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Top Ten Clues in the "Who is Trig's Mother" Mystery

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Top Ten Clues in the “Who is Trig’s Mother” Mystery

            Senator Obama has said, “I think people’s families are off limits, and people’s children are especially off limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics, it has no relevance to governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president.”[1]

            We can agree that the actions of politician’s children, good or bad, per se, should not be part of a political dialogue. However, when a politician engages in unethical practices that involve their own children, certainly that needs to be part of the political dialogue. For example, if a politician is using his young son to collect bribes, we certainly cannot say that the bribery issue should not be part of the political dialog because the politician’s son is involved. In this case, if Sarah Palin has pretended that Bristol Palin’s daughter is her own daughter, and has used it unethically for political advantage, it is certainly a legitimate issue. This does not in any way reflect badly on her daughter and nobody can claim that her daughter did anything wrong in this case. If it is true, it is the mother who has acted deceptively and unwisely.

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            If true, it also does give us important clues to her potential performance as a vice president. If she did hide her daughter’s pregnancy, it is far more likely that as vice-president she will hide embarrassing facts ins tead of honestly admitting them.

            It is important that we clear up the mystery with real facts. Sarah Palin, whatever we may think of her politics, which many regard as Neanderthal, is a charming, funny and talented woman. Irregardless of several scandals, one can even admit that she did not do a bad job as governor for the past twenty months.

            Hopefully, she will be exonerated of the suspicions many people have about her actions in this case. Still, voters need to know the truth to make an informed decision about her before giving her their vote for the office of the vice-presidency.

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            These are the some of the most important facts/clues that lead many people to conclude that Bristol Palin is the mother of Trig:

10. No Announcement of Trig’s Birth at Matsu Hospital

9. No Witnesses at Hospital

8. No Baby Pictures of Birth

7. Extraordinary Risks and A Doctor’s Responsibility

6. A Doctor’s Specialty: Teenagers in Trouble

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5. The Invisible Pregnancy or “Where are You Carrying This Baby? In Your Pocket?”

4. The Daughter Disappears From School

3. Five Months: Perfect Timing to Confuse the Issue

2. Bristol Under the Bus

1. Accumulation of evidence.


 10. No Announcement of Trig’s Birth at Matsu Hospital

            Two births are announced at Matsu hospital for April 18th, 2008, but neither of them Sarah Palin’s. Palin announced that the baby was born there the following morning. One would imagine that the hospital would be happy to list the birth of the governor’s daughter at their hospital. We cannot think of any reason why Palin would not want it announced officially on their website, unless Bristol was the actual mother who gave birth. [2]

 9. No witnesses at hospital

            Jennifer Krueger and Daylen Davison of Wasilla gave birth to a child on April 18th at Matsu hospital. In both a Washington Post [3] story and a New York Times [4] article, they appear to be misquoted that they saw Sarah Palin pregnant that night. They are quoted saying just the opposite in a later online blog article that checked out the newspaper accounts:

"We never saw Sarah before the delivery," said Davison. "I did see her a couple of days after and she didn't look like someone who'd just had a baby… I was the one pacing around trying to induce labor," said Krueger. "We saw Todd in the hall, not Sarah. [5]"

            So the mainstream media have given two false witness reports in the Washington Post and New York Times, but no true witness reports. A governor gives birth to a one month premature baby with Down Syndrome and no witnesses can be found? Where are they and why have none of them spoken up?

8. No Baby Pictures or Video at Birth

            Regarding the birth day, it is strange that no pictures of the birth have been released. An article in People magazine describes the birth and all three daughter and the father being there, yet the magazine does not publish any pictures taken at the time of the birth. Today, almost every proud parent has pictures or videos taken of the birth of their child. Proud parents often put them online for family and friends to download. It is very unusual that no pictures have been released. [6]



            The one picture of Todd and Sarah holding Trig that has circulated widely was taken April 23rd when Trig was five days old. [7] Another earlier picture with Sarah Palin dressed in red and Todd Palin holding Trig appears to be from April 21st, three days after the birth. 8



7. Extraordinary Risks and A Doctor’s Responsibility

            Sarah Palin had three high risk factors in her alleged pregnancy – 1) she was 43 years old, 2) she was giving birth to a baby that she claims she knew had Down Syndrome, and 3) she was giving birth one month early. She claims her water broke (leaking amniotic fluids) at 4 A.M. She apparently wanted to give a speech at Noon that day to a Republican Governors conference on energy being attended by six Republican governors. (Incidentally no pictures or videos of this conference have been released). It is unbelievable that her doctor would allow her to give the speech and not advise her to go to a NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, equipped hospital in Dallas, Texas [9] under these circumstances.

            In the account released three days later, Palin contradicts herself. She says that she was not in labor in Texas, but then the article says that when Palin contacted her doctor, “Palin said she felt fine but had leaked amniotic fluid and also felt some contractions that seemed different from the false labor she had been having for months.”

            In other words, according to Palin, she was reporting to her doctor that she was in real labor. Under these circumstances, it is unbelievable that a doctor would allow her to give her speech and then catch two airplane flights, each around four hours, to get back to Alaska. The doctor and Palin had no way of knowing that Palin would not give birth in the air during the flight, deeply endangering the life of her child and causing problems for the other passengers.

            The Matsu Hospital does not have facilities for handling premature babies. Hospitals in Texas and Anchorage, where she landed do have such facilities.

Carol Roye, a professor of Nursing and Public Health, writes this:

When the blogosphere filled with stories that Palin was Trig’s grandmother, not his mother, why didn’t she just ask her doctor, Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, to back up her story and save Bristol the embarrassment? Well, for one thing, Dr. Baldwin-Johnson may be MIA. Her name no longer appears on the website of the Mat-su Regional Medical Center where Gov. Palin is purported to have delivered Trig. And, there is no record of the baby’s birth there. Of course, Dr. Baldwin-Johnson does not want to be found. If she had really told this 44 year-old mother with pre-term, premature rupture of membranes to get on a plane and fly 4000 miles, she could lose her license. That would be malpractice. And Palin says she called the doctor from Seattle to check in. Do you think that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson could do an internal exam via the phone to see how dilated the Governor was? It is preposterous. [10]

6. A Doctor’s Speciality: Teenagers in Trouble

            Governor Palin’s announcement of her appointees to the Alaska Health Care Strategies Planning Council says this about Dr. Baldwin Johnson [11]:

Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson of Wasilla is a private practice family physician and the 2002 National Family Physician of the Year from the American Academy of Family Physicians. In 1999, Baldwin-Johnson co-founded and is the volunteer medical director of The Children’s Place, and since 2005 has served as a consultant and trainer on child abuse issues. Baldwin-Johnson graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine where she participated in the WWAMI Medical School program.

             Dr. Baldwin-Johnson is a family-practitioner. On Oct. 1, 2001, Baldwin-Johnson was named the 2002 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of family Physicians.

            She was apparently both the regular doctor of Trig’s mother and the delivering doctor of Trig. Checking Matsu Hospital records, the only hospital that she is affiliated with, we find that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson delivered only three babies in the previous eighteen months: on Feb. 7 2008[12], Oct 3, 2007[13], March 17,2007. In all three cases, she was not the mother’s physician. There are two cases listed where Baldwin-Johnson was the mother’s doctor, but not the delivering physician: Dec. 18, 2006[14], and Jan 27, 2008[15]. There was not a single time during the prior eighteen months that Doctor Baldwin-Johnson delivered one of her own patient’s babies at Matsu Hospital; three times she delivered other doctors’ patient’s babies, and twice other doctors delivered her patient’s babies. Thus delivering her own patient’s baby was an unusual event, rather than a normal one for Dr. Baldwin-Johnson.

            Dr. Baldwin-Johnson  is the founder and volunteer medical director of the Children's Place, an agency for children who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse [16]. She is frequently quoted for her views on this subject. For example:

So the state is launching the Alaska Surveillance of Child Abuse and Neglect program, part of the state Division of Public Health.


"If you don't know accurately where you are starting from, you can't measure accurately whether what you do makes a difference," said Cathy Baldwin-Johnson , a doctor who chairs a task force that tries to improve the state's response to child abuse, particularly sexual abuse. She also is medical director of Alaska CARES, a clinic that provides exams and helps investigate sexual abuse [17].


            About a year earlier, Baldwin-Johnson wrote an article that was published in the Anchorage Daily News defending privacy rights of rape victims:

 Today's media play a strong role in creating community awareness about child abuse and sexual violence. Publishing the private details of these crimes, however, risks re-victimizing the victim…

Police officers, advocates and medical providers all know of victims who attempted suicide after public disclosure of abuse. Some have died. Public curiosity should never outweigh the fragile mental health of someone who has been sexually victimized. The frequency of these crimes can breed indifference or numbness, but for each victim the pain is new, personal and deep. Disclosing a child victim's identity can shatter their whole world…

It is up to the press to show restraint while fulfilling their journalistic responsibilities. This is not about censorship. It is about the respectful treatment of victims of violent crimes. No one has a right to victimize the victim further by publishing sensitive or identifying information…

Let's resolve to leave out the graphic descriptions of sex acts and references to collateral information that can potentially identify crime victims. We lose nothing in public safety; we gain much when we grant dignity and privacy to those enduring legal proceedings as they recover their shattered lives.

             The fact that Bristol was sixteen, unwed and about to give birth to a child would certainly qualify her as a victim of sexual abuse. Legally, if Levi Johnson was 17 at the time, he cannot be legally prosecuted for statutory rape. If he was 18 at the time (Aug. 2007) then he could be. In any case, as the governor’s daughter, one can imagine the things that would be written about her in such a situation in newspapers throughout the state. Did Dr. Baldwin-Johnson possibly see herself as protecting the privacy rights of a sixteen year-old sexual abuse victim in this case?

            In the case of Bristol being the mother, it would seem more probable that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson, a specialist in teen-ager pregnancy-abuse problems, would participate exclusively as both primary health care provider and baby deliverer. This way Bristol could be sure that her “secret” would remain safe.  On the other hand, given the increased risks for a pregnant woman over 40 and especially one having a baby diagnosed with Down Syndrome, it seems highly likely that she would recommend that an obstetrician deliver the baby. Since Palin’s pregnancy was not a secret, Baldwin-Johnson took a great and unnecessary risk. If something had gone wrong, she would have taken the blame for not recommending an obstetrician do the delivery.

            Admittedly, we do not know the relationship between Palin and Dr. Baldwin-Johnson. It is certain that Palin did appoint Baldwin-Johnson to a state commission and recommend her for an award. She may have delivered Palin’s baby Piper. it is not impossible that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson would decide to deliver Sarah Palin under these circumstances, it is just decidedly more likely that she would decide to deliver Bristol Palin under such circumstances.

            Incidentally, I have been unable to find any evidence that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson actually delivered Piper, as claimed by Sarah Palin.

5. The Invisible Pregnancy or “Where are You Carrying This Baby? In Your Pocket?”

            According to the Anchorage News of March 6th:

That the pregnancy is so advanced astonished all who heard the news. The governor, a runner who's always been trim, simply doesn't look pregnant.

Even close members of her staff said they only learned this week their boss was expecting.

"I thought it was becoming obvious," Palin said. "You know, clothes getting snugger and snugger."

But people just couldn't believe the news. [18]

            Her closest co-workers were “astonished”.

            According to the Anchorage News article, “She's known as a fashion plate, but said she hasn't been dressing differently to cover her barely perceptible bulge.” This contradicts the New York Times article of September 9th:

The governor, thin to begin with, began an elaborate game of fashion-assisted camouflage. When Vogue photographed her, five months pregnant, for a profile in January, she hid in a big green parka. At work, she wore long, loose blazers and artfully draped accessories.

“All of a sudden she had this penchant for really beautiful scarves,” recalled Angelina Burney, who works across the hallway from the governor in Anchorage. [19]

            Was she trying to hide her pregnancy as the later N.Y. Times article states or was she not trying to hide her pregnancy as she stated on March 5th?

            Not only was she not showing pregnancy before the seventh month, apparently even on the day she gave birth she was not showing, On the flight home, “said spokeswoman Caroline Boren. Palin was very pleasant to the gate agents and flight attendants, as always, Boren said. "The stage of her pregnancy was not apparent by observation. She did not show any signs of distress," Boren said. [20]

            How invisible was Palin’s pregnancy? This is from an article in the Anchorage Daily News, March 12th, one week after Palin’s announcement, Elise Patkotak,, a woman writer in Anchorage:[21]

            I know life is not necessarily fair, but this is ridiculous. I look more pregnant when I'm constipated- than Palin looks two months before delivery. Where is the fairness in that? I have friends who swear they looked more pregnant seven minutes after conception than she does now…

            I will eventually get over the desire to stand up and scream at Sarah Palin , "Are you kidding me here? You're seven months pregnant ? Where are you carrying this baby? In your pocket?"

4. The Daughter Disappears From School.

            According to Time Magazine:

Mark Okeson, the assistant principal at Wasilla High School, said (Bristol) started her junior year there last fall, in the town where Sarah Palin grew up, but Bristol transferred to an Anchorage high school mid-year.

“I never heard the story why,” he said Monday. [22]

            It is odd that the governor of a state would transfer her daughter out of her high school in the middle of a year without giving an explanation as a curtesy.

            After Palin was selected by McCain, many sites reported that Bristol had mononucleosis. The earliest report of this that I could find was from the site Talk.Politics.Misc. [23] In a post on August 29th, at 2:31 P.M., Mike Robets cites jibegod as stating four months earlier

Palin's daughter Bristol is 16 and attends an Anchorage high
school. Students who have attended class with her report that she has
been out of school for months, claiming a prolonged case of mono.

            Here is Jibegod’s full post which was apparently published online in March of 2008, a month before Trig’s birth:

On March 5th, 2008 Alaska's Republican Governor, Sarah Palin, announced to the media that she was 7 months pregnant with her 5th child. She is currently 44.

The controversy arises from two sources: First, Palin does not appear pregnant in any recent photographs. The announcement came as quite a shock to people who had worked closely with her, and have been quoted as saying that she did not appear pregnant whatsoever during the prior 7 months. While this is debatable, you can judge for yourself here:

Second, Palin's daughter Bristol is 16 and attends an Anchorage high school. Students who have attended class with her report that she has been out of school for months, claiming a prolonged case of mono.

Apparently, this rumor has made the rounds in the upper echelon of the Alaska legislature, and is a closely guarded secret. As far as I know, this rumor has not been discussed by any media outlets, in Alaska or otherwise.

The points here are based mostly upon hearsay, and I'm not trying to destroy an innocent family. However, a Republican politician hiding a pregnant teenage daughter seems rather newsworthy. [24]

            According to Wikipedia [25] and flickr [26], Jibegod is an anthropology student from Anchorage. The important thing to note here is that the rumors of Bristol being pregnant already exist in March, before Trig’s birth in April. Governor Palin’s spokesperson, Bill McAllister confirms and adds to this in an Anchorage Daily News article by Kyle Hopkins:

McAllister was an Anchorage TV reporter before working for Palin. He said Palin once approached him - before people knew she was pregnant - assuming he'd been hearing rumors.

"She said it's not true about Bristol," McAllister said.

At the time, the rumor would have been that Palin's daughter was pregnant. [27]

            The reporter says that Palin approached him before people knew that she was pregnant. She announced March 4th. This means that in February or earlier, Sarah Palin was already aware of rumors that Bristol was pregnant and approached and told at least one newspaper reporter that they weren’t true.

            This seems important. Palin was trying to stop rumors that her daughter Bristol was pregnant before she announced her own pregnancy.

            It is now nine months since Bristol Palin left her school for unexplained reasons. Not a single reporter has even asked the simple question why?

3. Five Months: Perfect Timing to Confuse the Issue

            After the controversy had emerged and began to be the most talked about topic on the internet about McCain’s choice for Vice-President, the campaign acted quickly. They announced that Bristol Palin was five months pregnant. If Bristol had been reported four months pregnant, there would still be the possibility that she was the mother and had gotten pregnant a short time after the birth. If they had announced that she was six months pregnant, people would have wondered that she was not showing signs of pregnancy. So five months was the perfect number – it made it appear impossible for Bristol to be Trig’s mother, while not needing to show signs of her current pregnancy.

            If this was true, her examining doctor would have been brought forward to state the facts in the case or they could easily have released a sonogram picture with Bristol’s name on it. Now it is three weeks later, she is allegedly approaching six months pregnant. I am unable to find any recent pictures of Bristol on the internet.

2. Bristol Under the Bus

            Why Not Just Show the Birth Certificate and/or a Few Medical Records to End the Controversy. Why make an announcement that your unwed teenage daughter is five months pregnant? Once the first pregnancy rumors had been destroyed with real evidence, who would really believe the second pregnancy rumors. Nobody would have given credence to them and nobody would have asked about them.

            Actually, if this wasn’t done to suppress the truth of Bristol’s birth of Trig, then we have to question what kind of a mother Sarah Palin is, as an article by teen magazine editor Bonnie Fuller does. She quotes another teen magazine editor in her article:

No wonder getting pregnant in high school is truly a girl's worst nightmare, points out Atoosa Rubenstein, the founding editor-in-chief of CosmoGIRL! magazine, and later the editor of Seventeen magazine. Bristol Palin should have "the protection of her mother right now and not be paraded around as a platform. She should have had the privacy to make her own difficult choices and now she has to support her mother's ambitions and policies regardless of what she wants for herself — she's been thrown under a bus," believes Rubenstein. [28]

            It is simply hard to believe that Sarah Palin is that callous a mother that she would expose her child in this way. On the other hand, if she had already made the sacrifice of protecting Bristol by pretending to be Trig’s mother, it is understandable how she would consent to this type of exposure for her daughter.

1. Accumulation of Evidence.

             One is amazed at how simple this story would have been to stop, assuming Sarah is actually the mother. Instead of simply yanking her daughter from school in midyear without explanation, Palin could have given a reason to the principle. If she had mononucleosis, she could have said when they could expect her return. Instead of telling news reporters that her daughter wasn’t pregnant, she could have taken Bristol to her office one day and shown the reporters that she wasn’t pregnant. Instead of astonishing her colleagues by announcing she was pregnant without showing that she was the slightest bit pregnant, she could have worn something to show off her pregnancy. She could have visited a doctor in Dallas after she had gone into labor to make sure it was safe to give her speech that afternoon. She could have released pictures or videos of her speech that day to the Republican governors showing herself eight months pregnant and going into labor. She could have told the airlines that she was experiencing labor pains and might give birth on the airplane as any mildly sensible person would do. She could have had someone take a picture of Bristol, showing that she was not pregnant, holding the baby after it was delivered. She could have brought out a copy of the birth certificate instead of needlessly announcing Bristol’s pregnancy. At every turn, the simplest steps of bring forward evidence would have stopped the story. Instead, she tried to suppress it with anger and distractions.

            Even the McCain campaign demand that she be treated with deference and not be asked questions about her family is extraordinary.

Sarah Palin will start giving interviews "when we think it's time and when she feels comfortable doing it," says McCain campaign manager Rick Davis. "Why would we want to throw Sarah Palin into a cycle of piranhas called the news media that have nothing better to ask questions about than her personal life and her children? Until we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment. [29]"

            The news media has been asking political candidates questions about their family since the country began. This is the first time in history that the news media has been forbidden to ask such questions. How the Republican Party has intimidated the news media into being deaf and dumb on this issue is an interesting question that needs its own investigation.            

            When one takes into account the amount and totality of the evidence, one may conclude that it is overwhelmingly probable that Bristol and not Sarah is Trig’s mother. At this point, it is difficult to read the evidence any other way.


[17] Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) - March 30, 2008, Alaska studies how to turn around high rate of child neglect, abuse

[19] Above, 4.

[20] Above, 6.


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I am 57 year-old, male, college Philosophy and Humanities teacher. I have degrees in Philosophy and Film. I have authored a book called "The Evolution of Christs and Christianies" and am now working on a sequel. I have produced two features (more...)

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