Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


The top line of Folien 1

Admittedly the top line on Folien 1 has the appearance of a curve and it creates the idea of the edge of a conical drinking glass. This was one of the first things the defence experts would fall back on to support their drinking glass theory. On this page we will zoom in on this line and get behind the deceiving nature of it.

Above: Because this line looked curved, the defence experts assumed that it represented the top edge of a conical drinking glass. They also said the bottom "line" is curved. We'll look at the bottom "line" later. We agree and will concede that a circular curve can roughly fit through the average of the top line. Since there is significant smudging and thickening in the line it is not always clear from where to measure when you do regression plotting. So for now we are not concerned about whether a circular curve fits or not. For now we will look at the internal structure of the top line and ask the question if in terms of its physical construction it can indeed be a representation of the top edge of a conical drinking glass, or any drinking glass for that matter.

Above: This is the part of the line above the "lip print". Note the two straight segments (yellow and green lines). The green line is a straight segment of about 2.5 cm splitting off from the yellow line below it. The yellow line is a straight segment of about 3.5 cm. This is a substantial part of the whole line of about 9 cm.

Above: A closer look. Two straight segments on top of each other.

Above: What appears to be a curve is actually largely a straight segment (between red lines) with smudging and flaking above the line adding to the overall perception of a curve.

Let's go more towards the middle of the line.

Let's zoom into this area.

Above: Note the fine and dead straight hairline under the yellow line. Below is the image without the yellow line. Start asking yourself if a round and conical drinking glass can leave such straight and fine features.

Above: See if you can spot the hairline. Note all the smudging above and below the clear straight feature.

Above: Hairline extending towards the middle of the line.

If we go further to the left along the line, one will find another straight segment running from this hairline.

Let's move further to the left, where we will find yet another dead straight feature.

Above: Note the furrow in the line. Can a drinking glass' edge leave such a furrow, or rather a DVD cover? What contributes to the curve is smudging below the straight top edge of the line matter. This was most possibly caused by rubbing and gliding of the folien when the folien was rubbed over the ridged edge of the DVD cover.

What it comes down to is that the top line comprises of about four straight segments joined by smudging. Smudging and flaking above and below the segments contribute to the construction of a curve. Yes, eventually it deflects above a baseline in a curve like manner and could therefore be seen as a "curve", but by closer inspection of the nature and construction of the "curve" it clearly does not appear to be a curve made by a curved object such as the edge of a conical drinking glass. It is not an authentic curve. It is a mosaic of straight segments and smudges which together forms the appearance of a curve.

So how was the curved line formed? As there are some variables, such as the quality powder used on the day, it is difficult to say for sure, but we can say with much certainty that rubbing played a significant role.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

It is very important to keep in mind that the sleeve is moveable.

As you rub with the left fingers over the edge there will be more contact between the folien and the ridge towards the right - this is why the line is thicker towards the right. More smudging happened in that area.

The pink line is the powder line on the ridge of the cover which would record on the folien. There would have been some accumulation of powder on the ridge or in the groove between the sleeve and the cover's ridge. When the folien was pasted on before rubbing it started to pick up the powder - when it was rubbed with the fingers (blue) to paste the folien down more properly the folien slid unevenly over the egde - picking up more powder towards the right - adding to the smudging, thickening and curvature of the line. Contact is made as you smear the folien down - recording of the edge is therefore not necessarily regular.

We do not say that the folien "stretched" as such, but we must remember that on the folien is an oily layer. While it stuck firmly to the sleeve it would have slid easily over the rather thin ridge that had some powder on, the loose powder on the ridge also enhancing sliding.

over the ridge.

Let's look closer. The pink against the ridge represents the powder that would have accumulated here against and on the ridge. When the folien is rubbed exponentially from left to right over the ridge it picks it up powder as it glides over the ridge.

What is important to keep in mind is that there is a MOVEABLE sleeve on the cover. Therefore the folien sticks on the sleeve and when then rubbed the part of the folien that overlaps the ridge slides slightly over the ridge while still sticking to the sleeve. This sleeve's top edge most probably contributed to the formation of the hairlines and the various straight segments during the gliding process (due to rubbing over the edge) as it "buckled" around and slid under the rubbing.

After seeing this, it may be a good idea to look at this image again.

This process fits with Swartz' explanation of how he would have pasted and rubbed the folien onto the DVD cover.

Let us just again look at the amount of smudging.

When you paste a folien around a drinking glass, the reasonable way would be to smear the folien around the glass, clockwise or anticlockwise. Or both. Even if you rub towards the top edge, the folien will not glide over the edge since the folien is stuck to the glass. It may fold over a bit and therefore minor smearing can possibly occur. However, the degree of smudging you get in the top line of Folien 1 highly suggest rubbing over the ridge of a DVD cover rather than over a rim of a glass. The degree to which a folien sticks onto the glass surface, which is not moveable, hampers significant smudging.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

You can rub upward all you want - the folien will not move. It may bend over the rim at times and may cause a blotch here and there, but there will be no sliding that will cause significant smudging. The curvature in the folien pasted to a round glass prevents significant bending - compared to a flat folien pasted to a DVD cover.

When you paste a folien around a glass, you can indefinitely hang the glass on the folien like this without the glass falling off or moving one bit. It is not so much that the folien is terribly sticky, but the oily surface sticks well to glass and covers the full adhesive area. The important fact here is that the folien will not glide over the rim with upward rubbing. Smudging will be minimal.

Let's for example look what Mr Wertheim's top line looks like:

It's rather smooth with no irregular thickening or significant smudging. With this line in mind, let's look at a significant part of the Folien 1 line again.

This flaked segment is certainly not smooth and curved.


Conclusion: A conical drinking glass will leave two concentric curves on a lift. Therefore both these lines would be circular arcs. A glass' rim has a smooth, concurrent and constantly curved trajectory. This needs to be reflected in the lines it would leave on a lift. The powder may not record concurrently but the nature of the line will show that the lift came from a glass' rim.

If you look closer at the top line, it is clear that the line does not have a constantly curved (circular) trajectory. Yes, visually it may appear as a curve, but when you look closer you'll find that the curve is made up of some straight segments - eventually forming a line that looks like a curve. A round conical glass, as proposed by the defence experts, cannot yield such straight segments. It simply can't.

Then, the amount of smudging in the line suggests that the line was not made by the top rim of a drinking glass. When you paste a folien on a glass there is simply not enough movement of the folien permitted to cause this amount of smudging.

Thus, the top line is excluded as a line made by a conical drinking glass based on:

1. Due to the degree of smudging it is arguable from where you should measure to determine regression coordinates, but there is no evidence that the line is a circular arc, as it should have been had Folien 1 been a lift from a drinking glass. Especially the straight alignment of the line towards the left, rules this line out as circular curve. No circular curve no glass.

2. The curve comprises of about 4 straight segments. A round conical drinking glass cannot leave straight features on a lift. No constant circular curve no glass.

3. The amount of smudging is too much to suggest a drinking glass.

We admit that the line is certainly not generally "consistent" with what one would typically expect from a lift from a DVD cover, and it may never be reproduced as such. But it must be considered that some variables are involved. The quality of powder used on the day, the quality of the folien used, the state of the specific DVD cover, the way the lifter worked, etc. All these factors could have played a part in the formation of the "curved" line. And without having for example the specific powder or batch of folien, it would be senseless to try and reproduce the line. But we have convincingly shown the basic mechanisms at play and that it is indeed possible.

This furrow in the line goes a long way to actually suggest a DVD cover.

If you had to take a guess - is this representative of a glass' rim or rather of the furrow between the sleeve and the ridge of a DVD cover?

Focus on bottom line of Folien 1

Lines Intro



© 2013/2014/2015 Mollett - All rights reserved