Inaccessible Reproduction

This sequence of photocopied collage-art pieces began as a single reproduced image, posted anonymously in 1979 at divers locations not limited to Pomona, Budapest, and Düsseldorf. The A4 format suggested a European origin but little else.

According to anyone who has claimed to own more than one, it was impossible to retain multiple copies in one place before 2009. When duplicates were stored together, all but one of them would alter in a mysterious, always unseen process, becoming frames from an animated sequence initiated by the original sheet.  

Over the years, certain individuals who knew of the alleged enigma exploited it to help extend the animation. We are especially indebted to Pat Lassglen of Ypsilanti, who, on acquiring a purported 1979 original on eBay, stored several xeroxed groups of four in separate file cabinets over the course of 2002.

The sequence today appears complete (including several identical frames), and is likely to stay as is, since the enlargement procedure stopped working by all accounts in 2009. Its anonymity remains intact. —Colin Raff

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Mother Goose Glitch

The Walter/Folkard Anomaly appears on the 76th page of two known copies of Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes (Walter, Lavinia Edna, Ed.; Folkard, Charles James, ill.; A. & C. Black Ltd.: London, November 1919; 1st ed.). One of these is in the Children’s Literature Collection at University of Glasgow Library; the other is privately owned. (Page 76 of any other copy on record is taken up by the obscure rhyme “A kid, a kid, my father bought.”)

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The anomaly’s discovery in 2010 actually postdates the Google Street View captures of a seemingly related object by roughly two years. No further evidence exists of this manifestation on that August day of 2008 in the Neu-Hohenschönhausen locality of northeastern Berlin. No one has claimed to witness it then (including those piloting the camera car), and no organization or individual have asserted responsibility. Now vanished from Google Street View proper, it still reveals itself in desaturated screenshots. —Colin Raff

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