These are three of the more startling questioned document cases of the 1,500-odd on file, some of them not worth to anyone the paper they were written on, some of international consequence.
It was not a crude paper mill, but careless enough to get caught, finally.
At a time when one of the countries that are pulled between East and West was negotiating for a tremendous Western loan, one of its pro-U. representatives, a personage internationally well known, offered a letter typed on blue stationery as a sample of the Communist blandishments which he was trying to resist.
They include restorations of charred documents, erased and obliterated writings, carbon paper impressions, and writings indented on sheets of paper underneath the ones used by the writer.
They include the investigation of crank letters and of forgeries using both Dulles brothers' names.
More often it is necessary to measure the effects of age on its chemical content and color, taking into consideration the type of fiber in the paper and the climatic conditions under which it was stored.
Using chemical reagents and a tintometer or similar instrument for gauging shades of color, the expert can usually determine the approximate age of the paper.Seven or eight years ago an intelligence officer came into possession, under circumstances which aroused his professional ardor, of a small scrap of notepaper bearing only an address and a very common first name scribbled underneath it.For two years he persisted in trying to identify the writer of this note, collecting handwriting specimens from a number of likely places and submitting them for laboratory comparison. The points of venue of these marked the writer's trail through several trouble-ridden countries, but none identified him.The blue watermarked stationery could have been bought only in Australia or New Zealand, on the other side of the world from the purported Communist writer.Moreover, the Communist's letter was typed on the same machine -- a 1927 Underwood Standard rebuilt after 1940 -- that this Friend of America had some time before used to address an envelope to us.A unique paper may be, and in actual cases has been, traced to a single individual.