After the historian Sean Malloy found chilling photographs of Hiroshima bombing victims in the archives of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, he vowed to resolve the mysterious origins of the film roll, which was found in a Japanese cave.
Instead, the new mystery is how academic researchers were duped into believing that grim photographs of the scattered remains of victims of a 1923 earthquake disaster outside Tokyo were scenes of the devastation from the first atomic bomb.Oops.
The Hoover Institution, a conservative policy research institute on the Stanford University campus in Northern California, had released the photographs on May 5. Michel Guérin, culture editor at Le Monde, said that the newspaper had published the photographs because it trusted the credibility of Stanford.
Everything needs to be verified; trust can be a dangerous thing.