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POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

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Smithman: Real or fake? Where are we all currently at?

1. I believe the McCanns are rattled by Smithman, and HAVEN'T promoted him, because it really WAS Gerry carrying Maddie's corpse to the beach. He DIDN'T intend to be seen;
 
2. As above but DID intend to be seen, but NOT recognised;
 
3. I believe Smithman really WAS Gerry but carrying a (sedated?) pyjama-clad DECOY child in the cold, playing a role in the staged abduction. He INTENDED to be seen, but NOT recognised;
 
4. I believe Maddie died days earlier, that Smithman is yet another FAKE story, that the McCanns, Grange and the BBC HAVE promoted this sighting for all its worth, to keep us looking at 3rd May because without Smithman they are SUNK as there is NO evidenc
 
5. I believe the Smith sighting IS GENUINE, but they COULD have seen another INNOCENT dad like Crecheman carrying his sleeping, pyjama-clad daughter in the cold, who just happened to look like Gerry McCann, but is UNAWARE he has been MISTAKEN as an abduct
 
6. I believe the Smith sighting is genuine, that Maddie really WAS abducted and the Smith's saw the REAL abductor, and that's why he hasn't come forward to eliminate himself;
 
7. Don't know.
 
 
 
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Phoebe on 07.02.18 18:45

The alleged "contradictions" regarding the Smith sighting are all gleaned from media reports such as the Daily Mail, Mirror, Sky News etc. I place no stock on anything reported in newspapers whose purpose is to create headline and flog a story. They are not trusted on anything else they write about the Madeleine case, so I fail to see why they should be suddenly be deserving of trust over anything they say about the Smith sighting.  Another "contradiction" is lifted form the  McCanns' own website!

Given that the Smith family were not walking along together in a bunch when they encountered Smithman, but were spread out it makes perfect sense that as he approached, drew level and passed each of the three separate Smith-groupings he was seen differently by each group. That, to me, explains why some saw his face more clearly than others.

As to the two e-fits not possibly looking like the same man, G.E.G. up-thread kindly posted an article which examines the "Suspect Number One" (efits) from the "just five hours in May" website, which shows Gerry McCann resembling BOTH efits (depending on which angle of his face is presented)
Goncalo Amaral has a good, experienced "cop's nose". He was, and remains, satisfied that the Smith sighting was genuine and truthful. He refers to it in his most recent interview and I don't swallow any tales that he lost interest in the case after his investigation was brought to an end. It cost him his job, his marriage and his reputation, so more than anyone else on earth, he has the motive to keep abreast of how the case is unfolding. He also has the contacts as a former detective. If it's good enough for him that's enough for me

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Tony Bennett on 07.02.18 20:10

@Phoebe wrote:The alleged "contradictions" regarding the Smith sighting are all gleaned from media reports such as the Daily Mail, Mirror, Sky News etc. I place no stock on anything reported in newspapers whose purpose is to create headline and flog a story.
@ Phoebe    Sorry, but you are very wrong.

My whole article on the Smith family contradictions is NOT based on newspaper reports but on:

A Their own signed statements, as given to the PJ on 26 May 2007 and

B Direct reported quotes from members of the Smith family.

I went back and counted and in my article there are 27 DIRECT QUOTES from their own PJ statements and their very own words.

And the majority of those are from their sworn statements.

Bearing that in mind, I am still very interested in how anyone can explain all these many contradictions.

A few you have attempted to explain - fair enough.

But if you look at all 12 sets of contradictions, can you be sure that you can rely on the words of the Smiths?

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Phoebe on 07.02.18 20:39

Martin Smith statement to PJ, 26 May 2008: “Met Murat twice, in May and August 2006 in Praia da Luz bars”.

Met him ‘only once’ – two years ago (Drogheda Independent - 8 August 2007) “The family are also mystified at reports that he knows Mr Murat. They met once in a bar about two years ago”. 

‘Met him several times’ SKY News, 4 January 2008:  “I told police it was definitely not him because the man wasn't as big as Murat - I think I would have recognised him because I'd met him several times previously”. 

‘I’ve known him for years’ -  Daily Mail, 3 January 2008: “Insisting he knew chief suspect Robert Murat visually for years, Mr Smith told police the person he saw carrying a child could


The three "contradictions" above are all cited form newspapers and Sky News.


Tony, you yourself say the contradictions come from -


"B Direct REPORTED quotes from members of the Smith family." (my capitals). 


My point is why are we suddenly to believe reports from newspapers which have in the past, and continue still, to spout false information in the Madeleine case? As I stated above, I bow to Goncalo Amaral's judgement. He has judged the Smiths  to be credible.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Verity on 07.02.18 22:21

Did anyone else see Smithman, or was it just the Smiths?
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Verdi on 08.02.18 1:01

@Verity wrote:Did anyone else see Smithman, or was it just the Smiths?

According to public record only the Smiths - oh and of course Tanner who saw Tannerman about 45 minutes earlier. Then again he was Crecheman so who was Redwoodman - Smithman or Tannerman?

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by nglfi on 08.02.18 4:54

Also if Smithman was Gerry, did Jez Wilkins see him before or after Smith did, timeline wise?
For Smithman to be Gerry, would he have had to finish his conversation with Jez, then go back into the apartment to get Madeleine and then set off, to be seen by Smith?

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by polyenne on 08.02.18 8:05

Or had Madeleine's body been secreted in the shrubbery because Jez was out walking ? Problem is, Gerry was talking to Jez around 9.10-9.15 which is some time away from the alleged Smith sighting. Was Gerry spooked temporarily and returned to the table to agree to change the timeline with the others ?

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Jill Havern on 08.02.18 10:39

I have added a Poll to this thread to see where we're all currently at. I hope I've listed as many options as possible to cover members and guests thoughts!

eta: Drat, it looks like two of my questions were too long and they've been cut orf in their prime. I hope they make sense!
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by nglfi on 08.02.18 10:46

I voted 1 but would add that obviously the McCanns have mentioned Smithman and to a extent promoted him, because they couldn't avoid it. As someone else wrote upthread, the McCanns rewrote and twisted it to fit their narrative, because they didn't have an alternative. This is what I'm feeling at the moment, but not fully decided, just because there are so many facets to this case that always keep re-appearing and changing the status quo!

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Jill Havern on 08.02.18 10:58

@nglfi wrote:I voted 1 but would add that obviously the McCanns have mentioned Smithman and to a  extent promoted him, because they couldn't avoid it. As someone else wrote upthread, the McCanns rewrote and twisted it to fit their narrative, because they didn't have an alternative. This is what I'm feeling at the moment, but not fully decided, just because there are so many facets to this case that always keep re-appearing and changing the status quo!
I knew I'd miss something out! roll   I tried to look at it from all angles.
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Crackfox on 08.02.18 10:58

I voted 4 -  I don't agree with the conspiracy idea but I do think Mr Smith is mistaken because on balance l think there is too much evidence of meticulous planning - at a least 24 hours IMO.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by polyenne on 08.02.18 11:37

I couldn't vote #3 in the poll......Gerry McCann is clever, he's definitely not cavalier

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Ladyinred on 08.02.18 11:56

I've voted 4.
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Verdi on 09.02.18 2:08

@ChippyM wrote:
@Verdi wrote:
@ChippyM wrote:I still can't see any evidence Martin Smith knew Murat and or why he would lie for him
.

Praia da Luz is a small coastal resort with a notional population of 3,000-4,000, largely comprising expats from various parts of Europe.  From my experience, expats form communities where everybody knows everybody - and knows their business.  You can't hide from them, they spend their idle days and nights at cafés and bars, they're gossipy and mischievous - I could even say jealous and vindictive.  Far more likely that Murat and Smith were acquainted than not, believe me, you can't avoid it.  Same nationality expats and frequent visitors, crave company that speak their own tongue - not for them those funny foreign languages!

They've only got to hear someone speaking Ingleesh (for example) and they pounce, before you know it you're at some bar exchanging life history - that's if you're not very very careful smilie .

Which is speculation not evidence isn't it?  Again, friends enough to get his whole family to commit perjury? It's just not logical.

re.  Gerry certainly not carrying a child dead/ alive around the town. That's not a certainty is it?   We can't know for sure.   As per Goncalo Amaral's theory a body may have been kept some-where and then moved. This doesn't mean she died on that night.

 Maybe something went wrong in the plan and a child had to be moved quickly for some reason. We would be talking about a situation where everything was at stake if that body ( or live child) wasn't moved in a hurry.

 That's speculation obviously but I'm not going to present it as factual unlike the theory that the Smith Family are all lying which IMO has very little to back it up.

No, what I say about an average expat community is a statement of fact - I'm not speculating about anything.

All this talk of perjury is but sensationalism - who, when giving a witness statement or when compelled to tell a porky, ever thinks of perjury? To commit perjury you, or your words, have to be before a court of law, who ever thinks their words will one day be presented before a court of law? You tell the missus your forgot the time when you stopped off at the pub. are you perjuring yourself?

Gerry McCann (or anybody else for that matter) carrying a body, dead or alive, around the streets of Praia da Luz is a preposterous notion even in a state of urgency - the mere suggestion defies all reason. We're talking of a three year old child here, not a combine harvester.

I don't recall ever saying the Smith family were/are lying but there sure is reason to question their involvement in this convoluting mystery of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by nglfi on 09.02.18 5:28

A lot of opinion against the Smith sighting seems to be based on incredulity that a person could carry a dead body through the street. I agree it is completely a completely stupid, thoughtless, reckless thing to do. That doesn't mean for certain it didn't happen. I've gone back and forth over the Smith sighting for this reason myself, but I don't think we should fully rule the idea that Gerry may have done this out.
I believe the couple's mental state to not be that of the average person. Whilst they are reasonably intelligent, they sorely lack emotional intelligence. There's an air of extreme superiority and self importance; everyone else is stupid but them. I've read articles describing Gerry in particular as a pathological liar, and the problem with people who lie with such ease is that they invariably contradict themselves, as we've seen the McCanns do on numerous occasions.
Imagine a situation where something happens at the beginning of the week, and a plan is devised, but the most important issue of transportation is either not decided or something goes wrong at the last minute. Then they're left in a situation where they need to get rid of the body and quick, and they decide that this is the best way. No one will recognise that it is a corpse in the dark because people are stupid and generally aren't observant (in their opinion). If she was transported in a bag, that creates a further link back to them and another thing they would have to destroy.

What I don't understand about the scenario where Smith deliberately lies is why he would come up with an abductor who looks like, indeed is Gerry? Why not create a man who looks different?
Furthermore, if the Smith sighting is discredited, the McCanns do have other sightings of a potential abductor (pimpleman, sunglasses man etc), albeit not after the event. I would say the appearance of Smithman ultimately points the finger of suspicion towards the McCanns, heavily, and not away. Why would they do that? Not to accuse the Portuguese of harassing them. The cadaver and bodily fluid odour does that, and they can't get away from it.
I'm reminded of another incident recently where a couple who physically abused their child to death in London, took her onto a bus and tried to pretend she had just died right there on the bus. In fact no one realised the baby was dead until they made a fuss and drew attention to themselves. On a packed bus. Of course it was a foolish thing to do and people immediately realised once they were looking.

Just playing devils advocate here. It's not impossible the Smiths weren't lying/mistaken. All IMO.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by lemonbutter on 09.02.18 7:26

I voted #1 because I am of the opinion that it is not so ludicrous, preposterous, unreasonable, illogical or indeed so far beyond the realms of possibility to even imagine it, to suggest that Gerry McCann might just have been carrying a child (dead or alive) through the streets of Praia da Luz around 10pm on the night of 3rd May 2007.

Of course it sounds like an utterly risky thing to do, but something about this case implies that the stakes were very high - and if anything was about to go wrong the risks had to be taken.

My thoughts about the 'Smithman' sighting by no means excludes my opinion that Madeleine's demise occurred much earlier than Thursday night.

Again, my own opinions.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by skyrocket on 09.02.18 9:24

Please bear with me, this is a long one.
 
Firstly, if you aware that you are lying when you make a police statement, and the police discover this, you are liable for prosecution quite independently of the case you gave the statement for.  So yes, it is a serious matter.
 
I agree with @TB that there are clear contradictions in Martin Smith’s statements. Also, the family sat back and did not report the sighting despite the fact that, as far as they were aware in the immediate aftermath of 3 May, a probable paedophile had carried off a young girl. They were quick to compare the child to Martin Smith’s granddaughter, which one would have thought would have triggered an emotional reaction encouraging them to speak to the PJ sooner rather than later. It’s not the sort of situation that normal people under normal circumstances would not want to get involved in immediately, IMO.
 
But then there is the problem of the family seeming genuine. Not knowing Martin Smith the man, or the possible motivation that he might have to involve himself and his family in some hoax sighting, it is difficult to judge whether it is likely or not. I’m sure there must be circumstances when a man would do it.
 
Martin Smith, his adult son and his 12 year-old daughter returned to Portimao to give statements. But prior to that we are told that Martin Smith’s wife Mary and Peter Smith’s 13 year-old son, Tadgh, had already given statements in Ireland. So we have 2 young teenagers involved – Martin Smith’s daughter and his grandson. Apart from the obvious moral aspect of involving the children in a hoax (as several others have posted)  - I agree, how on earth could they be relied on not to slip up in any interviews?
 
Mary Smith seems to have been a reluctant participant – she didn’t return to Portugal to give a statement. Would she be reluctant if she believed she might be helping to find a snatched child? Her comments regarding her feelings for the McCanns and their loss suggest that she does not believe they are involved but she doesn’t contradict her husband’s apparent later comments about Smithman/Gerry McCann. In fact, we are told by Martin Smith that his wife agrees that the man they saw carrying a child in Luz looked like the man they saw on the news carrying a child off a plane (GM).
 
There is also the strange correlation with the McCluskey statement, which I believe is somehow relevant. I started a thread on McCluskey but I have looked at it again since then and there is more, and I think it should be included on this thread.
 
Timeline:
 
I’ll try to précis the details (jump down to the bottom of the list if it's too much!):
 
-       Early hours of 5 May McCluskey and wife, returning to their hotel on foot, report a sighting in Alvor (several miles east of PdL);
-       They see a white flatbed van stop at a junction; a dark skinned/haired male, alight from the vehicle and then stagger up the main road away from them, carrying a young child;
-       A blonde woman then appears from the side road and approaches the van;
-       The McCluskeys cross over, note the number plate and try to speak to the apparently distraught woman who only seems to speak Portuguese;
-       A car stops and a Portuguese male gets out. He speaks to the woman and the McCluskeys and agrees to phone the police;
-       The McCluskeys return to their hotel across the road;
-       Later McCluskey (still concerned), asks the night porter to phone the police and 2 English speaking officers turn up. He tells them what has happened and they deal with the situation; the event is therefore logged on the night by the Portuguese;
-       The McCluskeys return home to the North East of England and both give statements to the Northumbria police, on the 9 May. In his statement McCluskey clearly states the above details re: the man/woman he saw and spoke to i.e. dark skinned male; Portuguese speaking female;
-       On the 9 September, the McCanns return to the UK and there is wide TV coverage;
-       On the 12 September McCluskey contacts the Northumbria Police and returns to give a second hand written statement (different officer who apparently is unable to access a copy of the first statement);
-       On the 13 September, said officer, Stephen Robinson 423 sends a copy of McCluskey’s second statement to Op Task in Leicester by recorded delivery;
-       At the same time, the interviewing officer sends an email outlining in detail the salient points of McCluskey’s second statement. He sends this to Op Task and a copy directly to dic.portimao – the British Police officers in Portugal;
-       In this email, the officer states that McCluskey now believes that the woman he met on the side of the road was in fact Kate McCann. No mention is made of the fact that in his initial statement McCluskey says that the woman didn’t speak English - the officer is probably unaware of this;
-       In the email, the officer clearly repeats McCluskey’s description of the male getting out of the van and staggering up the road, he then only goes on to say that McCluskey is now stating that the woman was Kate McCann BUT makes no mention of McCluskey also believing the male to be Gerry McCann;
-       In the PJfiles there is only copy of page 1 of McCluskey’s 2 page, 12 May, hand written statement – this ends before there is any mention of Gerry McCann or the walk down the plane steps carrying a child being a memory trigger;
-       However, in the files there is an apparent transcript of the entire 12 May statement, in which McCluskey firstly states that he now believes that the blonde woman was Kate McCann AND secondly, that that the dark skinned, staggering male was Gerry McCann. His reasoning for the latter being based on the news coverage of the McCanns returning to the UK, and the way in which GM carried Sean off the plane. Seem familiar?
-       This transcript of the 12 May statement is not reproduced on a statement form (MG11), however that might be standard procedure. We have no way of knowing for sure whether this was the statement sent from the Northumbria Police Officer, Stephen Robinson, on the 13 May, or whether the statement has been added to with the extra comments about McCluskey now recognizing the man he saw as Gerry McCann (other than the obvious discrepancy between the statement and the officer’s accompanying email);
-       On the 19 September, DC John Hughes 433 of Op Task sends a copy of PC? Stephen Robinson’s 13 September email (with an accompanying 2 line comment which is unreadable) through to dic.portimao (despite the fact that they had already been sent a copy on 13 September by Robinson). At the bottom left of the email page it reads 20-09-2007;
-       On 20 September Martin Smith contacts the Leicestershire Police by phone. He tells them (Lindsay Long, Holmes Indexer) that he has been watching coverage of the McCanns return to the UK and he is now 60% to 80% sure that the man he saw carrying a child at around 10pm on 3 May was Gerry McCann. He asks for a call back from Op Task;
-       On 20 September, Lindsay Long contacts DC John Hughes of Op Task by email and informs him about Martin Smith’s phone call and his request for a call back;
-       A few hours later on the 20 September (we are not told whether a return call is made), DC John Hughes copies the information regarding Smith to Stuart Prior in Portimao. At the bottom left of the email page it reads 20-09-2007;
-       On 27 September, Inspector Ricardo Paiva of the PJ phones Martin Smith about his contact with the British Police on 20 September. Smith tells Paiva that he would be happy to return to Portugal to collaborate with the police there;
-       On the 28 September, a Laura Bailey-Brown (no further details included) sends an email to Op Task in Leicester. This is the only dated copy of the 12 September transcribed McCluskey statement, containing the comments about Gerry McCann. The only other detail shown in this email is the ‘subject’ on the email bar, which states ‘please forward to Portugal as requested by DS 548’;
-       On the 1 October, DC John Hughes 443, forwards the McCluskey email on to dic.portimao (the English Police in Portimao);
-       On the 8 November, the PJ ask the Irish Police (via the Irish Police liaison in Madrid) to re-interview Martin Smith in Ireland. They send questions they would like asked;
-       On 23 January 2008, Martin Smith is re-interviewed by Sergeant Liam Hogan of the Detective Branch in Drogheda, County Lough;
-       On 30 January, Hogan writes a covering letter for the Smith interview. In it he states that Smith has been approached by Kennedy, on behalf of the McCanns, to work on a fotofit, but that Smith has refused to take part;
-       The above letter from Hogan carries 2 send dates of 2 Februeary/19 February on the bottom right
-       The Hogan letter and second Smith statement were sent to the PJ on the 19 February via the Irish Force liaison officer, Bernard Gaffney in Madrid, although dic.portimao also seems to have had copy at this time/date.
 
So, on the 5 May we have McCluskey (in Alvor) seeing a dark-skinned male, staggering, carrying a child, and a blonde, Portuguese speaking woman. On the 12 September after, he says, seeing ‘media coverage’ of the investigation (no mention of GM descending the plane but does come 3 days after the Mcs return on the 9 Sept), McCluskey makes a second statement in Ireland, which is hand written.
 
The detailed email sent on to OP Task and the British Officers in Portimao by the interviewing officer on the 13 September, only says that McCluskey now believes the blonde woman he saw was Kate McCann. No mention is made at all of McCluskey believing the dark-skinned man was Gerry McCann. No mention of seeing GM coming off the plane. However, the statement then later passed on to the PJ contains this second claim, apparently from McCluskey. The first dated copy of this full transcript is 28 September.
 
It is significant, IMO, that the last shown communication between Op Task in the UK and dic.portimao (British Police in Portugal) regarding the second McCluskey statement made on 12 September and the (extended) transcript including discussion of Gerry McCann descending the plane carrying Sean, comes the day before the Irish Police receive a phone call from Martin Smith saying that he had seen the media coverage of the McCanns return to the UK and of Gerry descending the plane carrying Sean.
 
Note the heavy involvement of one DC John Hughes 433 of Op Task in the handling of both the McCluskey and Smith second statements – he was dealing with the information from both men within 1 day of each other, 19/20 September.
 
Where did the claim that the man seen carrying a child by McCluskey looked like Gerry McCann come from? Why didn’t Sergeant Hogan make a point of this in his email when surely it was highly significant, more so than the strange claim about the Portuguese speaking woman being KM? Why is the second page of his hand written statement omitted from the files?
 
Is it just co-incidence that Smith second statement and the (doctored?) McCluskey second statement both contain almost identical worded claims about Gerry McCann?
 
Refs:
 
http://mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/RI_Mc.htm
 
http://mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/MARTIN_SMITH.htm
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Phoebe on 09.02.18 9:33

It has been claimed that it is preposterous to suggest that Gerry may have been carrying a corpse or decoy child in Luz that night. But, is it any less preposterous to suggest that a random, ordinary family from Ireland was approached by shadowy U.K. powers to mislead the Portuguese police and that they happily agreed?
 On the point of perjury, the last thing one does when signing a formal statement given in a criminal investigation, is to agree to have it formally recorded that the evidence given is truthful and accurate and then place one's signature below this. Believe me, it is NO casual interaction. One is made fully aware that any such statement may be entered into the book of evidence and that one may be called on to testify in court. This is part of the reason that the P.J. went to the bother of bringing the Smith's  all the way back to Portugal.This leaves one open to potential charges of providing false information, misleading an investigation or seeking to pervert the course of justice. If one merely wishes to provide information one can do so informally and decline to give a sworn statement. 
The proposition that Madeleine died before Thurs evening and the proposition that it may, indeed, have been Gerry they saw are not mutually exclusive. 
What I do find totally bizarre is the suggestion that the Smiths, having been drafted in to help get the McCanns off the hook, should do so by pointing the finger clearly at Gerry being involved. Think about it - he is claiming his child was abducted, they are claiming they saw him whisking her off after dark toward the beach. How on earth does that do anything but raise suspicion that he is involved in her disappearance?

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by plebgate on 09.02.18 10:28

IMO they wouldn't be called to give evidence as it was clearly stated from the beginning that they were only 60 to 80 percent certain it was Mr who was carrying a child around the streets of PDL so no chance of being charged with perjury?

Given that they did not see this man's face why would any prosecution call them as witnesses?

I still do not believe that Mr was walking around the streets of PDL for all that time with a child in his arms whichever child it might have been.  

Why would he just wander around for up to 40 minutes hoping that someone would spot him? 

For all anyone knew a police officer may have been walking around the streets at the same time and might possibly have stopped him especially as the child had no coat, no shoes and it was a cold night.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Phoebe on 09.02.18 10:35

@Skyrocket. Oh yes, yes, yes!!! your post echoes one of the very first posts I ever made on this forum. I too believe it is no coincidence that the McCluskey/Smith statements share the "Saw Gerry getting off the plane with Sean and had a lightbulb moment" narrative.
I firmly believe that some elements of the British police "led" some of the witness statements. I believe when Martin Smith first made contact with police re. now believing that it was Gerry he saw, that it may well have been suggested to him that, the like McCluskey, what triggered his memory was the way Gerry held the child. It's not absolutely impossible that a coincidence occurred, but I suspect this is more likely. As for McCluskey, I think it was wishful thinking on his part. He became so convinced of the parent's involvement- (as he himself says) "after seeing media coverage of the investigation" (remember this was Sept. and the media frenzy about the McCanns' guilt was in full swing) that he convinced himself that he had seen Kate and Gerry, despite them not speaking in English and despite the man being "dark skinned"! It's not unusual in a high profile case to have people convince themselves that they have seen something vital. There is an element of the thrill and self-importance of being involved to take into account. Human nature after all.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by ChippyM on 09.02.18 10:41

@Verdi wrote:
@ChippyM wrote:
@Verdi wrote:
@ChippyM wrote:I still can't see any evidence Martin Smith knew Murat and or why he would lie for him
.

Praia da Luz is a small coastal resort with a notional population of 3,000-4,000, largely comprising expats from various parts of Europe.  From my experience, expats form communities where everybody knows everybody - and knows their business.  You can't hide from them, they spend their idle days and nights at cafés and bars, they're gossipy and mischievous - I could even say jealous and vindictive.  Far more likely that Murat and Smith were acquainted than not, believe me, you can't avoid it.  Same nationality expats and frequent visitors, crave company that speak their own tongue - not for them those funny foreign languages!

They've only got to hear someone speaking Ingleesh (for example) and they pounce, before you know it you're at some bar exchanging life history - that's if you're not very very careful smilie .

Which is speculation not evidence isn't it?  Again, friends enough to get his whole family to commit perjury? It's just not logical.

re.  Gerry certainly not carrying a child dead/ alive around the town. That's not a certainty is it?   We can't know for sure.   As per Goncalo Amaral's theory a body may have been kept some-where and then moved. This doesn't mean she died on that night.

 Maybe something went wrong in the plan and a child had to be moved quickly for some reason. We would be talking about a situation where everything was at stake if that body ( or live child) wasn't moved in a hurry.

 That's speculation obviously but I'm not going to present it as factual unlike the theory that the Smith Family are all lying which IMO has very little to back it up.

No, what I say about an average expat community is a statement of fact - I'm not speculating about anything.  

All this talk of perjury is but sensationalism - who, when giving a witness statement or when compelled to tell a porky, ever thinks of perjury?  To commit perjury you, or your words, have to be before a court of law, who ever thinks their words will one day be presented before a court of law?    You tell the missus your forgot the time when you stopped off at the pub. are you perjuring yourself?

Gerry McCann (or anybody else for that matter) carrying a body, dead or alive, around the streets of Praia da Luz  is a preposterous notion even in a state of urgency - the mere suggestion defies all reason.  We're talking of a three year old child here, not a combine harvester.

I don't recall ever saying the Smith family were/are lying but there sure is reason to question their involvement in this convoluting mystery of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

   Sorry Verdi but you are speculating. Your experience of ex-pat life is anecdotal, it may be true but when you try and apply it to a place you've never been as evidence that Martin Smith was so close to Murat, it's speculation.

  So what have you been saying about the Smith family?  Martin Smith works for the McCanns and changed his statement on their behalf? Martin Smith made a statement up to get Robert Murat off the hook?  That equates to perjury and lying doesn't it? 

  And carrying a body around isn't impossible, unlikely yes but as others have reasoned, we have no reason to rule things like that out as absolutes.  The dogs indicate a body was there at some point, at some point it was moved.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by skyrocket on 09.02.18 11:19

Hi @ Phoebe - yes, I have been intrigued by McCluskey/Smith for a while BUT looking at it more closely recently, I am now wondering if McCluskey ever said anything about the man he saw carrying a child looking like Gerry. It isn't in the police officers precis of the interview and the second page of the hand written statement is conveniently missing.

Could it be that:

McCluskey gave his second statement regarding the woman looking like Kate McCann (12 Sept);

Smith comes forward a week later (20 Sept) and says that the man he saw carrying a child in Luz could have been Gerry;

For some reason, Op Task re-write McCluskey's second statement and include the section re: him now thinking that the man he saw was Gerry (for the same reason as stated in Smith's second statement).

Could it have been done to discredit Smith's statement/sighting? But then why were the fotofits produced/released?
Who actually produced them if it wasn't Martin Smith - ref: the interviewing officers statement about Smith refusing to take part in Kennedy's fotofit plans?

We can't possibly know what was going on behind the scenes.

I don't believe that all the Smith family made the sighting up - seems too implausible and very risky (kids talk to friends)

I find it hard to accept that a random, innocent tourist (who was a tourist and then didn't look like a tourist) was wandering down the back alleys of Luz, carrying his child on a cold night in barely any clothes, at exactly the right time to be implicated in a child abduction, and who hasn't bothered to come forward.

What does that leave?

The only thing I can accept at the moment, is that possibly the Smiths saw a man carrying a child, dressed exactly as required and at around the time that was required to implicate him in a child abduction. Who that person was; who the child was (not Madeleine in my opinion);and, who was in on it, well, those are the questions.

Always wondered why the Smiths stopped at Kelly's Bar after the restaurant (particularly when Peter Smith and family were leaving early the next day and Peter's wife was pregnant) - wouldn't you just go straight back to your apartment. Was there a specific time that things had to happen?

The 10pm time point is significant (@HiDeHo has questioned its significance).

Also an afterthought - Martin Smith, like others in this case, seems quite litigious, attack being the best form of defence etc:

'He sent a solicitor's letter to six papers in relation material that was printed that was misquoted. The Evening Herald paid his solicitor's fees and all papers printed an apology. His photograph appeared in another tabloid paper and this matter is being pursued at the moment'.
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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by plebgate on 09.02.18 12:09

@Phoebe
Hi Phoebe.  Can't find it, but up thread you posted along the lines that Rocky A was most interested in Smith's statement and if it's good enough for him then it's good enough for you.  Same for me, but I have been thinking along the lines of:

Is it possible that Rocky A was interested in Smith sighting as a way of possibly bringing everyone back for a reconstruction at some stage?

We agree that the 60/80 % certainty wouldn't hold up in a court of law but possibly would be enough for Rocky to say to higher ups - well there are witnesses who possibly  saw a man who looked like Mr walking around PDL carrying a child maybe a re-enactment would clear things up?

If Rocky still feels this statement is of interest,  maybe it's because he might think there's a possibility of this happening at some stage?

Just a possibility imo.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Phoebe on 09.02.18 12:31

Hi Skyrocket. Your theory re McCluskey/Smith makes sense to me.  I don't see anything odd about the McCanns dropping into Kelly's for a drink after dinner. They would be conscious of supporting an "Irish" bar with their custom. We call it "giving the turn to" someone and my family does it all the time in Spain. A  pub/restaurant, near to my family's home is Irish owned and we would feel duty bound to give it some custom while there. We are also more likely to meet other Irish tourists there, plus, they have real Guinness and know how it should be served big grin I would dearly love to have my curiosity satisfied by someone having another interview with the Smiths!

@Plebgate. That seems very likely to me.

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Re: POLL added: Have the McCanns really avoided all mention of the Smithman sighting?

Post by Verdi on 09.02.18 15:59

@ChippyM wrote:Sorry Verdi but you are speculating. Your experience of ex-pat life is anecdotal, it may be true but when you try and apply it to a place you've never been as evidence that Martin Smith was so close to Murat, it's speculation.

So what have you been saying about the Smith family? Martin Smith works for the McCanns and changed his statement on their behalf? Martin Smith made a statement up to get Robert Murat off the hook? That equates to perjury and lying doesn't it?

And carrying a body around isn't impossible, unlikely yes but as others have reasoned, we have no reason to rule things like that out as absolutes. The dogs indicate a body was there at some point, at some point it was moved.

1. I prefer to think it informed comment rather than speculation but I won't argue. I've never opined that Smith and Murat were close, it is however more likely than not that they were acquainted - based on my experience.

2. I've never opined on how, when, where, why Martin Smith or any of his family might have been involved for the simple reason that I don't know. I can however see very grey areas that raise questions.

3. As I previously said, the very notion of Gerry McCann or anybody else, carrying the corpse of a child or a substitute child, around the streets of Praia da Luz is preposterous. The likelihood of such a scenario hovers around zero. Stands to reason a corpse, or items contaminated by a corpse, had been in apartment 5a at some stage and relocated if not found in or around the apartment. There is no public record of evidence nor indcation as to when or how a corpse was moved, other than the dog alerts to the Renault Scenic rented by the McCanns. Unfortunately, the forensic labs didn't corroborate the dog alerts so the subject is in limbo.

Whatever, if one goes with the compelling evidence uncovered suggesting Madeleine 'disappeared' earlier in the week, then I venture to suggest the likelihood of Gerry McCann, or anyone else, carrying a corpse around Praia Da Luz a few days later, even more preposterous and hovering around sub-zero.

My view of the subject is unwavering. If evidence is forthcoming in the future that proves me wrong, then I will gladly eat my hat!

The subject has been covered extensively in the many Smithman threads already existing on CMoMM. I believe the links were posted up by Get'emGonçalo quite recently. I strongly recommend any members and/or guests who are new to the subject read through them, to get a broad idea as to the rationale behind the doubt.


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