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In the News January 2011 - May 2011

Breaking News:
May 22, 2011
 
Autograph Quarterly Magazine
Vol.#1, Issue #2
Being Mailed to Subscribers


We are sure by now, most of you have read the rave reviews about the inaugural issue of Autograph Quarterly magazine. We are told 8,000 copies of the magazine were printed and distributed (great for the advertisers).

We just received Issue #2 and this is simply another blockbuster. The magazine is quite heavy in weight and content. Eighty-eight pages in length, printed on glossy paper with vibrant color covers, inside and out.

It begins with an interesting full page Editorial Briefs and a page and a half of “The Publishers View.” Most interesting to say the least. Issue #2 is dedicated to Robert F. Batchelder, a legend in the field of autographs who published 125 plus catalogs.

Those who always complained about past autograph magazines lacking content, well those days are over.

Just some of the interesting stories published in Issue #2 all written by professionals well known in this hobby.

Robert E. Lee and a Jinxed Wedding, 5 pages
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, 3 pages
Collecting Adventurers and Explorers, 7 pages
The Greatest Living Actor, 2.5 pages
Meeting The Legends of Golf, 4 pages
Should I or Shouldn’t I, An Interview with Marisa Tomei, 6 pages
Glimpses of Maurice Sendak, 3 pages
Sonny Liston Signature Study, 2 pages
An “Ozz” ume Autograph, 3 pages
The Kings of Late Night, 8 pages
Signed photographs of Eleanor Roosevelt, 4 pages
Bono’s Various Signatures, 7 pages
Celebrity Signing Habits, 5 pages
Illinois Brother, John Belushi, 6 pages
Egypt: Hosni Mubarak and His Predecessors, 5 pages.

It’s also refreshing to see the support from International experts/writers who support the magazine with informative and educational articles.

Surprisingly, issue #2 contains an original collectible, courtesy of Star Wares. Cloth cut from a garment worn by Tony Curtis in the film Some Like It Hot opposite Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, numbered and signed by the CEO of Star Wares.

It is the opinion of everyone we have spoken to that the collectible inserted in this magazine is worth many times the cost of this issue.

Last and surely not least is congratulations to all those professional autograph dealers who had the insight to advertise in this new venture. Eight thousand collectors and dealers in the hobby will see your ad during the next three months.

We are told by the publishers that Issue #3 is well into the works and some outstanding articles have been already received.

Autograph Quarterly ad rates are:

Quarter Page - $200.00
Half Page - $300.00
Full page - $500.00

Contact Victoria Gregory via email at VictoriaGregory@autographquarterly.com to reserve your ad space.

To subscribe to the magazine, go to www.autographquarterly.com

Questions about Autograph Quarterly? email questions@autographquarterly.com


Breaking News:
May 13, 2011
 
Steve Cyrkin of the defunct Autograph magazine
disparages additional religions

Steve Cyrkin is known to most in this autograph hobby as the “anti-Semite.” This degenerate, in writing, called a high profile autograph dealer and owner of several galleries “a kike.” Any Jewish person will tell you that this is the absolute most awful and hateful word a Jew could call another Jewish person.

Some members of the autograph community including this site and an autograph club have attempted to have the anti-Semite apologize so this matter could be put to rest. Cyrkin stands by his anti-Semite words and refuses to apologize. Steve Cyrkin certainly appears to be one of the three most hated persons in the autograph hobby.

It appears that the Jewish religion is not all that Cyrkin despises!

After the failure of Cyrkin’s autograph business Starbrite and the failure of his Autograph magazine he has attempted to get a web site off the ground. The web site is full of negative statements posted mostly by persons using fictitious names. When asked about the fictitious names, Cyrkin has admitted this. It appears just 2 or 3 people ask questions to try and hurt others and then they answer their own question using a different log on name. A few of the known writers on that site are those who have broken the hobby’s record for selling the most forgeries. Others are well known forgers, liars, thief’s and persons who have admitted buying from multiple forgers.

Most anyone familiar with Cyrkin’s site knows well how within minutes of a posting, if it has anything to do with exposing one of his followers, Cyrkin removes the posting.

Apparently Cyrkin has no problem by supporting comments which have negative meanings regarding additional religions.

One degenerate posts a message and obviously has no clue what he is talking about. It is by a person named Robert Zarrillo. This sicko states: “yes the ancients collected autographs - but don’t expect to find a Julius Caesar around today…I saw an ad somewhere recently which said this dealer had autographs going back to 4000 BC (Before Christ)!!! Then he makes fun of Jesus Christ and states “or was that BS (Bull Shit).”

BC to BS, what is wrong with these people and Cyrkin for poking fun of Before Christ?

What does Cyrkin have against all these religions?

Zarrillo proves he knows little about our hobby as he goes on to say: “As for dealers I have some of Walter Benjamins price lists and journals….so I would say he was the first modern dealer in autographs.” Zarrillo’s ignorance is overwhelming. He obviously doesn’t own many reference books and has not read educational articles in autograph journals as most everyone is aware that Charles DeForest Burns was the premier autograph dealer in America. His first catalog, The American Antiquarian, was published in August 1870, seven years before Walter Benjamin formed his business.

Zarrillo continues to prove he’s nothing but an empty suit: “the next year, a store that was very much like Benjamin’s was established by Francis Madigan…”

Has anyone ever heard of a Francis Madigan?????? For those interested there was a Patrick Madigan who was a bookseller for many years in New York. In 1907 his son Thomas Madigan began his apprenticeship and in 1909 they began to deal extensively in autographs. In 1930 Thomas Madigan wrote Word Shadows of the Great, The Lure of Autograph Collecting.

So much for Cyrkin and his following of geniuses.

Now appears another empty suit.

We see there is a Mr. Zipper on Cyrkin’s web site site. This is one zipper that needs to be shut! He goes under the name of Mr. Zipper and we find this one is on the board of the UACC Ethics Committee. His real name is Steve Zarelli.

Zarelli writes: “I heard once that Jesus went into the marketplace and overturned the table of a dealer selling forgeries and secretarials. Legend has it, it was (and he names an autograph dealer).

Again what is it with Cyrkin and his lowly followers regarding religion?

First the Jews, then the Catholics and now Buddhism!

An empty skull by the name of Greg Van derhoven posts a message on April 20 and takes a picture of a noted autograph dealer holding a Holy Bible. That bible was recently signed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is a Buddhist Leader, Head of State and Spiritual Leader of Tibet. Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards in recognition of peace, non violence and for inter-religious understanding. This oddity Van derhoven replaces the dealers profile and replaces it with the head of John Wayne Gacy who it now appears is holding The Holy Bible.

All this supported by Steve the “anti-Semite” Cyrkin. The only bright spot in this whole scenario is that Steve Cyrkin has already been crucified by his peers.

First the Jewish people, now the Catholics and Buddhists what religion will be next for Cyrkin to help trash?

Steve Cyrkin reminds us of a statement one historical figure once said. "An empty cab pulled up to the curb and Steve Cyrkin got out."

We guess the best thing to do is find something we can all agree on. So let’s refer to an email that Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin posted on his own web site on March 23, 2011 at 1:23PM. “Ha…maybe I’m as dumb as some say I am.”

Breaking News:
May 7, 2011
 
R R Auction
Can I Use Them?


Quite often we get emails from our readers asking if is safe to purchase from a certain dealer or auction house. We usually don’t recommend any one dealer or auction house in particular.

However there are some businesses that we get an unusual amount of negative feedback.

For those who have asked about R R Auction, we went to our files and the following is just a small sampling of emails we received from our readers. Some of the writers have asked their names not be mentioned for fear of retribution. Since some of the complaints are so serious, some writers have stated they just wanted www.autographalert.com to have the records in our files but not to even mention the content to anyone.

Since there is a possibility of R R Auction filing a lawsuit against the owners of this site, we have not listed the more serious complaints. We will save them for the Department of Auction Regulation in New Hampshire and for a possible court date so everything can become public record.

“I have just read the news article in the Boston Globe regarding the theft of a U.S. Customs form filled out and signed by astronaut Neil Armstrong. The auction house who has been in business selling autographs for over 20 years had full knowledge that it is illegal to sell an Official U.S. Government document. Selling this document is part of dismantling America and the auction house, RR Auctions in New Hampshire, proved they will sell anything for money….why is the thief, the customs guard going before the grand jury and not the auction house…”
 
R&R Doesn’t Believe The Hair Is Real
“a friend of mine wanted to consign a bunch of material to R&R” this is the response from Elizabeth Otto….
“Geronimo hair- declined.”
“Abraham Lincoln hair - declined”
“Marilyn Monroe hair- declined”

Email from Bob Eaton at RR Auction: “..it was our error in not cataloging it correctly..”

“…yesterday R&R told me that they were returning an item that Bob Eaton personally authenticated and they sold for at auction for me TEN years ago, and deducting over a grand from my next check! But they won’t say who/why it came back….”

“….R&R will not tell you who said they were not good or questionable or why they accepted the returns. I asked them, with no reply…on their consignment contract you the consignor guarantees the material unconditionally and without time limit. That is how the consignors get screwed 10 years down the road….”

“I was banned from RR Auctions about 10 years ago. I bought a letter signed by Gus Grissom. I paid $1100 and it was an Autopen. I had nothing but grief in trying to get my refund……”

“….I am accumulating some terrific stories on Eaton. One of which will blow your mind…..”

“…I own my own auction…I see what R&R does and frankly there’s a couple of issues with them… a good friend of mine had things he bought from Roger Epperson and submitted them to R&R and they’ve been rejected. Not only is Epperson with PSA, but also R&R. (Epperson is rejecting his own items he sold in the past). Conflict of interest? Well maybe not if you can’t recognize your own items…..”

“…I bought a signed by 4 Beatles item that has a COA from R&R and I had them authenticate the COA and that the item was sold by them back in Feb. 1999. I bought it around 2001-2002. Years later, I thought it was time to sell it, and thought it was a good idea to go back to them to auction it off. They told me that the item did indeed come from them and the COA was indeed theirs also, but they would not resell the item because it was FAKE!! They told me that in order to get a refund, I would have to track down the original owner that bought it from them 8 years ago and then they would issue a refund to him and not me. Then I would have to deal with him….they will not return my emails anymore…”

“…do you guys have any other people that have fake signatures that came from R&R? I have an attorney that would like to file a class action law suit against them……”

“…on September 17, 2003 I participated in an autograph auction #277 sponsored by R&R Enterprises and was successful in my winning bid on lot 672, Jimi Hendrix signed check. R&R confirmed that this was the high bid at the close of the auction and charged my credit card accordingly….I was shocked to discover that R&R sold the item to another buyer after the auction. This was done without my knowledge or consent. R&R surreptitiously canceled my winning bid after the auction….to date I have not received satisfactory resolution of this matter despite several communications with R&R Enterprises…”

“…I emailed R&R Auctions since I found about half of the Sadaharu Oh autographs they had were indeed fake. I did not receive a response from them…”

“….as you know I can’t stand to deal with R&R and would shred them and flush them down the toilet before I sent anything to those characters…”

“…I approached R&R Auctions here in new Hampshire with a FDC signed by the Apollo 11 crew….it was rejected as a forgery. But the irony was that I had purchased the FDC nine years ago from John Reznikoff, one of RR’s authenticators. When I questioned how something carrying one of their own authenticator’s COA’s could be considered a forgery, the answer was that they would evaluate all items brought to them for sale even if it had an RR COA. How’s that for worthless?…”

“..I received the latest R&R Auction catalog and although there were several items I would normally loved to have bid on, I tossed the catalog in the trash. I also tossed the last few dozen or so that I was foolishly keeping in an attempt to put together an exemplar file….silly me, I thought they were one of the good guys….”

“…a few months ago RR Auction sold a check signed by Neil Armstrong. A pre-qualified bidder bid over $38K for the item. His bid was disregarded and the lot was sold to a lower bidder…”

“….I was one of those suckers who occasionally got screwed by R&R and never was able to figure out what had occurred - until now….their scheme is no longer a mystery. It makes me feel like a horse’s ass, as I’m certain other past R&R consignors do also!”

“…you’re no longer reporting on RR Auction issues. This is a big mistake…maybe you’re tired of talking about them on a regular basis. Maybe your experiences readers are sick of seeing stories about them. But what about the new collectors…you need to keep kicking the bad guys until they go away….if you give up beating on these people, they stay in business and they win…”

“..I bought a few things from them over the years and now I’m nervous about their authenticity. Although I did get a little suspicious about them because several times I offered them items for sale or consignment and they said they were not real…the funny thing is they were items that I obtained in person along with photos of the celebs signing them and they still rejected them. I wonder how Bob Eaton sleeps at night…..”

“…many years ago a relative obtained Abbott and Costello’s autographs on a picture and then gave it to me. I sent it to R&R and they told me it wasn’t real but then offered me $100 because they felt bad for me. Why would they offer me money for something that wasn’t real??? Hmmmmmmm, makes you think…”

“…in regards to RR Auctions most recent auction, item number 1268 Hoosiers, I was disappointed that I never received a return email when I informed them of their mistake…..why wouldn’t they email me back?”

“…I was just viewing R&R auctions new listing and they list the Neil Armstrong Paul Calle signed lithograph, number 136 out of 1000. I was also on University Archives site and they list the same lithograph 136/1000. How can they both have the same litho with the same number…Confused?”

“…so PSA can write a COA based on a scan for R&R but for a quick opinion they say likely genuine or likely not genuine based on a scan but can they change a likely genuine to a not authentic when they see the actual item. Does anyone else here see something wrong with this? Should everyone who has a PSA COA from R&R send it to PSA again….something is rotten in the State of California.”

“…..Bob Eaton may think I’m directly attacking him that shows the bad things he has done…he (Bob Eaton) has also admitted to me that the things mentioned on www.autographalert.com about him were for the most part true…part of me wonders if I should just call Bob and explain what I have been up against, the scam from eBay to now and how I am convinced they fail everything, even the stuff I get from him (Bob Eaton)..”

“…R&R had an auction a while back featuring a newly discovered Elvis early contract. They had not examined under high power. (Roger Epperson is the ‘expert’ for RR’s music). Someone wrote a book about Elvis with that contract and other documents reproduced and included loose in a pocket in the book….I notified R&R of my suspicions and they examined the document and it was withdrawn…by the way it was their featured item in that auction…this is an inexcusable mistake for a large auction house not to examine a document of that potential importance…”

“…is R&R trying to sell a fake Gotti check AGAIN for Christsakes?? Are they effing stupid?”

An email from a collector in response to a message from Jessica Hinckley, Executive Bidding Assistant at R&R. “>>>>>Hi Jessica, I didn’t question those so called authenticators of yours because of Autograph Alert. I found Autograph Alert after looking into their credentials. Since you have been on Autograph Truth, as have I, I think it is pretty funny crying foul on your end. The facts (on autograph alert.com ) verses personal attacks. Reznikoff is a liar and a crook, (JFK forgeries he sold and the lies about his so called university degree he has since removed from his university Archives resume) Epperson isn’t much better. If you don’t mind attaching your name to that calibre of liars, I understand, just don’t expect others to as well. If you think Autograph Alert is the only place accusing them of being crooks, I suggest Google. Good luck in your law suit. I’ll call you when I need some of Beethoven’s hair and you can hook me up with John. Take me off your mailing list…”

“…Wow! The antics of Bob Eaton and R&R never cease to amaze me. Here is a company that always prides itself on integrity and thoroughness and has now been reduced to looking like a bunch of clowns. So much for all those COA’s guaranteeing their item for life. A lot of good its going to do us former clients when they are out of business in the near future and we find out our items are fake…..”

“…did anyone notice lot #45 from the recent RR Auction simply disappeared after your May 31 article on autograph alert. I guess RR can’t even say they made a mistake…”

“….at least two dealers, one in Nevada can tell you what goes on behind the scenes at RR Auction. Major cover items on RR’s catalogs that don’t sell Bob Eaton personally calls the consignor to tell them the item is being returned. However he then asks if it’s OK to list a sales price (one made up sales price was for $22,000) to make it appear to those who get his catalog the item sold. Then he can place statements in his catalog saying consign with us, we get the highest prices….”

On many occasions www.autographalert.com has tried to contact Bob Eaton of RR Auctions for an interview. He never responds!

Breaking News:
April 29, 2011
 
Autograph Course Expanded
Part II, Now Online
How To Read A Dealer’s Catalog Description


Many of our long-time readers know that Autograph Alert offers an online course in autograph collecting. The course has been well-received over the years. Because of it, many readers have requested more educational information regarding the autograph hobby.

We are pleased to announce we have expanded the course with the addition of Part II, a basic "how to" on deciphering dealer catalog descriptions. A link can be found on our home page: autographalert.com

This educational course is free to all. Enjoy!

Breaking News:
April 25, 2011
 
www.autographnewslive.com
New Website Helps Collectors and the Hobby

Wow! Have you seen this fairly new web site, www.autographnewslive.com? Thanks go out to one of our readers for notifying us about this site.
 
From what we can see, this site allows anyone to log on and ask the autograph collecting community any questions they may have about an individual autograph, a dealer or auction house. We have read many of the questions and it’s plain to see the responses are quick and enlightening.

For an example, one of interest was put up by someone asking what the readers thought of a certain John F. Kennedy signature (right). The signature was illustrated and within hours the collecting community responded and everyone one said the signature was bad, terrible, a forgery, etc.

Then the submitter shocked everyone and finally identified who the seller was of the John F. Kennedy signature. Well the word “shocked” maybe too strong but for sure it was most interesting who the seller is and was almost expected. The blog on the JFK signature is well worth reading as well as all the other questions and answers.

Interesting, unlike other sites, little or nothing is taken down by the moderator. It appears to be an honest site, followed and supported by genuine experts.

A latest addition is that the new and very successful trade magazine Autograph Quarterly has endorsed this new site.

If you have a question about autograph collecting or just want to keep abreast of the hobby we suggest you log onto www.autographnewslive.com
Breaking News:
April 22, 2011
 
James Spence/John Reznikoff
The COA Insanity Continues
Authenticates a Zachary Taylor Secretarial Signature on Land Grant as Genuine

First we want to thank all the collectors who emailed us regarding the latest pathetic inexcusable mistake made by James Spence and his group who issued another worthless Certificate of Authenticity.

This example is presently up for bids on a place called Clean Sweep Auctions. It’s obvious this auction house does little or no research and simply accepts items based on the fact it comes with some silly worthless COA. An extremely dangerous practice and not in the best interests of collectors and the entire hobby.

Clean Sweep is offering a Land Grant they say is signed by President Zachary Taylor. For those with the very basic knowledge in presidential autographs, you know there’s no need to look further. No way is this thing genuine. It is a well-known and well-documented fact that Zachary Taylor did not sign Land Grants. The auction house has an asking price of $1,000.00.

Colllectors with the minimum, basic knowledge of presidential signatures will know the signature on this document is NOT GENUINE. Then comes into the picture of James Spence and his staff. Does everyone remember the interview with Spence where he says before he issues a COA his whole staff has to approve of the signature?

Let’s take a look at his staff and who on there would deal in presidential signatures. Just look at the names, John Reznikoff, Herman Darvick and Bob Eaton. These are the names associated with James Spence Authentication that would have to had looked at this Taylor document before Spence would issue his COA.
 
 
The Document Signed for Taylor by a Secretary
 
A closer look at the Secretary's Signature
 
Over and over and over we “follow the leader” (Spence’s words not ours) down the path to a mistake that even a novice would not make.

Simply another example of how some uneducated collector wasted his money for a COA on what Spence will likely say “it’s just our opinion!”

Breaking News:
April 20, 2011
 
James Spence Authentication & PSA/DNA
“...one of the most embarrassing episodes of authentication by PSA & JSA”


Looks like our story on www.autographalert.com of May 3, 2009 [to read, see: Past Articles, January - May, 2009]
is getting some wind behind its sails. We wrote about the horrible and totally inexcusable mistake in authenticating by James Spence and his boys and PSA/DNA with the Ed Delahanty letter.

The real hobby experts identified the letter as being written by Delahanty’s manager Billy Shettsline. This secretarial letter sold for $30,000 with the blessings of PSA/DNA and James Spence. Obviously neither of these companies did an ounce of research on this letter yet charged the owner a handsome fee for simply a guess. Most obvious, is one of these companies handled the letter first and the other just gave their rubber stamp of approval.

Talk about having a lack of knowledge in authenticating and lack of reference material, this letter was authenticated by both named above. Not one of these companies even noticed the writer of the letter mis-spelled Delahanty’s name. Spence runs around telling those who will listen that before anything gets his COA, his entire staff must pass the item.

A story about this same Delahanty letter recently appeared on the web site of Richard Simon. Simon a hobby veteran in authenticating has 27 years experience. Simon was one of the original PSA/DNA authenticators along with James Spence. In a Sports Collector's Digest interview with Simon on July 22, 2005, Simon stated “I don’t mind telling the truth - they (PSA/DNA) were looking for conformity in the authenticators, and myself and especially Jim Stinson are not going to be conformists. The team eventually was disbanded and Jimmy Spence was retained…”

Simon who knows Spence well has stated on his web site “…The letter (Delahanty) had been authenticated by PSA/DNA and James Spence Authentication, but in one of the most embarrassing episodes of authentication incompetence the letter was exposed as a secretarial letter…the authenticators didn’t even note the mis-spelling in their letters of authenticity…..”

Here’s just another example where a hobby veteran says it like it is: “authenticating incompetence."

Breaking News:
April 6, 2011
 
John Reznikoff, After Major Stamp Scandal, He Enters The Autograph Business


On February 26, 2011, www.autographalert.com received a very lengthy email from a white collar crime investigator. His email was filled with horrific scandals involving a person by the name of John Reznikoff. Basically we are all aware of a John Reznikoff based in Connecticut who is presently in our autograph industry. Reznikoff didn’t take long to get involved in the selling of 7/8 million dollars of fake and worthless forgeries of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe autographs. It is said by many that this scandal breaks all of the hobby’s records for selling forgeries. However, little did this hobby know of Reznikoff’s background and why he needed to enter another hobby of collectibles.

After we read the email from the white collar crime investigator, on Mar. 3, 2001 we emailed Reznikoff with the following email:

Subj: Request For Information
Date: 3/3/2011 5:46.19 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: Autographalert@aol.com
To: john@universityarchives.com

Dear Mr. Reznikoff,

We offer you the opportunity to confirm or deny any involvement with the following named companies:

Wall Street Ventures, Inc.
Wall Street Ventures
Congor Minerals, Inc.

Also are you aware of anyone in the Stamford area that might have the same name as yours? We would appreciate your early response.

www.autographalert.com
Mr. Reznikoff did not respond to us however he posted a message on some autograph blog saying in part: “I just got an email from AA asking me for an interview.”

Has anyone who read the above AA email to Reznikoff read where we asked him for an interview? This guys ego is out of control not to mention what he thinks is his clever ability to spin things. Reznikoff continues: “…he asked me if I was ever involved in a company called Wall Street ventures, Inc. or Congor Minerals. I never was and I am confounded by this….so where is my name…”

Now, would John Reznikoff lie? Reznikoff told every magazine and journal that would listen to him that he bought Neil Armstrong’s hair. www.autographalert.com investigated his comments and posted a story on this site proving that Reznikoff did not purchase the hair. We illustrated a check from another dealer who in fact was the purchaser of the hair. In addition, we confirmed this with Armstrong’s barber and he said he never heard of the name John Reznikoff.

Would John Reznikoff lie? Remember when we checked the records posted on his website about his college education? We contacted his college and they stated in writing that he did not attend the college for all the years Reznikoff posted on his website. Would Reznikoff lie?

Anyone who knows John Reznikoff, especially after his taking part in the selling of the JFK/Monroe forgeries have heard him say the following about staying in this hobby: “I have an exit strategy.” Seems like many are waiting for him to follow up on whatever his plans are for getting out of this hobby.

The following is the email we received from the white collar crime investigator. After reading this story see what we have also discovered based on Reznikoff’s comments through more investigating.

Hello ~

For most of the 1980s and 1990s I was a white collar crime investigator based near Victoria, BC, Canada.

This past weekend, listening to the radio, I was surprised to hear a documentary on the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster, about John Reznikoff - a character central to Wall Street Ventures Inc., a high-profile scam perpetrated on Vancouver's notorious stock exchange in the late 1980s/early '90s. The show I heard was originally broadcast by WBEZ Chicago's "This American Life".

As the Wall Street Ventures stock fraud was exposed in the pre-YouTube era, I don't believe you'll yet find the tv exposures of it online today. I expect you'll find all the print stories available in archives - particularly those of Canadian newspapers and stock market journals.

There was plenty on the public record that would have enabled Seymour Hersh to know Reznikoff was not to be believed before he got far into "The Dark Side of Camelot" had he done proper due diligence. When we spoke about the MM/JFK hoax in 1997 I told Hersh that Reznikoff's claims could not be taken at face value in light of his history.

In any event, "This American Life"'s documentary on Reznikoff, (about whom the PBS program "History Detectives” is now planning prompted me to update an old blog - with a reprint of a 1997 article of mine, first published by Stockwatch, a respected financial market trade journal and news service. That article is below and shines some light on a scam perpetrated in Canada, and perhaps less familiar to American readers.

Since updating my blog @ http://borneveryminute.blogspot.com I received this email:

Your article is complete hogwash. I know for a fact that Mr. Reznikoff
never was in anyway an Executive of WallStreet Ventures Inc. please
provide any filing documents that show his position or signature. you
can't because there are none. He has done more to expose fraud in the
memorabilia business than anyone alive, and has paid the price of
slander such as yours.

Knowing the writer of this anonymous message is lying piqued my curiosity some more. Searching online to learn more of John Reznikoff's current activities I find your fascinating and informative website, "Autograph Alert".

Keep up the good work! I wish you much success in continuing to expose the con-artists in the field.

Sincerely, Adrian du Plessis


***

 Wall Street Ventures principal graduates to American icons - JFK and Marilyn

John Reznikoff, the former Chief Operating Officer and Executive
Vice-President of Wall Street Ventures Inc. -- creator of one of the biggest
piles of worthless paper ever built on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, and
predecessor to Hymex Diamond Corp. -- has surfaced as a central figure in a
growing scandal involving documents purported to record hush-money dealings
between the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy and movie star Marilyn
Monroe. Related papers have been sold to U.S. investors for millions of
dollars and almost fooled Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh
into including their contents in his just published book on JFK, "The Dark
Side of Camelot". (Both NBC and ABC television networks had, at different
times, planned news documentaries relying on the sensational papers prior to
handwriting and other forensic experts exposing them as fakes.)

Grand Jury proceedings have commenced in the Southern District of New York
to investigate the origin and sale of the series of forged letters and notes
that have been the subject of coverage by major U.S. media outlets in recent
months. Journalists with The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post,
The New York Times, ABC TV's 20/20 program and the CBS newsmagazine 60
Minutes have been prominent among those to report on the JFK/Marilyn papers
case which is now being ranked alongside notorious twentieth century hoaxes
such as Clifford Irving's "autobiography" of Howard Hughes.

Carl Person, a New York-based lawyer for Reznikoff associate Lawrence X.
(Lex) Cusack, III maintains a web-site @ http://www.lawmall.com/jfk.mm which
contains his clients' version of events. Cusack (a resident of Southport,
Connecticut), his wife, Jennifer Rush (her maiden name), an Atlanta lawyer
and sales agent for the letters, Thomas G. Cloud, and Wall Street's John
Reznikoff, together with associated private companies, have launched legal
attacks on those who have discredited them and the papers. The JFK/Marilyn
papers' backers claim that they represent "one of the great historical
document finds in recent decades: more than 700 pages of documents from the
secret files of Lawrence X. Cusack Sr. (LXCSr), the personal adviser and
consultant to John F. Kennedy (JFK), which show, inter alia, that Marilyn
Monroe (MM) threatened to expose JFK's personal relationship with her and
other women and to make public the proof in her possession of JFK's
negotiations and dealings with members of organized crime, specifically
mafia chieftain Sam Giancana, who offered and achieved influence over the
1960 Presidential elections among other activities, and that, as a quid pro
quo for her silence, JFK negotiated with MM to fund a trust (the Gladys
Baker Trust) for the benefit of MM's mother."

It is likely most adult North Americans know that Marilyn Monroe died in
1962 and John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22 1963.
Other facts, and many myths, concerning the lives and deaths of these icons,
the Hollywood sex symbol and the first Catholic president of the U.S., may
be well known, but, until now, there has been little public attention
focused on Monroe's mother, Gladys Baker, who died in 1984 after more than
three decades in institutions.

The legend of how some legal paperwork carried out for the late Gladys Baker
and her daughter's estate evolved into the current international scandal is
richly detailed in a thirteen-page November 3 1997 New Yorker article,
"Fakes: Who forged the J.F.K.-Marilyn Monroe papers?" authored by senior
U.S. journalist David Samuels. (In a move that will appear familiar to
followers of Vancouver penny stock promotions, those involved with promoting
and selling the fakes have sued the magazine, writer Samuels and other news
agencies and journalists. Since the wide public exposure of the scam,
investors, who each paid from tens of thousands up to hundreds of thousands
of dollars for copies of individual JFK/Marilyn pages, have been extended a
"buy-back" offer from the sellers. This offer is loaded with one
particularly strategic condition - investors have been told that funds used
for such repurchasing will be drawn from any legal awards gained from
lawsuits against media outlets and journalists.)

The New Yorker's "Fakes" essay recounts how Lawrence Cusack Sr. acted as
attorney for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and had advised top
Catholic leaders. As well, in 1980 he was appointed guardian to Gladys Baker
and began handling aspects of the Monroe estate. Following Baker's death in
1984 he closed his case file. Cusack Sr. himself died in 1985. The junior
Lawrence Cusack, known as Lex, worked as a paralegal in the same office.

As he tells the story, Lex stumbled upon a treasure trove of sensitive
records while sifting through his deceased father's papers. Typed documents
and notes handwritten by JFK about a secret trust arrangement were
sensational among those papers that have since been sold for millions and
will, no doubt, make the living players in the scheme famous -- at least in
movie-of-the-week fashion. Cusack told The New Yorker that when he set out
to dispose of a small collection of stamps his father had left him, the only
dealer who would give him an appointment was John Reznikoff. Up to this
point, the only other person reported by Lex to have seen the papers was his
wife, Jennifer Rush. Within a few months of their first meeting, and just
weeks after talking between themselves about a relationship of Cusack Sr. to
JFK, Reznikoff and Lex Cusack were partners actively working toward mining
JFK/Marilyn Monroe documentary riches.

If Cusack Jr. did find anything of great interest in his father's Monroe
estate files in 1991, as he claims, it was not until meeting Reznikoff and
teaming up with him in early 1993 that the bounty began to manifest itself
in a public, tangible, form. Lex's explanation for his failure to capitalize
on the discovery, "one of the great historical document finds in recent
decades", for so long is that he feared for his life. He needed, he says, to
find a dealer he could trust.

He found what he was looking for in Stamford, Connecticut where John
Reznikoff operated a stamp dealership with an entrepreneurial bent.
Described in the "Fakes" article as "president of University Archives, a
historical-documents business in downtown Stamford", Reznikoff also
maintains a celebrity-hair collection featuring the select follicular
remains of Geronimo, Franz Liszt, Napoleon and other historic figures. This
hair collection is purportedly a source of DNA used in the making of dog
tags, key chains, pendants and other desirable collector's items produced
under contract by an outfit called StarGene.

And, a few years prior to his being trusted with Cusack's life-endangering
secret, Reznikoff was COO, Executive VP and one of several promoters of
VSE-listed Wall Street Ventures Inc. Before it metamorphosed into a diamond
venture as Hymex (under new management and backers), Wall Street had gained
notoriety as an outrageous stock promotion in a marketplace highly
competitive for that sort of thing.

When, in 1990, ABC TV's PrimeTime Live shipped a news team to Howe Street
(the city's equivalent to New York's Wall Street), "looking", as reporter
Chris Wallace explained, "for elements of the classic Vancouver scam" they
found much of what they were looking for in Wall Street Ventures.

In October 1990 PrimeTime Live aired its documentary, "Too Good to Be True?"
and Wallace outlined a generic VSE penny stock promotion to millions of
Americans: "It typically works like this. First, insiders buy up a so-called
'shell' - let's call it PrimeTime Mining - a dormant resource company
available for pennies a share. Then they change the name, and announce a new
venture, something like - and these are real examples - a collection of
obscure Mideast stamps, or a Hungarian herpes ointment. Next, the insiders
hype the business. Promoters send out press releases and videos, hold
parties, and the owners buys and sell shares - anything to make the company
look hot. If the hype works, the public starts to buy in and the stock takes
off, and that's when the insiders begin getting out, unloading their shares
and taking huge profits. Then the hype ends, the company's prospects
evaporate, and the stock plummets back to pennies a share, ready to start
the game all over again."

Once Howe Street players learned that a hidden camera had been in their
midst, panic gripped "the street" and VSE stock deals began to fall from
their unnatural heights. In the twenty days immediately prior to ABC airing
its documentary on the hyperbolic Vancouver penny stock trade, the VSE's
composite index fell to 20 consecutive record lows - plunging 106 points
during the period and finally bottoming at 585.85 points on October 4, 1990,
the day of the PrimeTime broadcast. (After years of robust markets
worldwide, and record-breaking upward moves by senior exchanges such as
those in New York and Toronto and junior markets like the similarly
speculative one in Alberta, today the Vancouver stock index sits only
marginally higher - at 604.66.) The PrimeTime visit was also one of the most
memorable days in the career of ex-VSE president Donald Hudson. According to
an eye-witness observer, after his on-camera interview with Chris Wallace,
former department store PR man Hudson bolted into a private office and, like
a cartoon character, pressed himself back up against the door that he pulled
shut behind him.

While ABC investigators borrowed elements from the Wall Street Ventures
stock scam to draw their viewers an outline of the classic penny stock modus
operandi, the promotion of Wall Street and the company's public share price
had collapsed before the news team arrived in Canada. Details of
well-deflated Wall Street and its principals were out of the picture as the
PrimeTime broadcast featured examples of then VSE high-fliers.

Had Wall Street's case history been publicized in the US -- either when the
promotion was being debunked in Canada in 1989 and 1990 or during a
subsequent legal battle that pitted Church of Scientology members against
Time magazine -- American journalists could have learned about the surreal
world of stamp dealing once inhabited by John Reznikoff, the hair-collecting
JFK/Marilyn Monroe papers player.

Wall Street Ventures Inc. was incorporated in British Columbia, Canada on
February 28 1986 as 9006 Investments Ltd. The company changed its name to
Wall Street Ventures before it began trading on the Vancouver Exchange on
February 11 1988. Originally saying it was looking for gold, silver and
other minerals in Nevada, by early 1989 Wall Street had announced it was
going to acquire and market bulky collections of Middle Eastern postage
stamps under the guidance of Reznikoff and a new board of directors.

In total, Wall Street claimed to have entered into transactions giving it
access to at least 713 crates of stamps - issued by governments in Aden, the
Trucial States and similar Arabian locales - weighing about 100 pounds each.
These stamps had been authenticated by assorted N.Y. and Connecticut-based
appraisers found by the company who valued them at upwards of US$386
million. Wall Street announced to investors: "These transactions are thought
to be among the largest in the history of the philatelic world, according to
available information, and are believed to make Wall Street the largest
holder of South and Southeastern Arabian postal issue stamps in the world,
as well as in all likelihood the world's largest stamp company."

Overseeing this philatelic treasure was a new management slate which
included: a pair of Beverly Hills-based PR consultants and Scientologists,
Michael Baybak and George Duggan (both of whom have been associated with
other Vancouver penny stock promotions); a reputed "Sultan" Ghalib Bin'Awadh
Al-Qu'aitl, said to be a "Self-employed consultant on Arabian history,
Islamic art and business"; and Denis Potvin, the retired New York Islanders
hockey star. Ex-NHLer Potvin was referred to in one promotional Wall Street
article as a "retired professional hockey player and collector of Middle
East stamps." And, it was claimed that, Wall Street officer Steven C.
Rockefeller of Norwalk, Connecticut held "an informed appreciation of the
unique and growing appeal of the South and Southeastern Arabian stamps
represented in the company's inventory." John Reznikoff, who was Wall
Street's Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice-President, was the only
board member to have a professional background as a dealer in collectible
stamps.

Reznikoff also served as COO and Executive VP of Congor Minerals Inc., a
privately incorporated BC company through which Wall Street was to get into
the stamp business via a stock market manoeuvre known as a "reverse
take-over" or RTO. (Corporate regulatory filings accepted by Vancouver stock
exchange officials identify stamp dealer Reznikoff's address, fittingly, as
a post office box in Stamford, Connecticut.)

Once the Wall Street/Congor RTO had been effected, the company's shares
returned to trade on the VSE and immediately jumped from the $0.52 level to
$5.125. On March 16 1989, only two weeks after trading had resumed, Wall
Street stock hit an all-time high mark of $6.625. But, almost as quickly and
dramatically as "the world's largest stamp company" had appeared on the VSE,
the company's published claims were criticized and rejected by stamp
collectors and philatelic authorities.

Wall Street's description of its COO as "President, University Stamp Company
Inc., which is one of the largest suppllers (sic) of stamps to auction
houses, retail dealers and investment and serious collectors in the United
States, 1980 to present" was soon disputed. "We wouldn't agree with that",
Dick Sine, editorial director of Scott Publishing, publisher of the
reputable Scott's stamp catalogue, told a reporter with The Globe and Mail
newspaper. As for the company's tons of stamps, Sine explained, "We don't
list any of them. We question their legitimacy." While they may look, smell
and taste like stamps, "they just don't quack".

David Allen, an executive member of the BC philatelic society, told
Vancouver journalists as well as stock market regulators that "None of the
reputable stamp catalogues around the world will touch these Aden
Provisionals". (The Aden stamps were the first collection to be touted by
Wall Street.) The stock promotion was a matter to be raised at the June 1989
meeting of the Royal Canadian Philatelic Society. Allen noted: "The
International Federation of Philately is actively campaigning against stamps
such as these which it says are harmful." Another local stamp dealer put it
bluntly: "These stamps are nothing but junk."

Wall Street's stamps, from various "sand dune" countries, had never enjoyed
acceptance as collectible stamps of value. They served as filler in packets
of starter stamp collecting kits for children and, on occasion, they had
been given away as free prizes in specially marked boxes of breakfast
cereal.

The marketing goal of the Wall Street group to suddenly make tons of
previously undesirable or worthless stamps tremendously valuable was
incredible even by VSE standards. Public ridicule of the company and its
claims resulted in BC stock market regulators asking for verifications that
further stalled the penny share promotion.

Support for the company's stratospheric valuations came from a small circle
of parties primarily located in New York and Connecticut. Those in
Connecticut relied upon by Wall Street in making its public representations
included Walter Ponichtera and Bruce Corson of Stamford, Kenneth Potok of
Huntington and Armand-Marc Rousso of Greenwich.

While there was little that could reduce the company's already negligible
level of credibility among independent philatelists, it did not help matters
that Marc Rousso was known by authorities to employ deceptive marketing
strategies such as using fronts to attempt buying stamps at higher than
their market value in order to create new and artificial price levels. In
connection with the Wall Street stamps case, a private company related to
Rousso, Coach Investments (which listed Steven C. Rockefeller as a director
and was one of the proposed vendors of stamps to Wall Street), placed a
full-page advertisement in "The Stamp Wholesaler" (a philatelic trade paper)
offering to buy certain Aden-Quaiti stamps at 10 times their already
dubiously quoted price. (Earlier stamp deals involving Rousso, who called
himself "The Croc" in homage to the thick-skinned reptile, had been exposed
in a series of articles published by the Los Angeles Times in 1988.) Wall
Street Venture's other experts included Edward Corbat of Throg's Neck, New
York and Lee Rosenbloom of Regal Stamp and Coin Company, Fifth Avenue, N.Y.
City (Rosenbloom was also a director of Coach).

But the company's share price was grounded by public exposure of the stamp's
actual status as unmarketable pieces of sticky paper and by the end of July
1989 the stock had dropped from over $6 to the $1 mark. Shares then drifted
to a year low of $0.35.

Following concerns raised about the legitimacy of the stamps valuations, the
company's acquisition of the Aden Provisionals and certain other Middle
Eastern stamp collections failed to be approved by VSE regulators. In
January 1990, Wall Street proposed exchanging 50% - 60% of its Trucial
States collection (stamps that it had been allowed to acquire before the
public controversy arose) for 30,000 acres of property in Oregon and Nevada.
This trade never materialized but in December 1990 the company did swap 30%
of its stamp holdings for an interest in a Nevada gold prospect.

By this time, new players were getting involved with Wall Street and the
stamp promotion had little life left. During 1990 the company's shares
ranged from a high of $0.90 to a low of $0.09. By an agreement dated
November 11 1991, Wall Street officially ended its career as the
self-proclaimed ("in all likelihood") world's largest stamp company by
disposing of its remaining stamp inventory for payment of US$45,000 and the
return of some Wall Street shares by Martin Sellinger, a White Plains, New
York stamp dealer.

Sellinger had begun the cycle as the vendor of the Trucial States stamps to
Omar Mukharesh, identified in VSE filings as a Saudi Arabian bank manager
who joined John Reznikoff and others on the board of Congor Minerals.
Congor, on paper at least, acquired the Trucial States stamps from Mukharesh
before vending them to the publicly traded Wall Street Ventures. In August
1992 the VSE accepted the Wall Street-Sellinger arrangement and thus, not
only had the stock promotion cycle ended (collapsing from a market
capitalization of over $22 million to under $400,000) but the underlying
"asset" itself, the stamps, had, in their comic way, come full circle.

On March 18 1993, Wall Street's shares were consolidated on a 1:4 (one-new
for four-old) basis and the company renamed Bionic Enterprises Inc. The
Middle Eastern stamp promotion was now history.

By this time John Reznikoff was busy helping with a marketing strategy that
would give value to a different type of collectible. After Lex Cusack had
visited him to sell a small stamp collection, the matter of the John
Kennedy-Marilyn Monroe papers had been raised. By March or April 1993,
Reznikoff had told Thomas Cloud, an Atlanta-based gem and metals trader,
about the JFK-Marilyn letters. Before the year was out, he and Cloud had a
deal that would see them each receive commissions of 10 -20% per item for
the sale of the papers to Cloud's clients.

In order to market the documents to investors, Cusack and Reznikoff had
earlier set about getting the letters authenticated. Some of the techniques
used to bring legitimacy to the letters and their sale value recall the
creative stamp marketing practices of Armand-Marc Rousso and associates.
They also would not be out of place in a penny stock promotion.

Handwriting and other experts contacted were not shown more than a few of
the JFK-Marilyn papers at any one time. This made it impossible for them to
compare numerous of the documents as to their consistency. Genuine
handwriting can be expected to change from page to page. Without, however,
an opportunity to review enough documents for their consistency - or lack
thereof - it can be difficult to spot forgeries. authenticiIn one instance, Lex
Cusack's wife mailed three handwritten note cards to a pair of experts for
sale. Next, acting as a front for John Reznikoff, a Texas collector arranged
to buy back the Kennedy documents affixed with the experts' imprimaturs of
authenticity. It's estimated that between US $6 and $7 million has been
spent by Americans buying up the product marketed by the Cusacks, Cloud and
Reznikoff.

Adding to the cachet of the letters was the developing interest in them by
prominent U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh. Hersh was researching a biography
of John F. Kennedy when, in late 1994, he first heard of the Cusack file
materials that were being sold to collectors. (By this date, Wall
Street-Bionic had been completely reorganized, renamed Hymex Diamond Corp.,
and, under a new control group was off exploring for "diamonds, gold and
associated minerals" in Guinea, Africa.)

In July 1995 author Hersh signed an agreement giving him access to the
JFK-Marilyn papers. The arrangement suited all parties. Hersh was able to
finally document aspects of the late president's life, particularly his
relationships with Marilyn Monroe and the Mafia, that had long been talked
about but had yet to be pinned down on paper. For the Cusacks, John
Reznikoff and Tom Cloud, the involvement of a media figure of the stature of
Seymour Hersh made pitching investors on the merits of the letters a
simpler, and potentially much more lucrative, enterprise.

Once Seymour Hersh started showing the papers to his contacts and sources he
began to be told that they were fakes. In mid-1996 NBC paid nearly US$1
million to a television production house that was creating a documentary
based on "The Dark Side of Camelot". After its forensic experts examined the
JFK-Marilyn papers, however, the network backed out-only to be replaced a
few months later by ABC TV. (ABC directed almost US $2 million into its
planned production.)

In the summer of 1997, after further forensic examinations, ABC News
concluded the letters were forgeries. Review of numerous documents at once
showed up an unnatural consistency to the letters purportedly penned by
Kennedy. "It is the complete lack of change in the handwriting that gives
the documents away", one expert told The New Yorker. Evidence that typed
documents had been created with lift-off type not invented at the time, and
with the aid of correctable carbon ribbon that was not available in the
early 1960s helped sink the hoax.

The perpetrators of the fraud have yet to be identified. The recently
launched Grand Jury investigation, various civil lawsuits (including those
instigated by Lex Cusack and others who, a la Bre-X Minerals insiders, still
insist the find is legitimate) and continuing media coverage will focus
attention on the roles and actions of three central suspects: Lex Cusack,
Jennifer Rush and John Reznikoff.

Looking for clues in the background of the players, there will, no doubt, be
different parties interested in digging up and/or burying the history of
Wall Street Ventures/Congor Minerals. Whoever is proven responsible, and
whatever Reznikoff's part in the scheme is found to be, this latest scandal
surrounding two of America's most famous modern figures already ranks as one
of the most colourful international episodes to involve a VSE graduate.

Curiously, John Reznikoff is not the only VSE alumni to have figured in
Seymour Hersh's Kennedy book research. Pierre Salinger, a White House press
secretary in the 1960s, ABC News correspondent in the 1970s and 1980s, and
director of disreputable VSE penny stocks in the 1990s, had a lighter input
to the text. Salinger, who has been a principal of Vancouver-listed busts
Global Teleworks Corp and International Tire Recycling and Manufacturing
Corp, claimed to have once found Robert Kennedy in bed with his wife.
Salinger's now ex-wife denied the story -- saying that JFK's younger brother
had certainly had affairs, "Unfortunately, not with me." - 31/12/97 -

Would Reznikoff lie?


The above chart is reprinted from the respected financial market trade journal and news service Stockwatch.

It certainly appears that John Reznikoff did lie about his involvement in what is called by many possibly the largest crime and scam perpetrated in the Canadian Stock Exchange.

So we have the stock scam, then the JFK/Monroe scam. What’s next…a celebrity hair scam?

Remember the story we wrote about Reznikoff and his Beethoven hair? See part of it below.
“There was recent conversation not long ago between a mid west autograph dealer and one of those east coast sellers of autographs who try to flood the market with hair. The conversation went something like this...mid west dealer asked "If you have what you truly believe what may be a genuine sample of celebrity hair, well documented, and while examining the sample a few strands of your own hair fall into the pile and get mixed in, what can you do?" The reply from the east coast seller (JR) was "well, shit happens!"
 
If you invested some of your hard earned dineros for what you believed to be a celebrity’s lock of hair, you are probably getting very nervous or saying maybe the author of this article is just having a bad hair day. If that is the case, let’s take a moment and go to class. Let’s choose a recent sale of a celebrity’s hair that sold for a large amount and walk through the description point by point. Then you decide.
 
In a recent February 2006 sale held by Heritage Galleries in Texas, item # 26644, being offered for sale was two strands of Ludwig von Beethoven’s Hair. For the record Beethoven died in 1827. The description states: "Two strands of hair taken from a larger lock probably clipped the morning after his passing. The hair was housed in a carved, dark wood frame along with a lock of Niccolo Paganini’s hair; the antique lignum vitae frame can be dated to c1845. The composer’s hair was purchased from Robert C. Eldred, an antique dealer and auctioneer in Massachusetts, who confirmed that it was obtained from a well-known musician’s family residing in Rhode Island. This large collection also included a Toscanini letter which was consigned to Eldrid. It was customary in Beethoven’s time to snip a lock of a loved one’s hair to keep as a tangible reminder after their passing. Although it is unknown how many locks were originally taken, it has been ascertained that at present only a few remain in private collections. Only a few presentations of Beethoven’s hair have been prepared, when they are dispersed, no more will be offered. Each is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from University Archives and a video tape recording the first opening of the frame since it was originally sealed. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.
 
Let’s start at the beginning of the description, keeping in mind Beethoven died in 1827. Two strands of hair taken from a larger lock "PROBABLY" clipped the morning after his passing. Who created this fabrication? Probably? Don’t you know? This statement of fiction was created by a recent cataloguer. Moving forward: "..frame can be dated to c1845.." What does this mean? If the hair was removed in 1827, and we still don’t know by whom, where was the hair for 18 years?
 
Was the hair not important enough to protect it for nearly two decades. Also we must keep in mind that a frame from 1845 can be purchased today in many antique shops. To continue: "...the composer’s hair..." now we are calling it the composers hair, are you convinced? Where up to now has that been determined? Continuing: "was purchased from Robert C. Eldred, an antique dealer in Massachusetts.." This sale was not held long ago, the dealer is still in business, where has the hair been since 1827? Moving forward: "who confirmed that it was obtained from a well-known musician’s family residing in Rhode Island." Did anyone consider asking the name of this well known family? I guess it’s more believable that it came from an unidentified musicians family rather that a well known plumber’s family. Besides, Rhode Island is as good a place as any in the United States for Beethoven’s hair to appear. The description goes onto say: "...this large collection also included a Toscanini letter...." What does this have to do with authenticating the Beethoven hair? To cloud the description and create a lengthy story taking your mind of what they call Beethoven’s hair they continue: "It was customary in Beethoven’s time to snip a lock of loved one’s hair to keep as a tangible reminder after their passing." This could be true but what here tells us this is Beethoven’s hair? Now it’s time to break up this lock of hair and it is stated: "only a few presentations of Beethoven’s hair have been prepared..." They think by now with their created description you are actually believing this is Beethoven’s hair. Moving along: "each is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity from University Archives." A COA based on what? Continuing: "And of video tape recording the first opening of the frame since it was originally sealed." Now we have a video tape of the opening of a frame that contains whatever you want to believe from the flimsy description. The frame is from c1845, but when was it originally sealed? The hair could have been put in this frame a century later!
 
We save the best for last: "accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA." If this hair was actually given to this company who advertises they authenticate autographs, let’s take a guess regarding how many samples or scans of Beethoven’s hair PSA/DNA had in their file to be able to determine that the hair from this frame was from Beethoven’s head based on their usual claim that they "thoroughly examined" and that the hair is consistent because of color, angling, spacing and size and it did conform to known exemplars.
 
Interestingly, other offerings of celebrity hair by University Archives, that come with a COA signed by John Reznikoff have similar problems with "provenance credibility." We have attempted to contact Mr. Reznikoff on multiple occasions regarding this issue. He refuses to respond! Adding to this most unfortunate issue, many auction houses are very much aware that a large amount of this hair being fed into the autograph market is extremely questionable, yet they continue to take these items on consignment. The best way to answer this is the hair offered above as Beethoven’s sold for more than $8,000 with little or no credible provenance. It’s all about money“.

The idea of John Reznikoff and his exit strategy idea sounds better every day!

Breaking News:
March 30, 2011
 
Autograph Quarterly
A New Magazine For The Love And Education of The Hobby Has Arrived


“A BOOK REVIEW”

We’ve almost given up a few years ago thinking that this hobby would not have a magazine that we could all look forward to. One with educational articles covering many subject matters and especially one who would not take advertisements from criminal types. One advertiser actually spent time in prison for an autograph related incident. Many innocent readers have been hurt by trusting some advertisers in the old magazine.

Arrived is our copy of Volume #1, Issue #1, March 2011 of the hobby’s only professional magazine on autographs: Autograph Quarterly.

Upon lifting the envelope we thought their might be two or three issues enclosed. We were wrong, one issue, quite heavy in weight and as we look through, quite heavy in content.

We discovered, lucky for the advertisers, that approximately 8,500 copies of this issue were printed and mailed. The cover is rich in color and proudly states, in this issue you will find an in depth Michael Jackson Signature-Analysis (that can save you thousands of dollars) written by non other than the noted in person collector, Nelson Deedle. Also mentioned on the cover is an article on Stonewall Jackson by n Civil War experts Brian and Maria Green.

Begin to immerse yourself as this magazine begins with an Editorial Brief followed by three pages of “The Publisher’s Two-Cents Worth.”

You are invited to rediscover and reconnect to what this hobby was like two decades ago. Inside this wonderful treasure trove of information is 28 different and interesting articles covering many fields of collecting. From five pages of information about several presidents and the Dalai Lama signing a most unusual book (and probably a first for him) a Holy Bible to articles on baseball by non other than the industries most respected expert on Baseball Hall of Fame signatures, Ron Keurajian. For those interested in boxing, Mother Teresa, Bad Boys of the USA, Tony Blair, Heads of State, Richard P. Feynman: Scientifically Speaking, and Muhammad Ali, this issue will excite you. All articles are written by industry professionals and experts.

There’s so much more, such as For The Love of the Hobby, U.S. Historic Highlights, How I obtained President Bill Clinton’s Autograph, The Autograph Authenticator Report, Ten Quick Tips To Avoiding Forgeries, The Official Autograph Price guide, Collector’s Bookshelf, Celebrity Autograph Conventions, Signs of the Times, Signature Reference Guide and one of our favorites for reference In Memoriam.

This edition has a tribute and a two page dedication to Charles Hamilton. Also most interesting is the early support of International writers Tove Myhr from Norway, Santosh Kumar Lahoti from India and Dr. Zoltan Marian from Hungary.

Refreshing for all we have spoken to is the publisher is focusing on taking ads only from professional dealers with a proven track record. A noted forger and two companies who claim to authenticate autographs but have a bad track record were denied advertising space.

For those of you who have missed Issue #1, the first 1500 copies were numbered and signed by the CEO of Star Wares. The special, color limitation page was devoted to The Mummy Returns. The page also contains a Certificate of Authenticity stating that the one inch cloth affixed to the page is a portion of cloth used in the Universal Studios film The Mummy Returns.

Autograph collectors and dealers who are determined to continue to educate themselves will find Autograph Quarterly a newly discovered diamond mine. A long awaited collector’s item.

The publishers are looking for those who have a genuine expertise on a specific subject to submit articles that may be of interest to the International autograph community.

Because of many of the comments emailed to www.autographalert.com, it’s obvious the new magazine is a big hit with both collectors and dealers. Some wonderful compliments are all those who received Issue #1 and contacted the magazine for additional copies.

Below are just a sampling of emails we have received regarding Issue #1.

“Just received the first issue of Autograph Quarterly, lucky me, I was one of the first 1500 and it looks great. It’s going to take me awhile to read this ‘book’. Bible story was really fun reading. I haven’t even finished reading the first issue and can’t wait for the next!.” Charles, New Jersey

"Vol. #1, Issue#1 was a bit hit in our home, the articles are fascinating. The limited edition containing original Mummy cloth is worth the price of the whole years subscription..... Philip, New York

“Thanks to your site I learned about the new magazine Autograph Quarterly. A pleasant surprise has arrived, the very first issue. The magazine is filled with wonderful articles and packed with information. This looks to be a needed reference for any collector. Some nice exemplars and reference studies…keep up the great work and thank you once again for the great site”. David, Texas

“..I just received my issue of Autograph Quarterly and I wanted to tell you how pleased I was with it. I had to go to church last night but once I got home it was to bed and reading. I thoroughly enjoyed Koschal’s article about his Bible and I have to admit that is a good idea to have presidents sign. It was quite impressive the amount of work he did in obtaining the signatures. I also loved the fact that not every page was a full page advertisement or an auction. It is truly refreshing to have an actual magazine to read with real articles. Thanks so much for steering me in the right direction as I would never have known about this magazine…” Richard, New Jersey

“…unbelievable and about time. Just what this hobby needed, finally a friendly magazine with the hobby’s best interests in mind. Count me in as a writer…” William, Nebraska

“Wow! Impressive! I love it”. Sandra, Illinios

“Cool. Much needed magazine, I wish it and it’s publishers and contributors the best of luck. A much needed improvement for the hobby of autographs..” Paul, California

“a fabulous volume for a first issue..have no suggestions for improvement other than it has to go monthly..” John, Connecticut

“Volume number one has arrived, I’m excited and want to order three extra copies…” Klaus, Germany

“Finally something to look forward to. I dropped my subscription to the old autograph magazine for several reasons. Inaccurate articles, advertisements by some who should probably be doing time, attacks on reputable persons shockingly by the magazine own publisher and more. Volume #1 of Autograph Quarterly was a shocker, much more than I ever expected from a new publication. My hats off to the publishers”. Michael, New Hampshire

For more information about writing for the magazine, subscribing or taking an ad go to www.autographquarterly.com


Breaking News:
March 28, 2011
 
Dennis Bishop, BANNED!

You may have read about this individual recently on www.autographalert.com

He has been one nasty and ignorant individual hiding under alias’s as “BD” or “Don Barcardi” and posting negative messages on the Internet about those he has never met or have ever spoken to.

This individual became one of the few parasite’s of Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin. However he was eventually exposed and his name is Dennis Bishop of Douglas, Massachusetts.

Bishop has been called “a real horse’s ass” and a “typical moron who is blind without a cane.”

We have just been advised that Bishop, who did business with the auction house Coach’s Corner, has been officially banned from bidding in their future auctions.

Breaking News:
March 21, 2011
James Spence
Another Nail In His Coffin
,
Authenticates Signature of Man 2 Years Dead


On February 7, 2011 in an article on this site, we asked James Spence of JSA and John Reznikoff of JSA and PSA/DNA and Bob Eaton of RR Auction and PSA/DNA what research they do when they authenticated as genuine a secretarial signature of Dwight Eisenhower.

The readers of www.autographalert.com are still waiting for just one of these fellows to respond. These folks need to step up to the plate and be accountable for their inexcusable authentications!

Once again, this hobby cries out for regulation. As said before, a barber needs a license to give a $10 haircut but some whipper snapper can come into this hobby and sell millions of dollars of forged John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe items and they just get their hands slapped.

Their autograph education is their shadow and some have no shadow at all. What makes James Spence an autograph authenticator? Has he taken just one of the 14 autograph educational courses that were available around the United States? The answer is NO! Has he even taken the free autograph educational course available on this site? The answer is the same, NO. So what are his credentials? We would love to hear from him.

There are some quarter wit forgers who still infiltrate our hobby, however the list of half wit collectors and autograph sellers who are ignorant enough to pay a high profile 3rd party company who can only claim they can authenticate autographs gets much smaller. Example, Spence recently appeared in a sports autograph store in South Florida. Reports tell us that only 6 people showed up.

The only reason we can attribute this poor showing is collectors are becoming slowly educated. It seems every day another professional autograph dealer will not issue a refund based on a guess, backed by nothing, from a third party authenticating company. These companies when approached by an irate autograph collector will be told “you paid for our opinion”. As we all know, everyone has an opinion and many educated dealers will give you theirs “free of charge”.

Some of these authenticators are so hungry for business they are now offering packages of a minimum of 400 items. They will authenticate them for $8 each. What you get is an uneducated guess and one very ugly sticker that serves as nothing more than an advertisement. In some cases and in such a short period of time, these stickers are already doing damage to the item.

One long time professional dealer recently stated that what these wannabe authenticators should do is take several of these silly stickers and completely cover the autograph they just authenticated. Their COA can state the autograph under the stickers got the best guess from ABC or DEF or GHI Authentication company. This way no one can later see or question the autograph.

Has anyone seen the latest item for sale in American Memorabilia’s Auction? This outfit who has a long history of selling items mis-authenticated by 3rd party authenticators has what they describe as a “1948 Leaf - Jack Johnson Signed card #17”. Opening bid $200.00.

A genuine signature of Jack Johnson is quite uncommon. According to several genuine autograph experts, the signature on this card is a very poor quality forgery and no respected authenticator would ever attach their name to it. Yet, this poor quality forgery passes muster by James Spence. This item has been authenticated as genuine by James Spence at JSA Authentication.

Once again, how could this happen? How in the world was any research done on this signature by James Spence to pass this horrible forgery as genuine? Again, we ask James Spence to come forward and tell us what he did to determine this signature of Jack Johnson is genuine? What did he do time wise for the money he was paid to authenticate this item? Where in the world did he find even one exemplar to make such a horrible guess? What credentials does James Spence have to be an autograph authenticator?
 

 Recto

 Verso
1948 Leaf Card of Jack Johnson Authenticated by James Spence
 
No matter what James Spence has to say to even attempt to justify his latest blunder, may we also state that Jack Johnson died on June 10, 1946, two years before this card was produced!
The following is an email we received recently. It is like so many others we have received.
3/15/2011 1:44:23 Eastern Daylight Time
“I also want to mention to support your story on JSA. I was given a ball hand signed by Albert Pujols, he actually put the ball in my hand. JSA (James Spence) was having an event in Feb with Steiner Sports. I decided to take the ball over to them JUST to see what they would say. Of course, they asked “where I got the ball” prior to actually looking at it. I responded, “what difference does it make where I got it“? They failed the ball, at which point I then told them where I got the ball. And of course they did not believe me and said it was a fake. Worst of all they still charged me the 430. What the experience did was reinforce the fact that 3rd party authenticator means Jack S…”! Thanks much, John W.”


Breaking News:
March 16, 2011
Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin
Could He be the Hobby’s
Most Well Rounded Imbecile?


When was the last time anyone saw a person do so much to destroy themselves?

What has this person done that’s positive to help promote the autograph industry?

His autograph business “Starbrite” was a complete failure. It’s been years since he closed it down and in his own words was “removing the forgeries from his inventory.” My goodness years of removing forgeries and still no “Starbrite”. As late as March 6, 2011 Cyrkin states on his own blog: “…the signed photo in the article looked like a secretarial. It’s the one I uploaded from Starbrite’s inventory”. Enough said!

His Autograph magazine was a complete disaster. Matter of fact, it published the most embarrassing article ever printed in any autograph journal. An article about a guitar chock full of so called in person signatures that was easily proven after the article was published that the signatures were forgeries. To no ones surprise, it was written by none other than a UACC Director. Journalistic malpractice at its best!

Many are still trying to get refunds for undelivered non published magazines from their yearly subscriptions. We don’t even want to think about any poor advertisers who may have paid in advance.

We have all witnessed the rapid decline of the hobby’s best known anti-Semite. One reader of this site recently commented on Cyrkin and possibly said it best. “ What we are hearing is Cyrkin’s death rattle, what he is doing now is just circling the drain!”

Cyrkin has become very delusional and now can’t even remember what he said not long ago. Regarding his horrific anti-Semite statement, that he was dumb enough to put in writing, you may all remember what he said many times before. He said over and over that when those comments of his were published over the Internet, those exposing it didn’t know he was Jewish. So that was supposed to make his most horrific statement acceptable. Now the anti-Semite changes his story. A email message Cyrkin sent on March 1, 2011 now states: “I am Jewish, born and raised. You all know it and you have all along”.

Problem here is as one collector stated: “…Hitler was also part Jewish and look what he did to his people”.

Cyrkin put in writing the very worst thing one Jewish person could call another. The meaning of the word has been confirmed by many of our Jewish readers and a Rabbi. Please take notice that Cyrkin NEVER has even denied calling a Jewish autograph seller “a kike.” One can only surmise that Cyrkin as late as today stands by his words.

The reason you must believe this is that www.autographalert.com has given Cyrkin several chances to apologize for his statement. Cyrkin REFUSES!

An autograph organization has given Cyrkin 4 different opportunities to apologize for his anti-Semitic remarks. Cyrkin refuses.

There is no place in this hobby, business or even culture for such an individual. Yet he has a following of a handful and a few implants he has created who spew venom, some under fictitious names. Just look at the crowd who Cyrkin attracts. Most need no explanation!

Brandon Mysinger

Herman Darvick

Roger Epperson

John Reznikoff

Mike Airing???? For those of you who do not know who Mike Airing is just ask Cyrkin. We refer to the most embarrassing article ever written in an autograph magazine. According to Cyrkin in a phone conversation he had with an industry leader, Airing is the one who came forward stating he got all the rock and roll signatures on the guitar “in person”. Cyrkin was dumb enough to say this and then pleaded to the person he was talking to not to reveal this information. Cyrkin was duped by Airing and went with the story which ended up being the beginning of Cyrkin’s demise. We all know now that all the signatures on the guitar were forged. Who forged them? Only Airing can tell you, as he stated to Cyrkin he got the signatures “in person”.

And finally we have the infamous “DB”????

DB loves to spew venom and we have contacted every single person he has attacked. Not one person he has attacked knows who he is. They never heard of him, never met him so he appears to be a Cyrkin implant. We did find out after an investigation this is a yo yo of the 3rd kind. He is so hateful and knows so little that he goes under different aliases. “DB” for one, Don Barcardi for another. This unknown uses his real picture from his high school yearbook and penciled in a mustache to hide his identity. The truth is his name is:

Dennis Bishop, and he lives at 161 Martin Rd., Douglas, MA 01516, email db54@hotmail.com, Phone 508-476-1980. He’s 61 years old and graduated from Doherty High School. Bishop can now take an eraser and take off his phony mustache.

Cyrkin’s life has been falling apart for a few years. Seems like everything he says is beyond ridiculous. Let’s not forget what this wannabe authenticator said not long ago when asked to authenticate an autograph. His response was: “I say it’s real”.

When a few of his sidekicks and implants said otherwise, embarrassed, Cyrkin flip flops and says the unbelievable: “Now that I’m awake, having coffee and looking at a few exemplars, I’m not comfortable with it”. Maybe if he had a pork chop and some wine, we might get a definitive guess.

What’s Cyrkin’s latest disaster? His failing blog! As we said before, just look at the handful of names that support the blog. Most are the last of his advertisers. It’s near impossible to find a respected name in the hobby attaching their name to that blog. Most seasoned and professional collector’s and dealer’s will not associate themselves with his blog. For the educated and respected, it’s the place to avoid!

Cyrkin’s own pathetic words of March 7, 2011 about his own new failure: “…this site is turning into a war zone. It’s not OK to turn almost every blog and discussion into let’s kill third party authentication…..but things are getting out of hand.”

Cyrkin squirms when the autograph collecting community tells the truth about a company he co-founded (Collectors Universe and he is a stockholder in the company) on his own blog. What a kick to his rectum!

Cyrkin spends most of his time deleting messages that tell the truth about 3rd party authenticators or about anything else he disapproves. It’s a one sided site, set up for which appears to be bashing those who have exposed this anti-Semite.

Everyone who has turned on Cyrkin during the last year all feels the same. He needs to apologize to the handful of people he has attacked. He knows he’s wrong and it’s still not too late to join the good and honest side of the hobby.

Unfortunately for Cyrkin, his life continues to go down hill. According to an official of what’s left of the UACC, this officer has recently stated that Cyrkin has had a nervous breakdown. By the time you read this story, Cyrkin will have the first of a major rude awakening, one he has invited and is well deserved.

Breaking News:
March 13, 2011
Brandon Mysinger
Touted as an Autograph Expert and World-Renowned Authenticator
Who the Hell is this Person?

Recently, the name Brandon Mysinger has been brought to our attention several times. Nothing good has been said about it so far. At first we and others thought this had to be a fake name.

We traced this odd name to a blog site run by Steve “anti-Semite” Cyrkin. Cyrkin is known for attracting some very undesirable persons in this hobby.

The only good thing about that is they are all in one place and identifiable. That is one place that you will not see most legitimate collector’s and dealer’s associate their names.

The following email was sent to www.autographalert.com by a very well known autograph professional. This person asked us not to publish their name for they are well aware of Mysinger tactics of reprisals on others:
     
    BRANDON MYSINGER
    Some customers who have been burned by 3rd party authenticators would agree that they get it right about 30 to 50 percent of the time. Some dealers argue the percentage is much lower. One would ask why a collector would waste their hard earned money for such a guess? Better results could be had by flipping a coin or asking the recently deceased Paul the Octopus for an opinion. We have never seen a third party authenticator who got it WRONG 100% of the time. This obviously took some doing!

    Brandon Mysinger is the ‘official’ NASCAR authenticator for Global Authentics which is the defunct GAI. When GAI cleaned house of Mike Baker, Steve Rocchi and Justin Priddy miraculously the unknown Brandon Mysinger got to stay. It has been rumored that while at global he authenticated much more than NASCAR. Recently on his own, Mysinger has branched out to authenticate Non-NASCAR items and the results have been devastating. He denies this but simply got caught in a lie.
 
Autograph Alert has shown two real experts dozens of random celebrity autographs from two dealers that Mysinger authenticates for, Race World and Icebox Collectibles. The result: 100% of the items boasting certification from Brandon Mysinger came back as non-authentic.

For proof of this individuals incompetence, we will illustrate just one example of a very embarrassing item authenticated by Brandon Mysinger. It is described as a signed photo of Roger Moore. One well-known dealer stated, “This is a photo of a young Roger Moore that appears to have the signature of Van Williams on it and I’m not even sure the Van Williams part is authentic.”

Roger Moore photo with signature of Van Williams
 
Mysinger's Authentication Credentials as stated for the Roger Moore
 
What can one make of the above illustration. Would Van Williams sign a photo of Roger Moore. We think not. Only conclusion anyone could come up with is this photo was signed by one dumb forger and authenticated as genuine by Mysinger.

For some other Mysinger authenticated bloopers (below) you can find Sandra Bullock, Robert Downey, Orlando Bloom, Nicolas Cage, Tom Hanks and more past and presently listed on bidStart or eBay.
 
 
 

 
 
 
Nicholas Cage SP authenticated by Mysinger
(presently on Ebay, Item number:190411015828)
 
 

We have made inquiries as to Mysinger’s success rate on NASCAR items but we couldn't find one qualified dealer that carried the niche category or even cared. Rumor has it that Mysinger is gearing up to break off from Global Authentics and start his own authentication company!

One individual, easily found on Cyrkin’s fledgling site and said by many to be a forger recently stated on the Cyrkin site: “Michael Jackson would always stop and sign autographs for me. We both had the same name and he thought that was cool. Now that I had Mysinger authenticate the items they are now ready for sale on eBay. I only have 200 left….”

Mysinger recently got nailed and exposed in one of his lies. Mysinger, the stereotype to be found on the anti-Semite’s site posts a message: “…Because I do not authenticate anything but NASCAR, I’ve always made it clear that NASCAR IS IT. Not even other forms of racing.”
 
Mysinger’s lie is now exposed with a quote from an email: “All of our entertainment and NASCAR autographs come directly from Brandon Mysinger….” This was written and sent by Wayne Frazier, The IceBox Cards and Collectibles, 31 Commerce Park Drive, Unit A2, Barrie, Ontario L4N 8X1 Canada.

Mysinger also has no problem breaking rules. Looking at his site on eBay, he lists links on his sales page to two different organizations which is strictly against eBay rules.

Take some autograph fairy dust and an odd name, add water, and you have another instant autograph authenticator polluting our once beloved hobby!

You can’t make this stuff up!

Breaking News:
March 9, 2011
 
One of the Biggest Piles
of Worthless Paper
(Postage Stamps) and a Scam Linked
to a Person named John Reznikoff


Autographalert.com has received a very lengthy and interesting email from a white collar crime investigator based in Canada who was active in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

He sent detailed information about one of the largest crimes and scams perpetrated in the Canadian Stock Exchange. The company involved was called Wall Street Ventures Inc. which was incorporated in British Columbia, Canada on February 28, 1986 . The company changed its name to Wall Street ventures before it began trading on the Vancouver Exchange. Wall Street claimed to have entered into transactions giving it access to at least 713 crates of stamps issued by governments in Aden. Each crate weighed 100 pounds and the collection was valued upwards of US $386 million. At the time, according to reporter Chris Wallace he stated “for elements of the classic Vancouver scam” they found much of what they were looking for in Wall Street Ventures.

According to a 1997 article, first published in Stockwatch, a respected financial market trade journal and news service, the article shines much light on the scam.

According to the report some of the names associated with this scam are:
 
  • Michael Baybak and George Duggan of Beverly Hills (PR Consultants)
  • “Sultan” Ghalib Bin’Awadh Al-Qu’aitl, consultant on Arabian & Islamic Art
  • Denis Potvin retired N.Y. islanders hockey star
  • Steven C. Rockefeller of Norwald, Ct and a
  • John Reznikoff who listed his address as a Post Office Box in Stamford, Ct.
 
What some have said about the stamps:

Dick Sine, editorial director of Scott Publishing, publisher of the Scott‘s Stamp Catalog: As for the company’s crates of stamps “We don’t list any of them. We question their legitimacy.” While they may look, smell and taste like stamps, “they don’t quack”.

David Allen, executive member of the BC philatelic society told stock market regulators: “”None of the reputable stamp catalogues around the world will touch these Aden Provisionals”…”The International Federation of Philately is actively campaigning against stamps such as these which it says is harmful.

The marketing goal of the Wall Street Group was to suddenly make tons of previously undesirable or worthless stamps tremendously valuable.

The names listed in this reported scam aroused our interest as the autograph hobby also has in it a similar name, John Reznikoff. Mr. Reznikoff we know may be best know for his participation in selling part of the 7/8 million dollars worth of forged Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy items. During this fiasco he resigned from PADA an autograph organization he was a co-founder.

Autographalert.com is looking to back up the information we already have and request any of our readers who have knowledge of any printed stories, Canadian newspaper articles or stock market journals that refer to Wall Street Ventures, Hymex Diamond Corp., Congor Minerals, Inc. or any of the men’s names listed above to please forward them to autographalert@aol.com

Breaking News:
February 14, 2011
 
James Spence Authentication: Authenticating Memorabilia or
Pushing An Agenda?
JSA Fails Pieces It Already
Certified As Authentic

We have heard people in the autograph and memorabilia collecting community say that James Spence Authentication (JSA) will fail anything that has previously been certified by any other forensic examiner.
 
We decided to put this assertion to the test, with an unusual twist. We had several pieces certified by JSA. We then had them certified by Christopher L. Morales, Forensic Document Examiner (Chris Morales). What would JSA do with the pieces that already had JSA certifications after they also had certifications from Chris Morales? Would JSA really fail pieces it had already certified?
 
Look at the results and you can decide for yourself what a JSA examination really amounts to.
 
The first item is a pair of boxing trunks signed by Joe Frazier (detail below).
 
 
The piece comes with a JSA sticker affixed to it, W54017. It states that Joe Frazier signed the piece in front of a JSA staff member. It is part of their "Witnessed Protection Program," the highest guarantee JSA can give (below is the cerification).
 
 
We showed the same piece to JSA again after it had been certified by Chris Morales. The only difference is now it has a hologram and certificate from Chris Morales (see below).
 
 
 
 
As seen, it is the same pair of boxing trunks. It has the same signature. What did JSA do with the piece?
 
 
That's right, they failed it. JSA gave eight reasons to explain the flaws in the JSA "Witnessed Protection Program" piece of memorabilia. Apparently, the mere presence of Chris Morales' certification has caused the JSA "Witnessed Protection Program" to grow atypical letter slant, angle and/or pitch. Did this problem occur when the JSA staff member witnessed the piece or afterwards?
 
Not only did JSA fail the piece, but Larry Studebaker, James Spence's main authenticator, laughed out loud and said the piece was "fucking horrible." Really? A piece from JSA's "Witnessed Protection Program"?
 
According to Larry Studebaker, James Spence himself personally checks all of the items before he issued a JSA certificate. James Spence did not overrule Larry Studebaker. According to JSA, their previously witnessed piece is now a forgery.

Did the irregular letter shape and/or formation occur when Joe Frazier signed the piece in front of the JSA staff member? Did it occur after JSA put its identifying sticker on the boxing trunks? Did it occur after Chris Morales certified it?
Just what does the "guaranteed to be authentic" on the original JSA certificate mean if JSA fails its own witnessed piece? How could this happen? Would it happen again?
 
The next piece is a Mickey Mantle jersey (below). Accompanied by a full JSA Letter of Authentication, it has JSA sticker number B35319.
 
 
 
 
Same test. Would we get the same results? Would JSA fail an item JSA had previously passed if Chris Morales passed it?
 
 
The answer is yes:

This time, JSA found twelve reasons to fail the Mickey Mantle baseball jersey that had already been certified by JSA. Apparently, now the signature suffered from such problems as "Drawn slowly, Labored & contrived," "Hesitation, tremors, patching, and/or pen lifts" and "Unusually positioned on item."
 
When did these problems, and the other problems, creep into the signature? Before or after JSA issued its first certificate? After Chris Morales certified it? How did that change the signature?
 
It certainly seems that JSA was examining Chris Morales' certificate more than the Mickey Mantle jersey the second time JSA looked at the same piece JSA had already certified as genuine. How is that a legitimate business act? Shouldn't JSA actually be judging the signature instead of any other certificates?
 
Apparently, now that Chris Morales had certified the jersey, Larry Studebaker feels the signature "isn't even close."
 
Once again, when James Spence personally checked the item before he issued a certificate, he did not overrule Larry Studebaker. According to JSA, their previously certified piece is now a forgery.
 
Surely, JSA would not do it again, right? Surely JSA would base its reports on the merits of the memorabilia.
 
Wrong.
 
The next piece is a Paul McCartney World Tour booklet. Signed boldly by McCartney on the cover, it is accompanied by the full JSA Letter of Authentication, and has JSA sticker number B34513.
 
 

Once again, Chris Morales examined it, concurred with the initial JSA findings, and issued a certificate of authenticity.
 
 
Would that solitary piece of paper be enough to make sure JSA would no longer have faith in the piece, even though nothing has been done to the signature? The answer again, is yes.
 
Apparently, failing items certified by Chris Morales is more important than the validity of memorabilia, even if the same piece has previously been certified by JSA.
 
This time, there were twelve problems with the piece. Apparently, at some time between the first JSA certificate and Chris Morales' certificate, the booklet developed, among other things, "Irregular letter slant, angle and/or pitch," "Excessive pen pressure and/or improper shading," "Sizing of letters Disproportionate/Exaggerated/Undersized," and "Irregular letter shape and/or formation".
 
According to the JSA examiner, he had personally obtained several signatures of Paul McCartney, and the signature on the booklet was "nothing like Paul McCartney's signature. Chris Morales will pass anything."

Didn't the twelve issues that JSA observed after Chris Morales certified the booklet bother JSA when it originally certified the piece as genuine?
 
Once again, when James Spence personally checked the item before he issued a certificate, he stated that their previously certified piece is now a forgery.
 
In JSA's original certificate reported that the signature on the booklet was consistent with JSA's "extensive database of known exemplars." Ironically, the JSA certificate passing the very item before Chris Morales certified it stated "The signature is consistent considering a wide range of specific qualities, including slant, flow, pen pressure, letter size and formation, and other characteristics typical of our extensive database of known exemplars we have examined throughout our hobby and professional careers".
 
Four of the very reasons JSA used to praise the booklet when JSA originally passed it became reasons 1, 4, 6 and 12 when Chris Morales' certificate seems to have caused JSA to fail the same piece.
 
Apparently, the problem is not limited to JSA's "Witnessed Protection Program" and their full letters of authenticity, but their "Basic Cert" auntentications, as well.

   
 
 
According to the JSA website, the only difference between the full certificate and the Basic Cert is the price. "Popular among dealers and collectors alike, the Basic Cert employs the same valued authentication process to verify lesser valued autographed items. Included with the Basic Cert program is a 3" x 5" James Spence Authentication registration card printed with a unique certification number corresponding to the alpha-numeric tamper evident label. Of course, similar to the Premium Letter of Authenticity each certification number is uploaded into our exclusive database for 24-hour customer verification access. All Basic Cert cards are fully transferable without resubmission."
 
Unfortunately, if Chris Morales sees the piece, the "fully transferable" concept goes right out the window.

 
It certainly seems that JSA is likely to fail any piece that is attached to Chris Morales' certificate.
 
 
The same seemed to be true of witnessed pieces.
 
 
 
Chris Morales certified this Upper Deck certified, witnessed piece. Tiger Woods signed the piece in front of Upper Deck's certified witness program.
 
 
Unfortunately, if JSA gets the chance to turn down the Chris Morales certified piece, which is a clean, textbook example of Tiger Woods' signature, JSA makes the most of the opportunity.
 
 
JSA even went so far as to list "C. Morales 7-18-08" as the type in the descriptor box.
 
JSA listed twelve reasons for failing the Upper Deck witnessed piece. In fact, when the piece was examined, the JSA representative picked up Chris Morales' certificate and stated "it's amazing what this guy gets away with."
 
Even worse, on JSA's own website, it lists "Valued auction houses and dealers employing our services include"…you guessed it: Upper Deck. JSA failed his own client's piece when it showed up with a Chris Morales certificate.
 
JSA proved consistent with another Upper Deck witnessed pieces. JSA's client's witnessed pieces.

 
 
Chris Morales certified the piece (below).
 
 
Despite Upper Deck's guaranteed "5-step patented hologram process," a Chris Morales certificate seems to doom practically anything JSA sees.
 
 
Other witnessed pieces did not fare any better, like the below Bret Michaels signed guitar.
 
 
 
Chris Morales certified the piece as authentic.
 
 
One of our associates made an appointment with JSA in a hotel conference room after one of their trade shows. There were several clients there, all getting individualized attention from JSA.
 
An individual who Larry Studebaker told our associate was a "regular client" also had a Bret Michaels signed piece. Studebaker told our associate he was not comfortable with the guitar. Larry Studebaker pointed out that the "regular client's" piece looked "completely different" than our associate's, so obviously his was a forgery and the regular client had a genuine piece, which JSA certified as genuine.
 
The problem?
 
 
 
We know Bret Michaels of the group Poison signed and personalized our associate's guitar. You can even see the inscription in the photo. If the "regular client" had a piece that looked completely different from our associate's, and we have pictures of Bret Michaels signing and posing with ours, shouldn't the piece that looks completely different from the guitar be the one JSA failed?
 
Apparently, JSA did not think so. As a matter of fact, when you look at the following JSA report, in the descriptive box, JSA even referred to Chris Morales’ report in the text describing the type of guitar. What was JSA examining, the signature or Chris Morales’ certificate?
 
Incidentally, JSA also criticized, among the other issues, the fact that the “Ink doesn’t have characteristics normally found with naturally aged ink”. This is quite a perplexing criticism, when one considers the fact that Bret Michaels is still alive and, theoretically, could have signed the guitar the very day that JSA looked at it. How is ink currently on the market used by living people – possibly really recently - supposed to age?

 
 
Interestingly enough, our associate witnessed some disturbing behavior during his visit with JSA. Another of the "regular" clients came with a stack of 40-50 photos. Larry Studebaker had the photos in a pile on his table. They were upside down. The photo side with the signature was on the bottom. While Larry Studebaker chatted with the regular client, he placed a JSA on the back of each photo - without even turning them over - and passed them on to his associate to process. He did not even look at any of the photos, but they were all certified by JSA.
 
Apparently, being a "regular customer" of JSA has its perks.
 
One afternoon, James Spence had the opportunity to show whether or not his practices detailed throughout the story above were an anomaly or standard JSA operating procedures.
 
James Spence sat down with a collector and briefly looked through a collection of baseballs. Prior to his examination, he was informed that all of the baseballs had been certified by Chris Morales.
 
You guess right. Everything failed.
 
Were the baseballs bad?
 
One of the three photos below is of JSA certified baseball B91695. One of the baseballs below is of JSA certified baseball B81823. The other baseball was one of the baseballs that James Spence said was a forgery, after he had been informed that Chris Morales had certified it.
 
 
They are in no particular order. We defy you to figure out which one is the "forged" baseball. To make this more like a pop quiz, we have removed the photo of the "forged" baseball from JSA's report. Can you tell which one is the failed ball? Can anyone justify that one of these was written by anyone other than the signer of the other two?

 
James Spence told the collector that everything he had were "fakes and frauds." He further told him that he should get his money back ASAP.
 
At the very least, the preceding test cases question the company's ability to carry out the service of authentication. In each of the above test cases it was found JSA failed the same pieces that they had already certified as authentic. It certainly lends creedence to the assertion the company will fail anything that has previously been certified by any other forensic examiner. This includes a piece, the Joe Frazier trunks, that was signed in front of them.
 
What then is a JSA certification worth if their own authentication standards are disingenuous, capricious, and arbitrary?
 
Considering the work that James Spence and his staffers do, and their apparent combined bias and indifference to the genuineness of the memorabilia they are charging customers to examine, there is a problem with "fakes and frauds." If James Spence and his staffers want to determine where the source of such "fakes and frauds" are, they might want to start by looking in a mirror.


Breaking News:
February 7, 2011
 
John Reznikoff of PSA/DNA and University Archives
and Bob Eaton of RR Auction,
Questions Need to be Answered
Many we have spoken to in the autograph hobby/business have had enough of the influx of non genuine autographs entering the market with COA’s stating the item is genuine. These COA’s have been created by the people who call themselves autograph experts. They are supported by just a handful of auction houses and sellers of autographs who apparently don’t care about selling genuine autographs. They take no responsibility for the junk they sell. Try to return an item and you’re most likely told “the authentictaor said it was genuine!”

John Reznikoff who represents PSA/DNA and JSA Authentication is well known for many very horrific mistakes he has made attempting to authenticate autographs. Mr. Rezniikoff hates this site and at one point tried to purchase it from one of the founders so he could remove the stories about him.

Recently we were contacted by a well known individual in this hobby who had a series of phone conversations with John Reznikoff. The dealer states that Reznikoff is quoted as saying on multiple occasions: “I want (named one of the founders of this site) dead!” We have been watching our backs.

Just some of Reznikoff blunders in authenticating autographs are as follows.

King George III eventually went blind. His signature while he was blind is fairly common. Reznikoff obviously has yet to learn to read his signature properly. Reznikoff on his web site illustrated the Kings’ signature upside down.

The well documented situation where Reznikoff was selling the signature of Margaret Mitchell described as the noted author of Gone With The Wind fame yet what he was actually selling and illustrating was the signature of Maggie Mitchell, a Civil War era actress.

How about the full page handwritten “Oath of Office” by Ronald Reagan submitted to PSA/DNA where Reznikoff authenticated the item as genuine and against PSA/DNA rules tried to purchase the item from the submitter. It was one of the officers of this website who educated Reznikoff “word by word” of the Reagan Oath to prove it was a forgery.

Let’s not forget the forged John Hancock letter regarding John Paul Jones valued by a East Coast dealer for $125,000 because Reznikoff said “Looks perfectly OK to me.”

Heritage’s Auction of a Samuel Sewall signed document authenticated by Reznikoff which turned out to be signed by Stephen Sewall. Samuel and Stephen’s signature are not even close to looking the same.

To add to the list authenticated by Reznikoff as genuine was a Bill Wilson (Alcohol Anonymous fame) secretarial signature, a Nixon autopen, the wrong Theodore Roosevelt (family member), a Martin Van Buren secretarial, a stamped Andrew Johnson signature on a document, a printed Gerald Ford signature on The White House card, and Eisenhower and Franklin D. Roosevelt secretarial signatures authenticated as genuine. On a larger dollar value scale was the 7/8 million dollars worth of JFK and Marilyn Monroe forgeries Reznikoff took part in selling and the 1926-27 NY Yankees Team album containing high end forgeries placed on eBay for a starting bid of $25,000. EBay removed the album from their site because of the complaints the album contained so many forgeries. There’s more but you get the point.

As far as Reznikoff being far removed from the subject of authenticating, can you imagine he even signed 250 Certificates of Authenticity where the word “authenticity” was mis-spellled.

Mr. Reznikoff thinks he’s the “king of fluff” but that backfired on him when the University he attended did not confirm the dates Resnikoff posted as his education.

Not to mention the advertising disaster when Reznikoff told many newspapers and magazines that he was the purchaser of Neil Armstrong’s hair. The publicity in his favor lasted for months until he was exposed. The barber who sold the hair to a Midwest dealer never heard of Reznikoff. The story can be found on this site with an illustration of the check from the dealer who bought the hair from Armstrong’s barber.

His involvement in the sale of seven to eight million dollars worth of forged JFK and Marilyn Monroe autographs is legendary. Over this scandal he was forced to resign from an autograph club he co-founded. Another autograph club cancelled his membership over ethics violation. Can you believe Mr. Reznikoff is still dealing with autographs of JFK and attempting to authenticate them for the uneducated. We’ll quote from two emails we received from collectors/dealers who know the facts:
 
1) “….attached are two JFK signatures that Reznikoff authenticated as genuine. JFK signature on The White House card that he insists is secretarial. Of course. I’ll never buy anything from him again. It seems funny that he’s an authenticator for PSA and is allowed to sell autographs. Mine are authentic but your’s aren’t, so buy from me…” seems unethical at the very least.

2) “..when you started after JR I did not know whether you were justified but, as I have observed what he is doing and after talking to various people I respect., I am convinced that he is or has become a rotten apple. Furthermore, I think he knows that what he is doing in many areas is wrong, and that is particularly disturbing….”

Selling and authenticating bad autographs appears to be two of his skills. You read on this site where he sold a handful of Thomas Edison unsigned handwritten letters in pencil. When the purchaser complained about not being aware there would be several unsigned letters in the collection Reznikoff replied to “just take a pencil and add an “E” know one will know.”
 
As for Bob Eaton of RR Auctions, one only needs to go to the story on this site dated Jan. 5, 2006 and read the article on Britney Spears.

How can some people try to tell the autograph community that they are autograph experts when they make all these mistakes? Why would anyone believe them? Why do a few auction houses continue to use these people? Why would anyone purchase an autograph from any auction house or dealer who uses these authenticators. Why does PSA/DNA and JSA use people like this?

Why would anyone trust a COA attached to these people?

This craziness continues with this very basic and embarrassing blunder. The following Dwight Eisenhower signature was offered by RR Auctions in their Catalog #358 of June 2010. Item #31. See illustration below.
 
Dwight Eisenhower, item #31 RR Auction
 
The catalog description clearly states “Pre-certified by John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.”

For those with the slightest bit of knowledge of presidential signatures there is no need to read further. You know the signature is bogus!

How can these so-called autograph experts certify this extremely common secretarial signature is genuine? Do you still want to call them experts?

For those of you who do not collect presidential signatures the following is just a Reader’s Digest condensed study of the above Dwight Eisenhower signature. Examples of this secretarial signature can be found in many autograph reference books. For example see illustration below from Charles Hamilton’s book Scribblers and Scoundrels, page 55.
 
Secretarial signature from Scribblers & Scoundrels

This book has been around since 1968 and is quite popular with genuine professional dealers.

There was an entire autograph reference book dedicated to the signature of Eisenhower titled The Eisenhower Files. The chapter on Eisenhower’s proxy Signers starts on page 117. On pages 126 and 127 the following two signatures are identified as secretarial examples.
Illustration of Eisenhower secretarial signatures from The Eisenhower Files
This book states these are typical secretarial signatures (no middle initial) sent out during Eisenhower’s retirement years.

We can easily continue, go to Kenneth Rendell’s well known book Forging History. No serious dealer’s reference shelf should be without this book. On page 100 the following Eisenhower signature is illustrated as a secretarial signature.
 
Secretarial signature (missing middle initial) from Forging History
 
These kind of sophomoric mistakes simply cannot be made by anyone simply because there is so much reference material available to collectors and dealers.

There is simply no excuse for this signature to be passed as genuine by people who want you to believe they are experts. Both Bob Eaton and John Reznikoff have signed off on the Eisenhower secretarial signature as being genuine. This is just one more example of bad, non-genuine autographs that can get into a persons collection with two bad certifications.

Now the million dollar question that the International autograph community wants to know. We ask both Bob Eaton and John Reznikoff to reply to the above fiasco. Their reply will be posted on this website.

What research was done on the item #31 Eisenhower signature in the RR Auction Catalog 358 in order of both of you to authenticate this secretarial signature as genuine? Who authenticated it first and what research was done by the second person to back up the first person’s findings?

Too many autographs, over the years, have been authenticated by these two men that have been found not to be genuine. The hobby is waiting, via this site, and wants to hear from both of you on this specific Eisenhower secretarial signature.

It’s past time to pin these people down who seem to enjoy calling themselves autograph experts. These people finally need to be held accountable! It almost appears these self proclaimed autograph experts are allergic to wanting to educate themselves by doing the minimum amount of research. This continued recklessness is adding non authentic autographs to collections.

We ask both Reznikoff of University Archives who represents PSA/DNA and James Spence Authentication and Bob Eaton of RR Auction, who also represents PSA/DNA and James Spence Authentication, what if any research did you do to authenticate the Eisenhower signature? What was the reason for both of you issuing a COA on this signature? Do you both still feel you are experts authenticating autographs?

The readership of www.autographalert.com awaits your reply!

Breaking News:
February 3, 2011
 
John Reznikoff’s Educational Course
Another Black Eye For The Hobby?


The following “educational” course was instructed by John “psychic authenticator” Reznikoff to a well known autograph dealer. Reznikoff was very proud to be able to instruct this dealer on how to deceive others by creating and sending a fabricated email.

Who else better to discover this than the person who participated in the sale of $7 to $8 million of forged Marilyn Monroe and JFK forgeries.

Reznikoff stated: “…it is simple to create fake emails. All you do is print out a legitimate email from someone (you don’t like) say from two years ago. Put a blank piece of paper over the writing leaving only the headers, date, time, etc showing. Then copy it on a copy machine. Then on the paper with the copied header, type on a word program the content you want to say and run the page through your printer. Now you have a hard copy, fake email.”

This fake email can now be scanned and sent to anyone you want which will only hurt the innocent. There are several people in this industry who are bitterly complaining that there are stories being written on blogs about things they would never have said.

We have tried to contact John Reznikoff via email about his conversation on how he instructed the dealer on how to send a fake email. As usual he has refused to respond.

Breaking News:
February 2, 2011
Todd Mueller Educates Hobby
on "Value" of Affixing Stickers
To Original Items


Todd Mueller of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is arguably the most active autograph dealer in the world. Before he left eBay he had more feedbacks than any other seller of autographs.

A major irritant to Mr. Mueller and most any autograph professional is not only the use of most third party authenticators but the horrific stickers they affix to items that are autographed. We can’t imagine anything more ugly and destructive than sticking one of these stickers on a document such as next to a signature of George Washington.

One of our previous stories illustrates an item that has a sticker by JSA, James Spence Authentication. Spence attached the sticker on the back of the item, right behind the signature. The sticker is starting to show throw the paper which now affects the signature.

The following is a recent item being sold by Todd Mueller that contains one of these stickers.
 
Indiana Jones photo with 3rd party sticker
 
The description of the item pretty much says it all:
Here is an 8x11 color card stock photograph signed by Harrison Ford. Signed in blue felt tip ink. Light creasing, otherwise in good condition. Unfortunately, it's got this ridiculous, ugly PSA/DNA sticker affixed to the photo and it forever ruins the photo as it cannot be peeled off without destroying the surface of the photo. Sticking gum to it would have been better. The rest of the photo is in fine condition. 

 


Breaking News:
January 31, 2011
 
 
Herman Darvick his Book
Collecting Autographs is an
Embarrassment

www.autographalert.com wrote in an earlier story how Herman Darvick admitted to forging two autographs that were illustrated in his book. There will be more written about those two autographs in the future.

Darvick wrote a children’s book on autographs in 1981. Any author writing a reference book must truly be an expert and make sure all your facts are correct. After all, you are trying to teach your readers about the hobby of autographs and the illustrations the author chooses will always be used for further reference.

At this point we won’t even get into the contents of the book but simply focus on the book’s cover. No need to go further. Darvick illustrates some signatures on the cover and just at a glance it is so obvious two are signed by the Autopen machine and the other according to several experts is an outright poor forgery.

The first one is a signature of Hubert Humphrey illustrated below.
 
Darvick’s Hubert Humphrey
 
It was well known for years that Hubert Humphrey used the autopen machine and used at a minimum of two different Autopen examples. The one on Darvick’s cover is a common machine signed example and can be found on different internet sites and in the Autopen Guide, Seeing Double.

The second signature is that of Richard Nixon. Nixon had many different Autopen signatures and the one Darvick used is quite common. See below.
 
Darvick’s Richard Nixon
 
This identical signature of Nixon can be found in Casoni’s Signature Study of Richard Nixon, in the book The Autopen Guide and in other articles written about Nixon’s signature.

The third signature used by Darvick is that of Babe Ruth. Every sports autograph expert we have spoken to says the signature is an outright forgery. See illustration below.
 
Darvick’s Babe Ruth signature
 
Herman Darvick of Rockville Center, NY is presently working for John Reznikoff of University Archives located in Connecticut. Darvick also found a place on the JSA, James Spence Authentication team.
Breaking News:
January 27, 2011
 
Collectors Universe/PSA/DNA
Shock the Genuine Autograph Professionals

Has anyone seen the 2010 cover of Collector’s Universe 2010 Annual Report?

Collector’s Universe is the parent company of PSA/DNA.

The cover has four illustrations. A gold coin, a stamp, a baseball card and a baseball.

The pure white baseball contains a signature on the sweet spot of what someone in their organization believes to be a beautiful signature of Babe Ruth.

Problem is we contacted several genuine autograph experts about this signature. There is not a single person on the staff of PSA/DNA whose expertise comes even close to the several experts we contacted. Contacted were industry respected sports autograph dealers with decades of experience. If we listed their names you would know them. Included in the list are also two persons each with over three decades of specializing in Baseball Hall of Fame autographs and are well know in the field of authentication. One maintains a huge collection of Hall of Fame autographs. Another is a well known author of articles on authenticating the signatures of Hall of Fame members

Illustrated below is the baseball Collector’s Universe illustrates on the cover of their Annual Report.
 
Baseball illustrated on the cover of 2010 Collector’s Universe Annual Report
 
Every professional dealer and autograph authenticator that has seen the illustration of this baseball has offered the same opinion. The signature of Babe Ruth is not genuine. Because of this situation, the Annual Report has become an instant collectors item.

This is not the first time an embarrassing mistake by those who call themselves experts.

It was several years ago their self proclaimed experts made a horrendous error. PSA/DNA in an ad in the now defunct Autograph Magazine ran an ad illustrating a machine/autopen signature of Bill Clinton. Many thought there was no way the company could survive after that embarrassment. See illustration below.
 
Machine signed signature of Bill Clinton on PSA/DNA’s Ad
 
So much for self proclaimed experts who offer an opinion and guarantee nothing!
Breaking News:
January 25, 2011
 
Roger Epperson Keeps Proving
Himself Wrong!
Epperson, the International Autograph Community Wants Answers

It certainly appears Roger Epperson who claims to be an authenticator of music autographs can’t stop tripping over his own tongue.

He constantly whines about being attacked. He fails to realize he is not being attacked, his incompetence and horrific mistakes in authenticating is simply being exposed.

He has admitted to purchasing from two different forgers during the years which tells the public he has difficulty telling a genuine autograph from a fake.

Need more proof? On his website he posts a ridiculous story on July 28, 2010. He tries to lead his readers to believe that he is an expert on Paul McCartney. He illustrates the following signed magazine cover as a forgery, stating, "Now that you have seen the real ones I’m going to show you some of the forgeries that go around. Some are very good and others are very easy to spot. Here is a sampling."
 
Magazine published on Epperson’s site as a McCartney Forgery
 
On January 27, 2010, months before, the autograph authenticating service “PAAS” authenticated as genuine this exact McCartney signed magazine. See illustration below.
 
PAAS COA For The Same Magazine
 
Many feel Mike Frost, who is chief authenticator for “PAAS”, has more autograph experience than Epperson will ever have. Mike Frost and a former partner would allow Epperson to take a table at the Florida Autograph Extravaganza shows until many complaints were placed by customers about Epperson’s material. Epperson was not allowed to take a booth at future shows until his inventory was vetted by a autograph musical expert. Epperson never did a show after that!

Regarding Paul McCartney, Epperson would probably like to say this is a battle of experts?

Not so, let’s listen to what the owner of the magazine has to say. We refer to an email we received from the owner and we quote from that email in parts.
Subj: Roger Epperson
Date: 1/11/2011 6:19:57 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: st@tough.com
To: autographalert.com

Hi, I have a problem with the above named (Roger Epperson) stating on his website that a Paul McCartney autographed magazine of mine is fake. Obviously the worm won’t reply to emails. I am an ex Police detective, and was there when Paul signed it….I was wondering if you have any experience of his “expert opinion” and comment on what I can do about it. I would point out that I have been collecting for the past 45 years, in person…”
Steven Thrift
Covert Protection and Investigation

 

 

 
End of story, this is about an in person McCartney autograph, obtained by a police detective and later authenticated as genuine by Mike Frost of PAAS.

Epperson, not surprisingly, gets the whole thing wrong. Once again he posts erroneous information on his website.

Epperson is the music authenticator for PSA/DNA, JSA (James Spence) and RR Auctions.

Breaking News:
January 22, 2011
 
 
 
Autograph Quarterly
The Autograph Hobby's New
Premier Magazine

Volume #1, Issue #1 of Autograph Quarterly is scheduled to be on time and distributed at the mega Hollywood Show, February 12-13, 2011. Copies will also be available at a collectors show in Atlantic City, New Jersey and at other shows across the United States.

It is anticipated that 8,500 copies of the first issue will be printed. The first 1,000 copies will contain an original collectible, a strip of cloth from the Mummy in the film staring Brenden Fraser.

Impressive is International cooperation with news from autograph clubs from around the world. Educational stories written by some of the leading experts in the field of autographs on Stonewall Jackson, Michael Jackson, Boxing, Baseball, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama and much more. Interesting will be exemplars from most fields of collecting and a book review section.

Advertising fees are the lowest in the hobby and articles for Vol.#1, Issue #2 are now being accepted for possible admission.
 
 
 
Cover of Vol. #1, Issue #1
 
 
We have seen a draft of issue #1 and we are very impressed. There has been nothing like this before and additional ideas will be added to issue #2 such as a collector’s bulletin board where collector’s can list items they desire to add to their collections and libraries and universities can list items missing from their collections.

For more information on the autograph hobbies magazine, advertising, submission of an article or to subscribe go to www.autographquarterly.com

Breaking News:
January 4, 2011
 
 
RR Auction & PSADNA
Two More Worthless COA’s

RR Auction and PSA/DNA are like two peas in a pod. The mistakes made are inexcusable and one has to believe the autograph collecting community is no longer ignorant of these two. It’s obvious one says it’s genuine and the other simply issues their own COA otherwise how could both be wrong if any work was done researching a signature?

In the field of collecting autographs of members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the signature of Zack Wheat is by no means scarce. On a regular basis there are plenty of them available so being able to identify a genuine Zack Wheat signature from a forgery is a simple thing (for most anyone).

RR Auction of July 2010, item #1348 is illustrated below.
 
Zack Wheat HOF Card from RR Auction
 
Anyone, and we mean anyone who collects Baseball hall of Fame signatures can tell you the signature on this card is a terrible forgery. TERRIBLE!

Take the “experts” at PSQA/DNA, specifically Steve Grad. He supposedly authenticated this signature as genuine.

We formally asked Steve Grad what did he do during his so-called authenticating process to make a determination that this signature is genuine? We want to hear from Steve Grad. Based on Grad’s decision, PSA/DNA issued a COA. To illustrate how ridiculous this whole situation is, in addition, RR Auction issues their own COA for this item. This proves one of two things. The people at RR Auction have no clue what they are doing or they don’t do a damn thing researching their own material and just rubber stamp a COA based on an a person who has a job playing authenticator.

In this case, fortunately for an ignorant potential bidder, the item was pulled from the auction. But even pulling the item RR Auction just can’t come clean. In RR Auction’s revised description they write: “This lot has been withdrawn due to the omission of information…” No kidding, you mean you forgot to describe the item contained a bogus signature and came with a COA from PSA/DNA and RR Auction?

RR Auctions continues to use PSA/DNA as an authenticating company.

We said it before, any autograph that comes with a COA from RR Auction or PSA/DNA needs to be re-evaluated by a professional.

Breaking News:
January 2, 2011
 
 
“PADA”
Professional Autograph Dealers Association?
Some Don’t Think So!

You have read over and over on this site and others on the internet about the atrocities of authenticating autographs performed by James Spence Authentication (JSA), a company who claims they can authenticate autographs. Their mistakes are legendary from authenticating printed signatures, secretarial and forged signatures as genuine. They have even authenticated items identifying the wrong person. It’s hard to imagine anything worse.

Look at some of the members of the James Spence team.

Scott Cornish, fired from RR Auctions because of collector outrage over his email to a competitor who is without question a professional astronaut autograph authenticator based in Germany. Part of Cornish’s email follows: “..no wonder Hitler took over your country….it’s not like y’all are still making lampshades out of human skin or smashing babies heads against brick walls…”

John Reznikoff, holds the industry record for participating in the sale of 8 million dollars worth of forged Marilyn Monroe and JFK items. He resigned from PADA before they threw him out. On ethic’s violations Reznikoff was also thrown out of the IACC/DA.

Roger Epperson, known for authenticating as genuine modern made record albums signed by celebrities that have been dead for over 20 years before the album was produced. He has admitted to purchasing signed items from two different forgers.

Bob Eaton, RR Auctions who has a long history of selling non genuine autographs. See stories on this website.

Herman Darvick, one of the hobby’s modern day bad guys. Forger, thief and liar and very recently sent an email to an autograph club executive referring to Hitler and the Nazis to a member of the autograph society. Darvick has found a new home at the office of John Reznikoff.

PADA also known as The Professional Autograph Dealers Association states they are an international organization of dealers in autographs and manuscripts which promotes the highest standards in this industry. They claim they have a rigorous code of ethics and commitment to professional excellence. www.autographalert.com thus far mostly agrees with PADA’s statement. We took our hat off to PADA for accepting John Reznikoff’s resignation over his participation in selling 7/8 million dollars worth of Marilyn Monroe and JFK forgeries.

However, we have to ask, why does two of PADA’s members seem to have gone rogue and joined the team of James Spence Authentication. JSA is an authentication service that has flooded the market with numerous incorrect Certificates of Authenticity. Many of the mistakes are secretarial, rubber stamped and printed signatures authenticated as genuine.

The PADA dealers who are presently on the JSA team are: James Camner, La Scala Autographs and Tom Kramer of Golden Age Autographs. Some collectors and dealers are asking why would two individuals, members of PADA in good standing, associate themselves with many of the members of the JSA team listed above.

What has happened to PADA promoting the highest standards in this field?

www.autographalert.com has been watching this situation very closely for several months. A representative of www.autographalert.com has met with an officer of PADA over this situation. The get together was with the hopes that PADA would clearly understand the seriousness of this situation and correct this situation on their own.

It is not positive for the hobby or PADA that two of their members are part of a team that has flooded and continues to flood the market with fake autographs authenticated as genuine.

After several months, we were advised that PADA officials were not able to hold a meeting to discuss this situation.

It will be interesting to watch what PADA does to “promote the highest standards in this industry” in the weeks and months that follow!

 

 

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