In previous posts I have ‘outed’ Peter Vandever as an active, unrepentant photography plagiarist, stealing fellow photographers’ work and passing them off as his own for attempted financial reward. In this post I delve deeper into Peter’s archives and show evidence of mass plagiarism going back quite some time. I conclude with my thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance, and how it applies to Peter and what victims should do when confronting the thief. Let’s get started.
How Peter has never been caught before beats me!
His pants are now down though, as I have the evidence rolling in image after image, after country after country. A big thanks to the Tipline for help. To date I have been revealing photographs in ones and twos. In this post I demonstrate Peter’s willingness to mass plagiarise. The extent of his own travels must also now be questioned.
Papua New Guinea Plagiarism
Peter claims to have visited Papua New Guinea in 2013. He says:
In 2013, I had the opportunity to travel to New Guinea. I first travel to Papua New Guinea and saw some of the most remote people in the world. Afterwards, I travel to West Papua that is officially part of Indonesia. They mostly untouched by Western civilization for good and bad.
This ‘may’ be true BUT I very much doubt it. Such a short description for an entire country is not normal for Peter who will spill the beans on everything that tickles his fancy.
Furthermore, compare the date and images of this photographer’s web presence with Peter’s:
Papua New Guinea Trip – Aug. 2012
I spent 2 weeks covering the river (Sepik) and mountains of Papua New Guinea concentrating mostly on the festivals that occur yearly in August. These festivals, the Sing Sing’s, bring many of the local tribes together to display their traditional costumes and dances in a highly effective way. PNG is changing rapidly and seeing these wonderful people in this way was a photographer’s dream. Hopefully you will enjoy these images and get to PNG soon. Well worth the effort Source
Peter has uploaded quite a few of these images (in high resolution too). The events photographed are an annual event and were taken in August 2012. In March of 2013, Peter claims to have visited and taken images of an August-only event. Impossible!
The original photographer doesn’t identify himself by name but here is his photograph of himself.
Here is a facial comparison.
The original photographer is in the centre, with various shots of Peter Vandever around him. The photo of Peter that is the closest in proportion is on the left. I have place white lines over this photo and superimposed it onto the face of the original photographer to make comparisons of proportion easier.
Note the following:
Different facial hair colour
Different mouth shape – original photographer has more of a flat mouth
Different nose shape – original photographer has more of a triangle shape nose
Different proportions – distance from eyes to mouth greater in the original photographer
The original photographer’s hairline recedes back further.
The original photographer wears glasses and is older.
Here are the images that Peter claims to have taken while in Papua New Guinea. Many of them are from the same photographer, the ones all in the same filename format:
This table contains a link on the LHS to Peter’s stored file and a link pre-programmed to search for the file on Google’s Image search on the RHS. All links open in a new window.
To do your own checking and detective work, right click any image on any of Peter’s iamges online and COPY LINK URL. This will give you something like this in your clipboard:
Interpreted, this means that Peter has uploaded the image 013_IMG_6315-1-XL in 2015/03 [March 2015] to the WordPress CRM system at his Jabez Prints website. WordPress appends the file size automatically
Go to Google Image Search and copy the URL e.g.
You will then see something like this:
In this case you have Peter’s stolen image and multiple variants of the original file at: 7continentsgallery.smugmug.com.
I considered the possibility that the original photographer had perhaps supplied Peter with these files for commercial purposes (the sort of defence that thieves and liars would come up with) but notice that Naskrecki is another travel photographer stolen from and that the longer file names are from other sources. Nah! They’re stolen!
Peter is unlikely to defend any of this. His MO is to simply ignore the evidence, and go away. Sadly, he short-circuits Ghandi’s famous line at either the first or second step . . . that they first ignore you, then laugh at you, then fight you and then you win!
This mass plagiarism and associated lies are sufficient for me to declare the previously exposed Facebook plagiarism to be part of a longterm programme of deliberate mass photography theft for attempted commercial gain.
But wait! There’s more . . . much more. Peter’s plagiarism just goes on . . . and on . . .
Here’s another image found in multiple locations . . . first the original on Blogspot.com* in high resolution (June 2014) in two locations (Original1 Original2), then on Peter’s website The Gypsy (thegypsy.org July 2014) with a screenshot shown here. No attribution of course. I’m sure that no permission would have been granted, for Peter has no compunction with simply stealing.
Why bother asking when you can just take it, eh Peter?
There are more stolen images on his Gypsy website too.
Psychiatric Issues, Cognitive Dissonance & Fuzzy Logic
Understanding people who are different requires mental gymnastics. Peter Vandever is different. He says it succinctly himself in a blog post where he addresses some of his antagonists:
I am polarizing. Peter Vandever is a name that produces emotions in people. Why I am not sure but hardly anyone who knows me is indifferent about me. Some love me, some don’t and some are just haters.
Peter is right. Some do hate him and others don’t. What most of the world can see, but Peter can’t or won’t see, is that it is those who know him for who he really is; whom he has ripped off or abused are the ones that hate him, and those that are still fooled by his digital bleating that still [according to Peter] love him. He thus lives in a world of his own making, totally deluded of course.
As the word gets out (and it will) a few people who Peter thought “loved” him will no longer. In time, those who love him will do so either because they don’t know him or they gave birth to him. Peter continues:
My basic position has always been to not to respond to haters. I find that in the story of the three Jewish boys when they stood before the King. Plus, responding to haters just put more fuel on the fire so to speak.
Peter’s reframing of genuine concerns at his conduct into a hate/love paradigm allows him to feel a victim and compartmentalise things into neat little boxes. This coping mechanism is a form of escapism employed by lucid, supposedly rational, intelligent people but especially those ‘on the run’ from reality.
I find no reason to defend myself, time will do that for me and really, it does not change anyone views. Everyone is set in stone. I just live my life forward the best I can.
This is the mindset that you are dealing with. “I have done no wrong. It is everyone else who has the problem”. It is my take that Peter genuinely believes this, despite ample evidence that his real observable, provable actions are grossly offensive, anti-social, self-destructive and ungodly. The problem for Peter comes though when an equally confident, lucid, supposedly rational, inteliigent person stands up to him and exposes him as a conman, liar and thief, but without hatred.
This is currently happening with my investigative blogging. As the TIPLINE runs hot, and more people come forward with their stories and evidence.
Do I want to limit the haters? No. I a, a firm believer in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. I believe in free speech. It is important for the free world. Free Speech can be toxic and dangerous though. I also believe in the Open Internet. I believe that people should have the right to be part of the internet age in whatever way they see fit. As will all controversies in the past. I do not respond to hate, angry or nasty replies. If people come desiring to build a positive, productive relationship; I am open to that. My door truly does remain open.
Again, Peter most likely genuinely believes this and sadly most likely means it. What people need to understand though is that he can and could easily do the same things again and again, despite any agreement to work together, or resolve any matters amicably. Peter lives life on his own terms generating his own reality.
Cognitive Dissonance is a description for those holding two contrary belief systems simultaneously. In Peter’s case this is represented something along the lines of, “I know that stealing is wrong; I know that I’m a thief, but I’m a good guy/Christian/can justify it [or whatever]”. We all do this to some extent but Peter is at the far end of this extreme.
Here are some words from a post Peter made last year. It indicates his thinking as he was in the middle of a mass plagiarism exercise.
Watermarks: Are they smart?
I personally think Watermarks are annoying. Let me say that. Any photographer worth his salt does not watermark every damn picture!
The really p*ss off photograph thieves eh Peter?
However, the question in photography circles will not die: Are watermarks smart?
I have a conditional answer for you Peter . . . if they stop you stealing them, then yes they are smart!
I personally find most of the discussion centered about insecurity and fear. As the story goes, a photographer is afraid some guy in Cleveland, Tennessee is going to “steal” their picture and use it on his website. They throw up “Intellectual Property” as their rally call. It sounds great and all but in reality, to me; I just see alot of insecurity and fear.
As one commenter on this blog says, “Now we know why eh?”
If someone is taking your picture and making money from it, by all mean, sue them.
There you go victims . . . Peter is encouraging you to sue him!
If someone is just sharing it on their blog; be encouraged. They thought it was good enough to “steal.” It should be a pat on the back. Nothing to get upset about.
Peter’s wisdom for victims . . . it’s the purpose that you are stealing that matters whether or not stealing is right or wrong or anything to get upset about. Funny but that’s not what most Christian Missionaries I know believe . . .
Recently, I came across a picture of mine from Sagada, Philippines on a website for tourism. I could have demanded payment. Instead, I just emailed them and told them I was honored that they loved my picture and asked if they could use a newer edit of it. I didn’t even watermark it.
See, I’m a victim and didn’t do anything so you too should be a victim and not do anything about it.
Reasons you should not Watermark
1) Watermarks look childish and fearful. When I see a picture that is watermarked, especially in the center of the image; I see insecurity. They are live in fear that someone might steal their image. What a way to live your life! Fear sucks. It really does.
2) Most of them are cheesy. You can tell when a photographer is new or some wedding photographer by the watermark. After that, most watermarks are issues in and of themselves. Why did they choose that font? Why did they choose that point size? That icon, why that? You get my point.
3) People that would pay you, will pay you. If Smart Communications wants to use a picture I have for a promotional; they will pay me for the rights. They are not going to risk a lawsuit on CNN for the next two weeks over royalties to a freelance photographer.
I agree. The problem Peter is that you steal from OTHER photographers and attempt to benefit commercially!
The people using pictures online are too broke to pay anyways so relax!
Maybe many are, but that’s beside the point. Are you going to stop someone mugging another person because they are hungry? Fuzzy logic here Peter.
4) If someone really does steal your work, it is a easy lawsuit. There is Intellectual Property laws for a reason. Probably not going to be an issue but it is there if you need.
5) No need for a petabyte of useless images that are watermarks beside keeping the original on the Cloud as well. Watermarks is basically doubling your footprint electronically.
A red herring and minor factor.
6) It is a waste of time. The Government does not go after a five year old that took a Butterfinger from the gas station like they do someone like Bernard Madoff. You won’t get anywhere anyways. Small time “stealing” is not even worth your time.
Mixing the quantitative and the qualitative is a logical fallacy. I have spent many, many hours tracking and investigating your crimes [Peter] as a result of multiple concerns and complaints by the little guys. I’ve found that you are not just an occasional plagiarist who made a mistake . . . you are like Bernard Madoff to me and I’m VERY glad I invested the many hours to find out the extent of your crimes. As I’ve said before, those who steal lie, those who steal an egg will steal an ox.
7) It helps your SEO! Most bloggers are not going download then upload your pictures. They will import from a URL. That’s is a backlink and backlinks gives you favor with Google’s systems. That’s is called PageRank. The more you are linked, the better your page authority becomes.
Hot-linking images Peter without attribution is theft. It is plagiarism and if you do that to a Getty image you will be paying. Period.
What is the bottomline
Relax and realize there is a “cost” to doing photography online. One of those cost is sharing without your credits (a different discussion). Do not get stressed out about it. Just relax, get you some Krispy Kreme and a coffee and start editing your next amazing picture!
Common Creative Non-Commercial is the way to go.
Yes, CCNC is ONE way to go. Your victims however don’t share your opinions and when your opinions flow into your actions which become theft, then you are now exposed.
Peter’s logic fails the test of common sense and any grasp of reality. His words are not entirely nonsense, but they lack the normal social context; do not indicate a good grasp of reality; cause friction, resentment and outright hostility where ever he speaks.
Peter presents himself to the world as HE sees himself and he cannot see or understand other peoples’ reason for hating him. His understanding of human emotional dynamics is either non-existent or limited by his intellectual validation of his unique world view which includes the belief that everyone is out to get him.
Call him a nutter, basket-case, special-case, or whatever you want though, Peter IS an unrepentant thief masquerading as a Christian Missionary. He has hurt many people with his abnormal, self-centric behaviour and unfortunately he is very likely to continue to do this into the future.
Advice for victims
My advice for victims of Peter’s photography theft is not simple for it requires one to dig-deep. I come at this subject from different angles.
First, recognise that you are dealing with a man who operates differently to most. Peter simply has no compunction lying, or stealing and can easily and naturally justify his conduct to himself. Calling him a fruit-loop, conman, liar, thief may be cathartic for you but personalising a simple matter of theft will achieve little with a man who simply doesn’t give a sh*t about how (or anyone) feels when he is found out. Appealing to his conscience, better judgement, compassion or otherwise is futile.
Secondly, consider carefully what is important to you. Forget Peter Vandever and his conduct for just one minute and work out what YOU want. If you want money, sue him. He travels a lot but this does not preclude litigation. There is ample evidence of his crimes. Do not discount the possibility that you could be rewarded financially. The places Peter is currently traveling to are a two edged-sword when it comes to litigation and justice.* Class action is perfectly possible. If you want an apology, forget it. Peter doesn’t understand the meaning of the word, for that requires him to step into the world of emotion and understand things from anothers’ perspective. If you want to get back at him and get revenge, publish the truth, without emotion and let him destroy his reputation with his own words.
Thirdly, establish what you can do to make the world a better place. Will it help others if you let him get away with it or wiit be better to confront him and bring it out into the open? Will going public help others or just show you up for being an overly jealous “owner” of a piece of the digital space that Peter clearly thinks should be free for all to use? Perhaps if you stand up and be counted, he may mend his ways? Is it good that many people befriend him on Facebook and are caught in his web of deception when all it takes is one person to alert those who are ensnared?
My approach is to depersonalise the matters – Peter is a plagiarist for attempted personal gain – period. Let the world know this. I am an author and an investigative blogger – period. Let the world know this.
I can help others think through their issues but my focus is to find the facts; present them publicly and ensure that the world knows the truth.
I trust his series on Peter Vandever has been helpful and that I have achieved my goals. In my next post in this series I will be publishing a complete list of uploaded files and viewers can check for themselves the extent of the mass plagiarism – much of it actionable in any legal jurisdiction. I have done the work; I have the evidence and I will be sharing it online soon.
* People outside third world countries may think that there is no justice or that nothing can be achieved outside the Western justice systems. This is not always the case. Trying to make a fool out of proud people in non-Western countried can backfire badly and justice can often be served faster and harder than in the West. Take for example Peter’s post knocking the Filipinos. Any official who read his blog would probably be very pleased to assist someone bringing charges against him. And any bailiff slighted by his aggressiveness or cultural insensitivity would be highly motivated. Take Samoa for example; if he ever returns to here, the legal systems are quite capable of ensuring that he doesn’t leave the country with monies outstanding. They would never allow themselves to be used and abused by a smart-arse ‘Palagi’.
Class-action within multiple jurisdictions is possible and it will only take one person committed enough to push through with litigation for Peter to have serious difficulties traveling in the future. Should he be served papers in one country and then if he travels onwards without addressing the issues, then the next time it happened there would be precedent for passport seizure. Furthermore, should he pick up criminal convictions then his travel options and his future are less open.
** NOTE: When (or if) these images are taken offline (Peter tries to cover his tracks by removing stolen images when he is outed), I will publish them all on an archived website for posterity. Please let me know when/if this occurs and I will update this post with a different URL.
- The Other Side of Peter Vandever - the orginal post of 2011 exposing Peter's deception. Peter's conduct ensured that it became my number one viewed page alongside of my public warning about Ormita
- Peter Vandever, now outed as a thief - 19 March 2015 The first of a series exposing immoral conduct
- Peter Vandever, Outing the Plagiarist - 22 March 2015 The second post
- Peter Vandever, Unravelling a Mass Plagiarist - 26 March 2015 The evidence builds
- Peter Vandever, Plagiarist, The Evidence - 27 march 2015 The Evidence in gory detail
- Peter Vandever Responds: F*ck Off! - 4 April 2015 A single finger salute sums it all up
- Peter Vandever – FACEBOOK WARNING - Page for distribution to Facebook participants