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Greg Ellison
Greg Ellison Michelle Ellison, The Greg Ellison/Ellison Collection Scam, Internet
6th of Aug, 2011 by User598911
Historians became aware of Greg Ellison when he attempted to sell an image he claimed was the captain of the Confederate submarine, H. L. Hunley, in November of 2006. The image in question is of a post war U. S. Navy enlisted sailor. Hardly a Confederate officer. Greg Ellison was exposed by reporter Brian Hicks of the Charleston Post and Courier. Greg Ellison, as gm7152, was banned from eBay. Two of Greg Ellison's misidentified images were actually presented on The History Channel's "Jesse James' Hidden Treasure." As the editor of True West Magazine correctly pointed out: "what people believe becomes a fact in itself." Greg Ellison has recently claimed that he has a movie deal based on a book he has not yet written, "The New Face of Jesse James" or something to that effect. I've personally never seen Greg Ellison as able to string two coherent sentences together. Based on the poor vetting the media does on anything related to Jesse James, it seems that anything related to Jesse James, factual or not, sells. And this is where he takes advantage. Historians went around and around with Greg Ellison on Topix for a few years. One thing is for sure, Greg Ellison has no shame. Fortunately, Topix eventually pulled the entire thread at the end of August 2009. Because of Greg Ellison's reputation of traversing various websites with his attempts of fraud, threats and harassment, he is banned from historical forums including BJ's Tombstone Discussion, Jesse James Discussion Site, Topix, True West Magazine, Jesse James, Outlaws & Characters, James - Younger and Outlaws Family Forum, Wild West Magazine, (under several different names) from the Northern Virginia Relic Hunter's "eBay Fakes Forum. These sites can confirm Greg Ellison's actions and behavior. This behavior is consistent with his past public court records from Missouri and South Carolina. The judicial system for Horry County, South Carolina ruled against Greg Ellison in two charges based on his conduct while the owner of a home and condo repair business. In 2000, Greg Ellison was arrested when the state of South Carolina charged him with "Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent." He had to post bail of $15,000. He and his wife, Michelle Ellison, were also evicted for trashing a house and threatening its owners. These public records also reveal that Gregory Ellison has faced money judgements a total of nine times in Missouri and South Carolina. (, In all cases, Greg Ellison's sole aim is to further his ridiculous collection. Not one credible person buys into his nonsense. Greg Ellison nearly got one of his misidentified images on a book cover by Laura James about Jesse's son, Jesse E. James. Fortunately, the author and publisher were notified in October 2008 about the fraud and the cover was changed with a valid image of Jesse E. James. The book was released around May of 2009. Here's some quotes regarding the Laura James scam (Ellison tried to get a misidentified image of Jesse's son, Jesse Edwards James on the cover of Laura James book): He said this on Butch's on October 29, 2008 and I quote: "That photo isn't one that Phillip saw. It is an almost exact match to the known photo of Jesse Jr. and I made the authentication myself." Then he contradicted himself on early in November 2008 (the discussion has since been deleted by Topix): Quote: "Phillip W. Steele saw the photo and said it comes from the James Family. I compared the photo to a known photo of Jesse Jr. and made the authentication. That is good enough for me and I am the only one that matters to me. Now, if you don't think my verification is accurate it is up to you to find an expert to say it isn't Jesse Jr." Laura James got the word and posted this on Delphi
( Quote: "My book about Jesse Edwards James & Dr. Zeo Wilkins is filled with photos of both that I found on my travels, but all of the photos inside the book came from research libraries and university collections. There is no doubt about the authenticity of the photos inside the book. My publisher, Sterling Publishing, created the cover for the book without any input from me. The publisher found Greg Ellison's collection on the internet and decided to use the studio portrait identified as a young Jesse E. James from Mr. Ellison's collection for the cover. I did not know about that decision until after the cover was made and released on the web. At this point I do not know what the final cover will look like, but I have asked Sterling to avoid the controversy by using one of the photos I previously supplied. I would hate to think that I could put eight solid years of research into this tale only to have a questioned photo used on the cover. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Ellison, but it is unnecessary to use his Jesse E. James photo. The book will be surprising and controversial enough as is. - Laura James" Some of Greg Ellison's misidentified images were evidently on display at the Ray County Museum in Richmond, MO. The curator, Karen Bush, had bought into Greg Ellison's fraud. She had since left the Museum and her website shut down early this year. The fact that some of the photos went on display was covered by the local Richmond newspaper. I am aware that the editor didn't respond to letters contesting the "identifications" made by Greg Ellison. Greg Ellison made the following post on March 27, 2009 on Topix: ALL EMAILS OR STATEMENTS CONCERNING THE ELLISON COLLECTION TO THE MUSEUM OR NEWSPAPER WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY FORWARDED TO ME PER MY REQUEST. ANY DEFAMATION OR HARRASSMENT WILL BE LOGGED AT BOTH ENDS. Quite an interesting statement from a self proclaimed historian. Here are various links to Gregory Ellison's activities: The 417 Magazine article in July 2008 was the first positive public exposure Greg Ellison has had to my knowledge. What he won't tell anyone about is the editor's September 2008 response to the many negative letters ("too numerous" to print) about Greg Ellison and his collection: I quote: "Regarding any images printed in 417 Magazine that were of questionable authenticity or incorrectly identified historical figures, we regret the error. Greg Ellison has been unable to provide a definitive genealogical link between Frank W. Poor and the Poor family connected to Jesse James. He admitted as much himself on January 3, 2009: I don't believe a solid family connection to the Coles and Poors is needed to prove that Frank W. Poor was in possession of some of JJ's personal belongings. I believe that the "coinsidences", as they are referred to, prove that quite well on their own. I am going to spend quite a bit of time this year going to the areas in question and digging for information from the locals and family to help confirm the collection. Here is a link to 417 Magazine's apology in Sep 08: The Jesse James Dilemma In the July 2008 issue of 417, we ran a story about 417-lander Greg Ellisons collection of antique photographs. Since the story ran, weve received a number of letters from readers who study either Jesse
James or antique photos and disagreed with the authenticity of Ellisons James Gang photos. The letters are too numerous to run here. In the story, writer Brian Lipscomb pointed out that not all of Ellisons collection of James-related photos has been verified but that 25 images were included in a letter of authenticity from a Jesse James historian. Readers questioned the authenticity of the letter itself. Ellison asserts that it is valid. The historian died last year. One reader asked if Ellison paid for the article. He did not. Again and I quote: "Regarding any images printed in 417 Magazine that were of questionable authenticity or incorrectly identified historical figures, we regret the error. - Editor" Let's not forget about the "Abe Lincoln" photo and that the curator of the Lincoln Presidential Library said and I quote "it's not worthy of consideration as being Lincoln". Post 1865 back mark. Reference: "Ohio Photographers: 1839-1900" by Diane VanSkiver Gagel. Link (see J. W. Fessenden): Old West author Mark Dworkin posted this to Greg Ellison on BJ's Tombstone Discussion Forum in August 09: Quote: It would be wonderful to have these pictures turn out to be who you claim- they would shed new light on historical figures in key ways. But alas, I go back to what I said earlier, that is, as of now you have a pile of neat old photos, nothing more. No creditable historian can take them seriously. To sum up: The fact is that Greg Ellison's fake "Steele letter" cannot by itself verify any one image, much less 25. Even if there were signed affidavits from Steele's secretary, wife, pastor, and best friend saying they were there when Steele wrote the letter it would not add any provenance or value to it. Without detailed notes, bibliography's, and research points to justify an identification on each photo the photos cannot be deemed original by anyone. It can take weeks, or months, to identify even one image, much less 25 to 50 in a day or so. And the 25 listed on the website were added to the site many months after the site's creation making it a giant leap of faith in Ellison's word of which images Steele supposedly saw. I am also confused as to how Ellison (who needed an outside source for verification due to his own lack of credentials) would determine which images out of 50 were "important" enough for Steele to look at. As Steele was the expert, I would think you hand him the box and let him decide. But Ellison cherry-picked 25 images. Why? In my experience, when any item is researched and verified, the notes and details are made as the process unfolds. That is how a conclusion is reached: Through a preponderance of the evidence as it was laid out. I have never heard of an identification being made, then the notes were taken and added afterwards. That makes no sense at all and flies in the face of logic. Plus, to verify an image of such a historically important American, you would need more than one source to agree it is authentic. This, Greg Ellison does not have. best Greg has 25 images that (supposedly) were verified and seen by Phillip W. Steele that have no notes to back them up. All of the other "verifications" on the Ellison Collection are solely the creations of Greg Ellison and have no basis at all except in Greg's "opinion." Many historians have merely pointed out all the glaring inconsistencies with Ellison's "verifications." Opinions are like elbows, everyone has one and some are bent. I don't care WHO has seen an image and given an opinion on it. Unless they have credentials, and are willing to put those credentials on paper with detailed notes, they don't matter. It amazes me that Ellison expects thinking, rational, and educated people to accept his "beliefs" with no proof. A generic letter, an unverified "Poor" connection and your opinion. That dog don't hunt. And due to the lack of any positive interest in Ellison's collection by anyone that matters, I would say that represents the majority. Ellison's proof, as always, is absent. To quote historian Ted Yeatman: "Time certainly flies. I can recall when no one took Steele very seriously. Back in the early 80's he actually seems to have believed that Joe Vaughn was Frank James, and J. Frank Dalton was Jesse. Milt Perry seems to have talked him out of it, and pointed him in the direction of doing "genealogy". I still feel that Beamis & Pullen is the most reliable work. Goerge Warfel was the James photo expert, not Steele. Steele just happened to have connections at Pelican who would publish the book. Phil was a charming fellow, but he got his reliable info. from George. If Steele started studying the James story for 40 years, at least part of that was on the wrong trail, and some of it decidedly weird, as anyone who has read the Vaughn story [except a "true believer"] can imagine. I recall my first exposure to Steele was some articles in Ozark Mountaineer about Vaughn. If Steele "authenticated" anything in the last years of his life that would be doubly suspect, as I gather he had Alzheimer's." Thank Mr. Yeatman for his insight and for setting the record straight. It's hard to understand how Mr. Steele could have believed the nonsense about Joe Vaughn or J. Frank Dalton or could have seen "Jesse James" where he didn't exist. In the book "THE MANY FACES OF JESSE JAMES by Phillip W. Steele with George Warfel, If you have the book go to chapter 3, page 69 under the heading IMAGE IDENTIFICATION TECHNIQUES..... Please take the time to read pages 69-75 of Phillip's book. Excerpt from page 75 next to the last paragraph......... " The Warfel identification process, which has been perfected over the past twenty years, and his fifty years of studying the human anatomy have resulted in his procedures being the most acceptable method of authenticating photo images of Jesse James." Where do you see the Steele identification process in this chapter ? George had signed where he commented that it should be a reversed order on authorship. George is the one who did the initial investigations, years before Steele was even interested. Steve Eng had a long and often frustrating experience that dragged across years, with Steele over the Vaughn business, trying to point out how the claims weren't valid. The WWA obit laid it on pretty thick. Steele had the money and the contacts to get where he did, but did an overall mediocre job. Have you ever seen the James video? It has been a while, but you have microphones in the frames of some shots and it has an overall feel of a home video at times. They didn't mention his being "Historical Consultant" for the movie "Frank and Jesse". Just get the movie and watch it. The problem is that The Ellison "Collection" is offensive. That sums it up. It's not a personal vendetta against Greg Ellison. It is watching someone attempt to manipulate history for their own personal gain. And I am always amazed that more people are not on their feet with challenges every time Ellison and other frauds make an unfounded claim about an image. It shouldn't stand. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery, secured the Union, and took a bullet for his convictions. That man saved our nation with his will and resolve. So for me to see Ellison's fake Lincoln image claiming to be that man on a public website...a site a child could find and mistakenly add that image to a research image that is NOT Lincoln, has never been verified, researched or ANYTHING, I get mad. No one has the right to make such flagrantly false claims. Nobody. It's offensive and it should offend anyone that loves history. In true historical identification, you find the image, do years of research, THEN you out it for public speculation. But not without CONCRETE verification with so many sources your bibliography is a book in itself. You don't find the image, claim it is someone famous, then stick it on a website and say "PROVE ME WRONG!" Yet that is the Ellison Collection at its essence. The READY, FIRE, AIM theory in application. . Greg Ellison will say that "No image can be 100% verified." WHAT??? No Lincoln image is verified??? News to me and the $5.00 bill! And to operate by that type of warped logic is to say any and all images can be and are Jesse James. I have yet to see Ellison's resume in facial recognition training or the universities he attended posted anywhere. Has Greg Ellison ever conceded a point that anyone has posted that goes against one of his image identifications? Not that I have seen. He explains them all away with a string of IN MY OPINION'S, and I BELIEVE'S. And then the old faithful PHILLIP STEELE VERIFIED. But Steele verified WHAT??? What image is verified??? I don't see one image mentioned on Ellison's bogus letter. Not one. But Ellison claims 25 images are verified by Steele. Ellison claims Steele was going to write up his notes AFTER he verified the images. How does that work??? I thought you took notes WHILE you verified the images. Or else how did you do it? No one does it backwards. But according to Ellison, that is the way Steele did it. So take Ellison's word. What Ellison always fails to mention is the fact that those 25 images were not originally listed on his site as being ID'd by Steele. They came to be there, on their own page, MONTHS after the site was started. Why? Because Ellison got hammered on Topix and Tombstone over the fact that any of his supposed fifty "James Gang" images could be part of the magical 25 at any given time. So Ellison added them later on their own separate page as a cover the behind scramble. That "Pat Garrett" image was added to his site much later as well, but now it mysteriously was identified by Steele...a JESSE JAMES expert nearly a year after Steele died. How he ID'd Pat Garrett we will never know. It's obvious that Greg Ellison fled South Carolina to Missouri when he got busted for fraud. I believe he still haunts ebay under several aliases trying to con innocent buyers with his fake images. Anyone dealing with historical photos should be warned of this liar, fraud, con, crook, scammer and all around phony.
3637 days ago by Ucan'tfoolme
Greg Ellison was arrested in Horry County, SC for breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Google the public records in South Carolina an Missouri to see his extensive legal issues.

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