Ralph Hall

From The Martial Arts Encyclopedia

Preface

The life story of Ralph Hall reads like an adventure novel, portraying him as a brave blend of Dirk Pitt, Jack Reacher, and the American Ninja. A decorated combat veteran, Hall claims to have earned the Silver Star for continuing to serve his country after being shot in the left hip during a combat jump into Iraq on March 28, 2004. Trained in Ninjutsu since he was eight years old, Hall credits his martial arts training for helping him through two wars, during which he killed eight people in hand to hand combat situations. Such skills also allowed Ralph to win numerous fights against trained martial artists and street-fighting thugs. Of course, fictional characters lack substance and are usually divorced from reality; attributes that seem to be shared by most of Ralph Hall's claims.


Executive Summary

Ralph Hall, operator of the Wolfpack Ninja Academy in Augusta, Georgia, made numerous claims about his military and martial arts record. Hall's claims included receiving the Silver Star for actions taken in combat in Iraq and an advanced rank in ninjutsu. Investigation by Ben "Lord Asia" Bradley and other members of Bullshido, Martial Arts Planet (MAP), and SOCNET, has shown many of Ralph Hall's military and martial arts claims to be utter fabrications. This investigation included numerous internet contacts and an interview 1 conducted by Lord Asia. Hall was found to have displayed Bujinkan scrolls of rank that he copied from another website. Additionally, Hall's description of his rank tests has startling similarities to the popular anime series "Naruto." By claiming several military awards that he has not earned, including the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star, Ralph Hall may have violated United States Code Title 18, Section 702 and 704. PI1, PI2


Introduction

Ralph Hall earned the attention of Lord Asia, a frequent poster on Bullshido.net, when he began making claims on MAP 2. Posting as DJDREAMAKER, Hall asserted that he had studied ninjutsu since he was eight years old and that his ninjutsu had allowed him to "come out victorious" in all of his "many fights"with experienced martial artists and street-fighting thugs," not to mention the eight people he killed in hand to hand combat throughout his military service in two wars. Hall later claimed to have seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq when he served in the U.S. Army 3rd Ranger Battalion, as well as to have earned numerous military awards for his service, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. When questioned about his ninjutsu rank and experience, Hall claimed to have achieved the rank of godan, or fifth degree black belt, in Bujinkan Ninjutsu. Hall further claimed to be one of the masters of the 10th school of ninjutsu, which, according to Hall, Hatsumi stopped teaching because it was giving ninja a bad name.


Hall advised interested parties that they would not be able to find any documentation regarding his military service, which he explained by saying that he has had problems with paperwork that have kept Colonels from finding him. Hall refused to provide the name of his ninjutsu sensei, with whom he trained since he was eight, saying that he has been told to keep that information secret. Finally, Hall claimed that he had no immediate access to any documentation supporting his military or martial arts claims (other than what had been scanned onto his computer) because it was all being stored at the house of a friend in Texas.


For viewer convenience, the body of this investigation has been subdivided to reflect the investigation of Ralph Hall's military and martial arts claims.


Investigative Findings Regarding Ralph Hall's Military Claims

Ralph Hall misrepresented his service in the United States military

Ralph Hall has lied about his service record, and has both claimed and worn medals he did not earn, possibly violating Title 18, Section 702 or 704, United States Code.PI1, PI2


Ralph Hall first claimed to have been in the military on MAP. He claimed to have killed eight people in hand to hand combat during two wars ("the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq") while he served in the United States Army 3rd Ranger Battalion. Hall indicated that no one would be able to find information about him unless they have "a lot of friends in Washington D.C.," as he has a top secret clearance. According to Hall's post on MAP, colonels have failed in trying to find information about him, despite personally knowing his commanding officers.


Hall made the following post on MAP:


I went to Afghanistan as an E-3 in 2003. Due to combat action; I was promoted to E-5, saved my C.O.'s life and was awarded the Bronze Star. -break- I was in and out of Iraq on various missions until March 28 2004 on which we did a combat jump into the midst of Iraq in which I was shot in the left hip and despite my injuries, fought on to the Ranger objective saving the lives of my fellow comrades and thereby earning the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and a hell of a lot of recovery. Sorry, wish I could tell you more. Perhaps I'll get the chance at a later date.


Hall provided relevant details of his military claims during a videotaped interview with Lord Asia. Hall, who stated he was still on active duty, provided the following summary of his military career:


Hall enlisted in 2001 and went to basic training. Immediately after basic, Hall attended Advanced Individual Training (AIT) with an MOS of 11B (infantryman 3). Hall then attended Airborne school, air assault school, pathfinder, HALO at Fort Bragg, and Ranger school at Fort Benning.


When asked if he had attended all of the schools in the same year or if he could provide the dates he attended, Hall stated, "I would have to do the math of the months and everything like that…I don't really do dates too much. I don't even remember what year I was born" 1, 2:50. Hall said he has a group picture, but he did not remember any of his class numbers. Hall stated that he was unable to provide any documentation of his claims because he left all of his documents with a friend in Texas, as he had been anticipating going overseas for a long period of time. Hall offered to call his friend in Texas, but did not provide any additional details.


Hall continued by saying that he was originally assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, under the command of Captain Taylor, but he is currently under the command of Captain Peterson. Hall claimed his first "appointment" was "about 1 or 2 months after [he] was assigned to the unit." Hall said he was sent to Afghanistan in 2002 or 2003, where he saw combat. Hall claimed to have served a year in Afghanistan before coming back for two weeks and then being sent to Iraq. According to Hall, he was "in and out of Iraq for about 6 and a half months before March 28th (2004), when we did the combat jump in there. And that's when I was shot in the hip." Hall described his service in Iraq, under the command of Captain Peterson, as missions that were "usually between 2 days and 2 weeks long. In and out" 1, 7:40. Hall was asked to show the scar from being shot in the hip, but he said it was no longer visible. Hall offered to provide a picture of the stitches, which was refused because it was not of evidentiary value.


When pressed for a copy of his citations and other documentation, Hall repeated, "All of my documents, every single thing including my birth certificate, is all in Texas" 1, 9:05. Hall did show a copy of his military ID, which expires in 2009 and identifies him as a Priavate First Class, E3, in the United States Army National Guard. Hall also provided his WAR (Worldwide Army Rangers) membership card, which can be obtained online 4. A image of those two documents and the left breast of his military uniform are attached for reader review. We analysed both the medals he was wearing in his photographs and those he claimed to have earned.


Ralph Hall Triple Pic.gif


Examination of Hall's story revealed numerous inconsistencies. The first is his claim to be on active duty when his facial hair appears longer than what could be grown in the time between monthly National Guard drills. Halls facial hair would violate army regulation 670-1, which generally prohibits goatees and beards 5. There is a medical exception to that regulation, but army regulation requires the issuing medical authority to specifically state the allowable length of the soldier's facial hair, for example, "Not to exceed ¼ inch." Additionally, there are units that are allowed to ignore the army regulation, but it is unlikely that Hall is a member of one of those units. Further, Hall does not appear in the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) white pages, which he would if he were in active service.


Hall's claim to have attended AIT is another inconsistency, as an infantrymen would not attend that school or make the mistake of saying he had. Both NoMan, a poster on SOCNET 6, and Lord Asia have indicated that infantry soldiers go to OSUT, or One Station Unit Training, not AIT.


Hall's timeline of events was also analyzed. Hall stated he was shot in the hip on March 28, 2004, after he had already been "in and out" of Iraq for about six months (September 28, 2003). Hall stated he had been given two weeks off (September 14, 2003) after serving a year in Afghanistan (September 14, 2002). Hall also stated that he was sent to Afghanistan about a month or two after completing his training (either July or August 2002). Army basic training is nine weeks long, AIT is five weeks, Airborne school is three weeks, Air Assault school is ten days, pathfinder school is three weeks, HALO school is four weeks, and Ranger school is nine weeks, for a total of almost 35 weeks of training. Using the absolute minimum possible time for each training school and assuming Hall went directly from one to another, Hall would have had to enlist in or before November 2001, which is consistent with his military ID card (valid for 8 years and expiring in 2009).


Information provided by BraveFireRomeo on SOCNET indicates that the 3rd Ranger Battalion did not serve a year tour in Afghanistan because Ranger battalions do not serve yearlong tours anywhere.


Hall's claims of having earned a "battlefield promotion" were called into question on SOCNET, where Mav, a poster there, identified that promotions in combat zones are not unusual and still comply with army regulations. Mav indicated that Hall's inference of a "battlefield promotion," meaning an emergency promotion outside of standard regulations, would be highly unlikely. Further, Mav indicated that a promotion directly from E3 to E5 is also highly unusual and wrote that it would be more likely for Hall to be in a combat zone for a year and earn two separate promotions. Further, posters on SOCNET wrote that Hall should have an updated military ID card with the rank he was claiming (E5) and Mav wrote, "You are required, within I think it's 5 days of gaining any rank E5 and above, to get a new ID card." Other posters made it clear that getting a new ID card in a combat zone is standard procedure.


According to a writeup on Armyranger.com 7, no one has located anyone in the 3rd Ranger Battalion who has heard of Ralph Hall.


During this investigation, Hall contacted Lord Asia via private message on MAP to inform Lord Asia that he would be attending Officer Candidate School (OCS) shortly. Lord Asia could not find Hall's name on the OCS class rosters for the next two schools.


Ralph Hall was unable to provide any documentation or other proof of having earned any awards, the most notable of which include:


  • Purple Heart, given for being injured in combat
  • Bronze Star with a V, given for heroic or meritorious achievement or service during combat. The 'V' indicates the medal was awarded for valor during combat.
  • Silver Star, given for gallantry in combat performed with marked distinction. The Silver Star is the fourth highest military decoration available and is the third highest military award for valor. There is no single database of Silver Star recipients, but Hall is not amount Wikipedia's list of recipients 8. Nor does Hall appear on a website listing servicemen who earned the Silver Star during Operation Iraqi Freedom 9.


According to posters on SOCNET and Armyranger.com, there are numerous conflicts with the Hall's uniform and the medals displayed in the picture he provided, including:


  • Hall is shown wearing a tan beret, indicative of Army Rangers, while wearing a 'Follow-Me' patch, an Airborne (ABN) tab, and the crest of an infantry school.
  • Hall is shown wearing a drill sergeant badge but has not indicated he has served as a drill sergeant.
  • Hall is shown wearing a Combat Infantryman's Badges with a star, which he would not have received by serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The army does not issue this award with a star for service in Iraq and Afghanistan regardless of the number of tours or amount of combat 10.
  • Hall is shown wearing an Over Seas Service Ribbon, which he would have had to earn by serving a year overseas (does not include Afghanistan and Iraq).
  • Hall is shown wearing a Jump Master Badge (Master Blaster with mustard stain), indicating he attended jump master school (which he did not claim), and has parachuted into a combat zone.
  • Hall is shown wearing a National Defense Service Medal with a star, which means Hall would have had to have been active before November 30, 1995, and after September 11, 2001 11.
  • Hall is shown wearing a Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (NCOPDR), but has not made any claims to attend the required schools.
  • Hall is shown wearing a Good Conduct Medal with a knot, indicating he has served more than six years (two terms of three consecutive years each) in the army. Service in a non-federalized National Guard does not count toward earning this award 12.
  • Hall is shown wearing a Joint Service Achievement Medal, given as one of the Army's lower meritorious service awards while part of a joint operation (NATO, UN Peacekeeping, et cetera). Hall made no mention of being involved in any joint operations.
  • Hall is shown wearing a Southwest Asia Service Medal, but made no claims of serving in Southwest Asia.


Hall is also shown wearing several medals that he probably earned legitimately, including:


  • Army Commendation Medal, given for meritorious service. According to Lord Asia, this medal can be earned by scoring extremely high on a Physical Training test, achieving an honor grade in a military school, or scoring good marks during an inspection.
  • Global War on Terror, given for service in the army when the Global War on Terror officially started.
  • Army Service Ribbon, given for completing the army's initial entry training.


Investigative Findings Regarding Ralph Hall's Martial Arts Claims

Ralph Hall misrepresented or fabricated his ninjutsu training

In statements on MAP and in a videotaped interview, Ralph Hall claimed to have started training in ninjutsu when he was eight years old. When he was 12, Hall's sensei finally said he was "acceptable" and tested him for his shodan. During the interview with Lord Asia, Hall described his shodan test in the following manner:


For my shodan, my first sensei, he made me go through all of the, all of the first entrance level material up to the black belt, you see what I'm saying? And then, once I had gone through all of that information, then he, he had me do a knife disarm from him full combat speed. And after that, then he took me to a local karate dojo, where he had me fight three of their black belts. I was only 12 years old at the time. 1, 16:30


Hall later said he was required to spar all three of the black belts at the karate dojo at the same time1, 18:05. Legitimate members of the Bujinkan have indicated that being taken to another martial arts school and fighting students there, especially fighting multiple students at the same time, is not standard Bujinkan testing procedure. The performance of basic material and a knife disarm are potentially legitimate, but the disarm would probably have been performed with a wooden training knife (Hall does not indicate if the knife was a live blade).


Hall later describes having to travel to Japan to undergo a rank test. Initially, Hall said he was 18 years old when he traveled to Japan, but he later said he was 12 years old. Hall later corrected himself and reasserted that he was 18 years old. Hall said he has traveled to Japan on two occasions, for two weeks when he was 18 years old for his godan test and then again later when he stayed and trained in Japan for a year. Despite his claims of training with Hatsumi in Japan, Hall did not provide a Hombu Dojo card, which Bujinkan members have indicated is required to train at that school. Halls description of this test is documented in Finding 4, below.


Ralph Hall was unable or unwilling to provide the name of the sensei that trained him and conducted his shodan test.


Ralph Hall misrepresented his knowledge of and association with the Bujinkan

In the videotaped interview, Ralph Hall stated, "I do not claim to be Bujinkan. I just claim to teach Bujinkan" 1, 27:53.


In statements on MAP and in a videotaped interview, Ralph Hall claims that his original sensei had him "swear allegiance to the Grandmaster of Ninjutsu" when he received his shodan. Hall said he could not be sure if his first sensei was part of the Bujinkan, but he knows that his first sensei trained with Hatsumi. Hall explained by saying:


Honestly, I cannot tell you whether or not I am positive that he was part of the Bujinkan. All I can tell you is that he did train with Hatsumi. Because he told me, specifically. Whenever I became a black belt, whenever I became a shodan, you know, as they say, he made me swear allegiance to the Grandmaster of Ninjutsu, which at the time happened to be Hatsumi. Of course, it would be allegiance to whoever it is, just in case anything happens. 1, 20:25


Throughout the interview with Lord Asia, Hall repeatedly made comments asserting that his knowledge and training may not represent actual Bujinkan practices. Hall explained those discrepancies by making a number of comments indicating that his knowledge is an accurate reflection of what he was taught, even if it is not correct. His comments include, "Now, I am not saying that I'm 100% right...But this is what I was taught..."and, "So again, I can't verify that this is 100% percent. All I can verify is that it's what I've been taught."


Hall did provide a Bujinkan card, #04-1124, which recognizes him as a member of the "International Bujinkan Dojo Association, which supports the Ninjutsu / Budo Taijutsu teachings of Soke Hatsumi & Shihan Van Donk." However, a MAP poster operating under the screen name kmguy8 contacted Richard Van Donk, who sent the following email on or around August 30, 2006:


To the best of my knowledge Mr. Robert Hall has not received ranking of any level from us at IBDA. If so he would be posted on our rank listings at www.ninjutsu.com. He is having fun with you. The tenth school must be kyojutsu. If there was a 22 year old Judan in the Bujinkan from the USA you can be sure that I would know about them. Someday he may become one just like you if everyone just keeps training. As Soke Hatsumi says "Keep Going".

Best,
Richard Van Donk, Ju Godan Senior Bujinkan Shidoshi


It is notable that Van Donk appears to have used the wrong name (Robert Hall instead of Ralph Hall), but a review of the mentioned internet rank listing 13 shows that there is a Robert Hall who was a 5th kyu as of March 20, 2005. The only other listing with the last name of "Hall" is a Henry Hall, who was an 8th kyu as of February 29, 2000.


It is possible to be ranked in school affiliated with the Bujinkan and not have that rank reflected on Van Donk's website, as clarified by a disclaimer on the top of the rank listing page that reads, "Many students have gone out on on [sic] their own with the support and encouragement of Shihan Van Donk and have established other relationships to obtain higher certification in Ninjutsu. While we most likely recognize their new rank we will only list here on this page the level of certification that they have received from us at American Bujinkan DojoTM." Additionally, the membership card displayed by Hall can be purchased from Van Donk via the internet 14.


Additionally, Hall made several claims to be "one of the few last known masters of these untaught techniques," referring to a tenth school of ninjutsu. The Bujinkan teaches nine schools of ninjutsu, but Hall claimed that Hatsumi had stopped teaching this tenth school because it gave ninja "a bad name." No one with legitimate experience in the Bujinkan has ever heard of this tenth school of ninjutsu. In his email (above), Van Donk wrote, "The tenth school must be kyojutsu." Kyojutsu can be defined as the art of tricking or manipulating an enemy and is widely recognized as a concept used in multiple martial arts rather than exclusive to ninjutsu. For that reason, Hall was apparently referring to something other than kyojutsu as the tenth school, but he was unable or unwilling to provide verifiable details.


Photographs of Ralph Hall, presumably taken during training, as well as his descriptions of his training and testing process, bear a humorous resemblance to the anime series "Naruto," (see Finding 4), further indicating that Hall has misrepresented his knowledge of and association with Bujinkan.


Ralph Hall's appearance and portrayal of his training bear close similarities to the anime series "Naruto"

Hall provided the following description of a testing experience he identifies as his "Chuunin selection exam:


The chuunin selection exam, as I was taught, okay. This was by my sensei and by Hatsumi. So, this is, I had to go through a course. I'm not saying it was an obstacle course, but it was like a trail. And it was about a mile long. And there was various different people who would pop out at me from nowhere and, of course, I was supposed to, you know, suppress them immediately and keep going. So, that was the first part. No, actually, that was the second part. The first part was kind of a, more of a training simulation than anything else.1, 28:35

The first part is that I had to do what he called 'gathering information.' And I had four other, uh, I had four other ninja with me and I was supposed to lead them to go capture a scroll from, uh, a mock, uh, whatever you want to call it, palace or whatever. Right. And, of course, there was an unknown of, uh, ninja guarding and stuff like that now….1, 29:25

So, the first part was that we had to capture that scroll. And, obviously, I had to do all the planning and everything like that. You know. What was going to happen. And I was responsible for the lives of the people that I led in the mission. You know, to see who was eligible to lead, is what the whole purpose of that was like. He ended up telling me that after the test.1, 30:58

The second part was the one mile course and there was various different ninja who would pop out at me and, of course, some pretty obvious booby traps, you know. Like, like trees that would fall down if you touched something, you know like branches that had been cut, you know what I'm talking about?1, 31:28

And then towards the end I had to do multiple attackers, five people. And then, then he told me that I had done well, cause of course then I had made it to the destination. At the destination, again, it was a…I don't really know what to call it. Like a house or something. But, then he told me to go sit in front of a fireplace and meditate and I was there for a long time. I went over all of my knowledge that I had learned, you know, over the years. And then I, I felt that there was something out of place. I felt that there was something wrong. So, of course, I moved, and it happened to be somebody in a shinobi shoz, shinobi sho zoku, you know, a full mask and everything, doing [Hall gestures as if bringing a sword down in a vertical slash].1, 32:05

The concept of testing the ability of the ninja to perceive a "killing intention" through an attack with a sword, or sakki test, is a well known feature of Bujinkan. The test is administered by Masaaki Hatsumi upon the ninja's godan test. Although Hatsumi, as the Grandmaster of Bujinkan, is known to be the sole administrator of these tests, Hall stated, "Here again, I cannot tell you that it specifically was Hatsumi. I cannot tell you, you know, that I am right. All I can tell you is that it is the truth.1, 33:30


During the videotaped interview, Hall also said the following:


I was not taught things like, uh, like shodan and godan until after I had started training with Hatsumi. You see what I'm saying? My first sensei taught me things that I [could point out] to low class ninja. Once you were worthy to become a ninja, which would be the equivalent of our, our, our shodans. And this is what I was taught, you see what I'm saying? Which, of course, you can only go as far as you're taught, right? So, as soon as you got your, your, your, shodan (and of course this is, I teach the same exact way, cause this is what I was taught), so your shodan would be your entrance into the life of a ninja. You'd be officially a ninja. And you'd be, again, a low class ninja. Right. So the low class ninja are training to become better, up to about 4th degree black belt. 5th degree black belt they become the master, they become the chuunin, of course, the leader and a teacher. And the chuunins, they are supposed to teach the academy levels. And, obviously, the 10th degree and higher are supposed to teach the black belts, the beginnings of the black belts.1, 14:45


Ninjapiratecaptain, a poster on MAP, identified Hall's descriptions as closely resembling the anime series "Naruto." Ninjapiratecaptain wrote:


The only place I have ever heard tell of Genin, Chuunin, and Jounin are in the anime Naruto. Genin are considered full ninja and have approximately a shodan level of training. Chuunin are more experienced and teach at the Ninja Academy where students trained to earn Genin rank (note that Hall referred to kyu as "academy levels"; do you really think there were ninja academies in real life?). Note that Chuunin in Naruto also have the job of leading teams of ninja, as Ralph Hall said he was taught... Jounin are "elite" ninja (the Naruto equivalent of Judan).

The "Chuunin Selection Exam" is an exam in Naruto that tests Genin to decide whether or not they should be promoted to Chuunin. It consists of three parts, like Hall's test. One involves a team of ninja attempting to secure a scroll from enemies, as Hall said, while negotiating a large area full of enemy ninja and obstacles.

Also, note his obsession with scrolls rather than certificates. In Naruto, rank, techniques, etc. are all transmitted in scroll forms. There is a heavy emphasis on the importance of scrolls in the anime. There are no certificates in it at all.


Ninjapiratecaptain also identified that a picture of Ralph Hall, presumably taken during training, is consistent with the representation of a ninja from the anime series "Naruto," as evidenced below:


Naruto.gif


Ralph Hall.gif


Ninjapiratecaptain's observations are reinforced by information provided by Don Houle in an interview regarding "Naruto" 15. Houle states, in part, "There is a three-tiered structure that is often referred to and which appears in Naruto which consisted of Jounin ('high person'), Chuunin ('middle person') and Genin ('low person')." Ninjapiratecaptain's of the "Chuunin Selection Exam" from "Naruto" is supported by a description of the "Chuunin Exam" found at Naruto HQ 16.


It is also relevant that neither the rank list displayed by Van Donk nor the Wikipedia article regarding Bujinkan ranks 17 includes the terminology 'genin,' 'chuunin,' or 'jounin.' That terminology is used in the anime series "Naruto," as described online at Naruto HQ 18. Ralph Hall also made references to a "ninja academy" and "academy level" students; terminology that he shares with "Naruto," but not the Bujinkan. As quoted above, Hall stated in his interview, "And the chuunins, they are supposed to teach the academy levels." While individual ninjutsu schools may use name similar to "Ninja Academy" for business purposes, Bujinkan does have officially recognize or rank students at "academy levels."


Additionally, "Naruto" was listed among Hall's favorite television shows on his Myspace account 19. That entry has since been removed.


Ralph Hall displayed martial art rank certificates that have been deliberately altered, misrepresenting them as documentation of his rank

Ralph Hall posted several rank certifications on his Myspace account and claimed that they were his "Genin Scroll," his "Chuunin Scroll," his "Jonin Scroll," and his "Shujin Scroll." MWDAndy, a poster at MAP, identified those scrolls as follows:


The "Genin Scroll" appears to be a shodan certificate, issued in Heisei 2 (1990). However, it is not made out in the name of anyone.

The "Chuunin Scroll" appears to be a fifth dan certificate, issued in Heisei 4 (1992). However, it does not appear to be made out in the name of Ralph Hall.

The "Jonin Scroll" may be a tenth dan certificate, I don't know as I don't have one myself. It does appear to have been issued in Heisei 14 (2002).

The "Shujin Scroll" appears to be a shidoshi licence. It has no date section on it though. However, it is made out in the same name as the "chuunin scroll" and "jonin scroll" above but again, this does not appear to be the name Ralph Hall. Interestingly, it appears to have a lucky four-leafed clover drawn on it in green, right above where it says "menkyo".


MWDAndy also provided an image of the document 20 Hall identified as his "Jonin Scroll," which had been cropped to focus on the name on the scroll, written in Japanese. MWDAndy originally translated the characters as "Stewart Grey." Bencole, another MAP poster, translated the name as "Greg Stough," and indicated that Stough had posted his Bujinkan ranking documents on the internet 21, which is presumably where Hall obtained them.


All of the images of ranking certificates displayed on Hall's Myspace account appear to be digitally altered versions of the certificates that appear on Stough's website.


The first untitled image of a rank certificate on Hall's Myspace account closely resembles the image labeled "Shodan Certificate" displayed on Stough's website. There are differences — the name "Greg Stough" and the word "Sho-dan," both written in English and several of the Japanese characters in one of the columns (sixth from the left) have been removed. There are similarities, including what appear to be identical 'ink spatters,' or accidental lines, that appear on both images, however. Additionally, analysis of the image with the use of an editing program (Macromedia Fireworks) reveals that the missing Japanese characters appear to have been erased with another editing program, as evidenced by a white area in the midst of grey-shaded pixels.


The second untitled image of a rank certificate on Hall's Myspace account closely resembles the image labeled "Godan Certificate" on Stough's website. Several Japanese characters appeared to have been digitally removed, as evidenced by a white area in the midst of grey-shaded pixels.


The third untitled image of a rank certificate on Hall's Myspace account closely resembles the image labeled as "Judan Certificate" on Stough's website. Several Japanese characters appeared to have been digitally removed, as evidenced by a white area in the midst of grey-shaded pixels. Further, the section of the red stamp that had been covered by the black characters appears to be copied in on Hall's image in a lighter shade of red than the rest of the stamp.


The fourth untitled image on Hall's Myspace account is almost identical to the image labeled "Teaching Certificate," displayed on Stough's website. It lacks the above mentioned four-leaf clover and several Japanese characters which partially cover the red stamp in the upper right hand corner. However a close examination of the document makes it clear that the green four-leaf clover and the black kanji characters were digitally removed — as evidenced by the white rectangle in the midst of grey-shaded pixels. Further, the section of the red stamp that had been covered by the black characters appears to be copied in on Hall's image in a lighter shade of red than the rest of the stamp.


Additionally, Hall has posted those four images on my Myspace account in exactly the same order as Stough posted them on his website.


Here are the four rank certificates posted on Hall's Myspace account:


Ralph Hall's Certificates.gif


Here are the four rank certificates posted on Stough's website:


Greg Stough's Certificates.gif


The areas on Hall's images that have been digitally erased are highlighted in pink — this was down by using a standard "Magic Wand Tool" to select areas where pixels appeared to have been deleted. Please note that not all of the digital erasures could be detected using the above approach.


During the videotaped interview, Hall explained that he was not given his rank certificates until 2005 or the beginning of 2006. Hall said:


Here again, I was not given anything. It wasn't until most recently, which I would say was 2005, maybe the beginning of 2006, that I received, these, all of these certificates. Now, they could (this is what I'm saying for the record), they very well could be copies o somebody's else certificates that somebody posted online that he just wanted to give me because he could not find a better way. 1, 22:45

So here again, I'm not, I'm not saying that those are necessarily given to me by Hatsumi. I never stated that. What I did state is that these were what I was given. When I was given them, they were rolled and they were tied with something similar to this ribbon. And he specifically said, "This is your genin certificate, this is your chuunin scroll, the master scroll. 1, 22:33


Hall's explanation is in direct conflict with his claim of having translated instructional material from Japanese into English for his students; if he can read and translate Japanese, he would have known that the certificates he had "been given" were not made out to him. Despite Hall's assertion that he was given the documentation in scroll form, the above evidence shows that images he provided were taken from Greg Stough's website.


Conclusion

Based on the information above, Ralph Hall is found to have lied about his military and martial arts experience. Hall has attempted to fabricate documentation to support his martial arts related claims, but stated that he does not have access to other documentation. Hall's claims mislead his students and injure the reputation of the United States military, Bujinkan ninjutsu, and martial arts as a whole. His claims of military awards may violate relevant criminal law.


Ralph Hall is not an Army Ranger.


Ralph Hall is not a ninja master.


Ralph Hall is a liar.


Citations

  • 5 - United States Army Regulation 670-1


Program Information (P.I.)

  • P1 - Title 18, United States Code, Section 702, Uniform of armed forces and Public Health Service:

    Whoever, in any place within the jurisdiction of the United States or in the Canal Zone, without authority, wears the uniform or a distinctive part thereof or anything similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of any of the armed forces of the United States, Public Health Service or any auxiliary of such, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
  • P2 - Title 18, United States Code, Section 704. Military Medals or Decorations:
    (a) In General.— Whoever knowingly wears, purchases, attempts to purchase, solicits for purchase, mails, ships, imports, exports, produces blank certificates of receipt for, manufactures, sells, attempts to sell, advertises for sale, trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    (b) False Claims About Receipt of Military Decorations or Medals- Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both

    (c) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Congressional Medal of Honor.—

    (1) In general.— If a decoration or medal involved in an offense under subsection (a) or (b) is a Congressional Medal of Honor, in lieu of the punishment provided in that subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

    (2) CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `Congressional Medal of Honor' means—

    (A) a medal of honor awarded under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14;

    (B) a duplicate medal of honor issued under section 3754, 6256, or 8754 of title 10 or section 504 of title 14; or

    (C) a replacement of a medal of honor provided under section 3747, 6253, or 8747 of title 10 or section 501 of title 14

    (d) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Certain Other Medals- If a decoration or medal involved in an offense described in subsection (a) or (b) is a distinguished-service cross awarded under section 3742 of title 10, a Navy cross awarded under section 6242 of title 10, an Air Force cross awarded under section 8742 of section 10, a silver star awarded under section 3746, 6244, or 8746 of title 10, a Purple Heart awarded under section 1129 of title 10, or any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law, in lieu of the punishment provided in the applicable subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.


NOTE — Section 704 has been updated in compliance with the Stolen Valor Act of 2005; http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s109-1998.