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  Authentication of John Young TTM signature

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Author Topic:   Authentication of John Young TTM signature
Eipa04
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posted 01-25-2013 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eipa04   Click Here to Email Eipa04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking for authentication of a signed STS-1 crew photograph.

I originally had purchased one from Astronaut Central when Mr. Young was doing his signings. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy flooded my home and caused severe water damage to it. I sent a letter to Bob Crippen explaining the situation, and he was more then happy to sign another one for me.

I then sent the Crippen signed photo to John Young at his home in Texas, and also included an explanation of the events that transpired along with the same pictures I am forwarding to you. I knew it was a long shot, but nonetheless I tried. I received the photograph back signed by John Young. However, although the signature has many similarities to his lettering, the overall signature is different then any I have ever seen.

I know about the autopens, and the variations he had based on the programs aka Gemini, Apollo, etc. I have also heard rumors floating around that he has been having some health ailments, which would certainly account for the variation of his signature. I have also contacted Astronaut Central for their opinion, and they feel that it is a genuine signature.

I wanted to get other peoples perspectives. Below are links to photos which include the original, water damaged one, and the new Crippen and Young with a zoom in on Young's signature. I have kept the envelope as well for proof that it came from his home in Texas. Thank you in advance to anyone who is able to help in any way.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 01-25-2013 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anthony, Just emailed you a few minutes ago as I got your email and phone call just now. When viewing the signatures, as explained in my email, I am just not comfortable--based on my opinion only--with any of the Young and Crippen autographs.

mjanovec
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posted 01-25-2013 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect to Ken, I lean towards these both being real, even if they look little like their signatures from the past. It appears that Crippen is signing more simply and slowly these days, perhaps due to aging and/or arthritis.

Young's recent health problems are a poorly-kept secret among the space community, so it doesn't surprise me that his signature has deteriorated significantly. There still appears to be a few positive tells in his signature that point towards authenticity (in my opinion, of course). If the item was sent directly from Young's home, the only other possible option is a secretarial signature (perhaps from his wife). Given the choice, I lean towards it being real.

It has also been hinted that Young likely won't be doing any more signings. I think this signature example points to the reason why.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-25-2013 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also feel that both signatures are authentic (and expressed as much as to Anthony before he posted).

I can certainly understand why there would be concerns (with the Young in particular) but given the circumstances, I think that explains the irregularities in style.

Eipa04
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posted 01-25-2013 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eipa04   Click Here to Email Eipa04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you all for your prompt responses. I guess I can take a sigh of relief. Can't wait to hear other thoughts on the subject.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 01-25-2013 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were other signatures of both STS-1 crew members that I also viewed, not just this lot, that I was not comfortable with. While the "John" may look okay, I am under the impression his was obtained not too long ago. As we know, Young's signatures have changed greatly within the last couple years.

Regarding "Crip," the slowness and possible other factor(s) concerned would be certain letter-type formations (esp. the "r") I have not seen before. Just about all of my recent Crippen autographs are not similar.

As I did say to Anthony in an earlier email, the sigs may be genuine from the first scan provided, which by the way, is the one posted on cS.

But once again, just my 2-cents and sole opinion, and nothing more.

Steve Zarelli
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posted 01-25-2013 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that if this was obtained directly from John Young, there are two choices: real or proxy. In my opinion, if it was a proxy signer, they would likely try to do a better job of replicating Young's typical signature style. You'd see a more slowly, and carefully drawn replica. So, I lean toward it being probably authentic. That said, I think we'd need more examples or 1st hand verification before we could accept this as a verified authentic exemplar.

What is more surprising to me is the Crippen. Even in the original litho it appears to be a slowly drawn and almost childlike imitation. I see a lot of Crippen signatures and I've yet to run into one of these. When was the original signed? Did it come directly from Crippen?

Eipa04
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posted 01-25-2013 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eipa04   Click Here to Email Eipa04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes the first one came directly from Bob Crippen three years ago, and then was sent to Astronaut Central, aka Novaspace, when John Young was doing his signings with them in Feb 2011. Astronaut Central provided me a picture of him signing it on the COA, as well as a DVD of the staff giving it to him and telling him this is from Anthony Ibrahim West Orange, he wants no personalization and you to sign above your head.

After the water damage in October I wrote to Bob Crippen first and he indicated to send another picture and he would be happy to sign it. I actually sent him two and he signed them both. I asked him to sign both as he knew my intentions were to contact John also, so in the likelihood I did not recive it back from John I would still have Crippen's signature.

Here are some images of the post card that Crippen responded to me with instructing me to send him another photo: 1 | 2

Greggy_D
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posted 01-25-2013 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It really tugs at the heartstrings to see their handwriting deteriorate this quickly.

gnewt
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posted 01-26-2013 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gnewt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, I just emailed you a snap of my Young/Crippen dual-signed STS-1 launch photo; a good exemplar of their signatures. Sorry to hear about the water damage to your originals..

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 01-26-2013 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
It really tugs at the heartstrings to see their handwriting deteriorate this quickly.
Slightly OT, but not the only examples. Don Williams' from the AAMS 2012 is almost unreadable compared to his AAC photo from 2007.

Wehaveliftoff
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posted 01-30-2013 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonder what the value of the autographs would be if they were not at all affected by the water damaged photo?

DChudwin
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posted 01-30-2013 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my opinion, the Young autograph is a shakey genuine signature with many characteristics of his earlier, stronger signatures before his health problems.

Nigel Mc
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posted 01-31-2013 07:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nigel Mc   Click Here to Email Nigel Mc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would agree - Age is changing the autographs. They look genuine.

JasonIUP
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posted 01-31-2013 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not so sure the Young autograph is real. He signed slowly in the past. There are parts of this autograph that are slow and shaky, supporting the conclusion that this is real. Other letters are written at a normal (for someone younger) speed. I don't know how to account for that.

JasonB
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posted 01-31-2013 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unless theres a picture of Young holding the photo after signing it, or he does another signing where he signs everything this way, there's just no way to authenticate it. It's just way too different to be able to tell. It's a shame if it's real.

DSeuss5490
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posted 01-31-2013 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DSeuss5490   Click Here to Email DSeuss5490     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If its any consolation, I have a Young signature that looks just like this one that was signed on a 3D item at a Novaspace signing a few years ago. In fact, mine might be a little more atypical.

While the signature might not be perfect, I do think there are enough similarities to an authentic Young signature to confirm its authenticity.

If you still have a copy of your original letter to Young and the return mailing envelope I would keep them all together.

Greggy_D
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posted 04-21-2013 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As you can see in the below letter, which was featured in the recent Heritage auction (April 2013), Young's signature is definitely different than examples from as recent as two years ago.

From June, 2011 Heritage Auction:

JasonB
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posted 04-22-2013 05:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, Young's signature has really changed.

That being said, it still looks nothing like the original post at all. If anything it appears to me to prove that Young didn't sign the photo that started this thread.

JasonIUP
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posted 04-22-2013 06:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, it looks on point.

If you look at the other letters of provenance Heritage had that were signed last month, you'll see exemplars that are equally "sloppy". I had my doubts about the TTM one, but now I think it looks consistent with recent Youngs.

albatron
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posted 04-22-2013 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not wanting to say why I feel this is a real signature, but due to his health problems this is what one would expect his to be now.

Sadly.

JasonB
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posted 04-22-2013 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I couldnt get the original link to work but I seem to recall that the signature on the photo looked nothing like the signature shown on the current letter. Also the fact that the Crippen signature on the photo also looks bad (or at the very least unusual) doesn't bother anyone else?

Maybe my memory is off on the photo, but when I saw the letter I still thought it kind of looked like Young's handwriting. I didn't think that about either the Young or the Crippen on the photo.

Eipa04
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posted 04-22-2013 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eipa04   Click Here to Email Eipa04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In response to all the previous threads, there is not a doubt in my mind that the initial signatures that were water damage due to hurricane Sandy were 100% authentic.

I had ordered them from Novaspace when John Young was still doing his signings with them and have a letter of authenticity as well as a picture and video CD of him signing my photo. So I have no doubts about the authenticity of the water damaged ones.

After hurricane Sandy I located Bob Crippen's address and wrote him a letter explaining the circumstances and he indicated to me that if I would send him a photograph, he would be more than willing to sign another one for me, but doubted John Young would. I sent Bob Crippen two photographs, and explained that I intended to send a letter to John and one of the signed Bob Crippen photographs he returns back to me.

The letter Bob Crippen sent back to me instructing me to send a photograph is the postcard that is signed Bob C. Now I received the two signed photographs back from Bob Crippen and I sent one (in case I did not receive it back from John Young I wouldn't lose Bob Crippen's as well).

I too was shocked when I actually received this back. Not only because I received it back, but also at the deterioration I noted with the signature. Which led me to question it's authenticity.

When I contacted Sally at Novaspace she indicated to me that she had just reached out to John and his wife to set up another signing, but he had just recently been ill and was hospitalized. If this is the case and Sally has also confirmed it, that would explain why his signature is really off, aside from changes due to the aging process. If he had signed it when he was sick.

I was wondering if anybody else shared that opinion which is why I created this post. Not looking for authentication of the originals that is confirmed 100% authentic. The Bob Crippen on the new ones is 100% authentic. The only questions I have are regarding the John Young. Thanks.

Greggy_D
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posted 04-22-2013 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I seem to remember a Crippen signature that looked like the example above. I think it was on an item that the ASF auctioned off, but sadly the ASF does not keep old auction results on their site.

As noted above, I think the slow and deliberate handwriting may be due to aging or a medically related issue.

Eipa04
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posted 04-22-2013 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eipa04   Click Here to Email Eipa04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone still trying to question the authenticity of my original with water damaged photograph can check out this link for a similar STS-1 crew signed photo on sale currently at Astronaut Central. Signatures are spot on to my original. Crippen's hasn't changed as drastically as John Young's on my new one.

yeknom-ecaps
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posted 04-22-2013 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This topic seems to be way overthought... Bob Crippen's signature is genuine based on the correspondence and it is different based on age and health from earlier examples. Why respond and say send me the photos if he was going to have someone else sign it?

For John Young - same thing, to have someone else sign for him makes no sense... he has been gracious and signed to the best of his ability given what we all know - his age and health have both affected his signature. If he wasn't going to sign the photo it would have been a whole lot easier to just not return the item!

Eipa04
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posted 04-22-2013 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eipa04   Click Here to Email Eipa04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My thoughts exactly, just wanted to seek some other options on the matter. Mr. Pearlman also agreed having known John if he didn't want to sign it and wasn't interested A) he wouldn't have signed it, and B) would not have returned it rather it would have just ended up in the trash.

JasonIUP
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posted 04-22-2013 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to overlook the obvious, what are the health issues?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-22-2013 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JasonIUP:
Not to overlook the obvious, what are the health issues?
John Young and his family have not made public statements concerning his health, so it would be inappropriate to discuss the specifics here.

Tom
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posted 12-28-2013 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed that Captain Young's recent signatures include his middle initial "W".

Is that something new?

JasonB
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posted 12-28-2013 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would imagine he just added that because the letterhead showed his name that way.

Considering all the recent signed authentication letters signed by Young I'll say it again. The photo shown at the start of this thread looked nothing like any Young or Crippen I've ever seen.

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