Saturday, July 04, 2015

MONDAY, MONDAY Bumped



MONDAY, MONDAY Bumped

Update: Though we are not quite at the threshold where Blogger takes exception to the number of comments on any one thread, seemingly around the two hundred mark, I think it prudent to re-up the post and carry on afresh here. Thank You.

The Mamas and the Papas had plenty to say on the subject. The McCanns, on the other hand, had nothing to say on the subject, either when asked by police in 2007 or since (in Kate McCann’s ‘Account of the Truth’).

And now it appears they are silent once more – deaf to the question of why a computer file generated by CEOP and archived against a date of 30 April 2007 should have appealed for help in finding Madeleine McCann, who was not due to go missing until 3 May! The man who genuinely should know the answer, former CEOP supremo Jim Gamble, has also ‘assumed the foetal position’.

One cannot help but wonder whether Robert Murat booked his urgent early morning flight to Praia da Luz having read the CEOP announcement the night before. Or whether Kate really did take her famous ‘tennis photo’ on the morning of Tuesday 1 May, when Murat was heading home to Portugal.

You see, if Madeleine’s disappearance was known about on the Monday, it would have been when the child was still perfectly well and able to scamper around a tennis court the following morning. Should she then have been extricated from the family’s holiday apartment on account of some incapacity, this might suggest that CEOP also knew about that incapacity in advance.

You can hear the chorus from wherever you sit: “Oh no they didn’t! Kate McCann was confused. The ‘photo was already available to CEOP’s ‘mccann.html’ file (at 11.58.03)! The link was only broken temporarily - until the McCanns managed to communicate the image!” That very day - Monday 30 April; the morning when Madeleine’s group of infant crèche captives actually had an hour’s mini-tennis planned for 10 .00 a.m.

A ‘pic’ prepared within the hour then. Unless of course it was taken on the Sunday evening, following that impromptu social tennis session for newly-arrived adult guests (another truth accounted for by Kate McCann in her book). It does seem rather strange that a moment in time captured immediately following a group tennis session, be it a group of adults or a group of children, should show not a semblance of any one’s presence save that of the subject and her photographer.

And what of those CEOP internet ‘home pages’ that appear suddenly to have gone ‘tits up’ in October 2007? You know, the 10 October edition that cites the latest news to the 8th of the month and the 13 October edition that forgets all about it, but instead seeks to rival Reuters with a reference to what happened no later than the 2nd. Surely that and other strange perturbations can have nothing to do with the McCanns’ return to the UK, having been declared arguidos on 7 September, nor Jim Gamble’s protestations of their innocence a month to the day thereafter, and which were quoted in the Daily Mirror of the same date (7 October):

"We absolutely support the McCann family, they are to be applauded for their tireless work to keep the campaign to find their daughter in the public consciousness."

No, of course not. Pure coincidence, nothing more.

The current ‘hot topic’ though is that ‘30 April 2007’ archival date attributed by the Wayback Machine to certain CEOP internet files; files that make explicit reference to Madeleine McCann, the little girl who was not destined to leave the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, until 3 May.

Whilst interpretation of the information they contain, both visually and in terms of their source code, suggests very strongly that the incriminating date (30 April) is in fact correct, there is a rump of detractors who remain adamant that neither of the two files, which feature heavily in the dispute, was composed, ‘crawled’ (archived), or whatever on 30 April, but that they were legitimately configured on some indeterminate later date and simply ‘misfiled’ by the Wayback Machine, which dropped a stitch somewhere along the line. As a staunch proponent of the WBM’s inadequacies has put it quite recently:

“The same process that archived with an erroneous date will have updated the index with the same erroneous date.”

Note the involvement of a single process, an (as in one) erroneous date, and the inclusion of the latter within the (solitary) index.

Since the keepers of the Wayback Machine have been alerted to these specific shortcomings, they are no doubt busily preparing an announcement to the effect that, having identified the process in question and corrected the system error responsible for appending that one false date (in nearly twenty years of operation) they have ‘fixed the problem’, and we can all now go back to work.

Unfortunately no.

The whole being the sum of its parts in this matter, archive.org will have to do rather better than that. Considerably better in fact. They will have to examine the architecture of their entire system if they are to convince anyone other than themselves that the ‘error’ which has been brought to their attention is confined to the archiving of but two files in 485 billion, since there is now further evidence that it just might have been a tad more widespread. Either that or CEOP have even more explaining to do.

The Wayback Machine is something of a technological wonder of the modern world. Its database is unimaginably large and its retrieval systems concomitantly complex. Nevertheless, at the touch of a button almost, it is possible to establish just how many files associated with a specific URL it has actually recorded over time, even those files set up and administered by CEOP – all 8779 of them according to recent estimates (see following):


For larger image, right click open in new tab.

If one takes the trouble to review this inventory, it very quickly retraces events back to….30 April 2007. And what should we find listed among all those separately identified files with their unique URL terminations? Why, two image files labelled ‘madeleine’, recognizable as ’madeleine_01.jpg’ and ‘madeleine_02.jpg’:


For larger image, right click open in new tab.

There can be no question that the ‘madeleine’ referred to here is Madeleine McCann, as these terminators are exactly those employed within the structure of the CEOP home page as visible (and archived) on 13 May 2007, a construct which, incidentally, features several references to ‘mccann.html’, another data structure that according to WBM detractors was not created until later that year. (Why on earth would anyone program a computer to access a non-existent file? I ask myself):


For larger image, right click open in new tab.

To judge from the foregoing, either The Wayback Machine could be off-line for a considerable period, while their ‘techies’ rebuild almost their entire indexing and retrieval systems, or J. Gamble Esq. had better come up with some convincing explanation as to what CEOP would have been doing with photographs of Madeleine McCann barely two days into the McCann family’s fatal 2007 vacation.

Martin Roberts

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Portuguese Start Reacting to McCanns’ “Libel Win”


How refreshing, journalism.


Amaral to appeal as Portuguese start reacting to McCanns’ “libel win”

Portugal Press
April 30, 2015

Confirmed by journalist Len Port today, Gonçalo Amaral is set to appeal against the vast sum of damages awarded against him in the civil action for defamation taken out by the parents of Madeleine McCann.

As we revealed yesterday, Amaral told us: “We are in the face of a mere battle in a war that is far from over”.

But today, reaction from Portugal and elsewhere to the ruling by judge Emília Melo e Castro has started pouring in, both via mainstream and social media.

Sol’s columnist João Pinto Costa write: “Former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral was condemned to pay €500,000 to the parents of Madeleine McCann because of the publication of his book ‘Maddie: The Truth of the Lie’. Finally, we found one person who will not make any money from the disappearance of the English girl.”

Lawyer João Grade is quoted on Facebook as saying: “I read his book and I was convinced, as I had been before anyway, that it was not an abduction. The book does not defame the McCanns, Gonçalo Amaral does not express his opinion, but an investigative thesis.”

And in the US, criminal profiler Pat Brown, who has followed the case to the extent that she travelled over to Portugal three years ago to lend her support to Amaral, wrote that the “devastating ruling” had “nothing to do with Madeleine. It has been and is about the state. This is the way the world works. When there are no compromising issues like incompetence, misconduct or corruption, killers are caught, cases are properly closed and the community is safer. When it goes awry for whatever reason, the state and who controls it will make sure they don’t go under because of one unfortunate situation.”

Certainly the way the news was leaked to the press - not from any official court announcement, but via the McCanns’ lawyer in Portugal Isabel Duarte - opens the door for an official complaint by Amaral’s legal team, writes the laidbare blog under the title “the plot thickens…”

Meantime, Amaral has posted these words on the Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral website: “I find the court’s decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen’s right to freedom of expression and of opinion.
“For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance.

“If I am able to continue on counting on your support, I will continue to fight within the judicial system for the Truth and achievement of Justice.”

Pledges of support are already coming through, with even our own site eliciting comments like the one posted by a reader by the name of Scargill who states: “The amount of compensation seems vastly at odds with non-British European definition awards and you have to wonder if there are greater forces at play here.”

“I feel very sorry for Amaral,” the reader continues. “He understandably believes that the McCanns have a case to answer and he has been very brave in publishing his opinions.” Link

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Monday Monday by Dr Martin Roberts


Update: I have re-upped this post here: MONDAY MONDAY Bumped Please address your comments at the new post please.



MONDAY, MONDAY

The Mamas and the Papas had plenty to say on the subject. The McCanns, on the other hand, had nothing to say on the subject, either when asked by police in 2007 or since (in Kate McCann’s ‘Account of the Truth’).

And now it appears they are silent once more – deaf to the question of why a computer file generated by CEOP and archived against a date of 30 April 2007 should have appealed for help in finding Madeleine McCann, who was not due to go missing until 3 May! The man who genuinely should know the answer, former CEOP supremo Jim Gamble, has also ‘assumed the foetal position’.

One cannot help but wonder whether Robert Murat booked his urgent early morning flight to Praia da Luz having read the CEOP announcement the night before. Or whether Kate really did take her famous ‘tennis photo’ on the morning of Tuesday 1 May, when Murat was heading home to Portugal.

You see, if Madeleine’s disappearance was known about on the Monday, it would have been when the child was still perfectly well and able to scamper around a tennis court the following morning. Should she then have been extricated from the family’s holiday apartment on account of some incapacity, this might suggest that CEOP also knew about that incapacity in advance.

You can hear the chorus from wherever you sit: “Oh no they didn’t! Kate McCann was confused. The ‘photo was already available to CEOP’s ‘mccann.html’ file (at 11.58.03)! The link was only broken temporarily - until the McCanns managed to communicate the image!” That very day - Monday 30 April; the morning when Madeleine’s group of infant crèche captives actually had an hour’s mini-tennis planned for 10 .00 a.m.

A ‘pic’ prepared within the hour then. Unless of course it was taken on the Sunday evening, following that impromptu social tennis session for newly-arrived adult guests (another truth accounted for by Kate McCann in her book). It does seem rather strange that a moment in time captured immediately following a group tennis session, be it a group of adults or a group of children, should show not a semblance of any one’s presence save that of the subject and her photographer.

And what of those CEOP internet ‘home pages’ that appear suddenly to have gone ‘tits up’ in October 2007? You know, the 10 October edition that cites the latest news to the 8th of the month and the 13 October edition that forgets all about it, but instead seeks to rival Reuters with a reference to what happened no later than the 2nd. Surely that and other strange perturbations can have nothing to do with the McCanns’ return to the UK, having been declared arguidos on 7 September, nor Jim Gamble’s protestations of their innocence a month to the day thereafter, and which were quoted in the Daily Mirror of the same date (7 October):

"We absolutely support the McCann family, they are to be applauded for their tireless work to keep the campaign to find their daughter in the public consciousness."

No, of course not. Pure coincidence, nothing more.

The current ‘hot topic’ though is that ‘30 April 2007’ archival date attributed by the Wayback Machine to certain CEOP internet files; files that make explicit reference to Madeleine McCann, the little girl who was not destined to leave the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, until 3 May.

Whilst interpretation of the information they contain, both visually and in terms of their source code, suggests very strongly that the incriminating date (30 April) is in fact correct, there is a rump of detractors who remain adamant that neither of the two files, which feature heavily in the dispute, was composed, ‘crawled’ (archived), or whatever on 30 April, but that they were legitimately configured on some indeterminate later date and simply ‘misfiled’ by the Wayback Machine, which dropped a stitch somewhere along the line. As a staunch proponent of the WBM’s inadequacies has put it quite recently:

“The same process that archived with an erroneous date will have updated the index with the same erroneous date.”

Note the involvement of a single process, an (as in one) erroneous date, and the inclusion of the latter within the (solitary) index.

Since the keepers of the Wayback Machine have been alerted to these specific shortcomings, they are no doubt busily preparing an announcement to the effect that, having identified the process in question and corrected the system error responsible for appending that one false date (in nearly twenty years of operation) they have ‘fixed the problem’, and we can all now go back to work.

Unfortunately no.

The whole being the sum of its parts in this matter, archive.org will have to do rather better than that. Considerably better in fact. They will have to examine the architecture of their entire system if they are to convince anyone other than themselves that the ‘error’ which has been brought to their attention is confined to the archiving of but two files in 485 billion, since there is now further evidence that it just might have been a tad more widespread. Either that or CEOP have even more explaining to do.

The Wayback Machine is something of a technological wonder of the modern world. Its database is unimaginably large and its retrieval systems concomitantly complex. Nevertheless, at the touch of a button almost, it is possible to establish just how many files associated with a specific URL it has actually recorded over time, even those files set up and administered by CEOP – all 8779 of them according to recent estimates (see following):


For larger image, right click open in new tab.

If one takes the trouble to review this inventory, it very quickly retraces events back to….30 April 2007. And what should we find listed among all those separately identified files with their unique URL terminations? Why, two image files labelled ‘madeleine’, recognizable as ’madeleine_01.jpg’ and ‘madeleine_02.jpg’:


For larger image, right click open in new tab.

There can be no question that the ‘madeleine’ referred to here is Madeleine McCann, as these terminators are exactly those employed within the structure of the CEOP home page as visible (and archived) on 13 May 2007, a construct which, incidentally, features several references to ‘mccann.html’, another data structure that according to WBM detractors was not created until later that year. (Why on earth would anyone program a computer to access a non-existent file? I ask myself):


For larger image, right click open in new tab.

To judge from the foregoing, either The Wayback Machine could be off-line for a considerable period, while their ‘techies’ rebuild almost their entire indexing and retrieval systems, or J. Gamble Esq. had better come up with some convincing explanation as to what CEOP would have been doing with photographs of Madeleine McCann barely two days into the McCann family’s fatal 2007 vacation.

Martin Roberts

Update: Comments for this post have been moved to here. Please address your comments there and not here. Thank you.

Goncalo Amaral: We The People


We the people have spoken, and we the people are having none of it, Madam Home Secretary, Commissioner Howe.

Just as we will have none of your lame excuses when this case reaches the inevitable and only conclusion possible, the truth of the matter.

You have already shown yourselves to be on the wrong side of history both, and do remember, when the truth, like all the evils of the world flies out, well I never and whodathunkit? will just not be good enough. Will they not Mister Savile?

The world and his dog know this scurrilous pair are guilty of all that they are accused, it's time you woke up to the fact. Or would I be more accurate in saying, it's time you stopped ignoring the fact?

You cannot stop us, for our struggle is greater than what you can comprehend.

For Madeleine McCann, for Brenda Leyland, and not least, Goncalo Amaral.





Brits take Maddie cop appeal fund to almost €46,000

Portugal Press
June 26, 2015

In an amazing outpouring of support, British people donating to an online appeal have raised almost €46,000 to help former Portuguese detective Gonçalo Amaral stand his corner against the parents of Madeleine McCann.

As newspapers have reported throughout the world, Amaral has been slapped with a €600,000 bill for the pain and anguish his book ‘The Truth of the Lie’ caused Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry.

In a poignant interview with Portuguese magazine Nova Gente, Amaral explained how the only thing keeping him alive since the verdict that went against him was his heart.

“My life is gone,” he said.

But he hadn’t bargained on the sheer volume of support, waiting to be rallied to his cause by a 22-year-old single mum from Birmingham, who was only 14 when Madeleine went missing from apartment 5a in the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz.

In six whirlwind weeks, almost 2,000 people have dug into their pockets, some again and again with tiny amounts, others occasionally with lump sums of £1000 at a time.

As we clocked off for the weekend, the fund was one person short of 2,000, with the amount collected standing at £32,675.

Leanne Baulch, the young woman behind the initiative, was “amazed”.

“I never imagined we would get this far,” she told us.

The money now will all be ploughed into Amaral fighting his appeal, lodged earlier this month, and likely to cost “at least £40,000”, explained Ms Baulch.

The long-running civil court case was lodged against Amaral by the McCanns in 2009 after he wrote his book explaining the theory that Madeleine had not been abducted at all.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com Portugal Press 

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com


Donations as of 27/05/2015

http://www.gofundme.com/legal-defencepjga# £33,040

http://pjga.blogspot.pt/   awaiting today's figure



Great is the truth and mighty above all things, Home Secretary. And the truth is, you and the office you represent, should not be in the same room as uncleared suspect, Kate McCann.

You are a disgrace Madam, if not to yourself, then certainly to your office.


Comments and Link Dump New


Kate McCann Curtains. Blah blah.

Too many details Kate; always too many details and nobody believes a word of it.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Files by Dr Martin Roberts A CEOP Mystery



I'm far from qualified to opine over this latest can of worms for reasons simple. One, I have not been following the debate over this issue. Two, internet technology is not my forte.

All I can say, if it comes down to matters of trust, does one put one's trust in man or machine?

I cannot speak for machines, but I think I might offer an opinion about the man, in this instance, that man  being Jim Gamble, late of the CEOP.

Of course you can trust Jim Gamble, he's a career policeman of twenty five years plus experience.






A TALE OF TWO FILES

The furore over Steve Marsden’s apparent discovery of inappropriate computer files having been generated by CEOP in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, revolves around two entities that were archived, according to the San Francisco-based Wayback Machine, on 30 April, 2007, several days before Madeleine was reported missing – an impossibility according to some, just as it appears impossible for a file recorded on 30 April to include specific references to events the following October, under the heading: ‘Latest News’.

On the basis of these paradoxes a number of scrutineers have concluded that the Wayback Machine was at fault and subject to computer error – a ‘glitch’ as is commonly referred to by those who use computers without actually understanding how they work.

Whilst Marsden pointed up the potentially explosive significance of a premature CEOP-generated internet file with a URL that included the name ‘mccann’, it was another, more expansive document that revealed a chronological inconsistency. Although both were archived on the same date, distrust of the one promoted dismissal of the other and, with the WBM backroom staff now busily ‘tinkering’ with their own records, it would appear that what might have been a smoking gun has had its cordite fumes wafted away. Or has it?

The ‘computer done it’ school of thought would have it that some as-yet-unidentified species of error occurred in late October 2007 (on a date following those futuristic ‘Latest News’ references) which led to the CEOP home-page for that period being erroneously recorded as an archival on April 30 – a leap backward in time of six months. The smaller, yet infinitely more significant, ‘mccann’ file was deemed, by extrapolation, to have suffered the same fate.

There has since been intense scrutiny of/debate surrounding/speculation over the very coding of the files in question, in an attempt to discover what exactly happened to them, and whether Marsden’s first impressions were justified, or not, as the case may be. Equations abound, the academic fur has been flying, whilst staff at Wayback headquarters, after giving a handful of contradictory answers to initial questions, have remained resolutely silent on the matter. As has Jim Gamble, Head of CEOP at the time the puzzling files were created. Perhaps the Marketeer’s dictum (‘KISS’ - ‘Keep it simple, stupid!’) should be brought to bear.

Let us suppose, merely for the sake of argument, that the Wayback Machine did indeed suffer some calamity, of whatever origin, during late October 2007. The first question to ask is whether there has been any evidence brought forth of said disruption’s having affected all the internet files the Wayback Machine has ‘crawled’ in the eight years since (*/*) – a catastrophe almost beyond measure if so.

Answer: ‘You cannot be serious!’

So then we should re-iterate the question, but progressively narrowing the field each time, until we are left, more simply, with ‘all CEOP files ’ (ceop.gov.uk/*).




This is already the test case, since the two files which have given rise to the debate are each CEOP files, and no mistake. One, it is claimed, has been affected, the other simply tarred with the same brush. However, since the files in question are functionally independent of each other we are entitled to examine them independently.

According to the Wayback Machine, on 30 April 2007 the file ‘mccann/html’ featured a single photographic portrait of young Madeleine McCann, together with a provisional link to a second picture. If, however, we consider what that second picture eventually turned out to be, we discover it is a ‘head and shoulders’ view cropped from the now well-known ‘tennis photo’, which Kate McCann claims in her book to have taken on Tuesday 1 May. However smart a computer may appear, it cannot refer for information to an event that has yet to take place.

At a stroke it becomes obvious that the 30 April version of the internet page in question (‘mccann.html’) must have been incomplete. In point of fact, no ‘screen shot’ of this file’s 30 April output has succeeded in revealing more than one photograph, plus a ‘broken link’ icon in respect of the other. Subsequent archivals by the WBM (on 13 May, for instance) include both pictures, which are reproduced without demur.

Had this file been ‘crawled’ in October and wrongly assigned as an April 30 record, then what until recently appeared to the viewer to be the earliest known instance of the file ‘mccann.html’, should have incorporated two photographs. It did not. In reality this file probably did not even exist beyond August 2007 and is highly unlikely to have featured in any October review by the WBM.

Even if one were to trace the history of the ‘two-picture page’ backward in time, with a view to offering up the fatuous argument that the WBM found a ‘broken link’ example only slightly earlier than 13 May and proceeded to drop that into its 30 April folder instead, that contention is still untenable, since the ‘crawls’ conducted by the WBM in this instance were two weeks apart (30 April – 13 May). As far as ‘computer glitch’ proponents are concerned, 13 May should have marked the file’s very first appearance among the WBM’s records, given that CEOP did not join the party until officially invited to do so on 7 May.

Instead we are brought back to the ‘Marsden scenario’ that first set alarm bells ringing. Until such time as its ‘minders’ completely re-work their indexing in this regard (and they will) the WBM self-evidently contained a record of CEOP file ‘mccann.html’ archived on 30 April, 2007 – four days before Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Even if we dismiss its contents, the very existence of such an entity is potentially incriminating.

But…but…but…how do we explain the contradictions inherent in that other file – the CEOP home-page with its Latest News from October? How did that come to be identified with April?

Answer: By accident or design. It matters not a jot, since we have already adduced evidence to establish that not all CEOP files were affected by whatever caused their home-page to experience a premonition. Whatever befell that page structure, it was an event unique to that document and basically irrelevant to the focal issue, which requires resolution.

Instead of bombarding the keepers of the Wayback Machine with questions concerning a problem they have never experienced, we should be asking Jim Gamble to explain how and why CEOP came to be preparing a ‘find me’ campaign for a girl who had yet to go missing.

Martin Roberts




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Parents Killed Maddie English Police Are Stupid


So reads the translation. But I beg to differ with the latter part of the observation.



Full size, right click open in new tab.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bring Out Your Dead: Dr Martin Roberts

Introduction

Many years ago, more years ago than what is acceptable in solving the solvable case surrounding the unlawful killing of Madeleine McCann, I opined.

I opined that out of the many theories proffered by many sharp thinkers, and some not so sharp, on the many forums that abounded at the time, that there was a very good chance, that unwittingly and unknowingly, someone had already offered a theory that essentially would answer, pretty well, the Madeleine conundrum. The conundrum of who, what, but doubtfully the why, the why of this case remaining a conundrum in its own right until such a time as the fat lady sings.

 That was then, but this is now. Now sees me doubting such former opinions. So much so in fact, that they are dismissed. To be replaced by what, you might ask? By something I like, the answer.

By something I like so much, it actually gives me the shivers. And the cause of said shivers; the latest offering of Dr Martin Roberts.

Before reading Dr Roberts' narrative, might I ask you to watch this short video clip, it being critical to the whole post? It is a well known clip, it depicts Kate McCann in what I once described as: what has to be the most unconvincing appeal by any mother of a missing child in the annals of history. Link

Wooden yes, but wooden for a reason, and it is here the plot thickens. But far be it for me to write a spoiler, much better you read Dr Roberts' essay.

But I will ask you to pay attention, not only to Kate McCann's message, that being the reason we are here, but to the actions of Gerry McCann.

Watch Gerry McCann throughout, including the sneaky look that passes from him to her, (1min 07secs) but I suggest you watch his hand in the first few seconds, then whizz it back and watch his face over the same period, You can’t watch hand and face simultaneously, it’s too quick.




Exclusive

Bring Out Your Dead
By Dr Martin Roberts
24 May 2015

During those dark, dreadful Middle-Ages, and afterwards, the wistful trundling of a cart, accompanied by melancholic appeals from its driver, signalled to the surviving residents of a rapidly dwindling metropolis that someone was at hand to relieve them of whatever corpse might now be menacing the health of their entire household. Nowadays we are more accustomed to bells announcing the arrival of ice cream, although the need for waste disposal in the 21st century has certainly not abated, as was made manifest in Portugal eight years ago.

Blogger, Tania Cadogan has once again drawn attention to the question of putrefaction, and the behaviour of dogs when presented with a pungent odour of any kind. Link

As any dog owner/handler will confirm, whether or not a canine is specifically trained to associate one or other smell with a particular innate behaviour, be it a wagging tail, a bark, or ‘pointing’ with its nose, it will smell (and inevitably notice) any odour of potential interest to it. (Anyone will hear a busker in the street, even if only a few recognise the tune). The dog’s decision either to ignore or investigate then becomes a function of the odour’s significance (to the dog) and/or its prior training in avoidance, as is the case with animals tasked with ‘tracking’ or ‘search and rescue’, among other specialisms, where common-or-garden aromas, including food waste, are ‘screened out’ at the training stage.

What Tania brings to the fore are the Police reports of early searches conducted in Praia da Luz, using dogs (variously described as ‘tracker’ or ‘search and rescue’ animals), in the aftermath of the McCanns’ announcement of their daughter Madeleine’s abduction; specifically the dogs’ deployment at the Ocean Club complex, where apartment 5J was noted to have been peculiarly provocative as far as these dogs were concerned, each of them separately introduced to its front door: two on the night of 7 May (c 23.00), four (two of either ‘discipline’) late in the evening of the 10th (c. 20.10).

The observations of GNR officers present at the first of these searches led directly to the second, during the course of which the conspicuous interest of the dogs in said apartment was confirmed. Whereas on the first occasion the apartment was merely ‘checked’ for any indication (by the dogs) of a missing (presumed alive) child, it was duly noted on the second visit, that whatever odour was attracting the animals it appeared to emanate from the vicinity of the fridge, the door of which was open. Inside was some rotting meat and vegetables. (Sound familiar?)

The invitation to move toward a conclusion here is nigh-on irresistible, and one that Tania herself understandably accepted. We may take a further step forward however.

It is apparent from the reports filed in respect of these two ‘sweeps’ of the Ocean Club, that the second was a more determined attempt to locate Madeleine McCann utilising the dogs, the first being somewhat speculative, since the animals were engaged outside of their normal operational parameters. As regards the first ‘check’, it is unclear whether the dogs or their GNR handlers proceeded beyond the front door even. No specific mention is made in the report, from that inspection, of the fridge, its door or its contents. What was recorded was the similarity of the first dogs’ reactions when passing the front doors of apartments 5A and 5J, the two animals having earlier been ‘primed’, as it were, by first sniffing Madeleine’s clothes.

What this suggests is that these two dogs at least, and quite possibly all of them eventually, reacted to the same odour, which was not that of rotting meat, but something else, since we know for certain that no rotting meat or vegetables were left on the premises at apartment 5A, where Rex and Zarus had each become somewhat agitated, afterwards exhibiting the same agitation once outside apartment 5J.

Whilst the exact status of the 5J fridge on the night of 7 May is unconfirmed, had it been closed at that time the first two dogs (Rex and Zarus) could not have smelt its contents, but will have been drawn to something else; so too the hounds that came after them.

Although an alternative continuity might be proposed, given the dogs were first introduced to certain of Madeleine McCann’s clothes, the supposition that they later, on this basis, indicated the transient presence in both apartments (5A and 5J) of Madeleine McCann , does not stand up to scrutiny. What would she have been doing in 5J in the first place, having been ‘abducted’ from downstairs, and why was she not still there on the 10th? Unless the ‘abductor’ had a professional connection to the Ocean Club, they could not have gained entry to one of its unoccupied (locked) apartments, much less incarcerate a small child in complete and utter silence for any length of time. Overnight perhaps. But the dogs, as we have seen, were drawn toward the fridge, not the bedroom.

An even more naïve interpretation might be that the dogs simply over-reacted to each of two different odours - Madeleine’s (emanating from 5A, naturally) and the meat left abandoned in 5J. However, since the dogs would have been trained to avoid ambient stimuli of no relevance to their ‘target’ scent, such an explanation goes only half-way. Furthermore, among the dogs introduced into apartment 5J were ‘search and rescue’ animals, trained, obviously, in the detection of human scent(s). There is no suggestion that the meat housed in the fridge was human flesh.

It is not unreasonable to infer therefore that these dogs (usually deployed for either ‘tracking’ or ‘search and rescue’ purposes), although not trained to react to the smell of a dead body necessarily, did exactly that at both apartments. As the PJ officers noted with respect to 5J (and as the files record), there must have been “some unusual odour, but which with all certainty did not have anything to do with the odour being searched for, but there must have been something strange inside”.

What may be distilled from all of this is the strong possibility that a corpse had been temporarily accommodated in apartment 5J of the Ocean Club. 5A and 5J shared something in common and it was not the smell of rotting meat. Nor was it the trace of a live child. And since we have available to us the results from a very specific canine examination of 5A subsequently, it is again not unreasonable to infer that the common odour (with 5J) was that of a dead body, not a live one.

Waste removal

And so to the communication between disposal operative and the recently bereaved. In this case it is not a matter of the former extending an invitation to the latter, but the converse.

At 2.00 p.m. on the afternoon of 7 May (the day the first of these dog-assisted searches was to take place), Kate McCann delivered a televised appeal to her daughter’s supposed abductor, with (so we are told by Kate in her book, ‘madeleine’) encouragement from British Embassy press officer Andy Bowes, together with Alex Woolfall, a PR crisis-management specialist from Bell Pottinger (UK). Said appeal was altogether extraordinary, not in terms of its delivery per se, but the manner in which it was worded, as noted fully six years ago (see: Who Were You With Last Night?, McCannfiles 31.7.2009). The written statement was as follows:

"We would like to say a few words to the person who is with our Madeleine, or has been with Madeleine.

“Madeleine is a beautiful, bright, funny and caring little girl. She is so special.

“Please, please do not hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please let us know where to find Madeleine, or put her in a place of safety and tell somebody where.

“We beg you to let Madeleine come home. We need our Madeleine. Sean and Amelie need Madeleine and she needs us.

“Please give our little girl back.

“Por favor, devolva a nossa menina. [Please give our little girl back]"

Read for the cameras by Kate McCann, It was intended to represent the heartfelt plea of a mother whose child had recently been abducted. But set these same words in the context of a parent who already knows their daughter to be dead and they take on an altogether different complexion. Who would ask for the return of dead body in any case?

Instead, Kate McCann is literally telling the person who has been looking after Madeleine to move her (‘put her in a place of safety’) – and on the very day the Police would later bring dogs to bear in searching the Ocean Club apartments!

If this should sound far-fetched, then consider her next instruction: ‘tell somebody where’.

Not, you will notice, ‘tell US where’, given that most desperate parents in anything like this sort of situation would wish to be the first to know. Kate McCann appears strangely nonchalant in contrast, as she suggests ‘the person’ (whom she does not know) first contact ‘someone’ (whom she doesn’t know either). Her use of the phrase ‘put her’ also indicates a change in Madeleine’s status from that of a happy-go-lucky, nearly four-year-old child.

As literal actions, ‘Putting’ and ‘placing’ are things we usually do with inanimate objects. Whilst the English language includes various expressions involving the putting and placing of people, these are usually figurative (e.g., ‘I put him in his place’, ‘He was placed second in the race’, etc.). Even if someone has to be ‘put down’ (having first been picked up) they are not themselves animated at that moment.

Since Kate McCann was reading from a prepared script, there seems little justification for her not using conventional idioms when asking Madeleine’s abductor to treat her with care and respect, i.e. ‘Please leave her’ (‘somewhere safe’, ‘where she will be safe’ or, ‘in a safe place’). ‘Put her in a place of safety’ is a most unnatural turn of phrase to use in the context as publicly understood.

The verbal corruption in fact arises from Kate’s initial temptation to say ‘place her’ (somewhere safe?), which she only narrowly avoids doing. But the word ‘place’, having thrust itself forward in her mind, proves impossible to ignore, and even supercedes the word ‘safe’ in what should have been the phrase ‘safe place’, had that phrase been correctly prepared in Kate’s mind. It wasn’t. Hence we hear: ‘or pla….put her in a place of safety.’

Translated, this is Kate’s (somewhat muddled) message to the operative, that they move Madeleine to a different place (they will already be somewhere) and let their own ‘fixer’, know the new location.

Even the ‘suggestion’ (by Andy Bowes) that part of the message be delivered in Portuguese has potentially more profound an implication than its simply being a straightforward attempt to cover all the bases.

The police and their dogs were admitted into 5J by a female representative of Mark Warner, who had a key. The apartment had been unoccupied for a considerable period of time. (So who left the meat in the fridge, and who opened the fridge door?)

Should it be accepted that a corpse occupied 5J for any period of time, the corollary that Ocean Club management staff enabled it to happen at some point becomes inevitable.

Immediately we have a scenario of third-party involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. As regards the chain of command, that ‘person with Madeleine’, would have been a ‘grunt’, whose identity was unknown to the McCanns – probably a Portuguese ‘grunt’ at that. Making the focal point of her little speech in Portuguese therefore would have been Kate’s best shot at seeing to it that her message reached its ultimate recipient.

The golden key

Apartment 5J of the Ocean Club appears to assume significance beyond its merely being vacant on the occasion of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. There are grounds for suspecting that it was used temporarily to house the infant Madeleine (although not as an abductee). For that to have happened, someone would have had to gain access, more than likely without the knowledge or consent of the apartment’s owner, who would have been elsewhere at the time. (The apartment was still unoccupied by 10 May)

The hypothesis that, come 7 May, the McCanns were keen on some re-location, lends a degree of support to the view that 5J may indeed have been a transient stop-over for their missing daughter. It has already been suggested elsewhere that such a location existed and that the McCanns had concerns about it – not so much the venue, as its proprietor – from as early as 25 May (See: That Key Bit Of Information, McCannfiles 24.1.2010).

The reports concerning the ‘searches’ conducted using the GNR’s tracker dogs, and afterwards ‘search and rescue’ animals, were not in fact written until 30 November that year, so there would not have been any publicly available ‘hard copy’ for the McCanns or anyone else to refer to. Why therefore might the McCanns, having successfully given the go-ahead for their daughter to be moved, harbour a serious on-going concern with respect to proprietors of empty properties in general, 5J the Ocean Club in particular?

Tania Cadogan concludes her piece on the subject with the statement: “If prints or DNA turned up from the McCanns, Maddie or any of the tapas group, I would be asking a lot of awkward questions.”

Given that the outcome of those searches, in terms of the behavioural pattern of the dogs, was known and clearly understood by those involved in planning and executing the task, is it not highly likely that the PJ subsequently proceeded to ask one or two ‘awkward questions’ themselves concerning apartment 5J? They were diligent enough after all to establish the ownership and movements of a particular vessel moored in Lagos Marina when it did not even go anywhere.

From what even we, the general public, can ascertain of these significant searches, it would seem almost a dereliction of duty had the PJ not identified the owner of the apartment, its last occupants (who may have been there on a holiday booking) and any interim service routines. And that would explain at a stroke why Gerry McCann appears to have been equally keen to do likewise.

~

Given the title of Dr Roberts' piece, I'm sure you will indulge me in a little satire? After all, what would a blog post be without a little satire*?



*For satire, read contempt. And for contempt, read Metropolitan Police.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

An Appeal on Behalf of Goncalo Amaral and Madeleine McCann





In a civil action, a Portuguese court, at the behest of Kate and Gerry McCann, ordered in 2009
that the assets of ex police coordinator, Goncalo Amaral, be seized. And to this day, remain seized.

This, as you can well imagine, has resulted in great personal hardship for Goncalo Amaral, his ability to effectively defend himself and to further seek the truth about the fate of Madeleine McCann.

If you feel affronted by this unprecedented attack on the freedom of speech, the civil and human rights of both Goncalo Amaral and Madeleine McCann, then might I ask you, if you are so disposed, to make a contribution to the defence fund of Goncalo Amaral.

In doing so, not only will you be helping fight an injustice of epic proportions, but ultimately you will help bring about justice for Madeleine McCann.

The same justice for Madeleine, that Goncalo Amaral has championed since 2007.

Thank You.

http://pjga.blogspot.pt/ About (Paypal)

http://www.gofundme.com/legal-defencepjga (credit card)

Which only leaves me to gladly throw another few bob into the pot.




Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop’s libel appeal
Portugalpress May 07, 2015

After what many consider the bombshell of a judicial decision – setting record damages for a private Portuguese citizen – British supporters of former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral are rallying en-masse to a “gofundme” online appeal – started intriguingly by a young British woman who was only 14 when Madeleine McCann went missing. In less than a week, 22-year-old Leanne Baulch’s appeal has raised over £9,200. British media has slated it – suggesting it is powered by “sick online trolls”. The Resident follows this fast-developing story which shows no sign of losing pace.

If anything, the impetus now is to find a “high-profile donor” – someone “prepared to underwrite the legal costs” that Amaral faces as he appeals against the judge’s decision that awarded record damages against him in the long-running civil action for defamation taken out by the McCanns over his book The Truth of the Lie.

Slapping Amaral with a bill that tops €600,000 all told, Express on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Judge Emília Melo e Castro has effectively “ruined and shamed” the man who led the original police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

The Sun was equally scathing, describing 56-year-old Amaral as a “lie cop” in its exposé of what it described as a “sick online campaign”.

But the publicity seems to have “backfired”, Leanne Baulch tells us.

One couldn’t say people are digging “deep” into their pockets, as many donations are for small amounts – but it is certainly a “mass fork out”, with multiple commentaries refuting mainstream media’s slur that these people are “trolls”.

A donor by the name of Emma Mitchell, giving £100, wrote: “Shame on you The Sun… Keep fighting GA, Madeleine deserves justice and so do you.”

Another added her contribution, saying: “From yet another ‘nasty internet troll’ keep on fighting GA, we are behind you all the way.”

Comments on stories posted on our portugalresident.com website also show readers reacting to the insinuation that “anyone who questions the abduction theory” is a troll.

Calling it a “total disgrace”, Jayne Staveley suggests that The Sun’s reporters “are still in primary school”.

But the tragedy behind these comments is that while Madeleine’s parents have always maintained their civil action against Amaral was “never about the money”, it is now becoming more and more clear how important a role money has taken on in this case.

Miss Baulch’s appeal – an extension of the long-running Portuguese “Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral” fund to which she stresses she has “no access whatsoever” – has set out to raise £25,000. As we wrote, donations were steadily flowing in, with over 500 people having raised £9,205 in six days.

Questioned about whether she imagined she would get such a response, the single-mother from Birmingham told us: “I had no idea. I was just desperate to help. I didn’t expect the media to get involved. The Sun and Express reporting shocked me, but it backfired!”

McCann “hate dossier” will “not result in any prosecutions”

As Amaral is thus buoyed by this latest bid to raise money to help him, British media has been carrying 8th anniversary “Madeleine disappearance” stories, including new “revelations” about a string of burglaries on the Praia da Luz resort from which Madeleine went missing.

These burglaries are presented as adding weight to the British police theory that Madeleine may have been abducted as a result of a botched burglary.

But noteworthy when considering mainstream media’s preoccupation with “vile trolls” is the report by Sky news, coming in last week, that the so-called “hate dossier” that hit the headlines eight months ago is not going to result in any prosecutions.

The dossier – which led to the suicide of grandmother Brenda Leyland after she was ‘outed’ as a so-called troll on live television – had been delivered to Leicester Police by what Sky described as an “anonymous source”.

Keenly involved in the story, Sky’s crime expert Martin Brunt claimed that the anonymous source (or sources) have reacted with “absolute dismay” at the decision not to prosecute.

“They say it is tantamount to giving trolls carte blanche to carry on abusing the McCanns,” he wrote.

“Although we haven’t heard directly from the McCanns, I’m sure they too will be astonished because… Gerry McCann said such trolls should be prosecuted.”

As we wrote this story, a new comment appeared on the gofundme site, signed from “MA”: “Dr Amaral, my pledge is to pay an apology fine for every article I see that is biased and un-factual on your behalf. Today’s fine is on behalf of the Express for their use of “troll” “shamed” and “sickening”. source

By Natasha Donn natasha.donn@algarveresident.com



Maddie cop’s legal fund “well on the way” to the €25,000 target
Portugal Press on May 11, 2015
By Natasha Donn

Within 11 days, the British fighting fund set up to help the former policeman dubbed by UK media as the “Maddie Lie Cop” has reached over €13,000.

The target - set by young psychology student Leanne Baulch who was only 14 at the time Madeleine McCann went missing - is now less than €11,000 away, and donations are coming in bit by bit every few hours.

The extraordinary aspect of this latest appeal is that it has been taken up by so many and no matter what the size of donations, people show their feelings that Amaral has been “badly treated” for reasons no-one appears able to fathom.
Indeed, the €500,000 damages set by judge Emília Melo e Castro, plus the further €106,000 in interest - all destined to compensate the parents of Madeleine for the distress Amaral’s book The Truth of the Lie caused them - are reported to be the highest ever awarded against a Portuguese citizen.

With questions constantly appearing on the fund website asking “what is being covered up”, Brits are giving in droves, with donors ranging from grandparents to young people who were teenagers at the time Madeleine went missing.
One of the most recent of the 819 givers was grandmother Kathleen Conell who deposited her £50 saying: “I worry about your safety and only wish someone wealthy with courage would adopt your cause. The corruption in both the UK and Portuguese establishments must be stopped. Democracy is finished otherwise.”

As this latest example of “people-power” righting what they see is a wrong plays out, the mainstream British media is making much of the so-called string of burglaries that appears to have taken place on the resort from which Madeleine went missing just over eight years ago.

Sunday Express writer James Murray has written that British police “have established a pattern of attacks on children in the Algarve… which could lead to a host of other sordid crimes being solved”.

It’s a line that has surfaced every now and then in this infinite mystery and which many query, as if there truly had been a spate of attacks on children in the Algarve, the feeling is that local and national media would have heard about them.
As a source told us this week, what were originally described as “five or six cases, then morphed into over a dozen and suddenly exploded into 30 cases or so, if we are to believe the UK media”.

Meantime, the instigator of the British appeal fund raising money for Amaral’s appeal tells us she has been approached by a number of UK newspapers, but none of them are keen to write about her effort until it reaches the €25,000 target. source

Sunday, May 03, 2015

A Word In Your Ear


Dr Martin Roberts analyses the recent Portuguese court ruling.


By Dr Martin Roberts
01 May 2015

WATCH THAT SPACE

By now, thanks to the hurried efforts of Dona Isabel Duarte, the entire Western world has been given the news of the McCanns' successful litigation against Dr. Goncalo Amaral. What will not have been fully explained to the media of course is that the judge in this instance had virtually to invent a reason for awarding them anything at all, much less the astronomical sum announced.

£375,000 may represent the extent of the McCanns' demands with respect to themselves, but it far and away exceeds any comparable award so far by a Portuguese court to a Portuguese. In addition, the arguments advanced as a justification are not merely weak, they are in error. It's as though, if the good lady judge were a mathematician she would be in the habit of reading graphs upside down!

The decision to award the sum demanded was based, not on the evidence heard, but an essay in Jurisprudence, researched by the arbitrator herself, in which Goncalo Amaral is portrayed as a public servant subject to restriction, as though he had signed the Portuguese equivalent of the Official Secrets Act. For balance, courts too are obliged to observe the presumption of innocence in any statement they might make concerning suspects under investigation, so as not to prejudice or jeopardize any prosecution.

In the event that a public official is not sworn to secrecy, exactly how long must they be 'out of office' before they are allowed to comment upon anything contentious? The final decision of this court was supposed to have been given in private, so no blame could be attached to any official statement emanating from it. But what about evidence given at previous hearings? Might not the (publicly reported) statements of such as PJ Inspector Ricardo Paiva be viewed as 'prejudicial to the presumption of innocence'? No castigation offered in that direction though, eh?

In sum, and based upon legal precedent, apparently, we have the duty of a public servant (and others) toward a suspect under investigation, levied against a man no longer in public office, and on behalf of two people who are not suspects, not being investigated, and in no imminent danger of standing trial for anything at all. Does that make any sense?

There are two very clear (and opposing) schools of thought concerning the relationship or otherwise between Operation Grange and the McCann/Amaral stand-off being progressed through the civil courts. This latest decision, evaluated in complete isolation, is nigh-on inexplicable – except when viewed in a context of suitability.

Monetarily, the McCanns benefit, and beyond what should have been their wildest expectations in the wake of the evidence previously heard by this court. But it was never about the money, so they say. There is also the glaring anomaly of the judge, hearing a case for damages, suddenly and inexplicably making a pronouncement concerning Goncalo Amaral's book, quite beyond her judicial remit, taking it upon herself to reverse the earlier decision of a higher court and citing her own research as justification!

Again the McCanns benefit, but they are not alone.

Imagine the difficulty facing the decision makers behind Operation Grange, should the damages awarded the McCanns have genuinely reflected the evidence heard and assessed in Lisbon. How does one justify closing down a review/investigation that has just eaten up four years and £10 million, having identified neither abductor nor evidence of abduction, if the bottom line, as last defined in Portugal, was that the McCanns' claims were worth 'tuppence' and The Truth of the Lie is not only legitimate, but accurate!

As far as the case is concerned, the McCanns did not win the argument. The result however is very much 'against the run of play'. It not only supports, albeit tenuously, their claims of victory, but extends to promote the conclusion that Goncalo Amaral's published remarks, and by implication the concomitant (and troublesome) observations made by the original (Portuguese) process, are in error.

Suddenly, and with fiscal testimony to the illegitimacy of Amaral's reasoning (and by implication the PJ's original position) the counterweight to the McCanns' claims of abduction has been lifted once more. Hence Scotland Yard can relax in the understanding that their investigating a case of abduction was appropriate all along.

Whether Goncalo Amaral appeals the decision at this stage is secondary and largely irrelevant, given the time delay involved. The fact remains that the Grange curtain can be brought down now, courtesy of a judge who has seen fit to portray the McCanns as injured parties, not on account of the evidence, but in spite of it.

DCI Redwood has retired, just as he was on the verge of cracking the biggest abduction case since the Lindbergh baby, DCI Nicola Wall has been brought in to answer the 'phone, and the McCanns, with their eyes focussed on another big pay day, propose to continue where Operation Grange is shortly to leave off (according to Clarence Mitchell at least, and he should know).

If a UK diplomat can influence the direction of a police investigation conducted on foreign soil, there is no reason whatever to believe that 'sweet nothings' cannot be whispered into the ear of a foreign judge, even after a case hearing is concluded, allowing the McCanns to continue searching for their daughter in the same fashion as Hercules, who stubbornly insisted on looking for his dead chum Hylas, whose body lay buried beneath the shattered bronze remains of a Titan (according to Ray Harryhausen at least). We don't yet know what Madeleine is buried under.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Mummy Mummy What Does a Hack Look like?

Update below.

Well sweetheart, there are those that come in tins . .


and there are those that don't.


And there are some that come all singing, all dancing.



And it is of the all singing, all dancing, that we are going to take a little look at today.

Now unless you have been living in a MSM newsroom (BBC included) for the last fourteen years, you may have come to your own conclusion, that there is something not quite kosher with the official narrative as to what happened on that world changing day, the day of America's new Pearl Harbour, September 11 2001.  

Far beit for me to set before you examples gleaned from the terabytes of data already writ on the subject, your tent is already pitched in the reality camp, or it is pitched in the official camp,the camp where our two featured hacks are firmly ensconced. What ever you may believe, it is not my purpose here today, to try and convince you otherwise. Rather it is to look at some of research claims, and integrity if you wish, of our chosen hacks, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan.


The Truth is Out There

Saturday, September 10, 2011
By Jonathan deBurca Butler

Pile upon pile of files are laid out on the floor or hastily stacked up on the writing desk.

The only dash of colour is the pink and yellow post-it-notes that peek out from the heaving folders. Some carry obscure reference numbers, others recognisable words like ‘Taliban’, ‘Clinton’, and ‘Al Qaeda’.

Stuck to the frame of a large, light-giving window is a pleasant, black-and-white photo of the couple smiling. Below it is the cover of their latest book, The Eleventh Day, with the dramatic picture of the vomiting explosion that followed the crashing of American Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower of The World Trade Center at 9.03am on September 11, 2001.

Their study-library is the type of room for which an anxious parent might scold an obsessively studious teenage child. In the case of Summers and Swan, it is the other way around.

“Every night, we come back into the house, sit down at the dinner table [with their three teenage children] and start talking about September 11,” says Swan. “And then Tony looks up at me and says to the children, ‘We’re not going to talk about the book now.’ And they don’t believe us.”

For the last five years, from their base and home near Cappoquin in Co Waterford, Summers and Swan have been investigating and writing about the most infamous day in modern history.

It has been a tough slog. Summers, who was born in London and whose father was from Kerry, has lived in the area since 1973. Having worked for the BBC in war zones, he was offered the opportunity to write a book on the Romanovs in the early 1970s, which he thought “might earn enough to get me a new car.” It topped the bestsellers list and afforded him the choice of his own work. Several successful books followed; later, while researching a book on J Edgar Hoover, in Washington, Summers met Swan, who was then working for The London Independent.

“Well, Tony hired me to be his researcher,” says Swan. “He claimed it was going to be two weeks’ worth of work. And it ended up being two years. And when he could no longer afford to pay me, he offered to marry me.”

Swan, who was born and raised in Connecticut, says that moving from the capital of the USA to the somewhat more easygoing and sleepy Waterford countryside was a culture shock.

“Moving from a big city, where everything was happening, to the back-of-nowhere was hard,” she says. “But now I treasure the back-of-nowhere and I wouldn’t change it. I’m never, ever sorry that I did it.”

The couple’s home is situated opposite an early 19th century castle, on the River Blackwater. In this somewhat idyllic setting, they have worked on numerous books and biographies, including Official and Confidential: The Secret Lives of J Edgar Hoover and The Arrogance of Power: The Secret Life of Richard Nixon.

In the era of 24-hour-news, quick-fix facts and panting, speculative conclusions, Summers and Swan stand out as champions of old-school journalism based on diligence and digging around.

Really?  champions of old-school journalism based on diligence and digging around.

“It’s no longer feasible to spend the amount of time that we would typically spend on a book anymore,” says Swan. “This book we turned out more quickly [than usual], although it still took the guts of five years. But, you can’t have it both ways. And this is a product of the internet. The problem with the internet is that they expect you to turn out beautiful copy that’s new, and breaks news while sitting in your house doing nothing except reading other stories on the internet.
 Quite.
“But that’s not how good journalism is done. We go down the road, we interview people, we read thousands of documents and spend a lot of time on the phone, but at the end of the day we have to think, we produce the goods.”

Ah so! That's how it's done is it?.  But that’s not how good journalism is done. We go down the road, we interview people*

 We go down the road, we interview people* Do you really? I'm glad you've cleared that one up. But pray forgive me if I mark this lesson in good journalism with a small * Should I forget.

As for producing the goods, might you afford me the question; for whom?

In the case of The Eleventh Day, they most certainly do. It is a compelling (and often harrowing) read from start to finish and with 116 pages of notes and sources listed at the end, it is clear that this tome was a labour of love for both writers.

“We saw that all sorts of sane people were actually confused,” says 68-year-old Summers. “And what we do for a living is take controversial cases or people, and as an old friend of mine used to say, pick them up by their ankles and shake them to see what change comes out. So it sounds like a cliché, but we were trying to get at that elusive thing called ‘something like the truth’.”

Confused are they? Poor souls. ‘something like the truth’ But the actual truth?

One of the strongest aspects of this investigation is how it debunks the conspiracy theorists; people and academics who believe that the Bush administration was involved with the attacks. “We thought we’d poke around and see what we got,” says Summers. “And, in the end, we found nothing. And, really, the conspiracy theorists’ theories do not stand up, they’re not backed by the evidence. And it has blurred a whole lot of it that is serious.”

By academics, am I to assume that includes Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth? One of the strongest aspects of this investigation is how it debunks the conspiracy theorists; people and academics But you are probably right, there being only 2,343 of them and two of you.

“And, in the end, we found nothing. Fancy! And, really, the conspiracy theorists’ theories do not stand up, they’re not backed by the evidence. No? But then that's the trouble with conspiracy theorists (and haters) all the trouble they go to, when all they have to do is read one of your books. Aren't they silly?

“We felt that we owed it to these people who were looking at the internet and reading these [conspiracy] books to turn the whole thing upside down and subject it to hard treatment,” says Swan.

 We felt that we owed it to these people who were looking at the internet and reading Your altruism knows no bounds.

That hard treatment does not in any way let the Bush administration off the hook. The administration comes across as incompetent, hot-headed, and, in the case of facing down Iraq but never asking questions of other more-economically powerful Arab states, frightened.

Within hours of the attacks, the administration, much to the disbelief of high-ranking intelligence agents, was targeting Iraq. It was later proved that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks on September 11. Indeed, Osama bin Laden despised the Iraqi leader.

The chapters dealing with bin Laden show him to be a complex character; at one moment intelligent and charismatic, at others a childish bully, but always a religious zealot. The book also reveals that the intelligence agencies knew of the arrival of one, if not two, of the terrorists before the attacks, but failed to act.

There are insights into chief terrorist Mohamed Atta and the other 18 self-proclaimed martyrs and it becomes abundantly clear that their motive was Palestine — something Summers says “people in the States need to understand.”

“We want people to read this book because, to be quite honest, this was a cataclysmic event for the world,” says Swan.

We want people to read this book You don't say? You wanted people to read another of your books quite recently, how did that work out for you?

“It has shaped all of our lives. It has shaped the lives of our children and it will continue to do so. And they should have their lives shaped by the truth, as far as we can know it. People should know what to be afraid of and what not to be afraid of, and know what the lessons are from this and not have them peddled by an administration or by fantasists.”

 The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan is published by Random House Irish Examiner

And now a little look at what set the ball rolling. The audio clip I had listened to previously, but it wasn't until my colleague and researcher, Maren, a lady from the Netherlands, came up with the article, did the whole thing come together.


Answers on a postage stamp please.





Sometimes it's what you don't do that speaks volumes. Or in this particular instance, it's not what's there that's telling, rather it's what isn't there that screams from the rooftops.

The blog of Anthony Summers & Robbyn Swan Where you will be rather hard pressed to find any mention of:


Odd that.



Update: Where to begin?

Perhaps by stating that when I opined about the rubbish some people write, it was at the time, without association to our chosen subjects, Summers and Swan.

Let me set the tone.

Further our discussion on the properties of aircraft aluminium.

People do write some shite.

In the case of the 757 that hit the Pentagon, one wing hit the building and the other was forced off by the impact with the building’s load-bearing columns. The remains of the plane then entered into the building in a state “closer to a liquid than a solid mass.”

Close to a liquid than a solid mass. Utter shite in fact. It's not a pie tin from the corner shop we are talking about, it's aircraft Aluminium. For want of a better but less technical description, it's as hard as fuckin' iron.

To cut a long story short, the scribbler of said merde, non other than establishment shills for 9/11, Popular Mechanics.

Debunking Popular Mechanics: Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth link

Popular Mechanics' Assault on 9/11: Truth 9/11 Research.net link

Although at the end of the piece, I did utter this tongue-in-cheek remark:

 Can’t help but wonder how much of the content of Summers and Swan book is attributable to Popular Mechanics?

So dear reader, if you have managed to guess what's coming and think there may be a prize for doing such? Sorry, we don't give out prizes for easy peasy.

Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report - The Pentagon
Mete Sozen: Why wasn't the hole as wide as a 757's 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn't punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon's load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass. "If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building," Sozen tells PM, "it didn't happen." Popular Mechanics

No, but you might expect a few broken widows in the area of impact. Which of course, there were none.


Truthers and Consequences: The Trouble with Dean Hartwell’s “Perspective”

Turning to the crash of American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hartwell complains that we do not say at what time the mangled debris – some with AA markings – “arrived” on the Pentagon lawn. The Eleventh Day, however, contains several eyewitness accounts of an American Airlines plane crashing into the Pentagon, as well as a detailed explanation of the disintegration of the plane on impact by the respected engineering professor Mete Sozen. Even a casual reading of this information makes it obvious that it was after this impact that the debris arrived – to use Hartwell’s word – on the Pentagon lawn. Anthony Summers & Robbyn Swan

Nice quote. Nice research.

And you wonder why your work of fiction on Madeleine McCann was pulled to pieces?

Try being less of a hack.

As well as.



A sweeping flourish of the bonnet to Maren. Research.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

On Web Anonymity


In light of recent tragic events, those that involved the trolling of Brenda Leyland for numerous years (yes numerous) by the cult of McCann followers, prompts me to up part of a previous post on the subject of net anonymity.

I include in those trolls, former head of the CEOP and McCann shill extraordinaire, Jim Gamble. Whose role in the sordid yet tragic affair, is far from that of innocent bystander.

I could include others, those sad little people and inadequates, who think knowledge of someone's private details, and the constant quest to obtain such must be said, brings to their sad little lives, some feeling of importance. Well it doesn't, all it does is endorse the conclusion that folks have already arrived at; that you are pathetic. And to such a degree, as to render you peerless.


To the article then, featuring non other than, Tony Bennett, but more importantly, his best mucker, Peter Mac.

Cut for editing.
. . . But what did strike me about this monumental tribute to one man's mania was, controversy, controversy on a scale unimaginable, and to such a degree that one might suspect that it too was desired in its own right by this strange creature. Or am I overlooking the obvious, the controversy being just another fuel to add to the lime, producing a light of such incandescent brilliance as could only be welcomed by an attention whore of Bennett's proportions.

Struck similarly throughout these many noble causes, were a penultimate culmination of words that invariably involved a phrase such: send cheque for £s to.... and it is here we come to the essence of my little story, the reason it is being writ in the first place.

Inferring that writing behind a pseudonym and not publishing my address, somehow makes me less a writer, somehow cowardly, and that I take sensible precautions against nutjobs, and God alone knows how many of those this case attracts, showing up on my doorstep, somehow less of a man, and this by two posters both using pseudonyms by the way. Two posters on Bennett's Forum, the one Jill Havern started, but now where Bennett holds court in his personal fiefdom. Those two comments elicited a third, here it is below.

PeterMac Jan 10, 2011

Hear , hear. I support you absolutely.
Mr Bennett is possibly the only one of all the people who blog on pro-McCann or pro-Truth sites who gives his full name, address, telephone number, and email.
For that alone he stands head and shoulders above us all. (Does he really you dense fuck?)
(for the record I am Peter MacLeod, a retired Police Superintendent from Nottinghamshire, and I live in Spain at Finca la Guzmana, which you can find on the internet)

Once a thick copper, always a thick copper I guess. yes Peter Mac, Mr Bennett is the only one who gives his full name, address, telephone number, and email. and that's just the point.

Never have I seen a person's personal details given out so freely in so many places, the net is littered with this idiots little labels of self promotion, and that is exactly what they are.

I will defy anybody to search the web and find me another private individual who self promotes himself and his home address like this oddity does. Any person you like on the whole wide web, see if you can find me one.

Five comments from the original article, and as germane as any part of this post, if not more so in fact.
You might pay  particular attention to my own last comment, because that is what net anonymity is all about. Heaven forbid, that such a thing as I describe should come pass, although entirely in the realm of the possible. But it is the far simpler thing that any of us might mention in real time via social media, that then becomes a problem. I/you want to be able to say, I'm out for the day, without every scally within a hundred miles knowing my/your house is empty.


The first from the much treasured and never forgotten Linda Baki. Whose input to this travesty, without even considering the state of her health, can only be described as, mighty.


SteelMagnolia 21 February 2011 at 09:43

Posting names and addresses on the Internet is a very dangerous game for everyone. No one knows who reads these blogs, who is monitoring and what is really behind the McCann scam, for the McCanns are con artists, tricksters and allowed to continue in such mode.

It appears the PR has started and the move is onto the States where I feel a look alike of the photofit shall appear.

As we all know today's friend, is tomorrows enemy and that enemy who now has your details will more than not post them on the Internet.

Trust and friendship, hard to find in the real world, more so in cybersphere. ONLY a fool gives out private details, do we not tell our children this ?

Anonymous 21 February 2011 at 09:48

You would think a retired officer of the law would have more sense than to tell you the name of his Finca. As for Bennett, well Bennett's Bennett!! Hated and despised it would appear but it does not seem to bother him in fact I believe he enjoys the attention.

Bennett loves an audience and one day when he falls out with Jill, which is sure to happen the faithful followers will leave her high and dry.

Anonymous 21 February 2011 at 14:48

They are a load of twonks, why do you waste your talent when you are worthy of so much more? You are a writer something to be proud of.

Himself 21 February 2011 at 15:14

Because I take incredible exception to having the piss taken by a young earth creationist.

I cannot think of any analogy that comes anywhere near close to describing the scale of such an insult.

Himself 21 February 2011 at 21:03
What I cannot help but wonder in all this, is what his missus thinks of it all. Firstly that he goes orf gallivanting around the country tilting at windmills, and secondly, being left, presumably on her own, when all the while, half the world knows his address and phone number.

What's the usual MO, Mister shitferbrains, Peter MacLeod, retired Police Superintendent, for house invasion/robbery/rape/murder knowing a woman might be alone in the house, is it something like: ring ring Hello, is Tony there?

For that alone he stands head and shoulders above us all.

Now that wouldn't be too hard of a thing to do would it?

I could say you're about as much a retired Police Superintendent as I am, but that would be far too forgiving, better in fact, that I say you probably are.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Corruption Here Corruption There Corruption Everywhere Madeleine McCann Met Police





A fellow with two neurons bolted together, might come to the conclusion that Madeleine McCann wasn't expected home anytime soon.
 

I don't normally lift entire articles, especially those written by self serving hacks. In this particular instance, that being, assistant editor of the Daily Mail, Neil Darbyshire.

Not that my own reasons for posting the article aren't self serving. Anything that might bring about a road to Damascus moment for those that harbour unwarranted faith in the integrity of  the Metropolitan Police Service, is I think, justifiable. It is specifically in relation to the investigation (sic) into the missing (deceased) Madeleine McCann, that I speak. And lo, the scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he finally saw the true light.

As I say, the article is self serving. So ere on the side of caution when presented with the writer's opinion. Typified in all its glory by the last paragraph.

Tell me how that one has worked out so far. Again in relation to the death of Madeleine McCann.



The shocking truth about police corruption in Britain

It’s a growing problem. But they’re hunting whistleblowers instead
                           Neil Darbyshire 7 March 2015



Imagine you lived in a country which last year had 3,000 allegations of police corruption. Worse, imagine that of these 3,000 allegations only half of them were properly investigated — because for police officers in this country, corruption was becoming routine. Imagine that the police increasingly used their powers to crack down not on criminals but on anyone who dared speak out against them. What sort of a country is this? Well, it’s Britain I’m afraid — where what was once the finest, most honest service in the world is in danger of becoming rotten.

Some of this was revealed in a little-noticed report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which went on to deliver some even more shocking news. Nearly half of 17,200 officers and staff surveyed said that if they discovered corruption among their colleagues and chose to report it, they didn’t believe their evidence would be treated in confidence and would fear ‘adverse consequences’. This appalling lack of protection for whistle-blowers — often amounting to persecution — has become commonplace throughout the public services and creates a climate in which dishonesty and malpractice flourish.

The second report, compiled by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, bears this out. It says there has been a sharp increase over the past five years in the number of police officers dealing heroin, cocaine and amphetamines and an equally startling rise in the number of officers abusing their power ‘for sexual gratification’ — in other words bullying or cajoling suspects, witnesses and even victims into having sex with them.

Just this week, in fact, it emerged that the Met suspended 73 coppers, community support officers and other staff on corruption charges in the past two years. They cited drug crimes, bribery, theft, fraud, sexual misconduct and — everybody’s favourite — un-authorised disclosure of information. Eleven were convicted in court, but what happened to the others? The Met spokesman said rather blandly that some were allowed to resign or retire (presumably with full pension rights) and some were dismissed.

This rise in corruption and the apparent reluctance of police chiefs to fight it is a toxic combination. As ever, chief constables blame lack of resources for not being able to pursue inquiries into claims of malpractice. But what could be a greater priority than ensuring that their own officers are not breaking the law? These same police chiefs seem to find endless funds to pursue ancient sex abuse allegations, chase people who say unpleasant things on Twitter and prosecute journalists.

The vast majority of Britain’s police do a sometimes extremely arduous job with honesty, skill and good humour. But corruption left unchecked can infect entire forces. Anyone who doubts this need only study the lessons of the not-too-distant past.

Forty-five years ago the Times splashed across its front page a sensational story that led ultimately to what became known as ‘The Fall of Scotland Yard’. Under the headline ‘London policemen in bribe allegations’, it revealed a tale.

The story, backed by taped conversations, bluntly accused three Yard detectives of planting evidence and taking back-handers from criminals ‘in exchange for dropping charges, being lenient with evidence in court, and for allowing a criminal to work unhindered’. If it had been just those three rogue officers, the story might quickly have been forgotten. But the tapes hinted at a far more endemic culture of graft and criminality.of corruption that came as a profound shock to a nation accustomed to seeing its constabulary through the prism of Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars. A leading criminal lawyer of the time remarked: ‘It was like catching the Archbishop of Canterbury in bed with a prostitute.’

Over the next few years, the Obscene Publications Squad was exposed as a tawdry protection racket extracting regular tithes from pornographers and Soho club-owners; drugs squad officers were shown to be running illegal cannabis deals; and half the Flying Squad was in the pay of criminals. These were not the clandestine activities of a few low-ranking detectives on the take. Whole squads were involved and the seniority of some of those taken down at the Old Bailey was shocking. In the words of trial judge Mr Justice Mars-Jones, it was ‘corruption on a scale that beggars description’.

The exposures of these corruption rackets had one thing in common — they were all revealed in the first place by the efforts of Britain’s free press. But these journalists could not have achieved all they did without the help of whistleblowers. Some of these were pornographers and criminals tired of being milked and intimidated, but others were rank and file police officers disgusted by the greed and criminality of so many of their peers.

The tragedy is that 40 years on, honest policemen in a similar position would fear arrest and imprisonment for even approaching a journalist without permission, despite the clear public interest in their doing so.

The police appear to be retreating into a bunker of secrecy and paranoia where all news must be ‘managed’ and freedom of information is considered a threat. On its website — alongside some vacuous rubbish about ‘declaring total war on crime’ — the Met claims to be committed to carrying out its duties with ‘humility’ and ‘transparency’.

Could anything be further from the truth? With its constant leak inquiries, harassment of whistleblowers and journalists, and scandalous misuse of terror legislation to tap the phone records and emails of ordinary citizens, the Met is probably more authoritarian and opaque than at any time in modern history. This culture comes directly from the top.

Being Commissioner of the Met has long been the most difficult job in policing, but there have been some good ones. Robert Mark, the Normandy veteran who cleaned out the Yard’s Augean stables in the 1970s; Ken Newman, a steely, austere man who served in Palestine during the emergency and headed the Royal Ulster Constabulary before re-organising the Met into a modern force; and the thoughtful Paul Condon, whose tenure came to a turbulent end with the Stephen Lawrence inquiry but who was arguably the cleverest of the lot. Each had his strengths and weaknesses but they all knew that a free, well-informed press was a cornerstone of policing in a democracy. Informal contact was generally encouraged, and in more than ten years as a crime correspondent in the 1980s and 1990s, I don’t recall a single leak inquiry or junior officer being disciplined for passing information to newspapers in good faith.

These men had respect for the office of constable — not least because they had all spent years on the front line before rising through the ranks. And they believed that part of their duty of accountability was to keep the public properly informed of what they were doing and why.

The present generation of police chiefs come from a very different breed. Fast-tracked and homogenised from an early stage, they can be difficult to tell apart. Often laden with degrees in law, business and ‘criminology’ accumulated during their police careers, they are more managers than police officers — managers of budgets, managers of public relations and, most importantly, managers of risk to their own careers. They speak in the obscure, vapid jargon of stakeholder engagement, paradigm shifts and proactivity. So much for transparency.

The present Met chief, Bernard Hogan-Howe, is of this ilk. He may develop into a great commissioner but the signs so far have not been promising. He has a pet theory which he calls ‘total policing’ (apparently based on the ‘total football’ played by Holland in the 1970s). It’s mainly harmless drivel about coppers having to play in all positions. But it contains an extremely sinister subtext. Explaining the philosophy a few years ago, he said it meant that ‘no legal tactic is out of bounds’ in the investigation of crime. Reasonable enough, one might think at first glance, but the problem with this catchy little mantra is that it takes no account of proportionality.

One of Hogan-Howe’s first moves after arriving at the Met was to use the Official Secrets Act to try to compel a Guardian journalist to reveal the source of a story about celebrity phone hacking. The Official Secrets Act is meant principally to be used to trap spies, traitors and those who threaten the defence of the realm — not reporters going about their legitimate business. This was a disproportionate and oppressive use of the law.

Similarly, legislation designed to combat terrorism and serious crime, such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, is used with alarming frequency by Hogan-Howe and other police chiefs to snoop on the internet and phone records of law-abiding citizens. This is the tactic of the police state. Not so much total policing as totalitarian policing.

Naturally, the ‘total policeman’ also favours more armed officers on routine duties, more Tasers and the mainland deployment of water cannon to disperse rioters, despite the fact that its use in Northern Ireland tended to inflame tensions rather than cool them. He also favours police officers being taken off the electoral roll and not wearing their uniforms on the way to and from duty shifts.The rise in Islamist terrorism has increased the threat level for soldiers and the police and sensible measures must be taken to combat that. But just as great a threat was posed over 30 years by the Provisional IRA and its offshoots without panic reactions. Hogan-Howe appears to be taking the police away from being a service and back towards being a coercive force. This is starkly demonstrated by the pursuit of journalists in the wake of the baleful Leveson inquiry. It has been driven to the point of absurdity, with up to 200 officers involved at one time and dozens of hapless hacks put before the courts, some on the flimsiest of charges.

All this has wider implications for the integrity of the police. One of the consequences of a heavy-handed police leadership stretching the law and using their power to bully and intimidate is that rank and file officers are encouraged to think they can do the same. Once ordinary officers start abusing power, a culture of semi-criminal behaviour becomes normal and whistleblowers are treated not as honourable but as traitors.

Judging from the recent reports, this may already be happening to an alarming degree around the country. The lessons of history suggest that if police chiefs are serious about neutralising the threat of corruption, they will need the help and support of the press. They will only get it if they start talking to journalists — instead of looking for reasons to arrest them. Spectator

Neil Darbyshire is an assistant editor at the Daily Mail. He is a former deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, where he was crime correspondent for many years.