The Great Man may not use the Internet, but he does use Photoshop.
The large picture is http://www1.phys.uu.nl/gerard60/photos/big/group2a5.jpg [Now a dead link. See the update at the bottom of this page.], a group portrait of attendees of Gerard 't Hooft's 60th birthday party in Vlieland taken by professional photographer Ivar Pel.
The inset picture shows El Naschie with Nobel Laureates Frank Wilczek, Gerard 't Hooft, and David Gross. It comes from El Naschie's Web site, http://www.el-naschie.net/el-naschie-physicist.asp?site=249, where it has filename prof-el-naschie-nobel-laurates-gross-thooft-wilcezk.jpg.
I am so gobsmacked I hardly know what to say.
Martin a while back commented on the strangeness of the shadows. He was right. His comment was part of a private email to me almost exactly a year ago. Here is what he said:
...did you have a closer look at this photo:
Could this be worth a post? I have some questions: Look at the guy at the left, is it Gross? [Wilcezk is on our left; Gross is on our right; 't Hooft is in the middle.] He has very blurry outline and his shadow looks strange, like he was added. I'm not sure about the Big Man in this photo, but he looks somehow added too. And I can't figure the meaning of the shadows below them, they seem so edgy while the people's heads don't seem to have any of those edges. Is this worth a closer look for you?
Cheers and keep it up :)
I should have listened to him! But at the time it seemed inconceivable that El Naschie would be so brazen, and I went on to other things.
A commenter points to this, which needs to be put inline:
MathPhys says:This blog may soon lose its raison d'être.
November 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm
...Can someone please take a look at these photos
Some seem to have been produced by photoshop
Look at the photo with Wilczek, ‘t Hooft and Gross
Looks very suspicious to me.
UPDATE January 9, 2012: See Universiteit Utrecht pulls 't Hooft birthday pic.
محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى