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The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
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But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is ......
there is only one

We've all been bounced by tigger one way or another (like it or not, you can't change the stripes on a tigger's back) but nothing is closer to the heart of CMoMM member tigger than justice for Madeleine McCann.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post on 30.04.18 1:00 by Verdi

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Starting with PR:

Hanover Website

We helped the McCann family deal with the media storm which surrounded them on their return from Portugal in September 2007. From scratch, we created a comprehensive media handling package within six hours which enabled us to handle 850 media calls in the first week. By giving journalists positive stories to report, coverage turned from hostility to the McCanns to sympathy about their ordeal. This campaign won the crisis communication category at the 2008 CIPR awards.)


‘Hanover calls time on McCanns’ November 21, 2007 by Hannah Marriott

Hanover Communications has stopped working with the McCann family. The agency said the move ‘reflects a decrease in international press interest’ following the six-month anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Hanover, headed by MD Charles Lewington, was hired to run a UK press office two months ago (20 September 2007).
All media enquiries are now going through the family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC journalist.

Mitchell was temporarily appointed spokesman to the McCanns by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in May (PRWeek, 24 May 2007). Sheree Dodd and Justine McGuiness have also worked temporarily in the position.

Mitchell later quit his government position to lead the McCanns’ comms on a permanent basis.

Mitchell said: ‘Without the support of Hanover we simply would not have been able to cope with the level of international press interest.’ Unquote

And from:

Ten hours after being driven away from the police station in Portimao, Gerry and his family are boarding Easyjet flight EZY6552 [..] Although no formal bail conditions are imposed, the right to leave is set upon the condition that they return to Portugal for further questioning if necessary.

Hinting that they may not be true to their word, is the decision to retain the services of Michael Caplan Q.C [..] specializes in international law and represented the former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet when Spain tried to extradite him from the UK in 1999.

[..] On September 13th, a source close to the family is quoted saying: ‘We need to rectify the PR and the fightback needs to start and it needs to start now.’ The Guardian reveals that Phil Hall, the former editor of the News of the World, is on amongst a number of high-profile figures consulted by the McCanns, ‘with a view to managing the global interest in their case.’Hanover Communications – [..] begins handling calls.

The Daily Mirror for September 14th leads on 'KATE & GERRY... their story!', betwixt photographs of a seven-year old Kate at her first Holy Communion, and a bright-eyed Gerry in his football kit, former captain of Napier City Rovers FC. Gushing tributes are elicited from an impressively large array of family and friends: '... a beautiful, lovely, sensitive person' is how Dr Paul McIntyre describes Kate, one of the more restrained contributions. A former Napier City teammate calls Gerry 'a really nice bloke' who made 'a huge impression on the team.' When Madeleine was born, 'she was close to the perfect child... We have never seen Kate and Gerry as happy as they were that day.' (The last from 'friend Alan Grieves.') The September 17th edition leads on a smiling Kate McCann, and the headline: 'WE'LL BLOW THE POLICE CASE OUT OF THE WATER', one of several articles derogating the Portuguese investigation and casting doubt on the FSS results. In the Daily Mail, Alison Pearson describes as 'not just revolting... [but] surreal' the notion that Kate could have been responsible for Madeleine's death; to Dominic Lawson in The Independent, she is a victim of 'a peculiar kind of emotional tyranny... who has denied the mob its vicarious pleasure.' Jane Moore, columnist for The Sun, condemned the 'smoke and mirror tactics' of the Portuguese police, described as 'chronically inefficient' and 'under horrendous pressure to deliver' by the Mirror's Brian Reade.


I would also recommend For further insights in the methods of the press.

Despite all the above efforts we now find the Drs. McCann at the Leveson inquiry complaining about the press : (all quotes below are copied from the transcripts)

Just to note the fact that the McCanns were both sworn in:

2. Mr. Jay: The next witnesses are Dr. and Dr. McCann, please.

3. Dr. Gerald Patrick McCann and Dr. Kate Marie McCann (sworn)

Mr. Jay: ‘I know each of you would like your counsel to ask a few preliminary questions. Before he does so formally, can I invite you to confirm the contents of your respective witness statements. You, Dr. Geral d McCann, there’s a statement dated 30 October and there’s a statement of truth at the end of it, it that correct?

Mr. McCann: ‘It is’.

Mr. Jay: And then Dr. Kate McCann, a far more recent statement referring to your husband’s statement and again with a statement of truth dated 22 November; is that right?

Mrs. McCann: ‘That’s right.’

Questions to Mr. McCann:

Q: You tell us in your witness statement that a photograph was made immediately available, provided to the broadcast media and to the press, and was as it were, displayed everywhere. Is that correct?

A: There’s two elements to that. The first element was what we were doing on the night and obviously we had digital cameras and we were trying to get photographs printed of Madeleine from the holiday.

Q: Yes

A: To give to the police, but secondly, a very good friend of ours who we spoke to in the early hours of 4 May took upon himself to issue photographs of Madeleine to all the major media outlets in the UK. unquote

Between 02.53 and 06.59 on the 4th of May some 25 calls are logged to and from Jon Corner, the good friend who ‘took it upon himself to issue photographs of Madeleine to all the major media outlets’. One may surely expect that the decision taken to alert all the news channels was discussed during these calls, which incidentally, were all made to and from Kate’s mobile.

It is also a fact that only one camera was mentioned in earlier statements and not a single holiday photograph of Madeleine – if they existed at all - was used, instead a picture of Madeleine as a toddler aged little more than two years old was handed to the Policia Judiciare.

(See for questions regarding holiday photos The First Photo and the Socratic questioning of the Last Photo).

Q: You deal with two further matters, perhaps less serious than this, because what you’ve told us of course is a plain breach of the code, that we may come to in due course.
There was a photograph of you, Dr. Gerald McCann, on the golf course, which obviously is a private place, and then the distortion of photographs of you, Dr. Kate McCann, to present, o doubt, a certain image. Often coupled with the adjectives ‘frail’ or ‘fragile’, which you’ve told us about. In terms of the effect on you, you described it and of course it will be obvious to us, but looking more broadly, the effect on the continuing investigation, which after all is your primary focus then, as it is now, are you able to quantify that for us and describe it?

Mr. McCann:

A: Well, I think from – reputational aspects aside, the distress that was caused to us was the clear message that was going out nationally throughout Europe and internationally was that there was very strong evidence that our daughter was dead and that we were somehow implicated in her disappearance, and we knew that if people believed that, then there couldn’t be a meaningful search, and it was incredible. And any aspects of campaigning for a search with what happened to us and how it was portrayed in the media meant we were completely hamstrung in our ability to counter anything.

Mrs. McCann:

These were desperate times. You know, we were having to try and find our daughter ourselves. We needed all the help we could get, and we were faced with – I know we’ll come on to headlines, but ‘Corpse in the car’, I don’t know how many times I read ‘Body fluids in the car’, And it gets repeated that often, it becomes fact. There were no body fluids.

This needs very little comment other than to point out that the blood dog, which had a record of 100% correct alerts in all cases in which she had been deployed, alerted to blood. The body fluids found were so degenerated that it was not possible to determine whether it was blood or another bodily fluid. Quite simple. There were body fluids in the car, Mrs. M.

From: PJ files - 17- Processo 17 Pages 4592 to 4649

In that sense, forensic examinations were performed in the areas and on the objects that were marked and signalled by the blood dog[..], that is to say that cellular material was collected, which was nevertheless not identified as belonging to a specific person, and it was not even possible to establish said material's quality (namely if it could be blood or another type of bodily fluid).

Q: You tell us in your statement a series of steps which were taken to try and abate this flood. Can I try and summarise it in this way? First of all, a meeting is organized with the editors of the major UK tabloid newspapers. That’s in September 2007, when a clear message was put out to them, and you tell us that had a transient effect. It’s paragraph 53 of your witness statement.

A: (Mr.McCann) Sure. I think there’s two elements. Within the first week of being back, we had appointed solicitors, Kingsley Napley, and Angus McBride, who is one of the solicitors who represented us at that time, he thought it was very important that he would – we should try and modify the content of the press articles, and he went with Justine McGuinness, who was campaign manager at that point, and met with all the editors from the major newspapers and emphasized to them that it was his strong belief that there was no evidence to support what they were reporting. But it seemed to have very little effect.

In fact I think Kingsley Napley then pressurized Leicestershire police to write to the broadcasters and editors and there’s a letter from Matt Baggott, who was Chief Constable at that time, urging restraint and saying there was very inaccurate reporting.

We organized another round of meetings with Angus and Clarence, who then came back to work for us later on in September 2007, and that was followed up with another leter from the Chief Constable, I think on 17 October.

I do feel that calling Kingsley Napley solicitors is a little misleading.Seeing that a senior partner - a Q.C who had managed to keep an erstwhile dictator from being extradited to Spain, Michael Caplan, had been retained by the McCanns. It is also of interest to know that the Portuguese lawyer employed by the McCanns is not a specialist in civil litigation but rather in criminal process, and the McCanns retained his services a mere week before they were made arguidos.


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Post on 13.05.18 0:24 by Verdi

Sunday, 9 August 2015


This blog is honoured to post this report by Socrates - a most distinguished guest!

The Last Photo - revisited

Kate states that the Last Photo, of Gerry, Amelie, and Madeleine sitting by the children’s pool, was taken, by her, on Thursday 3rd May 2007

“We then sat round the toddler pool for a while, dipping our feet in, and I took what has turned out to be my last photograph to date of Madeleine.”

The time in the EXIF metadata is shown as 13:29, but the McCanns were at great pains to point out that this time was one hour wrong, and it was actually taken at 14:29

Date/Time Original 2007:05:03 13:29:51+01:00

The photo shows Gerry , wearing sunglasses, T shirt and shorts, with a slight sheen of perspiration across his forehead, the children in sun hats, which are casting shadows, there are clear shadows cast by the tree, and by the sun beds.

The edges of the shadows are sharp, indicating bright sun.

However, the weather records for Thursday 3rd May 2007 in Praia da Luz tell a totally different story.

At 1pm the temperature was 17º C,  (62ºF)  This is relatively cold.
At 2pm the temperature had risen to 18ºC (64ºF)    Again not hot enough for sweat to break out on the brow of a man wearing nothing more than a thin cotton T shirt and shorts.

Across the top of the figure is a grey bar which indicates the cloud cover.
At 1pm and 2pm it is shown as 50%

By 4:30pm it was 90% so we may deduce that at lunchtime there may have been cloud cover somewhat greater than 50% and increasing as the afternoon progressed.

It also shows TWO separate cloud layers, one at 540m which then rises to 740m,  and a higher one at 2700m

The record for the entire holiday week is even more instructive.

Here we see a clear pattern of the temperature falling and the cloud cover increasing between Sunday evening 29 April, and the following Friday morning 4 May

When we consider the Last Photo we must ask the following questions.
What do we SEE
What do we KNOW
and then
What can we DEDUCE ?

We see
Shadows have sharp outlines
Shadows more or less vertical
Bright reflection from human skin
Bright reflection from objects
Sheen of perspiration on Gerry's forehead
Children in very light dress
Children in sun hats
Gerry wearing very dark sunglasses
Gerry wearing T shirt and shorts
Bright and sharp reflection in sunglasses
Father and children with feet in the water

We know
The pool was very cold - all week
Weather for the rest of the week was cold and cloudy

What do we deduce ?
The photo was taken on a pleasantly warm or even a hot day.
It was taken when the sun was more or less overhead. Solar Zenith was at 13:29 for the days in question.  Therefore, in layman’s terms the sun was overhead between 12:30 and 2:30 pm
There were no low clouds and there was no high overcast

But surely wind speed and direction depend on other factors,  buildings, vegetation . .

You make a very valid point.

Wind speed IS measured about 3m from the ground, and in  an open area, for the obvious reasons that you give. The ground has a frictional resistance, there are walls, buildings, street furniture, and then hedges and trees, all of which will act to slow the apparent speed at human level
The wind speed and direction at lunchtime is given as 7.2 m/s, of a stiff breeze, Force 4, and the direction approximately WSW, or bearing 250

On the map it is coming in along the red line

In fact this is across a large patch of waste land, tennis courts and then the very low wall by the Tennis courts in the Ocean club, which are protected only by chain link fencing.  The vegetation, although there is some, is low.

As we can see there is not much of a barrier to reduce the force of the wind.

And I suppose that even reducing Force 4 would only bring it down to Force 3

well exactly and if we look again at Madeleine’s very fine hair falling across her face, and her floppy little sun hat, we are entitled to ask whether they were sitting in any wind at all.  

But if I may digress slightly, this raises another very interesting point,

Let is stick with the issue of wind force and direction .. .

Later that evening, around 10pm Kate tells us what happened when she entered the apartment.

Her first statement said the curtains were wide open,  
[Quote]and immediately noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.”

but later we have seen repeated interviews, and read in the autobiography, which say they were tight closed.  

but I just noticed that the door, the bedroom door where the three children were sleeping, was open much further than we’d left it.
I went to close it to about here, and then as I got to here, it suddenly . . . slammed, . . . . and literally as I went back in, the curtains of the bedroom which were drawn, [demonstrates with both forearms together]  that were closed, “wheesh’  like a gust of wind kind of blew them open.

[extract from book] p. 71 “Then I noticed that the door to the children’s bedroom was open quite wide, not how we had left it. At first I assumed that Matt must have moved it.  I walked over and gently began to pull it to. Suddenly it slammed shut, as if caught by a draught.”

She says the door slammed even though she was holding it, and when she pushed it open again another gust “whooshed” the  curtains into the room.

By 10pm the wind had died down, and was 4 m/s, Force 2, bordering on the low end of Force 3. It has also veered to WNW, or bearing 290.

Assuming the window was open, it is only 1 m x 0.5 m, so half a square meter.  The door is 2 m x 0.75 m so one and a half square metres.  

so any wind pressure entering the room is effectively dissipated over three times the area,
Now let us look at photos of the area outside the bedroom window.

What we see is a small car park lined with thick and high trees, a substantial wall, and then another wall just outside the window of the apartment
So the argument which says the effective speed and power of the wind is reduced by vegetation, walls, street furniture, cars and other obstacles applied here with even greater force.

This apartment window was by any standards very well sheltered

And from that we then have to imagine what wind power or force would be necessary to tear through all that barrier - and remember the wind is coming in at an angle across that road, across other areas with high buildings and thick vegetation, it is the purple line on this map

and the wind still has to have the force to get in through a small open window, and then slam a door being held by an adult, and on the second occasion to pull full length curtains from where they were jammed between the bed and the wall, or jammed behind the wicker chair, against the wall, so that they can “Whoosh”

And that wind force,  would then one assumes also hit the Tapas bar around the same time, and we remember that the bar was encased in about 40 square metres of clear tarpaulin.   Yet not a single guest or member of staff reports what would have been a deafening sound as those two gusts hit.
The Weather reports from Faro Airport are similarly silent on the point.

So it has been an interesting excursion, driven by responding to reasoned arguments that the wind conditions might have permitted the Last Photo to have been taken on Thursday 3rd, but leading not only to a serious suspicion, on those grounds alone that it could not have been, but also to some serious doubts about the slamming door and whooshing curtain story.

There just does not seem to be enough evidence to substantiate either,

as with so much else in this continuing Mystery

What is even more interesting is to note that the McCanns’ entire story involving the Last Photo, and flapping curtains depends on flat calm and hot at lunchtime, and high wind at bedtime.
The facts are

Posted by tigger at 04:00

See blog for charts etc.

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