Hemel Hempstead photo faked
2005-12-11 17:05:28 GMT/BST
The BBC (and other news sources) are showing a dramatic satellite photo of the smoke from the fire in Hemel Hempstead spreading across an enormous area of the south of England. However, I am convinced that the image is a fake. The fire is to the east of Hemel Hempstead, right by the M1, yet in the BBC picture the fire appears to be located way over to the south-west, somewhere closer to Reading.
Furthermore, a simple bit of brightness level adjustment on the photo shows some implausibly dark areas on the supposedly smoke-filled parts. Far darker than any other area of the picture.
This looks to me very much like a photoshop job.
Updated 2005-12-11 21:00: The BBC have updated their image to show the location of the depot, positioning it on the north side of the smoke-covered area. You'd think at this point that someone would notice that it's just implausible for the smoke to disperse over London yet travel in a narrow column down to Reading. It would also be good to know what the wind direction was at the time this photo was supposedly taken.
Updated 2005-12-11 23:00: Ilya Haykinson at Wikinews pointed me to the OSEI's image of the day which has made me reconsider. It looks like I misinterpreted the image and the smoke really did implausibly travel in a narrow column down to Reading. Oh well. My apologies if it turns out that I was wrong, and thanks to Ilya for challenging me on it.