Spider Gates: Photo Fakery & Photo Theft

Leicester Massachusetts

 

 

Report: October 25, 2004 by Daniel V. Boudillion

 

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Updated January 2007

 

 

   Photo Fakery & Photo Theft at Spider Gates

In mid October 2004 I became aware that two of my original pictures from my Spider Gates Cemetery webpage had been stolen, doctored with image manipulation software, and re-posted without my permission on Brian Calvin Anderson's www.spidergates.com website.  [Since removed - thank you.]  The pictures appeared on his Photo Evidence page with, at the time, the following text:

"Spider Gates:  These first two pictures were submitted to us anonymously. I have no information on when they were taken.  Click on the thumbnails for the full size picture (all pictures open in a pop up window).  This is the cave just a short walk from the spidergates cemetery."

Photo 1 (below) is my original digital photograph of Elliot Hill Burying Ground in Leicester Massachusetts, taken on the morning of January 3, 2004.  As you can see in the stolen version that was until recently posted on Anderson's webpage, that a white "ghostly" mist has been introduced into the image.  Its original placement in my website report is at this location.

My Original

  Faked image found on www.spidergates.com

Photo 2 (below) is my original digital photograph of a culvert under a dirt road near Spider Gates in Leicester Massachusetts, taken on the morning of November 17, 2001.  As you can see in the stolen version that was until recently posted on Anderson's webpage, that a swirled light design has been introduced into the image.  Its original placement in my website report is at this location.

My Original

    Faked image found on www.spidergates.com

Photo 3 (below) was a publicity poster for the spidergates.com website.  It was created from my stolen image of Elliot Hill and was posted until recently on the www.spidergates.com website.  As you can see, from my original image its width has been significantly narrowed, its height slightly increased, and image changed from color to black and white.  A ghostly skull has been introduced to the center of the image and some text added. 

 

In the below side-by-side comparison, I have narrowed and slightly stretched my Elliot Hill image.  As you can see it exactly matches the poster, proving beyond a doubt that the Spider Gates poster on Anderson's website was made from my stolen image. 

My Original

Poster found on www.spidergates.com

According to the text of Anderson's www.spidergates.com website: "These first two pictures were submitted to us anonymously."  This being said, it would seem to cover Anderson and his website from any intentional wrongdoing, other than perhaps a lapse of judgment.  However, a closer look at the Elliot Hill images revels something curious indeed.

 

Below is my original image, the stolen image with the white "mist" introduced, and the same image manipulated into the official www.spidergates.com poster:

Original

Faked

Poster

Interesting, in the poster image on the right, although Anderson added quite a bit of "mist" in creating the skull image, the mist from the faked image (middle picture) does not appear in the poster picture.  If you look closely at the middle faked image and the shape of the mist, and compare it to the poster image on the right, it will be apparent that none of this mist or mist design is in the poster image.  In fact, there are details of my original image that are visible in the poster, while the same details are obscured in the fake by the mist. 

Original

Faked

Poster

For example, consider the above three pictures.  In my original on the left I have circled in red a gravestone.  In the faked picture in the middle you can see that the same gravestone has been brushed out with a white "mist".  Yet in Anderson's poster on the right you can clearly see that the gravestone has miraculously reappeared.  This is even more clear in the negative full scale images below:

Original

Faked

Poster

While it is possible to introduce large areas of whitish "mist" using image manipulation software, it is not possible to remove the mist to expose the image beneath it.  This is because image manipulation software does not layer data over the image, but replaces the image data with new data.  This leads to a logical conclusion that the poster could only have been generated from a non-doctored copy of my original picture of Elliot Hill.

 

Brian Anderson and www.spidergates.com maintain that the two faked images were submitted to them anonymously.  They do however take credit for having made the poster.  But it is obvious that the poster was made from a non-doctored original of my image rather than from the faked "mist" copy that was stolen from my website and supposedly submitted "anonymously" to Anderson.  Now how did Anderson get an original copy of my Elliot Hill photo if the only copy he admits to is the faked "anonymous" photo?  Certainly this all casts doubt on the veracity of Mr. Anderson of Watertown Massachusetts, who is the legal registered owner of  www.spidergates.com.  One wonders who the real photo thief and photo faker was.  While I do not directly accuse him of theft and lying, the images speak for themselves. 

On October 15th of 2004 I emailed Mr. Anderson that I was the photographer of the two images, and that the copies of these two images on his website (www.spidergates.com) were not only stolen from my website, but were also doctored and faked to appear as proof of paranormal activity caught on film.  I instructed Mr. Anderson to either give me credit for the originals, put a link to my website, and label the existing images as forgeries; or to remove them from the website.  As for the poster made from my original photograph, I kindly offered to sell him the image for $20.  After emailing several times, he declined my offer, and by the 25th had removed all the images including the movie poster. 

 

As a final note, the entire www.spidergates.com website seems to us to simply be a publicity stunt to sell Spider Gates horror comic books, which Mr. Anderson apparently illustrates.  There is no investigation into the cemetery on the website, and the only pictures of the place are the two stolen from my website.  And, the cemetery image of the two - stolen, doctored, and labeled as Spider Gates - is actually Elliot Hill Burying ground.  The other stolen and doctored image is a nearby culvert that Anderson labeled a "cave". 

 

One wonders if he has actually ever been to Spider Gates, and if he has, why he was unable to tell the difference between Spider Gates and Elliot Hill, two very distinctly different cemeteries.  Also, and perhaps significantly, the other member of the spidesgates.com Spider Gates Investigation team, Dwight L. MacPherson, lives far away in Fort Bliss Texas.  And not surprisingly, he is also involved in the production and selling of comic books. 

 

As I mentioned above, the general consensus among reputable paranormal investigators is that Anderson & Co. seem not to be true investigators, but rather seem to be peddlers of juvenilia trying to generate publicity for their comic books. 

 

For my original and complete Spider Gates Field Report click here.

 

2007 Update: Anderson's spidergates.com website has folded and disappeared off the web.  The addy is available for anyone who wants it. 


 

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Copyright 2004 by Daniel V. Boudillion

 

 

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