One would have to be insane to even
listen to a thing he has to say. Instead of this person hiding
in shame or finding another business this individual continue
to make a fool of himself. Some think that as soon as he can
get rid of his inventory, he will be gone.
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the noted heart surgeon said it best
and his comments certainly apply to our wonderful hobby: you
got to kill the cancer for the body to heal. With Cyrkins
Autograph magazine gone some of the cancer is gone.
As the hobby continues to ignore Herman the disgraced
Darvick and his very few cohorts, the hobby will be a better
and healthier place.
- Breaking News:
- October 9, 2010
- Autograph Quarterly
(For the Love and Education of the Hobby)
The Autograph Hobbys Only Magazine
Scheduled for publication, Feb./March 2011, this new magazine
with fresh ideas, will be the hobbys only magazine. Its
name is Autograph Quarterly. It is anticipated to be 88
pages in length with full color covers and contents in black
The magazines goal is to be the hobbys publication for
everyone. Interesting articles on many subject matters written
by many of the icons in the hobby, some legendary names pulled
from retirement others respected by all.
International Autograph Organizations will be represented in
a View From Abroad section.
Articles on auctions, updates on eBay and updates on 3rd party
authentications and autograph preservation will be just some
of the subjects covered in each issue.
A facsimile page will sure to be a hit as well as news of upcoming
shows and events.
A free limited edition collectible will be included
in Volume 1, Number 1.
Anticipated in most issues will be signature studies, book reviews
and anything else that the International autograph collecting
community will have an interest in reading.
Every issue will also have Price Guide Updates updating
prices on hundreds of names per issue as current values change
Each issue will have contests with the prize being a historic
autograph reference book written and signed by the biggest and
most respected names in autographs.
The inauguration of Vol.1 No.1 will be held at the February
2011 Hollywood Show (www.hollywoodshow.com). Even beyond our subscribers,
THOUSANDS of people, collectors and celebrities will see and
use this invaluable collecting resource.
Subscription costs will be $24.95 per year for those in the USA.
$49.95 all other countries. Advertising rates are affordable
to all at $100 Quarter Page, $200.00 half page and $400.00 for
a full page. Business card ads are only $50. All ads are good
for three months. Your copy must be camera ready or for an additional
layout cost the magazine can design one for you. Reservations
for advertising space are now being accepted.
Should you have an expertise in a collecting category whether
you are a collector or dealer in the United States or abroad
and have an interest in writing for Autograph Quarterly,
please contact us. If you have a published work that you may
want the magazine to profile, send the info to the address below
as we also have The Collectors BookCase section profiling
and reviewing all books relating to autographs.
BE PART OF THIS EXCITING NEW VENTURE!
To submit advertising and or articles, etc. write to:
29910 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Suite G
Murrieta, CA 92563
PayPal is accepted and checks for subscriptions/advertising make
payable to: Autograph Quarterly
For additional information updated regularly go to the magazines
- Breaking News:
- October 8, 2010
- PSA/DNA Autograph Collector says
it cant be trusted
- The following is an email received from a collector
in New Zealand. Only a few lines of the email have been deleted
because of repetition. This is a wonderful educational story
for those who are still foolish enough to waste their money on
high profile companies who claim the can authenticate
autographs with an opinion, (guess) or (psychic authentication).
Subj: Hung Out To Dry By PSA
Date: Mon. October 4, 2010 2:39 pm
Gday from New Zealand
I hope this finds you fit and well.
If you have a few moments of spare time
heres a story
that you might like to read and then you can have a good scratch
of your head.
If this doesnt convince us all that the only people who
suffer from PSA Quick Opinions are collectors and sellers of
memorabilia then nothing will.
I recently submitted a Quick Opinion request to PSA
as Ive long been a fan of KISS and one of their early albums,
signed by all 4 original members of the band came up on the website
of a VERY reputable US auction house.
The Quick Opinion came back as likely genuine and
based upon that I went after the album and outbid all-comers
to get it.
I sent the album off to PSA for the full letter and they sent
it back to me as NOT AUTHENTIC with one of their
usual, mass-produced letters saying that the album did
not pass PSA/DNA authentication.
I went back to PSA and said
The problem Im having here is that I forked out quite a
lot of money for this album based upon the PSA opinion and now
Im left holding something that PSA now a couple weeks later
says is worthless!!!
I have to ask the following:
a) What is the point of Quick Opinion? You tell me
one thing then do another?
b) How can you justify saying on the website
Likely genuine: Our expert believes that the item, if physically
submitted to Collectors Universe, PSA/DNA division for examination,
would likely receive a PSA/DNA certificate of authenticity.
If this is the way that Quick Opinion can work then
PSA can, potentially, take my money and then leave me hanging
out in the wind to dry. My point is
what am I now supposed
to do with this album? I cant add it confidently to my
collection cuz you say its fake. I cant knowingly
sell it on to someone else
cuz you say its fake. The
auction house XXXXX wont give me a refund cuz they dont
recognize PSA/DNA opinions.
You see - the only person who loses is the PSA/DNA customer
To make matters worse I lose no less than three times:
1) You take my money for the Quick Opinion.
2) The auction house takes my money for the item I buy based
on Likely Genuine.
3) You then take another slice of my money for the physical examination.
You see my point? So - just WHAT is the point of Quick
From the customer point of view I now really have SERIOUS doubts
as to the validity of this service.
It appears that Quick Opinion cannot be relied upon by a customer.
Therefore it follows that Quick Opinion serves no REAL purpose
for a collector.
www.autographalert.com has no sympathy for this collector. With
all the information on the Internet and posted by individual
autograph collecting clubs, those who still at this late date
use these high profile so-called authenticating companies deserve
what they get. The authenticating company gets the last laugh
all the way to the bank.
Can this collector or anyone tell us who at PSA/DNA
is capable of authenticating KISS autographs???
This collector has two options:
1) He can contact a PSA/DNA authenticator John the psychic
authenticator Reznikoff. This guy thinks he can authenticate
an autograph without seeing it. If he does and thinks he can
change PSAs original guess, he is well known for saying:
Ill call the authenticating company and fix it.
2) Wait a few more weeks and send the authenticating company
more hard earned dollars and have it re-authenticated. Send it
in using a different name. Chances are you could possibly get
the album back authenticated as genuine. This has
proven to work. When John psychic authenticator Reznikoff
purchases autographs from a seller PSA does not approve of, Reznikoff
in the past has told the seller to send the items to PSA using
Renikoffs name and return address.
The collector didnt utilize the information he already
had. He clearly stated he was purchasing from a Very
reputable US auction house. What made him think that paying money
for a guess from an authenticating company would
trump the professionals at the auction house?
The auction house has more experience than any guesser
who works for the authenticating company. The experienced at
the auction house clearly stated that they did not respect a
guess from this authenticating company so no refund would be
issued. Most of the professional dealers and auction houses have
the same policy.
The collector by wasting his money on a worthless guess
from an incompetent at an authenticating company only put himself
in this predicament.
- Breaking News:
- October 7, 2010
- Roy Rogers Museum Auction
- Museum Closed in 2009, Collection sells for $2.9 Million
- Roy Rogers' stuffed horse Trigger and His Saddle are
top sellers at auction
- Happy Trails Roy and Dale
- The stuffed horse belonging to cowboy actor and
singer Roy Rogers along with his saddle took top dollar at an
auction in July for memorabilia from the Roy Rogers and Dale
Evans Museum Collection.
- The Museum closed in December 2009, less than six
years after it picked up and moved from its longtime Route 66
home in Victorville, California, to Branson, Missouri.
- Christie's auction house, which ran the sale along
with Western auctioneer High Noon Americana, said the collection
of items related to Rogers' and wife Dale Evan's roles on television
and in the movies brought in $2.9 million.
- Trigger, the palomino horse which Rogers had stuffed
after it died in 1965, was bought by rural cable television station
RFD-TV for $266,500, while his saddle fetched $386,500 from a
- Other top sellers included Roy Rogers' 1963 Pontiac
Bonneville and the Nellybelle jeep, an iconic emblem on the Roy
Rogers Show, which ran on television in the 1950s and 1960s.
- The more than 300 items included in the sale ran
from Roy's sunglasses to a sterling belt buckle and a Roy Rogers
directors chair. Here is a partial listing of some of the items
that were sold at auction:
- Roy 's 1964 Bonneville sold for $254,500, it was
estimated to sell between 100 and 150 thousand dollars.
His script book from the January 14,1953 episode of This Is Your
Life sold for $10,000 (est. $800-$1,000)
A collection of signed baseballs (Pete Rose, Duke Snyder and
other greats) sold for $3,750
A collection of signed bats (Yogi Berra, Enos Slaughter, Bob
Feller, and others) sold for $2,750.
One of many of Roy 's shirts sold for $16,250 and one of his
many cowboy hats sold for $17,500.
One set of boot spurs sold for $10,625. (He never used a set
of spurs on Trigger.)
A life size shooting gallery sold for $27,500.
Various chandeliers sold from $6,875 to $20,000. Very unique
and artistic in their western style.
A signed photograph by Don Larsen taken during his perfect game
in the world series against
the Dodgers on Oct.8, 1953, along with a signed baseball to Roy
from Don, sold for $2,500
Two fabulous limited edition BB guns in their original boxes
with numerous photos of Roy,
Dale, Gabby, and Pat sold for $3,750.
A collection of memorabilia from his shows entertaining the troops
in Vietnam sold for $938.
His flight jacket sold for $7,500.
His set of dinner ware plates and silverware sold for $11,875.
- The Bible they used at the dinner table every night
sold for $8,750.
One of several of his guitars sold for $27,500.
Nellybelle sold for $116,500.
A fabulous painting of Roy, Dale, Pat, Buttermilk, Trigger, and
Bullet sold for $10,625.
One of several sets of movie posters sold for $18,750.
A black and white photograph of Gene Autry with a touching inscription
from Gene to Roy sold for $17,500.
A Republic Productions Poster bearing many autographs of the
people that played in Roy's movies sold for $11,875.
Dale's horse, Buttermilk (whose history is very interesting)
sold below the pre-sale estimate for $25,000. (est. 30-40K)
Bullet sold for $35,000 (est. 10-15K). He was their real pet.
Dale's parade saddle, estimated to sell between 20-30K, sold
One of many pairs of Roy's boots sold for $21,250.
- It's no wonder Trigger fetched over $266,000 at
the auction. He was a genuine Hollywood star. Roy and Trigger
made 188 movies together. The horse began it's "career"
in show biz in the 1930s. Do you remember the 1938 movie The
Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland?
Well Olivia rode Trigger in that movie.
Trigger was bred on a farm co-owned by Bing Crosby. Roy bought
Trigger on a time payment plan for $2,500. Trigger even out did
Bob Hope by winning a P.A.T.S.Y. award (animal equivalent of
the Oscar) for the movie Son of Paleface, in 1953.
- Breaking News:
- October 3, 2010
His Motley Crew
Can you imagine Steve anti-Semite
Cyrkin is attempting to deny he is not an anti-Semite? Whats
wrong with this nut case? He says it in his own words, in writing,
takes a whooping for it from the whole autograph community and
thinks he can deny every saying what he did.
Cyrkin, instead of denying something you put in writing, simply
apologize to the gentleman and be done with it, instead of adding
liar to your resume!
For the newcomers to this site there is a Florida based autograph
gallery who would not take an ad in Cyrkins Autograph
magazine. Cyrkin is co-founder of Collectors Universe which has
a division called PSA/DNA who claims they can authenticate autographs.
PSA/DNA tried on more than one occasion to get the autograph
gallery to use their services for authentication. The gallery
refused and since that time Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin
went on a binge trying to destroy the gallerys name. This
seems to be without a question some sort of Autograph Mafia.
An autograph dealer questioned Cyrkins actions and sent
Cyrkin an email on October 13, 2009 at 01:59:24PM. The following
is the exact quote from the dealers email: Is there
a problem you have with Jerry based on him being Jewish?
Cyrkins response just three minutes later at 02:02:08PM:
Why would I care if hes a kike? Cyrkins
insensitive comments started what appear to be a war. Every Jewish
person we have spoken to states that word kike is
equal or worse than the N word. They also state no
real Jew would ever call another Jew that word.
We will quote from just a few emails, many of them sent to Cyrkin
with copies to www.autographalert.com. Many feel that Cyrkin
is trying to kill the legitimate autograph hobby.
1) The IADA-CC at this time will have to condone the negative
actions of both Roger Epperson and Steve Cyrkin
major problem is Steve Cyrkin and the Autograph Collector Magazine.
The IADA-CC strongly and firmly condemns his anti-Semitic racist
This following email was sent to Cyrkin regarding Roger Epperson:
2) you may want to settle your boy down. I have received
death threats from him, along with him saying that your cop roommate
is going to arrest me
.I have sent all the info to my lawyer
The following email was sent to Cyrkin from a collector:
3) Would you be willing to offer an apology for what most
consider to be a racist and anti-Semitic statement? Cyrkin
refused to respond!
Another email to Cyrkin from a collector:
4) So what is your problem with Jewish people?
used a derogatory racial slander and I must say I am highly offended.
My Jewish grandfather fought for this country in WWII so that
white honky trailer trashy like you would not be a goose stepping
Nazi or perhaps you are
how about derogatory remarks against
.Perhaps you need to go to the pink Flamingo bar to
meet Mr. Right and release some of that pent up frustration.
I will never do any business with you or with anyone you associate
5) I had a problem with one of his employees who was trying
to blackmail me into buying autographs for me to resell. It got
to the point where his employee Mike Airing was making crazy
accusations and racial remarks in reference to my wife (who is
6) You can easily defend a point without racial slurs
the Anti-Defamation Society will give him some hell!!! He deserves
it and I hope (autographalert.com) will keep us all abreast on
what is going on with this jerk.
7) Lets just hope this Cyrkin character goes down for what
he has done to this hobby
8) I was condemned by Cyrkin for being against illegal
aliens and my feelings on gay marriage. He is very narrow minded
and its either his way or no way. His daughter is a lesbian
and he says that he is very proud of her and that he is looking
forward to being the grandfather of 3 children. I tried to tell
him that you cant have a child unless a man is involved
and he cancelled my subscription to his magazine.
Even behind Cyrkins back, some of his quasi followers have
this to say. The following email was sent to John Reznikoff of
University Archives on Mon. Aug. 10, 2009, 4:54pm reminding Reznikoff
of his past statements: I just want to remind you of a
conversation you had with me a while back regarding your feelings
about Autograph Collector magazine. You will recall telling
me the magazine was a joke and that you would no longer write
for it.. Your statement no one reads it, I didnt agree
with you as I enjoyed reading articles written by Joe Maddalena
and I read the magazine. You said no one serious reads the magazine.
The only people who subscribe are those looking for addresses
and you continued that many of the addresses are wrong. Remember
how hard you laughed? Obviously you have an issue or hidden agenda
with Cyrkin as you also told me that he can easily be controlled
through advertising. All someone has to do is run ads for awhile,
then stop them. You said you believed Cyrkin would do most anything
to get you to start the ad up again
Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin has killed his autograph
business, Starbrite. He stated, in writing, he was pulling all
the forgeries out of its inventory. This followed by his failed
Autograph magazine, he is now attempting to run an internet
site and the following are some of those who follow him.
1) Herman Darvick, thief, liar and well documented and admitted
forger of presidential autographs. Expelled for twenty years
from the UACC over very serious ethics violations.
2) John Reznikoff of University Archives who made a statement
in public during an autograph show held at the Hotel New Yorker.
A very prominent and well respected autograph dealer for many
decades who owns a lovely autograph gallery in New York City
was passing by with his male partner. Reznikoff openly said the
following: Since Mary Benjamin is gone there goes the new
Queen of Autographs. Reznikoff chuckled after making that
statement obviously thinking it was funny. Reznikoff however
is best known for taking part in the selling of 7-8 million dollars
worth of forged Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy forgeries
and so much more. No one has come forward who has received a
refund. Reznikoff is an authenticator for PSA/DNA and JSA.
3) Scott Cornish. Authenticator who was fired by RR Auctions
for making the following statement, in writing, to a German autograph
dealer on Tues. 01 Apr 2008: No wonder Hitler took over
your country. If its current hobby leaders wont
even combat astronaut forgery occurring there, how could a dictator
ever be stopped? But thats not to say things havent
improved since then. I mean - its not like yall are still
making lampshades out of human skin or smashing babies
heads against brick walls. Remember what I said, little boy.
You have no clue how ugly I can get.
We sure know how ugly Bob Eaton of RR Auction can get. After
thinking things cooled down and collectors have forgotten, Eaton
rehired the racist Scott Cornish.
4) Rick Badway who seems to be lost in the forest and doesnt
have a clue posted this statement:
names, then mine is Salim El-Hoshan Badawi..but most call me
Bubba! Homeland Security, where are you?
5) DB: ?????? In hiding! Could be a phony name.
6) Roger Epperson, known for admittedly purchasing autographs
from at least two different forgers. His authentication of passing
as genuine modern made items by people who have been dead for
over 10 years before the item was made is legendary. He is also
on the authenticating team of JSA. Epperson also sends out anonymous
emails pretending to be a girl. He is known by many as Roger
Ill get it right the second time Epperson.
7) Mike Airing
These are the people who are supporting Cyrkins new site.
When someone with some intelligence makes the mistake of going
on there and posting an intelligent comment, their statement
is usually removed. Many are simply baffled why anyone would
go on that site. To associate your good name with those mentioned
above seems to be suicidal. Why add your name to that list? Readers
will forever associate your name with this motley crew.
Bill Panagopulous tried to straighten the blogs mess and
basically told them it would be best to stay focused on autographs.
Some of his comments were: I wish I could write a commercial
as long as this (self serving) blog post has proven to be
would think blatant business promotion and fawning praise by
sycophants and employees has no place on a website devoted to
What was the thanks Panagopulous got for his good intentions?
These are a few responses to Panagopulous:
but Bill should I ever get down your way, I will guarantee
I am sure to look you up and meet you in the parking lot.
By Bill Panagopulous getting involved in this fledging site he
was forced to write the following statements in several more
separate comments: Finally, its easy to harpoon
people anonymously, isnt it. You should have the courage
to reveal your identity and not paint your face to
hide yourself from those you insult
More by Panagopulous: I am a historian, not a huckster
yourself if you must
And the beat goes on by Panagopulous: your post below denigrates
comments made by me on this blog
. an on and on May
I submit ,sir, that you are a hypocrite
.you should spend
some time pulling the wood splinters out of your hands.
Before this whole scenario ended poor Panagopoulos (all because
he got involved with this site) had to defend his family individually.
He chose to explain the service to ones country by his
uncle, his mother, his grandfather and finally his father.
As smart as we believe Bill Panagopulous is, he apparently did
not learn one lesson. That is you can never win an argument with
an idiot. The idiot has too much experience!
Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin appears to be nothing more
than a baby with a hammer. He has little clue of the hobby or
running an autograph business and now destroying a hobby magazine.
Looking at the list above he seems to be a magnet for attracting
whackos, fraudsters, imbeciles and even a quack. The quack
is another story.
The latest disciple we can add to the Cyrkin motley crew is an
obvious nutcase on the loose going by the name of Mike Airing.
The following is information provided to the hobby by Steve anti-Semite
Cyrkin and his relationship with Mike Airing.
Mike was recommended to me as a supplier by the then-owner
of Starbright Autographs when I bought the business in 2006.
Mike and I became informal partners in it
give Starbrite the time and attention it needed and it suffered
as a consequence
..as Mike and I were splitting things up
there was a disagreement over ownership of some autographs that
got pretty intense
- So there you go, Cyrkin admits Airing was his partner.
Let us continue to show you the type Cyrkin attracts. The following
is quoted (against our better judgment) from Mike Airings
myspace page. http://www.myspace.com/barefootmk#ixzz100b5Is2B:
- Now We Have A Black President!!!
Alright, so now we have a black president and what everyone is
saying is correct
Anyone can be president. Yes, this sets
a beautiful precedent that says no matter what race, background
or religion you are, you can be president. Weve already
had a president that was a C student as best (yes, thats
right, even my dad told me I couldnt be president if I
got Cs on my report card!) and soon, we will have a minority
in the White House, really cute. It truly is a great way to show
that this country has come a long way.
My fiance and I discussed on our way out of wicked [the Broadway Play] last night that it wasnt
so long ago that Martin Luther King was assassinated and how
that affected (and still affects) our country. But now white
people are willing to elect a black president (African american
if youd like). In our history, it wasnt all that
long ago that there were white only restaurants and
that blacks had to sit at the back of the bus. Not long ago at
You know, Im from Arizona, and weve had john maccain
as senator for longer that ive been alive. and as long
as i can remember, he was going to be president. but i guess
he missed his window with bush (or both bushes). and i do believe
that the trickle down economy that republicans have
been cramming down the throats of americans for years, really
isnt working and its time for them to come up with
the haves, have not a clue. it is time for
a change, and we have come up with that change
see how it works.
But, it has set up an interesting set of questions, many of them
are racially biased. But for humor and affect, lets see
what we think
1) will obama have to ride around in the pope mobile to ensure
safety? thats an honest question, right? im sure
there are plenty of racist folks willing to kill the black president.
to be honest, i wouldnt be surprised of an attempt last
night (and no, I have no intentions to even think this scenario
for myself.) but there has to be some unhappy redneck in Kentucky
saying. f--- that nigger! (We couldnt do
it but Airing spelled out the F word). You or I may even know
2) will the presidential cavalcade have spinning rims on their
3) will the first car in the cavalcade bump? And have an announcer
yelling obama is here like when you watch boxers
coming into the ring.
4) who will be the first person elected to the cabinet? JayZ?
Im nominating him now. he went from absolutely nothing
to one of the most powerful people in the music industry today.
And he got Beyonce to boot!
- 5) hopefully his first order of business is to get
me my money back. and the rest of you too. Gas prices are still
ridiculous (do you realize that prices were below $2 before George
bush took office?)
6) what do you think his first order of business was? Do you
think he stood in his bedroom, in his hanes underwear and told
his wife, Im the head n------ (he
spelled out the N word) in charge now! Rub my feet!
These are just the simple questions I pondered last night before
bed. I was shocked that there wasnt a riot somewhere because
the world really is going to change after last night. i do believe
that it can change in the right direction. we need to focus on
the here and now, not some future in some other country that
we really have no business throwing our weight around anyway.
and I question we all should ponder. if they can make synthetic
oil for us to use to change our cars, why cant someone
come up with synthetic gasoline. That seems like a quicker alternative
than hybrid cars and electric cars. I dont know, Im
not a scientist, but I do think there are better things for scientists
to work on than getting a larger, big, a better hard on, or how
to keep our hair. Obviously these are all male problems and most
of the scientists are males as well. But thats my place
to start. Clean up the world, clean up the economy.
have fun, and if ive offended you
think that Im the only one having these thoughts? mike.
- These are the words of wisdom from a Cyrkin supporter.
This is the kind of person that Cyrkin attracts. This is the
person Cyrkin chooses to be a part owner of his autograph business
and this person was a contributing freelance writer for the defunct
So if you are thinking of backing Cyrkin and joining his handful
in any way or even of joining the motley crew by posting a message
on Cyrkins blog, youll have attached your name forever
to those treading water in this autograph cesspool.
- Breaking News:
- October 1, 2010
Continues to be a Loser
Even the handful that stuck
by the racist Cyrkin for whatever reason are now bitching. We
are being flooded with emails from those who were waiting to
see what Cyrkin was going to do. The following are just a few
emails from those who were for some insane reason giving Cyrkin
the benefit of doubt even after being screwed out of a handful
of issues of the magazine or simply offering him their condolences
on the death of Autograph magazine. A few at the bottom are from
those who have been banned from Cyrkins site for posting
negative messages about his magazine which were truthful but
Cyrkin did not want the balance of his subscribers to be that
educated and know what was actually going on.
Here is a sample of a few emails that came in just today:
Where is this so called on line version of the magazine?
It was Sept. 13 when the mass email went out telling of
the dead magazine format Where is this online September issue?
It is supposed to be password protected and able to view? There
is no such thing, just a couple of links to a section of the
site that anyone can view.
It has been over 2 weeks since the email went out. Im
a paying subscriber and have not had anything since June to read!!!
I never even hear anything from Steve (Cyrkin) or anybody
else. This is ridiculous.
Many feel these people are better off with nothing to read. Quite
a bit of what was once published was not accurate and some people
will read that , believe it and pass false information throughout
How about a few emails from those who gave up on the anti-Semite
and liar months ago.
For $29.95 u get to read a free online blog.
for every issue of the magazine that you paid for
and didnt get, you now have coming 2 months free for the
free online blog.
Free is free..and if you wrap a piece of shit in gold
still a piece of shit!!
Other free deals coming your way for the $29.95
that expired a year ago. Free of charge.!
Funnier yet the only two we could find sending Cyrkin words of
support were John the Psychic Authenticator and Herman
the Forger Darvick. Oh my!
- Breaking News:
- September 27, 2010
- Autograph Magazine
(July 1986 - June 2010) R.I.P.
Are you still begging Steve
anti-Semite Cyrkin for a refund for the February
2010 issue of Autograph magazine that you never received?
You can now add the July, August and September issues that were
never published. Dont hold your breath. Subscribers, advertisers
and whats left of his writers have been conned and lied
to along the way. Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin is simply
a looser and a very bad businessman. First to fall was his autograph
company Starbrite. Followed by the long time Autograph Collector
magazine, then calling it a name change to Autograph magazine.
His fledging blog is a smokescreen with messages approved by
Cyrkin and sent in by his friends some using fictitious names.
Others, not in Cyrkins back pocket write in and try to
tell the truth. They complain about Cyrkin, his magazine or some
of his writers and their messages are quickly removed. Some others
are now leaving messages ridiculing the site.
We wont even go into Cyrkins disastrous personal
life and finances as this web site tries to stay focused on autographs.
Cyrkin finally broke the silence and some news is out about the
magazine. Dont look in your mail box for any more issues
of the magazine. The inevitable day has finally arrived. The
magazine has died with the anemic June 2010 issue. Formal announcement
of its passing was finally made on September 10, 2010.
Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin has a long history of lying
and the following is what he had to say.
After totally ignoring many emails about not publishing a February
magazine we have to guess when it came to no July 2010 issue
it was time to respond with statements like its late coming
out. Then Cyrkin changed that lie on August 12 stating: we
had to skip July and yet another email said: there
actually was not a July issue and Im late getting August
Give us a break, instead of tripping over his tongue, hes
better off not saying anything.
What happened to the August issue? An August 17 email from the
magazine stating the next issue will be Aug/Sept issue
which you will see shortly. Yea, right, simply more lies.
Will get it shortly sounds to us that its all done and
ready to be mailed. By the way, who ordered a Aug/Sept issue?
Those who sent in a whopping $39.95 for 12 issues were getting
screwed again. Who can believe anything Cyrkin has to say?
Finally on September 10th we get the formal announcement from
Cyrkin on the death of the magazine. He tries to cover up his
mess and failure by stating: Im sorry for the delays
getting the magazine out
Delays, what the hell is
he trying to sell? Delays are when you actually print a magazine
and get it in the mail late. There was no February, July, August
and September issues so he cant even tell the truth during
the magazines funeral. He did admit to one thing when he
said that well all miss print issues. Even
thats not the truth as its difficult to find someone
who still subscribed to the magazine. So how many is all? Many
collectors, dealers, writers and advertisers gave up on Steve
anti-Semite Cyrkin a few years ago.
It certainly appears that if your name was associated with Steve
anti-Semite Cyrkin or his magazine, it became a death
wish. Subscribers started to cancel their subscription, others
simply did not renew. Many of his writers abandoned the magazine
while some longtime advertisers simply deserted.
To illustrate how much the shameless Cyrkin has offended the
autograph community the following is just a small sample of emails
we received with regards to the death of the magazine.
I added a comment on the magazine site and it was removed
and now it says Im banned. How can this Jew hating just
make up complete lies and still be an editor? I think I will
issue a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, the magazine
now has a C-rating
Wow! Looks like the last of the milk has spoiled. I did
not see this coming so soon..
The next one came from someone well known in the industry. It
was very strong and we did something we do not like to do and
that was soften the blow and do some editing.
It was September 10, 2010, and Santa Ana, the capitol of
Steve Cyrkins tottering Autograph Third Reich, was a shattered
inferno. An army of former collectors, subscribers and advertisers
had fought Internationally against the Autograph Chancellery.
The end was clearly at hand. Later in the day, Cyrkin retired
to his suite in the Autograph magazines underground bunker
to end it. The June 2010 issue was the last. Heil Cyrkin and
The person who sent the above is Jewish and abhors Cyrkin calling
a Jewish business person in this industry a kike.
He also hates Cyrkin for other reasons but thats not for
here. Cyrkin who has been called unprincipled is simply hated
by many. Cyrkin has been given several opportunities by multiple
persons to apologize for his hateful and anti-Semitic remark
and he refuses. For the most part, this was the beginning of
what many felt was no more room in this hobby for such a terrible
UNFORTUNATELY, Cyrkin is not totally going away, yet, and his
blight of insanity, lies, fabrications and mis-information may
continue because it appears he is dressing up in a different
Not long ago, a person acting as a potential advertiser in the
magazine asked Cyrkin the question: How many subscribers
do you have? Cyrkin refused to answer the embarrassing
question. Many believe it was down to just a few hundred at most.
A handful of readers of Cyrkins blog are all confused about
the loss and death of the magazine. We are not sure if the few
who write him are really Cyrkin himself sending emails under
different names. In any event, get over it and get use to it,
the magazine is dead. There is no more magazine you can hold
in your hand and put on your shelf. Cyrkin now calls whats
coming an online publication and also refers to it
as a web publication.
Even Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin came out on September
10 and stated in writing well all miss print issues
We dont know how many all is, but even a few
of the handful on his blog dont agree with him.
Cyrkin basically ran what was once a good magazine (when run
by others) into the ground, inundating customers with lies, the
following statement and sales pitch out of Cyrkin is almost unbelievable.
Talk about trying to promote something that you doubt will succeed
is quite evident in Cyrkins announcement on September 13.
Cyrkin rambles: Like you, I love sitting back with a magazine
.it has to be a web publication
think it will survive. We think????? Now theres one good
reason not to send this guy any more money!
Cyrkin continues, but sounds like hes still at the magazines
funeral: I know this may be a disappointment to you, Im
sorry. For the first time he apologizes for one of his
atrocities and that is for running a magazine into the ground.
Heres where Cyrkin thinks his readers are simply stupid.
The new online subscription price is $29.95, so its
a huge savings. A huge savings over what? His price increase
just several months ago to $39.95 was a complete failure. It
was the last nail in the magazines coffin. In December 2009 you
could have subscribed to the magazine for $29.95. Twenty-nine
dollars and ninety five cents is the price Cyrkin was happy with
to make a profit. For this $29.95 he had to purchase paper to
print on, black and color ink, shiny heavy paper covers and the
costs for publishing and postage.
Now, he thinks he can convince someone to pay a whopping $29.95
for what? What are his costs now? If you still want to read articles
written by a Director of the UACC about his wonderful guitar
he was so proud of and that most anyone with some knowledge of
music autographs could identify from the illustration in the
magazine that all two dozen signatures were forgeries. Or do
you like Cyrkins list of addresses where he lists someone
who was dead for two years and Cyrkin states that it may take
some time to get a response? How about Cyrkin running a little
guessing game and if you make the right guess you win a prize.
The prize offered was a photo containing a fake autograph. We
really miss those games (LOL) and how often does Cyrkin have
to prove to us he doesnt know much about autographs? Actually
one only has to look at the things Cyrkin used to sell on his
company web site Starbrite to know he knows little about autographs.
But in Cyrkins defense he did admit he was pulling the
forgeries out of his inventory. By the way, if you go back to
his old Starbrite website that clearly states: we go to
great lengths to ensure that you will be purchasing first-rate,
high quality authentic autographs. We are an in-person
.we obtain it or we dont sell it
Ooooops, Cyrkin apparently got trapped and caught in his own
lie. If you want to believe Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin,
then he was getting forgeries in person. Go figure!
Thousands of you have been reading stories on www.autographalert.com
for over 5 years and how much is our subscription? Every story
you have read is absolutely accurate and well documented. Why
should anyone pay for inaccurate stories, bad addresses and a
chance to win a phony autograph as a prize? Hey, if he can find
a few suckers, more power to him!
The apparently dysfunctional Cyrkin continues on September 13.
if you dont like it (web publication) you get a store
Astonishing, does this mean you can chose
one of his so-called in person autographs mentioned
The result of all this is where we can all get a good laugh.
The cavalry arrive and who comes to support Steve anti-Semite
1) John the psychic authenticator Reznikoff of University
Archives. A soothsayer who thinks he can authenticate an autograph
without seeing it. He just has to know who owns the item. Many
in this hobby are still baffled why this guy is not in jail.
His partner, the forger went to prison and Reznikoff was one
who passed many of the forgeries to other dealers and investors.
Reznikoff holds the worlds record to participating in the sale
of 7-8 million dollars worth of forged Marilyn Monroe and John
F. Kennedys. Try to find one person who received a refund.
Reznikoff was also involved in the selling of all those Elvis
Presley lyrics and dont even let us start on his selling
Reznikoff makes one of the statements of the decade by saying
to Crykin: I want to thank you personally for doing more
than any single person in the trade to wipe out fraud and forgery
in our industry
you have my vote of confidence and my support
Shouldnt Reznikoff be saying: Thank you for not exposing
me in your magazine. Thank you for not going the route of the
mass media like the articles in the New York Times about my participation
in the largest forgery case in the history of our hobby. Thank
you for not writing up as news the story about my need to resign
from PADA an autograph organization I helped create. Thank you
for not publishing the story about my membership being revoked
in the International Autograph Collectors Club and Dealers Alliance
over ethics violations. Thank you for not mentioning all the
time I sold other bad material and refused to issue refunds.
Thank you for covering my ass and especially for allowing me
to still take full page ads in your magazine leading your readers
to believe Im running an honest business. Yes, for all
this, Mr. Cyrkin, you have my support on your new venture.
By the way can anyone name one person where anything was done
by Cyrkin that has resulted in an arrest of a forger? Its
all Reznikoffs B.S.
2) Herman Darvick, the disgraced ex-President of the UACC who
was banned from the club for twenty years says: Steve (Cyrkin)
you have my full support. Anything I can do to help, feel free
Herman, how about selling some of your presidential forgeries?
It was just a few months ago he denied, in writing, ever forging
an autograph. Forgetting he said that, he recently admitted and
even told the autograph community which presidential signatures
he has forged in the past. The autograph community and Cyrkin
have been Darvicted! Darvick can take an ad in Cyrkins
web publication and try to attract those who cant
afford a genuine presidential autograph and give them a good
deal on one of his forgeries.
The above is the type of individuals Cyrkin attracts and gets
their support. Theres so much more to come in the following
weeks. These are the pathetic circles Cyrkin moves in!
Does Cyrkin have a grip on the hobby? We think not. After all
these years he now wants to take surveys on what readers and
subscribers want to read. Where was this guy for the last several
years? Cyrkin wants to give you larger photos maybe this will
only help Cyrkin spot the forgeries in his own publication.
Let us show you how Steve anti-Semite Cyrkin has
single handedly destroyed Autograph Collectors Magazine.
The magazine was first published in July/August 1986 by Joe Kraus.
According to Joe Kraus: This magazine was started on faith,
faith that autograph collectors everywhere would support it,
faith that advertisers would come forth, faith that we would
have the writers who would back the magazine with their stories
subscribers that have already passed the 600 mark at this writing
is expected to hit 1,000 by the time this first issue is off
The magazine was an instant hit with educational articles touching
most fields of collecting. It was an autograph collector friendly
magazine with a column Do you have a Question? Another
nice feature was Autograph Collectors In The News.
Joe Kraus had no problem sharing the hobby with others as he
even had a section for his competition called Other Autograph
Most impressive is when many were not even aware the first magazine
was being published, Joe Kraus already had an amazing 35 paid
Next the magazine was taken over by Bill Miller and Darrell Talbert.
These two fellows were a class act. They grew the magazine to
news stand quality with color covers, color advertising and educational
stories to wet your whistle. Bill Miller was so in touch with
the hobby he was asked to teach an educational course at one
of the International Autograph Collectors Club and Dealer Alliance
Autograph Extravaganzas. The Certificates of Completion signed
by Miller for that course have become collectors items.
For an example when the world seemed to be crashing down upon
us on 9/11 we will take a look at the September 2001 issue of
Autograph Collector Magazine. A whopping 168 pages where
some of the real top experts wrote articles on a variety of subjects.
Whats even more impressive is that Miller and Talbert got
the hobbys support. In this issue they had 85 advertisers.
Now we can see how the magazine under the ownership of Steve
anti-Semite Cyrkin simply crumbles and dies.
We can refer to the April 2010 issue. We have a copy on hand
only because they were given away free. It is a measly, sickly
looking 66 pages, a shade of its former self. Five of the pages
were used for Cyrkins self promotion. As for the writers,
where the magazine once was able to brag that the industry top
experts were writing for the magazine, we only recognize one
name. Support from advertisers, basically non existent. So embarrassing
the section listing the advertisers was dropped. Of the handful
who did not mind advertising and associating their company names
with a documented racist and anti-Semite we can assure you that
not all of them paid for advertising. Their space was a gift.
The mail from everyone is nearly over whelming over the death
of the magazine. The hatred for Cyrkin is quite evident. One
person even mailed in their November 2008 issue, unopened and
in its original plastic holder. The person wanted us to know
what they thought of the magazine. After seeing a few issues,
they were no longer worth opening.
- Unopened November 2008 issue, Collector
rebelling against the magazine
- Cyrkin became one of the hobbys most hated
individuals. The hobby left him behind in a life raft without
a paddle. The magazine went to its final resting place with the
June 2010 issue. Rest in Peace!
- September 24, 2010
Should We Change Our Appearance?
The support for www.autographalert.com
coming from the International Autograph Community is overwhelming.
Not only are we getting support from both novice and seasoned
autograph collectors and dealers we are getting support from
the stamp and coin trade and from book dealers. Just today we
heard that a California Rare Book Dealer was thinking about offering
some autographs to a high profile seller of autographs but when
they saw that seller was highlighted for years on this site,
they chose someone else.
Even a week or so before this month ends, it is evident we will
break another record for visits.
The management of www.autographalert.com wants to take this opportunity
to personally thank each and every one of our supporters. For
your continued support, we promise many more educational articles
are coming. It is our effort to help you save money and not get
caught up in all the fraud that has overtaken this once wonderful
hobby of autograph collecting.
We recently received an email which we will quote word for word
from an www.autographalert.com supporter.
I visit your site regularly and Ive corresponded
a couple of times. I play around with graphic arts as a hobby.
Last night I created this header for the fun of it. If you like
it, you can feel free to use it. I made it in CorelDraw, a graphics
arts program. Everything is royalty free. I dont know if
other places might use a feather attached to an autograph as
a logo, but it wouldnt be exactly like this. Anyway, thanks
for the great site.
- Heading being considered for home page
- Management of this site is divided. Some say to
not fool with success and others say it will dress up the Home
Page. Another says our dedicated readers are used to the original
look, people dont like change.
More importantly, lets hear what you, our loyal supporters
- September 22, 2010
Forger Using Third Party Authenticators
Flood Market With Fake Autographs
Well a longtime forger from
Missouri who was once well known for passing many forgeries of
John Wayne Gacy on unsuspecting collectors and dealers is back
and working under three aliases.
His expertise with the pen is signing autographs of Muhammad
Ali, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson.
The forger has recently been scared of being exposed and refunded
a dealer on 500 signed photographs of Muhammad Ali. The forger
well aware of and taking advantage of the incompetence of the
high profile third party authenticators sent in 10 photos with
forged signatures of Ali. The forger gets them COAd and
shows the photographs to a dealer along with the COAs.
The forger wants $50 a piece for the forged signed photo.s However,
and heres the game, if you take others with the same style
signature without the COAs you can have them for only $30.
Therefore the dealer only has to pay $15,000 for the 500 signed
The dealer felt $20 per photo was a huge savings. He also knew
that with a volume of 500 photos he can get the authenticating
company to authenticate them for a fraction of the $20. However,
the incompetent authenticating company got the 500 photos and
turned them all down. The dealer who now owns the photos screams
bloody murder telling the authenticating company that they OKd
10 from the same batch just weeks before.
The well known high profile authenticating company states they
get nervous when they see so many of the same item.
What ever happened to being able to authenticate a signature
whether its on one item or 500?
This is not an isolated incident. Problem is if the submitter
is a forger of signed pieces and is someone known or a good customer
to the authenticating company, the items get passed. Thus the
forgers have an ally in the authenticating companies. The high
profile authenticating companies are flooding the market with
- Breaking News:
- September 20, 2010
Involvement in Stolen Will
According to a recent
post on www.haulsofshame.com
Speaking of stolen wills, dealer Kevin Keating of Alexandria,
Virginia is reportedly cooperating with the Boston Police department
in their efforts to recover the desecrated will of Abby Wright,
wife of Hall-of-Famer George Wright. He was offering a page wrongfully
removed from her probate file and signed by her husband for $6,500
on his website. In late July, Detective Steven Blair of the BPD
told the Boston Herald that they planned to pursue it criminally
if Keating, who is also an authenticator for PSA/DNA, didnt
agree to give it back. A call to BPD this week confirmed
that, the Wright document hasnt arrived back in Boston,
- September 17, 2010
Mail Order Forensic Document Examiner
by Steve Packard
This is particularly interesting
since James Spences own web site for JSA Authentication
has biographies of the experts on the team. Spences
biography states that Mr. Spence has successfully completed
James Spence recently told a client that he should run
for the hills any time he saw a report from a forensic
document examiner or a board certified examiner because
they dont know what they are doing... in Forensic Document
Really? Is he really one of the guys who he says people should
run for the hills to get away from? Is he really
a certified forensic document examiner? Was he suggesting to
the client that he should be running to the hills to get away
from James Spence?
A look at his resume will inform us when all of this really happened.
When did he get the two years of side-by-side apprentice-style
training that is customarily considered the groundwork to be
a forensic document examiner?
As a fortunate aside of a lawsuit filed against James Spence,
there is a sworn deposition from March 1, 2000. We were able
to get a lot of information from this document, but unfortunately
were not able to determine when he did the customary two-year
side-by-side apprentice-style training. Spence did not seem to
think it was worth mentioning, not even he was asked about his
training. Did it really happen?
Lets examine his background and see.
He graduated from Iona College of New York in 1982 with a BA
degree in French and International Business. No document examiner
After college, from 1982-1983, he worked as a fitness instructor
at Club Med in Guadeloupe. Its not likely that this involved
too much handwriting training.
He next worked as a fitness instructor for Cunard Cruise Lines,
1983-1984. Theyre not generally known as a hotbed of handwriting
training, especially when one is doing jumping jacks and aerobics.
James Spence went to dry land from 1984-1988, working for American
Van Equipment. He sold commercial equipment for plumbers, electricians
and cable tv. There probably was not much of an opportunity for
handwriting training there, although cable tv does broadcast
cop shows that, at times, mention handwriting. Does that count?
- He left American Van Equipment in 1988 to specialize.
In handwriting? Not exactly. He moved on to the Lynn Ladder Company.
He now specialized in ladders and ladder equipment. He stayed
there until 1991.
He started doing shows part-time sometime between 1989-1991.
Since he had been employed in a series of non-handwriting related
jobs prior to that and during that period, when did he get his
two-year training in? When did he become a forensic document
According to Spence, his first handwriting training took place
when he was fifteen. He was a student at Mount Carmel Preparatory,
a boarding high school in Niagara Falls, Canada. Over a couple
weeks span, he took a course in handwriting analysis or
something to that degree. His teacher was Father Norman
Whirling. Father Whirling stressed graphology, the purported
ability to determine ones personality through their handwriting.
How did that prepare him to be a forensic document examiner?
Does he look at signatures and decide that someone would not
have been in the right frame of mind to sign the piece?
According to Spence, he received his certificate as a forensic
document examiner in February 2000. He received this certificate
from a fellow by the name of Andrew Bradley in Denver,
Ah, so Andrew Bradley gave him the two years of side-by-side
apprentice-style training that is customarily considered the
groundwork to be a forensic document examiner?
It seems the course was a correspondence course. James Spence
received a mail order certificate.
He never even met Andrew Bradley, so the side-by-side training
would have been rather difficult to accomplish. He didnt
even know where Bradley worked. I believe its strictly
out of his home. Or his place of business I should say. I dont
know if he works out of his home as a place of business.
What? He doesnt even know where his trainer
According to Spence, his training consisted of paying a $400
or $500 fee and completing the material in a notebook that Bradley
mailed to him. He stated that there was a tremendous amount
of reading that goes into it. There are a series of different
worksheets which act as an exam. And then after receiving a grade
back on that, theres a final exam.
- We have a copy of Andrew Bradleys correspondence
course training book. Its a whopping one inch thick. The
text is double sided. The text is only printed on one side of
the paper. That one inch includes section dividers, the lessons
and the worksheets. It includes pages with cute drawings, like
the full page drawing of a lady with a light bulb above her head.
It includes the appendix.
Approximately ¼ of the notebook deals with typewriting,
anonymous letters and matters that will never come to play in
the daily work at JSA. For example, there is a section on writing
instruments, erased writing, etc. Use of the ESDA. Unfortunately,
5 of the 8 pages in this section are dedicated to the ESDA, the
electrostatic detection apparatus, a machine that has no practical
application in authentication, whatsoever. The ESDA is used to
detect indentation on a piece of paper. Indented writing on a
piece of paper that had been under another piece of paper when
someone wrote on the upper piece of paper. If works if you had
a pad of paper and something was written on a page that has since
been removed. How would this work on an album? A baseball? A
jersey? Not at all.
- The mechanics of handwriting section, which should
be a major portion of the work Spence currently does appears
in the beginning of the notebook. Two 5-page sections. Not exactly
extensive, by any standard.
The handwriting characteristics section is split into three parts.
The largest is a whopping 6½ pages. One could practically
make it through that during a tv commercial break. The smallest
of the three sections is 4 pages.
The process of comparison section 5½ pages long. Thats
with a 2 inch margin at the top of the page and 1¼ margins
at the bottom of the page and the left side of the page. This
makes the actual size of the area with text on the page 7¾x6.
To put the size in perspective, that would fit in an 8x10 frame.
With a lot of room to spare.
There are more sections, but you probably get there point. Theres
not a lot of meat to this one inch notebook.
It would be hard to believe that anyone would be too taxed by
anything in a one inch workbook, at least not too taxed for very
long. Really, how long could it take, especially considering
a lot of it is filler?
According to James Spence, it was extremely taxing. How long
did it take him to complete this one inch thick correspondence
course? A period of four months.
Spence asserted that he was very diligent with my studies
with it. Certainly more than once a week. In many cases, sometimes
Id work on it from 7:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night.
Wow. Most people could probably finish a notebook that was one
inch thick, with filler material, in tops a couple
hours. Four months, including multiple 15 hour days? Spence must
be either a REALLY slow reader or learner, or both.
Even if one believes that it actually took Spence 4 months of
long, grinding days to
complete 1 inch of text mixed in with drawings and filler material,
it clearly would not constitute the equivalent of two years of
side-by-side apprentice-style training that is customarily considered
the groundwork to be a forensic document examiner.
In fact, no organization recognizes Bradleys inch thick
correspondence course as a legitimate basis for anyone to claim
to be a forensic document examiner, no matter what Bradley titled
the course or printed on the certificate.
Its kind of like drawing winkie on the matchbook and then
claiming you were an animator.
So, if Spences certificate as a forensic document examiner
constitutes nothing more than a mail order gimmick that was designed
to make Bradley extra income with very little effort, what is
the status of James Spences claim that he is a forensic
document examiner? Did he receive any other formal training?
Other than the personality traits course with Father Whirling
and Bradleys inch thick correspondence course, when asked
if he had any other formal training, Spence said No.
No other formal training, whatsoever.
- According to Spence, he did have some informal
training. He said he visited with noted forensic document examiner
Charles Hamilton perhaps five to seven times between
1994 to 1998. During each of these five to seven times
that Spence states he visited with Charles Hamilton, he brought
along his friend Alfred Angelo, a CPA who had a large memorabilia
On at least one of the visits, Spence explained, Hamilton took
the ten signatures for review. He returned them within one or
two weeks. Since Spence was not present, by his own admission,
when Hamilton did the examinations, at best there were four to
six visits during which he may have seen Hamilton do work. Even
if we give him credit for all of those visits, since he testified
that he never stayed overnight, there is no way by any
standards that a handful of visits would constitute the
two years of side-by-side apprentice-style training that is customarily
considered the groundwork to be a forensic document examiner.
Unfortunately, it doesnt seem we can even give him credit
for even all of the visits. Spence testified that he and his
buddy the CPA visited Hamilton five to seven times
between 1994 and 1998.
Charles Hamilton died on December 13, 1996.
How many of the five to seven times between 1994
and 1998 occurred after December 13, 1996? Were any of them conducted
with an Ouija board?
Other than that, James Spence said his only training was on the
job. So, a man with virtually no training essentially learned
to authenticate by being a lead examiner at PSADNA and then spinning
off for his own company, JSA.
Since nobody at PSADNA has had formal training, and nobody at
JSA has formal training, Spences on-the-job training really
amounts to no more than the blind leading the blind.
James Spence has never done anything even remotely close to the
two years of side-by-side apprentice-style training that is customarily
considered the groundwork to be a forensic document examiner.
Yes, his own web site touts him as a forensic document examiner.
There are only two places in the world where James Spence is
a forensic document examiner.
The first is in his biography on his own web site.
The other is in his own mind.
Considering all of this, its not hard to figure out why
JSAs submission forms and the JSA web site both carry the
Certification and authentication involves an individual
judgment that is subjective and requires the exercise of professional
opinion, which can change from time to time. Therefore, JSA makes
no warranty or representation and shall have no liability whatsoever
to the customer for the opinion rendered by JSA on any submission.
- Why not a simple disclaimer? Like: James Spence,
Mail Order Forensic Document Examiner.
- Breaking News:
- September 15, 2010
Has panic time for these
uneducated autograph guessors finally arrived? The lines are
noticeably shorter at the booths of those companies who still
claim they can authenticate autographs. How often have we seen
authenticating companies with an F rating by the
Better Business Bureau?
Complaints are by the thousands and who has any respect for most
autographs being offered on eBay? By this time everyone should
be aware that eBay uses the high profile 3rd party authenticating
companies. Look at the mess that has been created.
Theres only one reason why the companies who still have
the nerve to claim they can authenticate autographs are panicking.
The answer is many legitimate professional autograph dealers
and even autograph clubs will no longer accept these authenticating
companies certificates for a refund. The list of dealers not
accepting the uneducated guess from wannabe authenticators
is growing rapidly. Therefore, its simply a waste of money
for any collector to pay for one of the guesses from
an authenticating company! Most legitimate autograph dealers
will tell you the certificates of authenticity are basically
Its been apparent many of the questionable sellers of autographs
are trying to get their bad items passed as genuine. When they
have been questioned in the past, they say dont blame
me, the authenticator said it was genuine. Now the seller wont
refund your money. The authenticating company wont
refund your money either as they dont guarantee a thing.
Where else in life does anyone spend money for a product or service
especially with someone with a well documented background of
being incompetent and there are absolutely no guarantees for
anything. To add insult to injury you will be told you
only purchased our opinion and that would be from someone
who had little or no background in our hobby.
How desperate are these companies getting? Steve anti-semite
Cyrkin owner of the defunct printed copy of Autograph magazine,
placed a phone call to a representative of www.autographalert.com
on Sunday, September 5, 2010. As many of you are aware, Cyrkin
is one of the co-founders of PSA/DNA and is still a major stock
holder in the company.
Cyrkins complaint is that www.autographalert.com keeps
advising the collecting public of how incompetent the authenticators
are. He feels the information published on this site is affecting
the support to authenticating companies. He also claims some
dealers which he doesnt approve of (all non advertisers
when his magazine was published) will not give a refund because
of the information on this site. He was reminded that we have
no record of him giving refunds for non published issues of his
magazine. Cyrkin was also reminded that his two full page advertisers
John Reznikoff of University Archives and Roger Epperson of Signed,
Sealed and Delivered also have a record for refusing to issue
refunds for forged signatures they sold.
This site does not publish fabricated stories but documents just
some of the highlights of authenticators mistakes and publishes
where the sale is taking place, the date, the item number and
mentions whether they authenticated as genuine a printed or rubber
stamped signature and in other cases even authenticated the wrong
Shocking, of all the people to call us is someone whose autograph
business, Starbrite website, magazine and blog all seems to be
dissolving. Typical of someone who clearly appears to be going
down and wants to take whats left of this hobby with him.
In closing, the more professional dealers and auction houses
who do not accept the guesses from the authenticators,
there will be no reason for collectors to use them. Hopefully
the authenticators, almost all of whose names were unknown to
the hobby before they became instant experts will
go back to wherever they came from.
- Breaking News:
- September 13, 2010
email responses for
eBay to Suspend PSA/DNA and JSA
To whom it may concern,
This is in response to the June 10th article about a petition
to have ebay suspend PSA/DNA.
- I once was an individual who thought that 3rd party
grading services was the way to go, obviously I didn't do my
homework on the subject and didn't know about autographalert.
- A few years ago I went to a collectors show in
which PSA/DNA had an on site service to authentic items for a
fee. I paid the fee to have a really great looking Joe DiMaggio
signed baseball authenticated and imagine my surprise when I
was told that the autograph wasn't real in their opinion. I asked
to speak with the authenticator and was told that he couldn't
come out and talk to me. The reason that I was surprised, I had
Joe sign the baseball in front of me at a sports collectors show
in 1995 in San Francisco, so I know that the autograph is REAL!
I asked for my money back but of course they wouldn't refund
my money since it was their opinion. I filed a complaint with
the SoCal BBB and PSA's response was to have me send the ball
down to them and they would try to authentic the ball again,
needless to say I didn't do it.
- I've also had a Ted Williams signed baseball removed
from ebay in the past which upset me.
- Something has to be done concerning PSA/DNA and
JSA as they're stealing money from many innocent people who think
that the 3rd party grading is ensuring that the autograph is
real. It's a shame to see that items on ebay selling for the
highest prices are with COA's from PSA/DNA or JSA.
- I once tried to sell my Joe DiMaggio signed ball
on ebay and stated that I guarantee the autograph to be 100%
real if taken to a company that will really authenticate the
autograph and not just give an opinion like PSA/DNA or JSA. I
placed a reserve on the ball and of course the highest bid didn't
reach my reserve which was lower than the selling price of balls
signed with PSA/DNA or JSA COA's.
- Count me in as one who would do my part to help
to stop PSA/DNA and JSA from scamming other's.
- Breaking News:
- September 1, 2010
magazine, has it hit the skids?
Talk about having problems
and financial difficulties Steve anti-semite Cyrkin
appears to be the leader of the pack.
Ever since this person got off the track it appears he has gone
ballistic. We dont know how many more professionals in
this business have to tell him to stop his attacks and his antics
towards non-subscribers and non-advertisers and get back to attempting
to publish a magazine.
Autographalert.com recently received an email from one of our
admirers dated August 19, 2010 and it states: I think a
blog on your website (www.autographalert.com) would be a KILLER!
Our response was
absolutely not. Steve Cyrkin appears to
have given up on his magazine and it putting what's left of his
energy into a blog. Its failing miserably. He has admitted
he is aware many persons (most likely his few friends) are posting
messages he approves of and then he responds. The names used
are unknown to the hobby, not members of any organization or
known to dealers yet they have a lot to say. Much of Cyrkin's
time is spent removing messages that criticize him, his actions
or his magazine. Cyrkin must live on the site as these messages
don't usually last several minutes before he removes them. Its
all one sided and hes fooling few.
Steve anti-semite Cyrkin would be ahead of himself
and maybe still in the picture if he could simply tell the truth.
How long will it take for him to remove the forgeries from his
inventory. His Starbrite autograph business appears to have folded.
He claimed he was removing forgeries from its inventory but on
his ads he claims all autographs were received in person.
If you go to the defunct web site it states the site is Temporarily
Closed and will reopen August 6. The August 6 he refers
to is two years ago! He continued to insult what was left of
his subscribers by raising his subscription price by 20% and
then screw them out of a February 2010 issue.
Complaints were sent to Cyrkin from every direction and some
of his subscribers sent us copies of the emails. Have you tried
getting a reimbursement from Cyrkin for a missing issue? He will
tell you that he will extend your subscription. If you keep questioning
him you will hear: they keep claiming publishing delays
communication back and forth between Steve all of a sudden went
or I have been emailing you (Steve Cyrkin)
back and forth but the last couple of months you stopped replying
to my emails once I asked you where the magazine is
Many have told us, from around the world, they wont bother
having to deal with Cyrkin for a refund and just wont renew
One very lame reply from Steve anti-semite Cyrkin
was about issues of his anemic magazine that were never published.
We had to skip July and Im late getting August out
Finally some truth from Cyrkin: We had to skip July
then he goes into a lie Im late getting out August!
He tries to give the impression that August is coming but just
late. Well folks, there was no August either and basically September
should have been received two weeks ago or more.
How can you tell someone is desperate? Steve anti-semite
Cyrkins latest move is attempting to invoice old advertisers
for advertising they took and paid for four to five years ago.
In one instance Steve anti-semite Cyrkin called an
old advertiser who at one time took two full page ads and told
the advertiser that they owed a few thousand dollars for unpaid
advertising. Cyrkin stated to the advertiser that his employee
who was on drugs (meth) did not send out invoices.
The advertiser check their records and it was clear to them that
all advertising was paid for. Cyrkin was asked during a telephone
conversation how many others is he trying to double bill and
his answer was thats confidential. It appears
Cyrkin is trying to find a new way of obtaining revenue.
We heard from an insider that Cyrkin has also asked at least
one of his few current advertisers to pay for their ad one year
in advance. If they fell for this ploy they already missed three
It certainly appears between his old subscribers, advertisers
and many writers who have flew the coup, no one is throwing Steve
anti-semite Cyrkin a life ring.