John Travolta Reincarnated? eBay Seller Posts Eerie Photo

Sep 29, 2011 12:01pm
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eBay

UPDATE (1:15 p.m.):

The eBay ad for the John Travolta look-alike photo has been taken down.

 

ORIGINAL POST: 

Just weeks after a Civil War-era photo of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to actor Nicholas Cage surfaced on eBay, a different seller from Ontario, Canada, is now suggesting this ambrotype photo “taken around 1860″ depicts a young John Travolta.

“For those of you who don’t know, John Travolta is a Scientologist and many Scientologists believe in a type of reincarnation,” the ad reads. “Of course Time travel can’t be ruled out as well.”

The seller, “a long time collector of old photographs,” is asking $50,000.

After pointing out the image’s “amazing identical” eyes, hairline and chin resembling Travolta’s features, the seller asks, “Do you want something ONE OF A KIND? Something possibly OUT OF THIS WORLD and touched by the spirit of the SUPREME BEING?”

Although the ad has been viewed more than 5,800 times, the answer seems to be no. There haven’t been any takers so far at the seller’s “buy it now” price.

Proof Nicholas Cage is a Vampire?

Meanwhile, the photo resembling Nicholas Cage — made famous by a vintage photo collector who goes by the name of Jack Mord — has been relisted on Etsy after eBay took the ad down.

In both ads Mord suggested Cage could be a “walking undead vampire.”

“Original c.1870 carte de visite showing a man who looks exactly like Nick Cage. Personally, I believe it’s him and that he is some sort of walking undead / vampire, et cetera, who quickens / reinvents  himself once every 75 years or so. 150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host,” Mord’s Etsy ad reads.

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Getty Images/Thanatos.net

Cage is perhaps best known for starring in a multitude of action-adventure movies, as well as his Oscar-winning role in “Leaving Las Vegas.” And for the purposes of this story, perhaps it’s also worth noting his lead role in the 1988 comedy “Vampire’s  Kiss.”

The eccentric seller, who declined to tell ABCNews.com his legal name, would only say he’s 40 years old and lives in Seattle. He preferred to communicate via email because of his “weird phobia” about phones.

Mord, the curator and owner of The Thanatos Archive, a website devoted to collecting and preserving Victorian Era postmortem and mourning photography, said he found the photo on the very last page of a Civil War era photo album “almost entirely filled with death portraits, which itself was a very unusual discovery.”

“Typically, one would count themselves very fortunate to find even a single postmortem photograph in an entire album,” he added, noting nearly all of the people in the album had been identified — but this man was not.

He says he discovered the photo album 13 years ago at the bottom of a trunk with a “huge antique lock” that he busted open with a sledgehammer. It also contained “old clothing and antique medical tools.”

Mord had originally listed his photo on eBay, asking $1 million and getting nearly 500 bids, including one (never verified) for $550,000.

He decided to sell the picture “because I wanted it to go someplace where more people would have a chance to appreciate it. (And because the money wouldn’t hurt, either…)”

When eBay removed the listing, Mord reposted it on Etsy, this time for $100,000.

Mord says eBay initially asked him to take it down because he was “using a brand name” by mentioning Nicholas Cage. He attempted to repost it without featuring the star’s name, but eBay removed the photo again saying there were “reports” that the photo was not authentic.

But according to Dartmouth professor and digital forensics expert Hany Farid, the photo resembling Cage appears to be real.

“It is pretty low resolution and quality, but I can tell you that the lighting on the head, body, clothes, and eyes are consistent with a light source up and to the right of the photographer,” he said.  ”It is usually very hard to precisely match lighting in an image like this. Otherwise, there are no obvious signs of photo manipulation. It seems most likely that this is just someone that looks like Cage.”

As for the Travolta picture, Farid says, “The image is of such low quality that it is hard to say. Unlike the Cage photo where we could compare lighting on his face to his body/chair, there is very little context here to work with.”

A spokesperson for eBay did not respond to queries from ABCNews.com.

 

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