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Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

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Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 20.05.16 6:40

With thanks to Tigger:


Thursday, 19 May 2016


VISIT TO PRAIA DA LUZ


Part one of three:

1.Visit to Praia da Luz 
2. Smiths, Exton, SY and the e-fits 
3. Ask the dogs.... 







Entering  PdL:  as is often the case, roads leading into a place convey an air of neglect, this is the case with PdL but further towards the centre of the village the holiday flats and villas are neat and well maintained.  However, it is a very small place and the locations so often seen in the press seemed at least twice as large on  photographs as they actually are. Without exception, the distances given in ‘madeleine’ and even in ‘The truth of the lie’ (2 km from 5A to Millennium restaurant) are greatly exaggerated. 

It is abundantly clear however how very small the village is. How very much smaller even the church and the space in front of it is than it appears on the photographs. The church is extremely well kept - would seat around a hundred people.
Right next to the church - separated by a low wall, is Chaplins, first in a row of several restaurants,  which takes one towards the boulevard, Av. dos Pescadores which has souvenir shops, various restaurants, ice-cream parlours and so on.   At the end of the boulevard one finds the ‘Paraiso’  restaurant, which is built on the beach. 
The beach is quite small and it is overlooked by anyone walking or sitting on the boulevard and from the houses and restaurants. It would be a popular area any evening so it’s highly unlikely that anything of import took place on such an exposed space. 
This part of PdL  looks  very pretty, like the standard tourist brochure showing palm trees, beach  and ocean. The Roman bath ruins are accessible from the boulevard and are  in my opinion of no interest regarding the disappearance of MBM. 

Around all the apartments are walkways with low gates giving access to the ground floor apartments via the back gardens. 
The owners of 5A have had a security grille installed in front of the infamous shutters and access to the the garden from the road is now by a full-length gate rather than the original low gate. 
As an aside: it was the end of March and the bougainvillia was in full bloom, thus  making some 500 or so forum pages on horticultural issues redundant. 

Distances:
(The Millennium now appears to be called the Mirage). 
5 A to Millenium:  500 meters,  5- 6 minutes, mostly along the Rua de Ramalhete. I did it comfortably in 5 minutes. 
Although this is a busy road at peak times, it has pavements either side and carrying a child each would hardly be difficult as the McCs were often photographed carrying the twins. In any case one would expect some of the friends to have come along with them. 
The Millennium issue appears to be sensitive and there are statements from the staff who put the McCs at the restaurant every day for breakfast. (1) 
Chapter 4 ‘madeleine’ :
‘Afterwards we strolled over to the Millennium restaurant for dinner. The Mark Warner resorts the others had visited before had
been quite compact. The apartments and facilities in Praia da Luz were spread out around the village, which meant some of
them were ten minutes’ walk away. The restaurant turned out to be nearly half a mile from our base – a bit too far, really,
certainly for a gaggle of weary toddlers. [..]So there were many stops and negotiations about whose turn it was to be carried by whom.’

Just over half the distance given in ‘madeleine’ as half a mile is 800 meters. As for the ‘many stops and negotiations’  I was under the impression the parents of these ‘weary toddlers were fit and capable of running up   the a steep hill in record time? 
-------------------------------------------
5A to Baptista supermarket:   1 minute walk.  Just over  100 meters. 
The Baptista supermarket can be clearly seen on the right when exiting the garden gate of 5A. In fact the name is legible from that spot.  It is hardly an expedition as mentioned in ‘madeleine’. 
Chapter 3 ‘madeleine’: 
On the evening of Monday 30 April, I made my first foray to Baptista with Jane. We wanted to stock up on a few essentials as
the next day was a public holiday.
Apparently they made it home safely, seeing it was evening as well. In the evening. In fact, looking at the map, the Baptista supermarket is very nearly part of the Ocean club complex, just south of the tennis courts. 
----------------------------------------------------------
5A to the point where the Smiths met the ‘man with the child’.
Distance shortest way: Google gives 350 meters, 4 minutes, which agrees well with the time I took to walk the distance from 5A included  12 stops to take photographs. It took just five minutes walking at a normal pace and includes the time spent to take 12 photographs). 

It is also quite easy to start this walk using the walkway along the apartments which is separated from the car park by a low wall, mount a few steps to the carpark of the next block of flats  then cross at  the junction of the Rua  de Agostino da Silva and the Rua de 1e Maio. After a few meters turn right into what is already called the Rua da Escola Primeria , along the dog-leg of the rough terrain on the left, which is surrounded by a high fence with gates on one  side. Then into the short and narrow part of  Rua da Escola Primeria which ends at the Rua 25 de Abril, From there there are choices: 

1: Cross the Rua 25 de Abril,  go down the first set of steps,  turn right into Rua das Salgadeiras and right again into Rua da Fountainhas, cross the Rua 25 Abril again and  this will bring you into to Rua Lia Maria Pacheco which, if you turn right out of it, will bring you out to the top of the area of rough land,  which is just 2 -3 minutes walk  from 5A. 

2: Or  cross the Rua 25 de Abril, go down second set of steps and you will have the Dolphins restaurant directly on your right, some 40 meters down on the left is Kelly’s bar, (which had a few tables outside) and diagonally opposite a pub/restaurant called The Bull. 

3:  Or turn  immediately right into the Rua 25 de Abril and right again into the Rua Lia Maria Pacheco, turn first  right again  to arrive at the top of the rough terrain – 2-3 minutes to 5A. 
4:  If one chooses to descend both sets of steps, then you have the Dolphins restaurant on your right and you have  two choices: back up to towards 5A via the Rua da Fountainhas (right and right again) or carry on and go west on de Rua da Calheta which immediately takes you into a quiet residential area. 

Note: 
Rua da Escola Primeria  is a sort of T-shape, its right arm  forms the junction with the Rua 1e Maio, the  left arm (west)  leads to the Rua Lia Maria Pacheco. 

It can be seen that there are quiet streets mainly on the southwest side of the Rua da Escola Primeria and the Rua 25 de Abril. Going down the last set of stairs one is almost certain to meet  people who are either coming from or going to one of the three restaurant/bars. However, the route described here is the shortest and except when approaching the Rua 25 Abril, it can be seen that it is a very quiet area. 

Returning to 5A from all the points mentioned above could very easily be done within ten to fifteen  minutes, even when one has gone  a good way down the Rua da Calheta.



Chapter 21 ‘madeleine’
The police did not appear to feel that Jane’s sighting in Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva and the man and child reported by the Irish holidaymakers in Rua da Escola Primária were related. They seem to have concluded that these were in all likelihood two
different men carrying two different children (if, they implied, these two men actually existed at all). The only reason for their scepticism appeared to be an unexplained time lapse between the two sightings. They didn’t dovetail perfectly. To me the
similarities seem far more significant than any discrepancy in timing.

From Pat Brown’s blog:
But, could he have made it to the location of the Smith sighting and back in time? Before I went to Praia da Luz I was told by some the idea was laughable, that the Smith sighting was quite a distance from the Tapas - half a mile is what the McCanns claim in their documentary, Madeleine was Here.

“Voice over: It is possible that JT is not the only person who saw Madeleine being carried away by the abductor. 40 minutes after J(T)’s sighting and half (1/2) mile away from the Mc’s apartment a family also saw a man carrying a young girl away from the town.’

We get a very precise time linked to that of Jane Tanner’s sighting: 21.15 plus 40 minutes makes it 21.55. Gerry is accounted for by his friends at the Tapas, all that time he was at the table, that is according to most of them - although by the 11th July David Payne, Fiona Payne and Dianne Webster appear to have had one of those improved memory moments as attested by the rogatory interviews. (2) 
Gerry’s blog entry for the 11th July 2007  is rather interesting in that respect. (3) 






The centre of Praia da Luz. 
Just after crossing Rua  de1e Maio
Towards the school on te right
Towards the short narrow part of the road
Approximate meeting point. Stairs straight ahead.
Down two sets of stept,  Kelly's Bar on the left
Turn right by Dolphin restaurant. rua da Calheta looking west .
(1)
Nelson Luis Da Silva Rodríguez

Date: 08-05 – 2007, Lagos.

works in the bar of the Millenium Restaurant

He works fixed hours from 16.00 to 24.00. He has one day a week off which is Tuesday. He has heard about the disappearance of an English girl who was staying in the apartments near to the Tapas bar.

He only works in the Millenium Restaurant and as this English family arrived on a Saturday, a day when the Tapas Bar does not serve dinner, they dined at the Millenium. It was a large group composed of 17 persons, 8 adults and nine children or vice versa.

He has seen photographs of little Madeleine but he cannot identify her within the group of children she was with. The dinner went normally and he thinks that they arrived very early for dinner. 

He does not think that this group returned to the Millenium restaurant except for breakfast during the morning shift and that he knows from colleagues that the group appeared daily.

He heard about the child’s disappearance on Thursday night. Shortly after he heard the news, a Mark Warner tennis instructor arrived at the Millenium and they went to search for the child together by the swimming pool and tennis courts. 

Cecilia Paula Dias Firmino do Carmo
Date/Time: 2007/05/06 22H00
Public Relations

States that her function is to receive guests at the entrance to the restaurant “Millenium” and verifies if they have to pay for breakfast or if is in included in their holiday package;

• Her hours of work are from 07H00 to 12H00, Tuesday through Saturday; 

• Clarifies that she only attends breakfast clients, with the exception of Wednesdays, when the restaurant hosts a “BBQ night”, and where she works from 18H00 to 22H00, receiving dinner guests; 

• Notes that in her line of work, she knows almost all of the “Ocean Club” guests and that almost all of them frequent the Millenium restaurant since it is the only establishment that serves breakfast; 

• Knows the McCann family, made up of the parents, a daughter (missing Madeleine) and the twins; 

• The witness received the McCanns for breakfast on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and is unaware if they ate there on Sunday or Monday since the witness was off work those days; 

• Clarifies that breakfast is served between 08H00 and 10H00 and that the McCanns usually arrived between 08H00 and 09H00; 

• Affirms that the McCanns appeared to her a normal family, where all elements of said family had a good relationship between each other. That Madeleine appeared to be very tied to her father, as she was also close to him. 

As part of her function, she needs to get involved with the children and noticed that Madeleine appeared very timid, and did not answer the witness. She also clarifies that her last sighting of the clients in the Millenium was at the entrance of said establishment as she did not look towards the tables or the buffet zone.

(2) From:  joana-morais.blogspot.com/    source: 24 horas  6 June 2008 

WITNESSES CAME TO THE ALGARVE TO REINFORCE TESTIMONY THAT CONTRADICTS THE MCCANNS 

Friends are the PJ trumps. 
In a secret visit to Portugal, three persons who had dinner at the Tapas Bar shattered the McCanns and Jane Tanner versions 

Fiona Payne, her mother Dianne Webster, and the husband David Payne. Are the main trumps of the Public Ministry that will lead the parents of Madeleine McCann, the missing girl, on the 3rd of May of 2007, from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, to be accused of the crimes of exposition and abandonment since they left the girl alone in that critical night. It is a crime that is punishable up to ten years of prison and allows the respective preventive arrests, like 24horas announced last week.

These three witnesses returned to Portugal, on the 11th of July of 2007, in a travel paid by the Portuguese State, and where accommodated in a hotel unity of Portimão. They were still questioned by Gonçalo Amaral’s team, the superior coordinator who was removed from the case, and they contradicted the McCann’s version regarding to what went on in the night of the disappearance.

Remember that Kate, Gerry and the other two couples with whom they had dinner, assured that they were taking turns in the vigilance to the children. A fact that was contradicted to the authorities in the above-mentioned secret travel by Fiona Payne and that had already been put in question in two previous statements, given on the days that followed to Maddie's disappearance, by her mother and her husband.

Jane Tanner Contradicted
“ Fiona Payne gave three statements to the authorities, as well as Matthew Oldfield and his companion, Rachel. Dianne Webster statement [Fiona's mother] was very solid and there was no need of questioning her again”, revealed to 24horas a judicial person in charge connected with the process. In accordance to the same source, “other persons who had dinner with the McCanns - Jane Tanner, her companion, Russell O'Brien, Matthew Oldfield and his wife, Rachel – gave contradictory statements”. And the judicial person in charge exemplifies: "”Jane Tanner always said that she went out from the restaurant to see her oldest daughter. Fiona, David and Dianne guaranteed to the PJ that she never left the restaurant before the alarm was given by Kate. This information was corroborated by several workers of the Tapas Bar restaurant”. These witnesses also stated that Gerry McCann did not even go to check on the children, when he went away of the restaurant, and that he only stayed at the apartment of Praia da Luz entrance.



(3) Gerry’s blog 11 Jul 2007:
This morning got off to a bad start when we were called, even before the twins were awake, by a reputable press agency saying that a body had been found and asking if it was true. It is very disappointing that this person did not check out the source of this rumour before contacting our representatives. Such calls and rumours are distressing even though we know if it does not come through an official source not to place much emphasis on it. 
The Portuguese police interviewed three of our friends again today, to clarify points in their initial statements. As most of you will know, there is a lot of misleading information being published, both in the press and on the internet, about the events leading up to Madeleine's disappearance and the criminal investigation. We would like to give more information, especially about inaccurate and hurtful reports, but cannot for fear of prejudicing any subsequent court proceedings. The Portuguese police have made it clear to us that all witnesses should not divulge or discuss the information they have provided. Kate and I are, of course not party to all of the information coming into the inquiry for sound operational reasons.

http://fytton.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/visit-to-praia-da-luz.html

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Doug D on 20.05.16 9:20

Thank you Tigger.

Interesting to walk through with you on google images street view, which gives a good feel of what you are talking about, (apart from going down the steps, you have to go the long way round by the church and back past The Bull and Kelly's to The Dolphin).

Good to kill off the bougainvillia myths as well.

Looking forward to parts two & three.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by dottyaussie on 20.05.16 9:58

This was great to get a 'real' perspective on the distances in the area of PDL. And also to see the contradictions in how others ie KM have described it.

I am very curious about the information about the witness statements from the Millenium staff and also the extra ones given by the some of the Tapas7. Were these in the PJ files that were released ?

Thanks Tigger. Can't wait to read the rest.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by bobbin on 20.05.16 10:19

@Doug D wrote:Thank you Tigger.

Interesting to walk through with you on google images street view, which gives a good feel of what you are talking about, (apart from going down the steps, you have to go the long way round by the church and back past The Bull and Kelly's to The Dolphin).

Good to kill off the bougainvillia myths as well.

Looking forward to parts two & three.
[size=14]"Around all the apartments are walkways with low gates giving access to the ground floor apartments via the back gardens. 
The owners of 5A have had a security grille installed in front of the infamous shutters and access to the the garden from the road is now by a full-length gate rather than the original low gate. 

As an aside: it was the end of March and the bougainvillia was in full bloom, thus  making some 500 or so forum pages on horticultural issues redundant. "

Which year / 'end of March' are we talking about. Was it the 2007 end of March ?
The Bourgainvillea plant flowers according to temperature and extent of hours of sunlight.

Only the photos taken by the police at the time of the May 4th 2007 will be able to demonstrate "proof" as to whether the bougainvillea was in full bloom at the time of the disappearance of Madeleine or not.

The Fosters' photos indicate 'not' in full bloom, as they were taken during the same week as the McCann holiday, equally as does the one of Maddie taken standing in front of the palm tree, but let us not suppose that the Police photos of the area will leave any doubt.

I think it is more truthful to say: Point not yet proven, based on the material currently available to the public.
[/size]

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by skyrocket on 20.05.16 10:54

@bobbin - hi!

Re: the bougainvillea blooming issue, which I know was discussed fairly recently on here due to its significance in the background of a couple of the photos of MBM i.e. for helping to date the images. It was obviously still in the back of my mind when I watched the 'Dispatches' film again recently as I realized that some of the photos taken on 4 May by a local photographer, Len Port, do show the bushes in full bloom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InJLmyakzeE

Thanks to @HiDeHo for the upload.

Watch from about 12.20 mins onwards. The team examines a photo taken from the tapas restaurant across the pool towards block G5, and another one of the stairs up to 5A is also shown - the photos clearly show the bougainvillea along the 'pool wall' and in 5A's garden full of red/purple flowers. 

We have to assume that the photographer and the 'Dispatches' team have reported the date that the photos were taken accurately. I can't see why this wouldn't have been the case, so it seems good proof of the state of the bushes for the beginning of May 2007.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by bobbin on 20.05.16 12:06

 
The report says journalist Len Port got in to the Club the next day. Then we see photos which he has taken. It does not clarify if Len Port took these particular photos on that next day (4th) or if he went back in other times to get more concrete photos.
On 4th May, with the story only just breaking, especially early in the morning, it was not known particularly that the McCs were dining away from 5A. Journalists were able to wander around at will during all of this following time with the chance of more concrete photographing.
The sun is full out on the photos. Police footage, and the other many video/film footages taken on 4th May, which we have been able to peruse, do not show any full bloom, other than the purple, wild type of bougainvillea, by 5A stairs, and it has been established that the wild type flowers emerge earlier than hybrid type reds, oranges etc.
These points have been needled over for ages. That is why the “Dispatches ‘" photos still need corroboration.
Either proof from Len Port that those photos of full bloom were taken on 4th May 2007, and early in the morning thereof, since flowers will come out in full hot sun, or Police footage that we have not yet seen, of the scene, on the morning of 4th May, showing full bloom, and this will be concrete proof.
Why does any of this matter ? The detail is critical as to whether Maddie was photographed on 3rd May, alive, at the children’s pool, or not.
Any other suggestions of dates, times, etc. for the ‘pool photo’ are ‘best fit’ but not yet ‘concrete’.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by skyrocket on 20.05.16 12:35

@bobbin - I take your point and have messaged Len Port for a definitive answer. I'll post it as soon as he responds.  yes

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by aiyoyo on 20.05.16 13:05

Thanks Tigger for the report.

Pertinent points  -

So, according to Millennium's waitress, she received (attended to or seen them at entrance?) Kate, Gerry and their three children coming into and/or breakfasting at the restaurant on all her on-duty days, inclusive the morning of Thursday 3rd May.  

Except there is a problem - her account contradicts that of JT's deposition - ie. that the group routinely breakfast there - with the exception of the Mcs who never took their children outside apartment for breakie.

Extract of JT's statement
All the couples stayed in individual apartments (I) in the same resort, with their respective children.

Since Saturday the routine was that they would almost all get up at about 07.30-08.00 and then would have breakfast in a restaurant near to their accommodation, called the Millenium (6), taking their children at about 09.00 AM to three different areas of the Kids Club (2) (4) (5) according to the children's' ages.

Only the McCann couple would have breakfast in their apartment, due to the fact that they had three children and because it was complicated to walk with the three at the same time. After this they would also take their children to the Kids Club.


Also, Kate in her book mentioned they never went to breakie at the Millennium after the 29th April.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by dottyaussie on 20.05.16 13:56

KM & JT have told the truth ? Did I miss it ??

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by MayMuse on 20.05.16 13:59

@dottyaussie wrote:KM & JT have told the truth ? Did I miss it ??
laughat tongue winkwink clapping dance lol!

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Richard IV on 20.05.16 15:24

@skyrocket wrote:@bobbin - hi!

Re: the bougainvillea blooming issue, which I know was discussed fairly recently on here due to its significance in the background of a couple of the photos of MBM i.e. for helping to date the images. It was obviously still in the back of my mind when I watched the 'Dispatches' film again recently as I realized that some of the photos taken on 4 May by a local photographer, Len Port, do show the bushes in full bloom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InJLmyakzeE

Thanks to @HiDeHo for the upload.

Watch from about 12.20 mins onwards. The team examines a photo taken from the tapas restaurant across the pool towards block G5, and another one of the stairs up to 5A is also shown - the photos clearly show the bougainvillea along the 'pool wall' and in 5A's garden full of red/purple flowers. 

We have to assume that the photographer and the 'Dispatches' team have reported the date that the photos were taken accurately. I can't see why this wouldn't have been the case, so it seems good proof of the state of the bushes for the beginning of May 2007.

Hope that helps.

I`ve watched that again and on the photo the bouganvillea is mainly green - there is just a very tiny splash of what seems to be purplish to the left of the photo. Maybe it was just beginning to come out.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by skyrocket on 20.05.16 19:04

@bobbin - here's the reply from Len Port as promised. He seems like a nice bloke and seems open to anymore questions - he has a blog and has written several books. He says that he did take the photos on 4 May. @Richard IV - if you look at the main photo that is examined in the documentary, to the left of the shot there appears to be quite a decent amount of the red bougainvillea in flower. This is to the right of the kiddies pool where the last photo was taken. Also note Len's comments.

I am still of the opinion that the last photo was taken on the first weekend of the holiday.

Email response from Len:


  • Today at 18:37




Message body

Hello ********


No apology needed. I won't post your email and be absolutely assured I will keep you name and email address private. 


I took the photos from the Tapas Bar on the morning of 4 May 2007.


 I think it is quite normal for red bougainvillea to be in bloom in the first week of May.  It depends on the weather, of course, but my gardening friends tell me bougainvillea in the Algarve are generally in full colour from April through May. Certainly they are looking beautiful just now.


Naturally I am curious to know of your special interest in bougainvillea in relation to this case, but only let me know if you feel comfortable doing so.


I'm here if I can be of any further help.


Best regards,


Len

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Nina on 20.05.16 19:29

@skyrocket wrote:@bobbin - hi!

Re: the bougainvillea blooming issue, which I know was discussed fairly recently on here due to its significance in the background of a couple of the photos of MBM i.e. for helping to date the images. It was obviously still in the back of my mind when I watched the 'Dispatches' film again recently as I realized that some of the photos taken on 4 May by a local photographer, Len Port, do show the bushes in full bloom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InJLmyakzeE

Thanks to @HiDeHo for the upload.

Watch from about 12.20 mins onwards. The team examines a photo taken from the tapas restaurant across the pool towards block G5, and another one of the stairs up to 5A is also shown - the photos clearly show the bougainvillea along the 'pool wall' and in 5A's garden full of red/purple flowers. 

We have to assume that the photographer and the 'Dispatches' team have reported the date that the photos were taken accurately. I can't see why this wouldn't have been the case, so it seems good proof of the state of the bushes for the beginning of May 2007.

Hope that helps.
I really dread this coming up again as I was one who stuck by the no bougainvillea in early May unless there had been sun, heat and drought conditions. The only bougainvillea we have ever had flower so early the 15 years we lived in Spain was the natural purple one. This is so hardy we have had it flower all year.
The cultivated ones, the reds,the pinks, the orange and yello and the white ones require the daylight hours, the sun, the heat and the drought.
I feel as though I, along with a few others who said the same have had the finger if disruption pointed me/us.
Maybe May 2007 had had all the requirements before to allow the abundance of the red bracts as in the pool photograph.
I will not labour the point.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by skyrocket on 20.05.16 21:10

@Nina - please don't feel remotely awkward because of my post, it certainly wasn't intended to make anyone feel that way. Subjects/ideas get thrashed out and, IMO, as long as the end result is as close to the truth as possible then that's all that matters. yes

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by aquila on 20.05.16 21:23

@Nina wrote:
@skyrocket wrote:@bobbin - hi!

Re: the bougainvillea blooming issue, which I know was discussed fairly recently on here due to its significance in the background of a couple of the photos of MBM i.e. for helping to date the images. It was obviously still in the back of my mind when I watched the 'Dispatches' film again recently as I realized that some of the photos taken on 4 May by a local photographer, Len Port, do show the bushes in full bloom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InJLmyakzeE

Thanks to @HiDeHo for the upload.

Watch from about 12.20 mins onwards. The team examines a photo taken from the tapas restaurant across the pool towards block G5, and another one of the stairs up to 5A is also shown - the photos clearly show the bougainvillea along the 'pool wall' and in 5A's garden full of red/purple flowers. 

We have to assume that the photographer and the 'Dispatches' team have reported the date that the photos were taken accurately. I can't see why this wouldn't have been the case, so it seems good proof of the state of the bushes for the beginning of May 2007.

Hope that helps.
I really dread this coming up again as I was one who stuck by the no bougainvillea in early May unless there had been sun, heat and drought conditions. The only bougainvillea we have ever had flower so early the 15 years we lived in Spain was the natural purple one. This is so hardy we have had it flower all year.
The cultivated ones, the reds,the pinks, the orange and yello and the white ones require the daylight hours, the sun, the heat and the drought.
I feel as though I, along with a few others who said the same have had the finger if disruption pointed me/us.
Maybe May 2007 had had all the requirements before to allow the abundance of the red bracts as in the pool photograph.
I will not labour the point.
Nina, don't worry about it. As you say there are different species of bougainvillea. Not only that but it depends on where they are planted/how much sun they receive. Personally I loathe the bloody plant, it can consume your house - I spent most of my time hacking the damn stuff down and don't rats just love it.

You can have bougainvillea of the hardy variety around your property and it will 'flower' at different times depending on the sunlight. I've had bg flower from february onwards in one part of the garden and not 'flower' until June in others.

For someone to nip across to PDL and state categorically that the bougainvillea issue can be put to rest is a bit touristy.

Still, apart from that a good blog from tigger.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Verdi on 20.05.16 21:32

For gods sake give me strength - where do you start?

The blossom, the coloured part, of a bougainvillea is a bract, not a flower.  It doesn't open in daylight/sunlight and close up after dark, it therefor makes no difference at what time of  day a photograph is taken.  Not so long ago you skyrocket, were expounding the belief that the last photograph was a fake, using your naked eye to theorize on any number of fabricated anomalies.  Now you have taken a complete u-turn and state your belief that the last photograph was taken during the first weekend of the holiday - whilst still questioning the appearance of the bougainvillea - even though nothing has transpired to influence a change of opinion.

At the first opportunity I will take myself off to a land of bougainvillea, with camera, and photograph the plant morning noon and night, in climber and shrub form, showing the various colours of purple, red, orange and white in different locations within the same area.  I will identify the apparent differences in condition according to how individual plants are tended - or not as the case maybe - even showing the bare woody stems of the climber, quite common in the species.   Maybe then this nonsense can be laid to rest once and for all.  If you're impatient, I suggest a little research.

In the meantime I have another little idea that might put minds to rest.  There can be no doubt that Madeleine McCann traveled to PdL at the end of April 2007 and arrived at the Ocean Club resort with her parents, brother and sister.  The condition of any local bougainvillea would be exactly the same whether photographed on 28th April or 3rd May 2007, or any day in-between - unless of course the gardener pruned it or some freak weather conditions altered it's appearance - the second option being most unlikely as the plant is hardy (particularly the native purple variety as seen at the Ocean Club poolside) and can withstand very harsh conditions.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by aquila on 20.05.16 22:06

I think the bougainvillea issue came about because of the photographs taken in PDL at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. These photographs didn't just show the purple variety (the hardy stuff) but lots of other varieties that were in 'bloom' along the walls of the Ocean Club. There were also photographs of heavily clipped bougainvillea. That's where the issue arose.

Tigger's blog has more to offer than the blossoming habits of bougainvillea and whilst people who have lived in countries who know about this plant take issue with the photographs taken at the time of Madeleine's disappearance as to the flowering of the non-hardy varieties in such abundance on the photos it's somewhat unfair to discount their experience with this plant in a hot climate. The more delicate species of this plant (I know them as the Asian varieties) as Nina has pointed out (and it's also my experience) are unlikely to be blooming in such abundance in late April. That's why people questioned it.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by skyrocket on 20.05.16 22:16

@Verdi - I suggest you go back and read my previous posts on the last photo before making sweeping claims and chucking insults around. As usual, you are way off the mark. Wow my posts really push your buttons.

Re: your comment about 'doing some research' - I think you'd better read the above posts through as well. Why comment when you have no grasp of what is being discussed? Just to make it clearer for you - the opening post commented on the bougainvillea. Having watched the 'Dispatches' investigation documentary through again recently I had picked up on the showing of some photos taken by a local journalist on 4 May within the tapas complex. The photos showed the bougainvillea in bloom. I emailled Len Port the journalist, this afternoon, to check the date and he confirmed it very quickly. I reproduced his email in a post above. 

When I did this my intention was not to start another protracted discussion but to merely pass on some info I had come across (before I forgot) which I thought might be of interest to some on here. If you're not interested, why post other than to disrupt?

@Nina - being right or wrong is unimportant, in an ideal world there would be no point scoring or finger pointing - debate helps to bring out facts. yes

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by aiyoyo on 20.05.16 22:41

@aquila wrote:I think the bougainvillea issue came about because of the photographs taken in PDL at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. These photographs didn't just show the purple variety (the hardy stuff) but lots of other varieties that were in 'bloom' along the walls of the Ocean Club. There were also photographs of heavily clipped bougainvillea. That's where the issue arose.

Tigger's blog has more to offer than the blossoming habits of bougainvillea and whilst people who have lived in countries who know about this plant take issue with the photographs taken at the time of Madeleine's disappearance as to the flowering of the non-hardy varieties in such abundance on the photos it's somewhat unfair to discount their experience with this plant in a hot climate. The more delicate species of this plant (I know them as the Asian varieties) as Nina has pointed out (and it's also my experience) are unlikely to be blooming in such abundance in late April. That's why people questioned it.

Exactly......

What intrigues me is how the waitress at Millennium can get it so wrong.
Her account placed Maddie as well and alive on the morning of the 3rd.
She says she received them - meaning met them face to face - so you have to question which family of 5 comprising two adults resembling Kate & Gerry bringing in similar age three children as those of the Mcs she mistook for the Mcs family?

If she got it so wrong, no if, no but, no maybe, but definitively wrong since JT and Kate attested to the opposite, you have to question the reliability of the depositions of other F&B workers witnesses.
Was it Maddie or another child similar to Maddie they saw?

Unreliable witnesses is what screwed the timelines for the PJ.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Verdi on 21.05.16 12:44

The Millenium restaurant witness, Cecilia Paula Dias Firmino do Carmo, is indentified as public relations, it would appear from what she says, a sort of meet and greet at the door arrangement.  The witness interview even goes so far as to state..

 'As part of her function, she needs to get involved with the children and noticed that Madeleine appeared very timid, and did not answer the witness. She also clarifies that her last sighting of the clients in the Millenium was at the entrance of said establishment as she did not look towards the tables or the buffet zone.'

According to her work schedule for the week, she was on duty on the Tuesday (that day again) Wednesday and Thursday.  A few seconds at that time of  morning  at the restaurant door, I doubt if anyone could say for certain that a particular person or persons were present at any given time.  Most likely there was a list detailing which guests were booked on half board - it would be the responsibility of the staff serving breakfast to verify which guests took the meal, not who didn't.

I think this witness statement can only be seen as a PR initiative rather than a detailed accurate account of who was where and when - it would be unreasonable to expect an employee in a holiday resort to remember all the guests, a weekly/fortnightly regular turnover.  Although her statement suggests knowledge of the McCann family sometimes people can get a bit carried away when recounting an event, particularly if they think they're being helpful.

I can think of any number of reasons why the McCanns would claim to have been at the Millenium restaurant everyday for breakfast when they hadn't but I can't think of a single reason why they would say they weren't there when in fact they were.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by MayMuse on 22.05.16 15:25

 'As part of her function, she needs to get involved with the children and noticed that Madeleine appeared very timid, and did not answer the witness"


Why is it that many "witnesses" refer to Madeleine as timid,shy or quiet, when her family/friends report her as the exact opposite? 


Just saying... empathy

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Guest on 23.05.16 2:52

@Get'emGonçalo wrote:With thanks to Tigger:


Thursday, 19 May 2016




VISIT TO PRAIA DA LUZ




...

Distances:
(The Millennium now appears to be called the Mirage). 

Is this meant to be a current visit or someone reporting from a very old blog?

Errors a plenty.

The Millennium is now called the Mill.  The Mirage is quite different and is currently closed.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Doug D on 23.05.16 9:49

Elca Craig:
 
‘Is this meant to be a current visit or someone reporting from a very old blog?
 
Errors a plenty.’
 
Unnecessary sarcasm imo, but thanks all the same for clarifying that the Mirage is not the old Millenium restaurant.
 
Lets have all of your ‘errors a plenty’ then, but only if they are going to correct and clarify things from your obviously superior local knowledge.
 
I would have made exactly the same assumption about the Mirage from walking round to the OC reception at the ‘old’ Millennium and without going inside through the reception, the newly named 'The Mill' is not evident.
 
All of the old maps showed the Millenium reception and restaurant to be in the same place and with The Mirage restaurant sandwiched between the OC reception and the tennis courts, this is where, up to now, I always ‘felt’ the Millenium restaurant to be.
 
The latest OC maps show it to be located at the middle of the residential blocks to the north side of the pool, which I suspect, (but don’t know) to be also incorrect, unless it is located on the ground floor underneath the apartments.
 
I imagine it is actually either the circular roofed building behind the reception or the rectangular one or even both, but at the end of the day, it matters not.
  
The Tapas presumably is now the ‘Garden Bar & Restaurant’, and has the ‘Pizzeria da Luz’ replaced Jez Wilkins toilet block?

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Verdi on 24.05.16 0:07

Textusa and the sisterhood took a similar trip to PdL about 18 months ago.  Very detailed account of their visit on her blog if I might say - up hill down dale with all the sights in between.

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Re: Eumenides Visit to Praia da Luz - Part one of three

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 02.06.16 14:01

Monday, 30 May 2016



SMITHS, EXTON, SY AND THE EFITS


It is as well to stress that:
That there are no  reliable timelines for that evening. Except for one: 
M. M. M. d. S. declares that on the night 03-05-07, she left the apartment at around 21H58—she remembers the exact time because she asked her friend the time and she responded after checking this on the telephone in the lounge;
[..] After leaving Block 6, they turned right and after left, passing in front of the block occupied by the McCanns. States that she looked at the exit of the apartment and that from the flat above the McCanns, she saw light, and also in front of the apartment, but she could not define, concretely, where she saw the light when she passed the McCann apartment. [..]Next to the tree, she did not detect any movement of people or vehicles, and nothing struck her as abnormal in that zone that would have raised her suspicions. unquote
And: 

That a reconstruction which would have established the sequence of events never took place.
That witness statements for the alarm raised that evening start from 9.20 onwards and that it is therefore pointless to try and fit the timelines given by the parents and their friends to the witness statements.
http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/TIME_LINE_INFORMATION.htm
IOL PortugalDiario, 03/04 August 2008
PortugalDiário: The PJ's report dismisses the Smiths' testimony, due to the hour at which they say they saw the person with the child…
Gonçalo Amaral: 'It cannot be that way, because nobody knows for sure at what time the things happened. The reconstruction was not made, therefore it is impossible to know for certain. The employees do not state that Gerry McCann was in the restaurant. They only say that people were sitting down and getting up from the table. Their testimony [Smith] is very credible. The way that the person walked, the clumsy manner in which the child was held. It is nothing that sounds invented. Is it evidence? Certainly not. It is information that has to be worked further.'

unquote

The Smith sighting:
1. The Smith family meet a man carrying a child. The time is somewhere between 21.45 and 22.00 on the third of May 2007. Three members of the family give full statements to the PJ on the 26th of May 2007. 
2. As early as the 6th of June 2007 the Drogheda Independent publishes the news that the Smith family many have been the last people to see Madeleine McCann. 
3. On the 9th June Dr. Gerald McCann asks Irish people to come forward with their holiday photographs and upload them on a special website. These photographs were never passed on to the Policia Judiciaria or to the Leicester liaison officers. 
4. On the 9th September  2007 Martin Smith sees footage from the BBC news at 10.00 pm and the way the child is carried  reminds him very strongly of the man they saw on the 3rd of May. 
5. By July 2008 Martin Smith has been contacted by the Daily Mail and other papers, who publish inaccurate information. By that time he has also been contacted by Brian Kennedy but states that he did not provide efits. Considering the abysmal quality of the images commissioned of the Tanner sighting and the Cooper sighting, it is highly unlikely that professional efits such as as the two discussed here would have been the result. 
6. By July 2008, 25Horas reports that rogatory letters for Martin Smith have ben sent to the wrong address. Namely to the Leicester Police where they should have been sent to the Irish Home Office. It is interesting to note  that these letters would have had to go through the British Home Office before being sent on to Leicester. 
7. By August 2008 the Archiving Dispatch of the PJ ignores the statements of two Tapas workers and states twice that Gerald McCann was at the table at the time when the Smith family saw the man with the child. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  From:  ‘The Truth of the Lie’ by Gonçalo Amaral - chapter 21

The Smith family see this recording on the news at 22.00 and are hit hard: they know this person, this way of carrying a child and of walking. It is Gerry McCann, they believe with a high degree of certainty, that they saw on 3rd May at about 22.00, carrying a 4 year old girl who appeared to be deeply asleep. In late September, Portuguese police receive this information from Smith. 
[..] A reconstitution of that night, with the Smiths, is seriously considered. but the Smiths don’t return to Portugal. The Portuguese police changed their minds after GA leaves the team - they decide to use the international request mechanism (letter rogatory). This leads to absurd delays. In the meantime, rumours abound that strangers to the investigation have found out about this witness and his family and supposedly, have tried to talk to Smiths, though their intentions in doing so are unknown. 
unquote

24HorasIrishman was already discarded 

Gonçalo Amaral placed a strong bet on this witness

Carlos Tomas
July 07, 2008

When he was discharged, the former investigator of the Maddie Case was preparing to hear an Irishman, who was considered to be a very relevant witness. But the present investigators don't give him credibility

The statements from the Irish citizen who is considered to be a key witness in the Maddie case by Gonçalo Amaral, the man who lead the entire investigation, were not considered to be relevant by the investigators from the Polícia Judiciária who presently hold the process.

During the two depositions, both informal, the Irishman who is only known as "Smith" said that he saw the father of Madeleine McCann, Gerry, leaving the apartment in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve, carrying a child on the day that the little girl disappeared. This, during the period of time between 6 and 10 p.m., precisely when Maddie disappeared.

"He was one of the witnesses that should be questioned within the rogatory letter that was sent to England. But, due to the fact that he is an Irish citizen, the authorities in Leicester, England, failed to contact him. The diligence was not deemed relevant, given the fact that he was informally heard at the beginning of the process and his depositions were highly contradictory", a senior officer who is connected to the investigations revealed to 24horas.

The same source specified: "First he said that he saw Maddie's father leaving the apartment carrying a child. But during a second hearing he said he was not certain that it was Gerry who carried the child. He even said he could not assert whether said person was actually carrying a human being. This type of witness is not admissible in court and they do not deserve credibility".

It is now up to prosecutor Magalhães e Meneses, who is analysing the process, to decide whether it is necessary to carry out further diligences, namely whether the hearing of the Irish citizen is necessary or not to reach a decision about the case, which apparently is to be archived concerning the suspicions of concealment of a cadaver and possible homicide that are pending on the McCanns. 
unquote


There are no inconsistencies in the statements of any of the Smith family at any time. But it certainly seems that they contained an ‘inconvenient truth’ , inconvenient enough to leak misinformation to the tabloid 24Horas. 
 So it is rather interesting that just those rogatory letters did not find their way to the Irish authorities,  via the Leicester police. The above article dates from July 2008, well before the files were published, but presumably after or during the time that the Archiving Dispatch was being written. And in Part B of this document (Processos Vol XVII  - Part B of the Archiving Dispatch ) the Smith sighting is dismissed on the grounds that; ..'it was established that at the time that was being mentioned, (by the Smith family) Gerald McCann was sitting at the table in the Tapas restaurant'    and again : '... Gerald's presence at the restaurant was confirmed by his friends and has not been denied by restaurant employees.'
This is very strange indeed, for there were two employees of the Tapas Bar who stated that  Gerry McCann was absent from the table during that time. Their statements are in the files.  One of  these statements was certainly taken very seriously by the Policia Judiciaria:  that of  Joaquim Jose Moreira Batista who gave this testimony on the 6th of May:
- of the group o 8/9 British citizens who dined at the restaurant last night, as usual, of which the parents of the missing were part he noticed that two individuals left the table, of the male gender.
-the first to leave was about 40/45 years old, tall, skinny[..] and the period of his absence was about 15 minutes, being that they had to re-heat his food, which had cooled.
 the second to leave (about 40/45 years old [..] did so for about 30 minutes and that shortly after he returned, all left the table, except for an elderly person who told him that a child had disappeared, the daughter of a member of the group, due to which he thought that the secnd person to leave could have been the father of the child. unquote

This is probably the same man who went into hiding with the permission of the police at the time as reported by: Daily Express: Tuesday 18 December 2007:
‘The key witness in the missing Madeleine McCann case was in hiding last night after fleeing Portugal.
Police have sworn the waiter to secrecy over his vital testimony and know where he is. But friends say he is terrified his identity is about to be revealed and that he will come under pressure from rival factions in the case. He is scared of British and Portuguese government influence in the probe. Friends claim he is also wary of the team of private eyes hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to help find their daughter. [..]

The tapas bar waiter described by police as their ‘trump card’has given what detectives believe is the most reliable account of what happened the night the four-year old vanished. They have questioned him three times, most recently last week. Officers ay his story can prove Madeleine’s parents are lying over her disappearance.  [..]
‘He does not want to be involved in any of this. He was just a restaurant worker. His only problem was remembering food orders. He’s terrified’[..] unquote
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In his additional statement Martin Smith states  clearly that his earlier statement was correct and indeed there is nothing in any of the statements of the Smith family where they state that they saw Gerry McCann leaving the apartment or that they weren’t even sure whether the person they met was carrying a human being. Those are outright lies, apparently ‘leaked’ to discredit the evidence. (In this context see Clarence Clarified and in particular the last slide of his presentation : Retained agency in Portugal to enhance engagement with opinion formers and PT commentariat.)


It is remarkable that the Final Report  not just fails to mention the statements from the Tapas workers who noticed Gerry McCann absent from the table, but states specifically that there is NO evidence that Gerry McCann wasn’t at the table. 

Here is the full additional statement by Martin Smith, 30th January 2008.  The cover note was signed by Sergeant LH from the Detective Branch at Drogheda police station, County Lough. 
Cover note: 
 Re-  investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. [...] He has been contacted by numerous tabloid press looking for stories. He has been contacted by Mr. Brian Kennedy  who  is  supporting the McCann family to take part in a photo fit exercise. He has given no stories or helped in any photo fits. [..] unquote
Additional  statement by Martin Smith, 30 January 2008
I hereby declare that this statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I make it knowing that if it is tendered in evidence I will be liable to prosecution if I state in it anything which I know to be false or do not believe to be true. 
I would like to state that the statement I made on the 26th of May 2007 in Portugal is correct. The description of the individual that I saw on 3rd May 2007 carrying a child is as follows. He was average build, 5 foot 10"  in height, brown hair cut short, aged 40 years approximately. Wearing beige trousers and darkish top maybe a jacket or blazer. He had a full head of hair with a tight cut. This individual was alone. I saw Gerard McCann going down the plane stairs carrying one of his children on 9th September 2007 BBC news at 10 PM, I have been shown the video clip by Sergeant Hogan which I recognize. A clip I have seen before on the Internet. In relation to the video clips of Gerard McCann and the person I saw on 3rd May 2007 when I saw the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007 something struck me that it could have been the same person. It was the way Gerard McCann turned his head down which was similar to what the individual did on 3rd of May 2007 when we met him. It may have been the way he was carrying the child either. I would be 60-80% sure that it was Gerard McCann that I met that night carrying a child. I am basing that on his mannerism in the way he carried the child off the plane. After seeing the BBC news at 10 PM, footage on the 9th September 2007, I contacted Leicestershire police with this information. During that time I spoke to all my family members who were with me on the night of 3rd May 2007 about this and the only one who felt the same way as me was my wife. She had seen the video clip of Gerard McCann walking down the stairs of the plane earlier that day. We did not discuss this until some days later. This statement has been read over to me and is correct.  unquote 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Clearly some time before the 30th January 2008 Martin Smith had been asked to take part in a photo-fit exercise 1) (outdated even by that time) but declined to do so and sometime  after the 30th of January 2008, but during that year, members of the Smith family did  construct the professional efits
 Part two of this post will cover those issues. 








1) Forensic Psychology - Open University. 
Recall and recognition:  Although e-fit was based on psychological knowledge of how we remember faces, it still relied on a witness picturing the face in their mind and then describing it to an officer.  [..] The difference between recall and recognition is an issue that has been explored extensively in psychological research. In general, our brains seem to be far better at recognition. 
The latest composite system to be used by the police if using e-fit and then efit-V. Efit-V is designed to try and utilise face recognition, rather than face recall. 
See also: http://www.visionmetric.com/products/about-e-fit/

http://fytton.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/smiths-exton-sy-and-efits.html

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