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Controversy: Circulated with an Associated Press logo and attached to what looked like an old newspaper article, the black-and-white photo quickly spread across the Internet, particularly among conservative blogs and websites.

Verdict: Fake. Both the image and its accompanying newspaper trappings were phony, created by combining two separate photographs — one of Mr. Kerry speaking at a 1971 anti-war rally, the other of Miss Fonda speaking at a 1972 rally.

Fun fact: Ken Light, the photographer who took the 1971 photo of Mr. Kerry, had the original negatives of the picture and sued the man who created the fake. Nevertheless, he continued to receive emails claiming his negatives were bogus and that the doctored picture was real.

Fun fact II: Mr. Kerry and Miss Fonda do appear together in an authentic photo from a 1970 anti-war rally, though Miss Fonda is close to the camera and Mr. Kerry is about 10 yards away and out of focus — which pretty much defeats the dramatic effect of the bogus photo.

One bogus leap

Picture: A series of photographs produced by the Apollo program’s manned missions to the moon.

Controversy: Conspiracy theorists — including a handful of (presumably bitter) Russian scientists and an American photo historian who also argued that a series of JFK assassination photos were fake — have claimed that photos of the lunar landings are bogus, owing to a lack of visible stars; inconsistent shadows and lighting that seem to track with a studio production; what looks like the letter “C” written on a moon rock and the lunar surface; an Australian woman’s purported claim that she saw a soft-drink bottle in the frame while watching one of the manned landings take place on live television.

Verdict: Real. And spectacular. Sorry, Moon Truthers, but NASA has provided plausible explanations for all of the above: Stars weren’t visible, owing to the brightness of the sun during the lunar daytime; inconsistent shadows and lighting were the result of lens distortion, lunar dust, uneven ground and multiple light sources; the “C” shape does not appear in original lunar camera film and is thought to be a coiled hair that made its way into the printing processes; the Australian woman supposedly claimed that she had to “stay up late” to watch the landings — which took place during the country’s daytime — and may herself be as real as Manti Te’o’s ersatz dead Internet girlfriend.

President Dumb-ya

Picture: A widely circulated photo appeared to show President George W. Bush holding a picture book upside down while reading with children during a 2002 Houston school visit.

Controversy: The photo gave visual ammunition to Mr. Bush’s detractors and political opponents, many of whom caricatured the president as, well, not so bright.

Verdict: Fake. Comparison to an original Associated Press photograph shows that the book’s “upside-down” cover was digitally altered.

Reuters-gate

Picture: A 2006 series of photographs taken by Lebanese freelance photographer and Reuters correspondent Adnan Hajj appeared to show multiple smoke plumes over Beirut following an Israeli attack and an Israeli fighter jet firing several ground attack missiles over southern Lebanon.

Controversy: Bloggers accused Mr. Hajj of doctoring both photos.

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