[Note: UPDATE follows after the jump. Please read the entire post before e-mailing in helpful corrections.] A couple of amateur document-authentic specialists (read: conspiracy-minded readers with web browsers and free time) found something potentially interesting in the Suri Cruise birth certificate that TMZ.com published yesterday, which had already set our tinfoil helmets vibrating because of the previously noted irregularities regarding its late filing, signing by a Cruise "friend," and certification by someone who apparently hadn't even seen the alleged baby. A sample of our freelance research team's efforts:
I did some research into this supposed birth certificate and I found something VERY interesting.
The certification of birth shows that "Anne Heffernan" as the individual who certified the birth with license number G48079. That license number actually belongs to a Patricia Noel who is a Certified Public Health Nurse in San Joaquin, California. "Anne Heffernan" (or any Heffernan for that matter) doesn't own that license number in the State of California and neither does the doctor mentioned.
The research seems to check out, as anyone can plug the disputed license number into the public database and return the same result. [Another note: We know Anne Heffernan exists, just under a different license number. TMZ confirmed her existence yesterday.] But having absolutely no experience with California birth certificates (that we know of, har har), we have no idea if this methodology is sound (this could be merely a big typo, or the wrong kind of license number, etc), and so invite anyone with a more informed insight on this matter to stomp all over our certificate-questioning fun. We're probably just spinning our wheels on the matter, as we fully expect someone at TMZ to flip over the document and finally discover the "this Certificate is intended for entertainment purposes only, and in no way constitutes legal proof of a highly suspicious birth" disclaimer clearly printed on the back.
UPDATE: Another reader points out the license number "seems to belong" (our ironic quotes, not hers) to "Dr. Phillips,"* the physician listed on the certificate, if "another public database is to be believed." We thought we'd checked that database; unsurprisingly, in our rush to throw gasoline on the fire of Suri suspicion, we apparently did not. Also unsurprisingly, we blame the State of California for willfully confusing birth certificate design.
[*Possibly the name of Cruise's character in Jerry Maguire, but please don't fact-check us on that one. Very shady, no?]