Well, I got an answer and it sucks - big time (don't shoot the messenger):
"What seems to be going on is a reflection of the site now having https. The issue largely depends on what browser is used to access the site. When accessing the forum with browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera, only images hosted on sites with https will be shown. When using browsers such as IE or Edge, non-https content may be shown. This is happening because Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera are being more strict about their security protocols, and therefor offer a more secure user experience. Eventually, all hosting sites will need to add https as more and more sites are going to require it, so it's only a matter of time before the non-https hosted images that are on the site become visible again through all browsers. We understand that this might be frustrating to members whose content is no longer showing up through certain browsers but unfortunately this is beyond our control."
I highlighted the essence of the situation. I also disagree with the statement that's it's only a matter of time before non-https hosted image sites make the switch. Some might never switch if they are smaller players. I have hundreds of images on my personal website and I have no plans to switch to SSL.
So, I think this is the way it will be. I expressed the appropriate (but polite)
outrage disappointment. When I get a chance, I need to catalog the other issues you guys are having which might (or might not) be related to this SSL switch.