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On the 7th anniversary of the search for Madeleine's bones in the Arade Dam - who really paid for those searches

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On the 7th anniversary of the search for Madeleine's bones in the Arade Dam - who really paid for those searches

Post by Tony Bennett on 28.01.15 20:26

This week - the end of January 2015 - marks the 7th anniversary of one of the most extraordinary episodes concerning the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

That is, the first of two week-long searches for Madeleine’s bones in the Arade Dam, Portugal, in January and March 2008.

As my posts are often criticised for their excessive length, I will make my OP on this thread as short as I can. I will post the detail to support the statements made in the OP in subsequent posts on the thread for those who want to read them.

The story in outline is this.

The evidence shows that the strange lawyer from Madeira, Marcos Aragão  Correia, was directly employed by the McCann Team.

When the search for Madeleine’s bones first hit the headlines in late January 2008, the media announced that the man leading the search for Madeleine’s bones was lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia. The same media told us that Aragão Correia was ‘Good Samaritan’, funding the search out of the goodness of his heart and out of his own pocket.

That claim was untrue, as he later admitted. At the same time, Aragão Correia also claimed that he had been informed by ‘underworld sources’ that Madeleine had been abducted by ‘a gang of paedophiles’, raped, killed and ‘thrown into a murky lake’. It was an utterly shocking claim - but one which lent support to the McCann Team’s claim that a paedophile had abducted Madeleine. However, Aragão Correia was eventually forced to admit that this was a barefaced lie.

We know that Marcos Aragão Correia was on the McCann Team’s payroll because (a) he later admitted it and (b) he was employed by them from April 2008 onwards, to conduct a criminal prosecution against Goncalo Amaral and four other detectives, on behalf of murderess-of-her-own daughter, Leonor Cipriano.    

The two searches for Madeleine’s bones were accompanied by private detectives employed by Método 3. As we know, Método 3 was also employed by the McCann Team - and more specifically by the Directors of the Find Madeleine Fund, who paid Método 3’s bills. The notorious reputation of Método 3 and the criminality of many of its top investigators is adequately discussed elsewhere.

When Aragão Correia’s divers found a ‘bag of bones’ in the Arade Dam, in March 2008, they were handed straightaway not to the police, but to Método 3’s private detectives.

A key element of this story was the sensational admission by Aragão  Correia that he had met with Método 3 detectives at the Arade Dam as early as 10 December 2007. To meet at the Arade Dam, Aragão Correia would have had to travel nearly 1,000 miles from the tiny Portuguese island of Madeira, where he lived. Similarly, the Método 3 detectives would have had to travel several hundred miles from their base in Barcelona, Spain, to attend this lakeside meeting.

It would not be unfair to ask these three questions, therefore:

1)  Was this get-together at the Arade Dam a meeting to plan the search for Madeleine’s bones?

2)  What was the real purpose of this ‘search’

3) Were the two week-long searches of the Arade Dam planned and executed by Marcos Aragão Correia on the instructions of the McCann Team and the Directors of the Find Madeleine Fund?

Only for those who want to read further:

The next few posts which follow give further details about the background to the Arade Dam searches and describe what was said and done at the time.

The further details posts are headed as follows:

A.  How a Press Association (PA) report of 4 February 2008 broke the news of the search for Madeleine’s bones in the Arade Dam

B. The second search for Madeleine’s bones, March 2008: More on the links between Marcos Aragão Correia and Método 3

C. Marcos Aragão Correia’s work as the prosecutor of Gonçalo Amaral

D.  The events leading up to Marcos Aragão Correia searching the Arade Dam   

E.  Marcos Aragao Correia’s ‘vision’ described and analysed

F.  The meeting between Marcos Aragão Correia and Método 3 on 10 December at the Arade Dam, Portugal

G. Marcos Aragao Correia admits to lying about his ‘underworld sources’ – and makes up another story

[Mods please move if not placed in the right section ]


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Re: On the 7th anniversary of the search for Madeleine's bones in the Arade Dam - who really paid for those searches

Post by Tony Bennett on 28.01.15 20:36

A.   How a Press Association (PA) report of 4 February 2008 broke the news of the search for Madeleine’s bones in the Arade Dam

Here is the full PA report:


EXCLUSIVE: Underworld tip-off leads to fresh search

The search for Madeleine McCann took a grim twist yesterday as divers trawled a remote reservoir for her body. The hunt, near the Algarve resort where she went missing in May, followed an underworld tip-off to lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia. Marcos, 32, said: “They told me she was thrown into a deserted lake with murky waters. I'm convinced this is the place”. It was a search that began in hope but gave way to heavy-hearted resignation as the weeks and months went by.

Now there are fears the hunt for Madeleine McCann could end in the murky depths of a reservoir 40 miles from where she went missing. Good Samaritan Marcos Aragão Correia, 32, is paying for a team of British divers to trawl it after an underworld tip-off that she was dumped in a lake just days after being abducted.

And they have unearthed a 17ft cord he believes was used to tie up the four-year-old. The desolate reservoir in Barragem do Arade - 150ft deep (45m) in places - has a beach and a walkway leading to a tower. It matches clues the Portuguese lawyer was given.

Marcos said: “I am convinced this is the place. My sources told me Madeleine was thrown into a deserted lake with murky waters, a beach and lots of trees. I believe this would have been the best place for someone to have dumped the body, based on my investigations. It's not overlooked, has easy access by car and if you threw the body from the tower the water is 55ft deep (17m) there”.

The site is also a short drive from Silves, where a trucker has told police that on 5 May - two days after Madeleine went missing - he saw a woman hand a man a child looking like her. News of the grim lead came as Portugal's top cop conceded his men acted with ‘hastiness’ in making the McCanns suspects. And Marcos believes Kate and Gerry had nothing to do with Madeleine's disappearance.

He is funding the dive search - at an estimated £1,200 a day - after he told Portuguese detectives eight weeks ago about the tip-off, but was ignored.

The lawyer said: “I was able to identify the site on 10 December and immediately informed police, who did nothing. I got tired of waiting for them to act on my information, so I decided to act. I will stay here as long as is necessary to try to solve this mystery. I don't care how much the divers cost, what matters is that my conscience will be clear”.

Six frogmen, working seven hours a day, are searching by touch alone as there is almost zero visibility in the lake's dark depths. Marcos is convinced the nylon cord they retrieved - of a type used on window blinds - was tragically connected to Madeleine's abduction. He said: “They have found a cord tied in knots down there, right below the tower. I have given it to police. It's logical that if you throw a body in the water, you would tie it to something to weigh it down. There's no other rubbish there. There is no reason for it to be there”.

Arade Reservoir, accessible via a dirt track, is a few hundred yards from a derelict hilltop diner and a car park used as an unofficial caravan camping site. The divers are focusing their search on the base of the tower - 15ft (4.5m) from the shore - as Marcos believes the body may have been thrown from there. He explained: “I don't have enough money to pay for the entire lake to be searched. That would take many divers and many weeks. But because of the clues I have I decided to pay for searches in this area”.

The underwater unit began their grim task last Thursday. Alan Wilson, who heads the team based in Lagos, Portugal, said: “You can't see anything down there. Everything is black because there is no light. The divers are searching entirely by touch, feeling in the silt for anything suspicious that shouldn't be there. It's a long, slow process”.

The woman said to have been seen in Silves passing a girl to a male accomplice is said to have looked like Michaela Walczuch - girlfriend of suspect Robert Murat. Ms Walczuch has never been an official suspect and dismissed the claim as ‘ridiculous’. However, both Marcos and Método 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns, believe the sighting of the girl could be a crucial clue. The lawyer said: “Método 3 believe this lead is quite credible. They told me their investigations indicated that Madeleine was switched from one car to another, precisely in Silves”. He added: “I don't believe Kate and Gerry did it. It could have been a single madman or a gang, I don't know”.

Marcos, who was first given his tip-off three days after Madeleine went missing from Praia da Luz, visited the reservoir with Método 3 detectives in December. Last night [3 February 2008] the McCanns' spokesman Clarence

Mitchell welcomed the possible breakthrough.

He said: “We're grateful to anyone who feels they have important information in the search for Madeleine. If his search produces significant results, he must, of course, share that information with the police and our investigators”.
Meanwhile, Portuguese police chief Alipio Ribeiro conceded at the weekend his officers showed a ‘certain hastiness’ in making Kate and Gerry, both 39, suspects. He admitted that there “perhaps should have been a different evaluation...I have no doubt about that”. Kate and Gerry believe it could be a key step in clearing their name. A friend revealed: “They're not punching the air as they know there's still a long way to go, but it's a step in the right direction”.
Mr Mitchell added: “There was no air of celebration, but it's the sort of thing we have been waiting for. We hope that his comments are an indication police realise there's no case against Kate and Gerry and that it leads to them being eliminated from the inquiry”.


PA did not disclose their source for the above story. There are extensive quotes from Aragão Correia in the story. My suggestion would be that these quotes were fed from Aragão Correia to PA via the McCanns’ PR and media spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.

The PA report is of interest for two other reasons:

1. It was still discussing the possibility that Robert Murat might have been involved with Madeleine’s abduction, and

2. There was no mention whatsoever of the role of Método 3 in this search. 
The PA account raised many questions. Among them were these: 

(a) Did Aragão Correia really receive inside information about Madeleine having been abducted, raped and killed - within three days of Madeleine being reported ‘missing’ (6 May)? Was he really telling the truth?  

(b)  Was he really an altruistic ‘Good Samaritan’?  

(c)  What did he do with his underworld ‘information’ at the time? Did he really tell the Portuguese Police about it straightaway as he later claimed?  

(d)  He says he actually met with Método 3 at the Arade Dam itself on 10 December. He must have had some prior contact in order to meet with them there. So, when exactly was Aragão Correia’s first contact with Método 3? When was he recruited? On what financial terms was he recruited? Who contacted whom, and why? No-one, neither Correia, nor Método 3, nor the McCann Team, has given us this information.

(e)  Why did his information about the ‘murky’ lake lead him specifically to the Arade Dam? Is it just a coincidence that this location, near Silves - where a woman had apparently been spotted with a child soon after Madeleine was reported missing - linked Madeleine’s disappearance to Robert Murat and his girlfriend? 

(f) Aragão Correia claimed in his statements to the PA that “Método 3 believed this lead was quite credible. They told me their investigations indicated that Madeleine was switched from one car to another”. Is that the truth? Did Método 3 really believe this story?

Clarence Mitchell soon capitalised on the PA and other media reports by saying: “I urge the Portuguese authorities to act humanely by removing [the McCanns’] arguido status as swiftly as possible”.

Other newspapers subsequently added other details to Aragão Correia’s claims.

It was claimed that the ‘knotted cord’ had been found five days into the search.

We also learnt that the search was being conducted by British divers from the local firm in Lagos, Portugal, called ‘Dive Time’.

B.   The second search for Madeleine’s bones, March 2008: More on the links between Marcos Aragão Correia and Método

More details about what turned out to be the strong and continuing links between Aragão Correia and Método 3, hinted at by the reference to Mr Aragão Correia having met Método 3 detectives at the Arade Dam on 10 December 2007, emerged in March, when there was a second week-long search for Madeleine’s bones. One newspaper, for example, reported:

“Barcelona detectives from Método 3 are now also at the site on the Algarve. A team of detectives from the Barcelona firm, Método 3, arrived there yesterday as there were reports that a local reservoir, the Arade, is being dragged again”.

Pausing there, why did the Método 3 detectives need to be present at the search? Nothing might be found, in which case their time there would have been completely wasted. If something of real interest had turned up in the search, the detectives could have been summoned to come and have a look. Was the presence of the Método 3 detectives there just for show?  

It was in mid-March that the press began reporting on the second week-long search of the Arade Dam. The press reported that there was a team of seven divers at the site. One report stated: “Lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia has said that he is sure that the body of Madeleine, who vanished from Praia da Luz, on May 3, will be found there”. The report went on: “There are reports that objects found there already are strengthening his ‘deep conviction’.” It was not said at the time what those objects were. The report concluded: “The office [of Aragão Correia] claims that there is ‘a 99% possibility’ that the body will be found there and the Portuguese paper Correio da Manha claims a child’s white sock has been found at the scene”.

The ‘99% possibility’ was a very bold claim to make. And as we now know, it wasn’t substantiated.

And those claims echoed the other false claims made by Francisco Marco, the boss of Método 3, in December 2007.
Then, in quick succession, he had claimed that (1) his men knew that Madeleine was still alive (2) that his men ‘knew where
she was’ (3) that his men were ‘closing in on the kidnappers’, and finally (4) that Madeleine ‘could be home by Christmas’.

When it became clear that these reports were bogus, the McCann Team purported to distance themselves from Método 3, claiming they were ‘reviewing Método 3’s contract’. But they didn’t. They carried on employing Método 3 despite their false claims that his men were ‘closing in on the kidnappers’. Indeed, they carried on employing them on various projects until at least March 2009.

And now Marcos Aragão Correia was once again making still more bogus claims - that he was ‘sure’ Madeleine’s bones would be found in this lake.

Is it just coincidence that both Método 3 and Aragão Correia were making such clearly bogus claims?

It was on 15 March 2008 that news first surfaced that ‘a bag of small bones’ had been found in the Arade Dam. Tom Worden’s report that day, in the Daily Mail, accompanied by several photographs of divers in the lake, and of items apparently being recovered from the lake, gave us this information:

  • Divers searching a reservoir for Madeleine McCann yesterday [14 March] found two small black plastic bags containing small bones.

  • Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, who sponsored the dive, says he was acting on an underworld tip-off that Madeleine was murdered and her body thrown in a lake within 48 hours of being snatched.

  • Aragão Correia said: “We found two bags, one of which contains some small bones. We don't know at this stage if they are human bones. If they are, they look like they come from a child's fingers. They are too small for an adult. I can't tell you how many we found, because we didn't count them. As soon as we made the find, we handed them over to the Portuguese authorities and the private detectives working for the McCanns” [NOTE: We might pause here to question how a set of bones could be ‘handed over’ to two agencies at once. What is likely is that, since Aragão Correio, the divers and Método 3 were all apparently working hand-in-glove, the Método 3 detectives initially examined the bags of bones and only then passed them to the Portuguese police]

  • John Fellows, a frogman with the Lagos-based dive school Dive Time, is said to have made the discovery

  • Divers had previously recovered ‘several lengths of cord’, some plastic tape and a single white, cotton sock

  • Madeleine's parents had previously dismissed Aragão Correia as a ‘self-publicist’ and said there is ‘no evidence to suggest there is any link between their daughter and the reservoir’

  • A bystander said: “We're told one of the bags is empty but the other one contains small bones. We don't know if they are the bones of a child or not”.

  • The divers first searched the reservoir ‘five weeks ago’ and resumed again on Monday morning (10 March).

Why, if the McCann Team were employing Aragão Correia, as we have seen, would they distance themselves from him by describing him as a ‘self publicist’?

Also, we note that at this stage (March), we see that Aragão Correia was still sticking by his false story that he had learnt of what he said was Madeleine’s cruel death via underworld sources.


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Re: On the 7th anniversary of the search for Madeleine's bones in the Arade Dam - who really paid for those searches

Post by Tony Bennett on 28.01.15 20:46

C. Marcos Aragão Correia’s work as the prosecutor of Gonçalo Amaral


I’ll now look more closely at the relationship between Marcos Aragão Correia and Método 3.

Towards the end of 2008, there arose a dispute between Método 3 and Aragão Correia over how Aragão Correia came to be involved in representing Leonor Cipriano, the evil co-killer of her own daughter, in a legal action against Gonçalo Amaral and four of his fellow detectives.

This arose out of the successful investigation by Gonçalo Amaral and his colleagues into Joana Cipriano’s death - which resulted in the conviction of her and her brother Joao for murdering 8-year-old Joana, for which they each received 16-year jail terms.

The prosecution against the five men, begun in 2006 - before the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann - had outlined the following charges:

(a) against Gonçalo Amaral, for allegedly filing a false report - which, it was said, covered up torture methods used by his colleagues, and

(b) against three of his team of detectives accused of torture (Leonel Marques, Marques Bom and Pereira Cristóvão), and a fourth detective (António Cardoso), also accused of making a false report.

From reports available on the internet, and translated into English, we now know for a fact that on 8 April 2008, Marcos Aragão Correia had visited Odemira Prison, where Leonor Cipriano was serving her 16-year prison sentence for murdering her own daughter. We know that Aragão Correia first met the Prison Governor on that occasion, and then went to interview Leonor Cipriano. It was arranged for Aragão Correia to act for Leonor Cipriano, despite the fact that Cipriano already had a lawyer. We do not know why Leonor Cipriano changed her lawyer to Aragão Correia.

Leonor Cipriano and Aragão Correia, moreover, agreed to keep their arrangement secret. Cipriano’s previous lawyer only found out that Cipriano had dumped her a day before the prosecution against Amaral and his colleagues opened in October 2008.

When it emerged that Aragão Correia was now representing Leonor Cipriano against Gonçalo Amaral, Método 3 denied that they had any involvement in arranging for Corriea to represent Cipriano. That was, however, wholly contrary to Aragão Correia’s claims, as I can now show.

After Marcos Aragão Correia’s unsuccessful efforts to find Madeleine’s body in the Arade Dam, little more was heard about him until the dramatic opening of the trial of Gonçalo Amaral and his four fellow detectives at Faro in October 2008.

On the first day of the trial - 21 October 2008 - the court heard a dramatic announcement. Leonor Cipriano, the person bringing the allegation against the five detectives that she had been tortured by them in prison, announced that she was dropping the legal team she had been using to date. She said that she would now be represented by the controversial lawyer from Madeira, Marcos Aragão Correia.

There was a further sensational revelation as the trial got under way. During the early days of the trial, Aragão Correia said on the record that Método 3 themselves, acting on behalf of the McCanns, had asked him to get involved in the Joana Cipriano case.

He went on to claim that the McCanns, via Método 3, had “ordered him to do an investigation” into allegations regarding the accusations against Gonçalo Amaral and his men by Leonor Cipriano.

These were very serious claims, because they raised the possibility that the McCann Team could have hired Aragão Correia to carry out the searches of the Arade Dam, but also, via Método 3, were using the claims of a convicted murderess to try to convict Gonçalo Amaral, the investigation co-ordinator who had made the McCanns suspects back on 7 September 2007.

At the same time, Aragão Correia - who had been described as a humble ‘good Samaritan’ in relation to his search in the Arade Dam - claimed on oath that no-one was currently paying him to bring the case against Amaral and his fellow-detectives. He said he was doing it out of the goodness of his own heart and because he believed in ‘the cause’. He claimed that he had gone to the Algarve in search of Madeleine’s body ‘at his own expense’. He told the court on oath: “Método 3 asked me to try to get involved in the Joana case to obtain statements from Leonor and her brother to try to understand if she was tortured by the police, nothing else”.

At one stage he said Método 3 had asked him to become involved in representing Leonor Cipriano; later he said Método 3 had ordered him. It doesn’t really make much difference, maybe something has been lost in translation. Either way, Aragão Correia was making it crystal clear that he had gone to see Leonor Cipriano in prison in April 2008 on the instructions of Método 3 – who were, according to the McCanns, solely funded by the Find Madeleine Fund.

Dealing with suspicions that, in agreeing to defend Leonor Cipriano, he was being paid by someone who could be very interested in ensuring that Gonçalo Amaral should be convicted of a crime, or at least that his reputation should be damaged (because of Amaral’s public comments about Madeleine probably having died in the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz), he retorted to the court: “I don't get paid in pounds or in euros. I am here for principles, and my objective is to set free Leonor Cipriano”.

The sensational revelation that Marcos Aragão Correia was, in some senses at least, acting on behalf of Método 3, and therefore, in turn, on behalf of the McCanns, was first publicised in the Portuguese newspaper, Correio da Manhã. The British media avoided this story altogether.

According to Correio da Manhã, Método 3 denied any connection whatsoever to the lawyer, and, further, denied making him any payments. But as Correio da Manhã was understandably quick to point out to their readers, Método 3’s denial was simply not credible. They told their readers: “Aragão Correia has already admitted that he received money from Método 3 to pay his ‘expenses’ when he made the searches to find Madeleine's corpse in the reservoir”.

The following article appeared in the Portuguese journal 24 Horas, December 2008:



30 October 2008 - by Luís Maneta

Marcos Aragão Correia confirms that he was supported with money from Maddie’s parents: The lawyer claims he is defending Joana’s mother for free and that the McCanns paid him to ‘investigate’ Gonçalo Amaral

“Was Dr Gonçalo Amaral in charge?”; “Was Dr Gonçalo Amaral present?”; “Did Dr Gonçalo Amaral hit you?”. Gonçalo Amaral, Gonçalo Amaral, Gonçalo Amaral - this seems to be the obsession of Leonor Cipriano’s defence lawyer during the trial in which Joana’s mother makes claims agaisnt five Judiciária inspectors.

Three policemen stand accused of torture: Pereira Cristóvão, Leonel Marques and Paulo Marques Bom. But Leonor’s lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, has pointed his guns at Gonçalo Amaral, who in this process stands accused of false testimony and ‘omission of denunciation’ [failing to file a report on an incident].

“This doesn’t look like a trial in the Joana case but rather one in the Maddie case”, says a source that is connected to the defence of the former co-rdinator of the PJ in Portimão, who headed the investigations into the disappearance of both children and became a sort of ‘public enemy No. 1’ for the McCann couple.

“A possible condemnation of Gonçalo Amaral in this process may make it easier for the English to prosecute the Portuguese state”, the source says.

They have paid the expenses

”When confronted by 24Horas with suspicions about his connection to the Maddie case, Marcos Aragão confirmed that he was already paid by persons that are connected to the McCanns.

“They haven’t paid me honoraries but rather expenses due to transportation, lodging and food, in order to interview João Cipriano [Leonor Cipriano’s brother] in prison”, the lawyer explained, adding that the purpose of the conversation with Mr Cipriano was ‘to analyse the procedures of Amaral as a PJ investigator’.”


Exactly how much the McCann Team paid Marcos Aragão Correia, whether directly by the Directors of the Find Madeleine Fund, or via Método 3, or perhaps by Cheshire businessman Brian Kennedy, who managed the McCann Team’s private investigation, has never been made clear by the McCann Team. Perhaps one day we shall all find out.

D. The events leading up to Marcos Aragão Correia searching the Arade Dam

Exactly how did Marcos Aragão Correia become involved in the case?

It was on 13 November 2007 that the name of Marcos Aragão Correia first came to public notice in connection with the Madeleine McCann case. It did so as a result of a curious court case brought by him against Correios de Portugal (CTT) - the Portuguese postal service. The event was reported in the Madeira Daily News. This was because Correia hails from Madeira, indeed was born there in 1975. He had set up a legal practice there in 2000, claiming to be a ‘human rights’ specialist.

It is not certain exactly when Aragão Correia filed his claim in the court against CTT, but the surrounding evidence would suggest that he probably brought the proceedings in the second half of October. It seems that the court case opened on 12 November and the Madeira Daily News reported on the case the following day, 13 November.

As it happens, that was the very same day that Brian Kennedy was also meeting the Portuguese Police, together with the boss of Método 3 and one of their top investigators, at Portimao - and later the very same day had dinner at the Eveleighs house in Burgau alongside top Freemason Edward Smethurst and opposite Robert Murat and his lawyer Francisco Pagarete. What they all discussed at that meeting has never been revealed.

Correia’s complaint about the CTT was that they had, allegedly, failed to deliver to the McCanns a recorded delivery letter that he claimed to have sent to them, in Rothley, on 2 October 2007. He further claimed that in this letter to the McCanns, he had conveyed vital information, known to him as a result of his underworld contacts, about what had really happened to Madeleine.

He was quoted by the Madeira Daily News as saying: “These are controversial matters, because there is no material proof of them, but I assure you there is a high degree of credibility about them. I am fulfilling my duty as a Portuguese citizen to take my ideas to the right place. I took my ideas to the PJ [Portuguese Police] in Funchal, but since they didn’t reply, I took them direct to the McCanns”.

He claimed that a CTT official had falsely reported that his recorded delivery letter had been received by the McCanns.

Aragão Correia told the court that it was on 2 October 2007 that he sent this recorded delivery letter. He claims he only did this after the PJ in Funchal y failed to take any notice of his evidence. This suggests that Aragão Correia was claiming that he had gone to the police sometime during September.

He then told the court that on 17 October 2007 he was somehow ‘notified’ that the recorded delivery letter never arrived at the McCanns’ home, although allegedly the letter was reported by the CTT to have been ‘signed for’ by the recipient.

How Aragão Correia could have learned on 17 October that the McCanns never received his ‘signed for’ letter is a mystery that was not cleared up by him.

Unsurprisingly, this whole unlikely tale did not impress the judge, who promptly dismissed Aragão Correia’s claim as ‘unsubstantiated’, ordering him to pay court costs of 100 euros (around £80).

Aragão Correia later admitted that his claim that he had been told by underworld sources that Madeleine had been abducted, raped and killed was a deliberate lie.

He then claimed that his real reason for getting interested in the Madeleine McCann case was because of what happened when he attended his first-ever Spiritualist meeting on Saturday, 5 May 2007 – two days after Madeleine’s reported disappearance. He said that on returning home that night, he had had a ‘vision’ of a big man strangling a young blonde girl. He says he connected that vision with Madeleine’s disappearance – and so became interested in the case. But some while later, he frankly conceded that this had also been a complete fabrication (see next section).

One thing is clear about Aragão Correia. He is a serial liar. And about a missing child.

Is it possible, therefore, that before he made his application to the court in Madeira, in October, he was already in touch with Método 3? Is it also possible that Corriea’s whole unlikely tale of the undelivered recorded delivery letter was a story concocted between Aragão Correia and Método 3, maybe to try to provide a plausible explanation for why Aragão Correia suddenly became involved in Madeleine’s disappearance?


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Re: On the 7th anniversary of the search for Madeleine's bones in the Arade Dam - who really paid for those searches

Post by Tony Bennett on 28.01.15 20:52

E.  Marcos Aragao Correia’s ‘vision’ described and analysed

Marcos Aragão Correia later gave a full (but fabricated) account of his vision Here is his fabricated, exactly in his own words, allowing for translation from Portuguese. With due warning about its graphic nature, this is what he said on the record to a journalist:

 “On 5th May [the Saturday immediately after Madeleine was reported missing], on returning from a spiritualist meeting in Madeira, immediately after going to bed, but just before falling asleep -  at around midnight - an extraordinary thing happened to me, for the first time in my life. I saw the image of a little girl that must have been around four years of age, with blonde, shoulder-length straight hair, blue eyes, very disturbed, visibly unable to understand what was happening to her, accompanied by a female being of great beauty and great spiritual standing.

“Then, other images appeared to me, concerning what had happened to this girl. I saw a strongly-built man, blue eyes, somewhat balding and with blondish hair, brutally raping that girl and then strangling her with his hands, throwing the cadaver into a lake. I perceived by a map that was shown to me [presumably he means during his alleged vision], that this happened in the Algarve, but I couldn’t read the name of the village. I stress that I hadn’t seen any photo of Maddie before. I only knew, from what I’d heard on the radio, that she was 3 years old”.

Aragão Correia developed his story further, as the journalist then asked him if his ‘vision’ of a ‘strongly-built blond man’ corresponded with anyone who featured in the Portuguese investigation:

Correia answered: “Yes, there were references about a strongly-built individual of British appearance as a suspect. Still, as this was my first vision in my entire life, there was, on my part, a certain reluctance to divulge it.  So I let a few days pass, to see whether or not the little girl showed up. Eventually, I gave this lead to the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), on 9 May, but after that they never contacted me.

“Later on, I received information from a PJ insider in Portimão that the investigation was no longer based on the working hypothesis of abduction.  So it was then that I decided to carry out my own private investigation. I travelled over to continental Portugal, and visited the various lakes and dams of the Algarve, until I reached the Arade Dam, which was the only one that precisely matched the scenery that I had seen in my vision. I decided to contact a senior official at Método 3, the detective agency that had been hired by the McCanns to investigate their daughter’s disappearance. When I mentioned that the dam was located in Silves, I noticed that they were surprised and immediately wanted to speak with me”.

Aragão Correia tells us that he had this vision on a Saturday night (5 May), after a Spiritualist meeting. Then he claims he gave the information to the PJ four days later. What information? And how? - by e-mail? Or by ’phone? To whom?
He doesn’t tell us any of this. Then he claims that he ‘received inside information’ (from a PJ police officer, presumably - though he doesn’t say that) - that the investigation ‘is no longer working on abduction as a theory’. Could he have got this
from someone on the McCann Team?

Next, we are asked to believe that Aragão Correia only decided to contact Método 3 after he had finally located the Arade Dam as the one which matched his ‘vision’. He tells us grandly that he “travelled over to continental Portugal, and visited the various lakes and dams of the Algarve, until I reached the Arade Dam”. This must have been expensive and time-consuming.

If it ever happened.  

We have already established that Aragão Correia is a liar - capable of deliberate, high-profile lies. Further, the claim that he only contacted Método 3 after visiting the dam must be put alongside his admission that he had been paid ‘expenses’ for searching the Arade Dam by Método 3.  

At the time of the second search of the Arade Dam, one newspaper reported the McCanns as being ‘furious’. It claimed: “Kate and Gerry McCann reacted with fury yesterday after divers began a second search of a reservoir for Madeleine's body. The couple told friends that the search - funded by a Portuguese lawyer who they claim is a ‘fantasist’ seeking publicity - is a distraction from the hunt”.

Yet the McCanns were paying Marcos Aragão Correia, via Método 3.  

The report continued:  “Marcos Aragão Correia claims crime contacts told him she was killed and left in the lake two days after going missing. Aragão Correia spent thousands of pounds on a previous search but found nothing. But a McCann source said: ‘There's no evidence Madeleine is in that reservoir. They believe she is alive and are concentrating on finding her’.”

Let us continue with Aragão Correia’s story to the journalist.

Correia said: “Two detectives [from Método 3] met with me [at the Arade Dam] and told me that they had already received thousands of leads, but that mine was corroborated by a physical case that they had already established. It involved a Portuguese truck driver, M. Gautier, who only two days after the disappearance of Madeleine, at around 4pm to 5pm, while driving down the IC1 road, near the Arade Dam, saw two cars parked by the road, an Audi A3 that was driven by a man - and a green car (of a very unusual green) that was driven by a blonde woman. The two vehicles were separated by a small metallic fence, and while driving by in his truck, the driver saw what seemed like an inanimate child to him, being passed from one car to another, wrapped up in a blanket”.

Aragão Correia’s claim was that Método 3 had had a credible report of a child in a blanket being passed from one car to another on Saturday 5 May in the afternoon - two days after Madeleine ‘disappeared’. He adds that Método 3 had established from M. Gautier, the Portuguese truck driver, that he “knew the blanket contained a child by the manner in which the body stood out from the blanket. The bent legs and small dimensions made him conclude, without hesitation, that it was a child.

On the other hand, the extremely protective way in which the couple held the blanket, on a hot day, was suspicious”.
This, however, was a dishonest account of this incident, as the truck driver concerned did not think the ‘package’ handed over was heavy enough to be a child.

Marcos Aragão Correia continued: “Método 3 detectives showed M. Gautier the photos of some of the main suspects in the disappearance of Maddie, and found some physiognomic similarities with at least two of them. The PJ were given this lead once again in November, but discarded it once again, after analysing the triangulation points from the suspicious couple’s mobile ’phones, and after questioning the owners of a plot of land on that site. The PJ committed a gross mistake by investigating only that suspect and his girlfriend. The truck driver said that he couldn’t be certain that it was that precise suspect, but rather that it was a person with similar physiognomic features, mainly in terms of body mass”.

If the account of Aragão Correia is to be believed, he first of all visited various lakes and dams in Portugal, then contacted Método 3, and then met with two detectives from Método 3 at the Arade Dam on Monday 10 December.

Aragão Correia tells us that M. Gautier contacted the police the very same day he saw the incident - Saturday 5 May. Correia says that, sometime after the incident: “I spoke to M. Gautier myself. He told me that the PJ had ridiculed him as soon as he called them, on the very same day that he had witnessed the body being transferred from car to car near the metal fence. It was all extremely strange, and, because of that, in November, the truck driver reported everything to the detectives at Método 3”.

I think that what can be inferred from that is that during November 2007 there were probably a lot of conversations.
Between M. Gautier and Método 3. Between M. Gautier and Aragão Correia. Between Aragão Correia and Método 3.
But I suggest there must have been more conversations. Between Método 3 and the McCann Team. Between Aragão Correia and the McCann Team.

And I suggest it was somewhere amidst those conversations that someone from the McCann Team authorised the air fares for three people – two detectives from Método 3 and Aragão Correia – to meet for a planning meeting at the Arade Dam on Monday 10 December.

F.  The meeting between Marcos Aragão Correia and Método 3 on 10 December at the Arade Dam, Portugal
What is clearly on the record is that Aragão Correia met with two detectives from Método 3 at the Arade Dam itself on 10 December 2007. A Monday, as it happens. Let us examine that event in more detail.
By then, Aragão Corriea had long since formulated his claim that he knew that Madeleine had been killed. He says he had been told that Madeleine’s body had been ‘thrown into a murky lake’. When the Arade Dam search became public, he boasted of how he had carefully researched these underworld claims and decided that Madeleine’s body must have been thrown into the Arade Dam, using maps. I suggest it is probable that he had already discussed these ideas with Método 3 representatives well before his meeting with them at the Arade Dam on 10 December.
We might also note that in order for Aragão Correia to meet with Método 3 at the Arade Dam on 10 December, he would have to fly over 600 miles from the Atlantic island of Madeira. Similarly, the Método 3 representatives at this meeting would have had to travel around 550 miles (as the crow flies) from their base in Barcelona. This meeting this involved a round trip for each of them of over 1,000 miles. It must have been very important.
How much did this meeting cost? Air fares from Madeira to the Algarve and back. Air fares from Barcelona to the Algarve and back. Who paid the fares? We know that the McCann Team were paying Marcos Aragão Correia. We know that the McCann Team were paying Método 3.
How was the Arade Dam search planned after that 10 December meeting? Who, for example, found, contracted and paid the diving team? Who furnished PA with a ready-made story on 4 February 2008, full of quotes from Marcos Aragão Correia, that would then be picked up by all Britain’s mainstream media?
The diving team were paid, according to PA, ‘£1,200 a day’. They worked for two weeks, so probably cost a total of more than £15,000.
They would need to be briefed that they would be searching for Madeleine McCann’s body.
They would be carrying out that search at the coldest time of the year, in the Portuguese mountains.
They would be aware that this lake was so murky that even powerful torches would be needed, and that they would be having to conduct this search by just feeling along the bottom of this ‘murky lake’.
They would be told - presumably by Marcos Aragão Correia – where to look.
The company would need to recruit suitably qualified divers.
The timing of the search would need to be arranged in advance.
Fees would need to be negotiated and a contract drawn up between the diving company and whoever was going to pay them. If Marcos Aragão  Correia was going to pay the diving team directly, then he would need the money. Where did that money come from?

G.  Marcos Aragao Correia admits to lying about his ‘underworld sources’ – and makes up another story

Marcos Aragão Correia had been forced to admit, during 2008, that he had lied about his ‘underworld sources’ and his claim that they had told him that Madeleine had been raped and killed. The following year, he admitted in an interview with a journalist that he had also lied about his alleged vision of a very large blond man strangling a young girl.

He now spun a third tale, every bit as unlikely as the previous stories he’d told. This is what he told the journalist who interviewed him:

“Método 3 submitted me to a test in order to prove beyond all doubt whether or not my mediumistic abilities and my accounts were credible. They were fed up with following false leads.

The fact is that the test gave totally positive results, according to what was confirmed to me personally by the Director of Método 3 in Barcelona himself. Following my mediumistic abilities passing Método 3’s stringent tests, Método 3 offered full support to my research. But given the fact that Maddie’s parents preferred to spend the decreasing money from the Find Madeleine Fund mainly following leads based on the belief that their daughter was still alive, they dismissed the possibility of paying professional divers to search the dam. So I offered myself to pay for the first phase of the searches in the dam, having later received much support, including financial support, from mediums and spiritualists who believed in and corroborated my theory”.

We are left guessing, of course, at the possible nature of the ‘stringent test’ that Método 3 could have devised to ‘prove’ Mr Aragão Correia’s mediumistic abilities. And now we have yet another story on who paid for those expensive dam searches. First, Aragão Correia told us he had generously funded the searches himself, out of the goodness of his heart, then we were told that Método 3 had ‘helped him with expenses’.

Now we get a third version, namely: “I was given money by a group of mediums and spiritualists who corroborated my theory”.

Aragão Correia then returns to the subject of the dam searches and tells the journalist:

“The dam searches found items of relevance, but these were not sufficient as evidence. Maybe I made some mistakes, which might have alerted the possible abductors of the little English girl: On 11 January, before the diving in the dam started, Lux magazine published my suspicions in a front page article. Yet it was almost two months later [in fact it was three weeks] that the searches were started at the dam. That was more than enough time for the criminals to hide any incriminating residues.

"Nevertheless, we discovered a girl’s sock that was Maddie’s age. I believe the sock might have been used by Maddie, although the lab tests failed to detect any human residues, due to the fact that it stayed underwater for such a long time. We also found several knotted lengths of rope, over five metres [16 feet] long, which would have been ideal to tie up the body at the bottom of the dam. All of this was recovered by the divers in an area where there was no other rubbish. Método 3 were always closely involved in the searches, monitoring them closely, and took all of those objects back to Spain for examination”.

The journalist then asks Aragão Correia to comment on the PJ investigation. He answered:

“The information that I received as a medium didn’t allow for me to understand what the criminal’s motivation was. But information I obtained later on - especially from consulting an excellent book by criminologist Barra da Costa - led me to believe the theory, admitted by the former PJ Chief Inspector, that the police weren’t interested in finding Maddie, nor in catching the real culprits over her disappearance. Dr Barra da Costa said in his book that there was something like a tacit plan to induce a general sense of insecurity across society, to allow for the micro-chip (a device implanted in human beings that gives out signals to track down where they are) to be produced on a major scale.

“At the beginning I had some reservations concerning that issue, because I had never heard about it, but I was interested and careful enough to go on the internet and to consult several credible websites, including FBI and CIA sources, where I found some amazing things: the micro-chip was indeed being promoted as the ideal weapon to prevent crime. These sources added that the population should be induced into accepting this technological revolution, even if it was at the expense of a policy of deliberately promoting mass public insecurity. Well, the Maddie case fell like ‘manna from heaven’ for the promotion of the microchip, especially as far as children are concerned”.

And on that very puzzling note, the interview with Aragão Correia ended.


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Tony Bennett

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Re: On the 7th anniversary of the search for Madeleine's bones in the Arade Dam - who really paid for those searches

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 02.02.15 17:33

Have just read and digested this Tony. There is a lot in there I wasn't previously aware of so thank you for that.

I can't believe the scale of that mans dubious behaviour, it really beggars belief, but will come as no surprise to many given the "unfortunate" alliances the McCanns have made with fraudsters over the years.

I hadn't quite grasped the connection between Metodo3 and Cipriano cases - or that the McCanns would be paying a crook to stitch up Amaral. Can this case get any more crooked and corrupt? 

And why with the help of Clarence Mitchell, Carter Ruck and Smethurst, were the Mccanns allowed to or encouraged to engage in what can only be perceived as complete and utter corruption?

The truth will out.

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