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The Tale of Smithman and Tannerman Mm11

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The Tale of Smithman and Tannerman

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The Tale of Smithman and Tannerman Empty The Tale of Smithman and Tannerman

Post by Verdi on 07.04.20 21:48

There has been much debate and controversy on the subject of Martin Smith and his family - their curious involvement in this convoluting labyrinth of intrigue - the mysterious disappearance of little Madeleine McCann.  Sadly the focal point, Madeleine, is seldom considered - pushed aside in favour of attempts to clear the parents of any involvement, despite the compelling evidence that suggests they parents were, and still are, very much involvedin the disappearance of their own daughter.

It seems strange for a rational thinker that the parents of a missing child would so glibly accept witness sightings yet do nothing about trying to track the 'persons of interest' - the suspected abductor!

In her book 'madeleine', Kate McCann has this to say about the Smith family sighting..

We subsequently learned that less than fifty minutes after Jane’s sighting – when I had still to discover that Madeleine was missing – a family of nine from Ireland had also seen a man carrying a child, this time on Rua da Escola Primária, a few minutes’ walk from apartment 5A, heading towards Rua 25 de Abril. Their description was remarkably similar to Jane’s. The man was in his mid thirties, 1.75 to 1.8 metres tall and of slim to normal build. These witnesses, too, said this person didn’t look like a tourist. They couldn’t quite put their finger on why, but again they felt it might have been because of what he was wearing. They also mentioned cream or beige trousers. The child, a little girl of about four with medium-blonde hair, was lying with her head towards the man’s left shoulder. She was wearing light-coloured pyjamas, had nothing on her feet and there was no blanket over her. Although, like Jane, this family had taken this man and child for father and daughter, they commented that the man did not look comfortable carrying the child, as if he wasn’t used to it.

To this day there is a school of thought that believes the McCanns did not take the Smith family sighting seriously, yet here we have conclusive evidence that the McCanns, at least Kate McCann, took the Smith family sighting very seriously.

Forum member Tony Bennett has worked extensively on this particular subject.  It's a matter of individual choice whether or not anyone agrees with the critical research and analysis put forward by Mr Bennett but his emphasis on detail and contradiction should be seriously considered before brandishing negative commentary just because of misguided sentimentality.

Remember - every man has his price..

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The Tale of Smithman and Tannerman Empty Re: The Tale of Smithman and Tannerman

Post by Verdi on 07.04.20 21:52

The Smith family contradictions by Tony Bennett - September 2014

This short article looks at some of the main contradictions revealed by what the Smiths have said about their clamed ‘sighting’ of a man carrying a young child at 10.00pm on Thursday 3 May 2007

A. The Smiths’ stated reasons for their delay in reporting their claimed sighting

REASON 1: My son ’phoned  me up two weeks after we got back and asked “Am I dreaming, or did we meet a man carrying a child…”

Statement given to Irish newspapers:

[ NOTE: The probable date of Peter Smith’s ‘phone call to his father (if it happened at all) was 16 May, but could have been 17 or 18 May ]:

Martin Smith is quoted as saying: “We were home two weeks when my son rang up and asked was he dreaming or did we meet a man carrying a child the night Madeleine was taken. We all remembered that we had the same recollection. I felt we should report it to the police".

3 January 2008, Daily Mail:

“Initially the Smith family thought nothing more of the encounter - and even the next day when the story broke they still didn't make the connection. ‘We were home two weeks when my son rang me up and asked was he dreaming or did we meet a man carrying a child the night Madeleine was taken? We all remembered the same recollection, and I felt we should report it to the police’, said Mr Smith”.

‘We only remembered him after coming home’, Drogheda Independent, 9 January 2008:

Peter Smith also told the Drogheda Independent:  “…it was only after we were home two weeks that I remembered seeing him. At the time my attention was focused on looking after my wife. When I mentioned it, it jogged my father's memory and he too remembered seeing the same man’, Peter added. He went on: ‘We knew that what we had seen was so vague that we couldn't identify the guy’.”

‘If only we’d remembered the next day’, Daily Mail, 3 January 2008

Martin Smith: “We've all been beating ourselves up that we should have made the link sooner, if only we'd remembered the next day. But the Portuguese police said you see these things on holiday all the time” [ Note: When did the Portuguese police ever say that to him? ].

REASON 2: On 4 May ‘I thought it could have been Madeleine’

Statement made to PJ:

“He only became aware of Madeleine’s disappearance ‘the next morning’, from his daughter in Ireland. She had sent him a message or called him regarding what had happened. At this point he thought that Madeleine could have been the child he saw with the individual”.

REASON 3: ‘We only reported our sighting because we eventually found out about the exact time of the sighting’
Peter Smith: It was the coincidence of the time

Peter Smith’s statement:  “Urged, states that when he passed this individual it would have been around 21H55/22H00, and at the time he was completely unaware that a child had disappeared. He only found out about the disappearance of the child the next morning through someone he knew, the son of the builder of Estrela da Luz, who was also at the airport. The witness went to the airport given that, as planned, he intended to return to Ireland on that day
— At that time he did not associate the said individual with the disappearance, only after thinking on the subject and the coincidence of the time did he infer that MADELEINE could have been the child carried by the individual that he had seen.

We found out the exact time Madeleine disappeared

Drogheda Independent, 8 August 2007 – article based on interview with ‘a family member - possibly Peter Smith: “They returned to Ireland the next day, and because the reported abduction times didn't originally match, they never had cause to examine their journey that night.

“As it emerged that Madeleine was abducted around the same time, one of the family members [Peter Smith – see above] had a flashback of the moment some time later and encouraged the others to jog their memory”.

“They remembered passing a man walking towards the beach with a child in his arms.

Other than his approximate height and the fact that he was wearing beige clothes they cannot be more specific than that. 'We are annoyed at how vague our description is’, said the family member.

Sun, 3 January 2008: The time of Maddie’s abduction was revealed

“The Smiths were leaving Kelly's Bar…between 9.50 and 10pm on May 3 last year.

“They flew home to Ireland the next day, but when the times of Maddie's abduction were revealed, the family remembered seeing a man, 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in tall and dressed in beige, carrying the child. Significantly the description matches that given by Jane Tanner, 37, a friend of the McCanns.

REASON 4: The descriptions matched

The description was similar to Tanner’s; Daily Mail, 3 January 2008

“Their description of the barefoot child and the man, who wore beige trousers, echoes that of Miss Tanner…Though the Smith family believe they met an almost identical man closer to 10pm, the coincidence prompted them to contact police after they returned to Ireland. Mr Smith said: ‘Luz is such a small place and so quiet, we felt a duty to tell police and let them decide if it was important’."

REASON 5. ‘The Portuguese police were too busy’

[ NOTE: Tthis story appeared in the Daily Mirror on 16 October 2013, two days after the BBC CrimeWatch McCann Special. It had the hallmarks of a story facilitated by the McCann Team. It included several quotes from Martin Smith ]:

“A key witness in the Madeleine McCann case claimed yesterday that Portuguese police failed to take his evidence seriously.

“Retired businessman Martin Smith, 64, provided details for an e-fit of the prime suspect after spotting the mystery man carrying a child at 10pm close to where the three-year-old vanished more than six years ago”

“But he said his information was virtually ignored by local officers because they were too busy chasing up another sighting of a man near Kate and Gerry McCann’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz 45 minutes earlier”.

Scotland Yard detectives reinvestigating the case after six years have now established that the suspect Portuguese police were so keen to trace - spotted by holidaymaker Jane Tanner at 9.20pm - was just an innocent British tourist returning his own child from a crèche”.

[ NOTES: 1. This is the first time that Martin Smith claims that he had contacted the Portuguese police and that they ‘failed to take his evidence seriously’

2. The way the article reads totally misleads readers by suggesting that the Portuguese police took details for an e-fit yet went on to ignore this  

3. It is also misleading  in suggesting that the police were ‘too busy’ chasing up the sighting of another man, ‘Tannerman’. In fact (a) the police were suspicious of Tanner’s claimed ‘sighting’ from Day One, and (b) as we know from Dr Goncalo Amaral’s book, he did take the Smiths’ sighting serioulsy ]  


B. 'We didn’t think anything of it’, or a ‘disturbing encounter’?

1. Mary Smith: We didn’t think anything of it’

In the Sun, 3 January 2008, Mary Smith is asked about the claimed ‘sighting’ and says  “We didn’t think anything of it”.

2. Mary Smith approached the man

In the Daily Mail, 3 January 2008, Smith claims that, without warning, she approached the man with the question: ‘Oh, is she asleep?’ He is said to have ignored her.

3. Martin Smith said it was a ‘disturbing encounter’

In the same Daily Mail article, 3 January 2008, Martin Smith is quoted as saying that “It was a disturbing encounter”.

4. 'Very unusual'

In the same Daily Mail report, 3 January 2008, we read:

“AN IRISH holidaymaker has spoken publicly for the first time of his disturbing encounter with a man carrying a child wrapped in a blanket on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared.

“…the sighting…is strikingly similar to one by a friend of the McCanns, Jane Tanner. In hindsight, the retired Mr Smith said, the man’s rude behaviour should have aroused his suspicions.

“Martin Smith said: ‘The one thing we noted afterwards was that he gave us no greeting. My wife Mary remembered afterwards that she asked him: 'Oh, is she asleep?' But he never acknowledged her one way or another. He just put his head down and averted his eyes. This is very unusual in a tourist town at such a quiet time of the year".

5 . Madeleine's disappearance 'had a terrible effect on the children'

Again from the Daily Mail, 3 January 2008: “Mr Smith said it was some time before the family realised they could be star witnesses: ‘We were out the night it happened…We went home about 9.50pm and we heard nothing at all about Madeleine McCann until the next day. I was taking my son Peter to the airport and on my way back, I heard that a kidnapping had happened in the village of Luz”.

"We were looking at all the commotion on Sky News and we really felt quite helpless. We had two grandchildren with us at the time, aged four and five, and it had a terrible effect on them. They all wanted to sleep in the same room as us until we went home on the Wednesday”

[ NOTE: Despite this ‘terrible effect’, the Smiths did nothing until 16-18 May, 13 to 15 days later ]

C. The man lowered his head – or didn’t lower his head?


1. He didn’t lower his head - Peter Smith:

From Peter Smith’s statement:  down: Quote: “…he did not try to hide his face nor did he lower his gaze”.]

2. He did lower his head: - Martin Smith:

From Martin Smith’s statement: “He put his head down…”


D. How did Martin Smith find out about Madeleine’s kidnapping?


1. From my daughter In Ireland

Quote from news article: “He only became aware of Madeleine’s disappearance ‘the next morning’, from his daughter in Ireland. She had sent him a message or called him regarding what had happened. At this point he thought that Madeleine could have been the child he saw with the individual”.

2.  Someone at the airport told Peter Smith

QUOTE: “He didn’t find out about Madeleine’s disappearance until the morning of 4 May through someone he knew, the son of the builder of Estrela da Luz, who was also at the airport, as he (Peter Smith) was waiting for his return flight to Ireland”.]

[ NOTE: Yet by the morning of 4 May, Praia da Luz was crawling with police and villagers looking for Madeleine ]


E. How often had Martin Smith met Murat?


1. Twice, in May and August 2006

From Martin Smith’s statement:
— Adds that in May and August of 2006, he saw ROBERT MURAT in Praia da Luz bars. On one of these occasions, the first, he was inebriated and spoke to everyone. He did not wear glasses at that time. He also states that the individual who carried the child was not ROBERT. He would have recognised him immediately.

2. Met him ‘only once’ – two years ago
Drogheda Independent - 8 August 2007

“The family contacted the Portuguese police and flew back over to give evidence.

However, contrary to media reports, Mr Smith had not seen chief suspect Robert Murat in a bar the evening that Madeleine was abducted. 'He definitely didn't see him on the night in question,' said a family member.

“The family are also mystified at reports that he knows Mr Murat. 'They met once in a bar about two years ago. My Dad would only know Mr Murat by sight,' said the family member. 'However, from what he knows, he can say that the man who was carrying the child was not Robert Murat”.

3. ‘Met him several times’

SKY News, 4 January 2008

“An Irish tourist who saw someone carrying a child in a blanket on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared insists that the mystery man was not Robert Murat…But Mr Smith is certain that the man he and his family saw that night was not Robert Murat, who is still officially an ‘arguido’ in the Madeleine McCann investigation. 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”.

4. ‘I’ve known him for years’

From the 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 not be him”.


F. Descriptions of the man they claimed to have seen, from their own statements


I am adding here all the specific things that each of the three Smith family members said about the man they claimed to have seen.
We already have all the following problems about believing whether any of the Smiths could possibly have drawn up either of the two e-fits of what look like (to many people) two quite different people:

1. It was dark

2. The street lighting was week

3. They only saw him for a few seconds at the most

4. None of them said they would be able to recognize him again

5. The e-fits appear to have been drawn up between May and October 2008 - from 12 to 17 months after the event

Here are the relevant extracts from their statements:  


Aoife Smith


The individual was male, Caucasian, light-skinned, between 20/30 years of age, of normal physical build, around 1,70/1,75 metres in height. At the time she saw his face but now cannot remember it. She thinks that he had a clean-shaven face. She does not remember seeing tattoos, scars or earrings. She did not notice his ears. His hair was thick-ish, light brown in colour, short at the back (normal) and a bit longer on the top.
— His trousers were smooth "rights" along the legs, beige in colour, cotton fabric, thicker than linen, possibly with buttons, and without any other decoration.
— She did not see what he was wearing above his trousers as the child covered him almost completely at the top.
— She did not see what shoes he was wearing.
— The individual's gait was normal, between a fast walk and a run. He did not look tired, moving in a manner usual when one carries a child.


Peter Smith


The description of the individual who carried the child was: Caucasian, around 175 to 180 cm tall. About 35 years, or older. He was somewhat tanned as a result of sun exposure. Average build, in good shape. Short hair, brown in colour. He does not remember if he wore glasses, or had a beard or a moustache. He did not notice any other relevant details as the lighting was bad.
— He also does not remember the clothing the individual wore or his shoes. He states that he did not notice those details as his pregnant wife was somewhat ill and he was constantly attending to her, not caring about observation of the individual.

He states that [the man] carried the child on his arms, with the head resting on the left shoulder, as such on the right of the deponent, appearing to him in a natural manner.

Drogheda Independent, 9 January 2008

Quote:  [Peter Smith] went on: ‘We knew that what we had seen was so vague that we couldn't identify the guy’.”


Martin Smith


Regarding the description of the individual who carried the child he states that: he was Caucasian, around 175 to 180m in height. He appeared to be about 35/40 years old. He had an average build, a bit on the thin side. His hair was short, in a basic male cut, brown in colour. He cannot state if it was dark or lighter in tone. He did not wear glasses and had no beard or moustache. He did not notice any other relevant details partly due to the fact that the lighting was not very good.
— He was wearing cream or beige-coloured cloth trousers in a classic cut. He did not see his shoes. He did not notice the body clothing and cannot describe the colour or fashion of the same.

Urged, he states that the individual did not appear to be a tourist. He cannot explain this further. It was simply his perception given the individual's clothing. He states that the individual carried the child in his arms, with her head laying on the individual's left shoulder, that being to the right of the deponent. He adds that he did not hold the child in a comfortable position, suggesting [the carrying] not being habitual.

Questioned, says that the individual did not speak nor did the child as she was in a deep sleep.
— States that it is not possible for him to recognise the individual in person or by photograph.

[ NOTE: I suggest that looking again in detail at what the three Smith family members say about the man they say they saw gives us no confidence whatsoever that they could have drawn up those two-fits ]  

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