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What was so special about Burgau?

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by whatliesbehindthesofa on 04.03.14 10:37

It is next to impossible to conclusively say that an image has been manipulated unless you have the original image. Compression is 'lossy', meaning that information is lost, and it introduces 'artifacts' that a layman may see as evidence of 'photo-shopping'. Most of the photos of Maddy that I have seen have been saved and resaved many times, resized, and taken as screenshots from already low quality videos. At every point, more and more information from the original image is lost.

On the make-up photo, unlike many others I don't find the fact of the blue make-up particularly disturbing, by itself. It really is quite common for some mothers to make up their children with play-sets to be a 'princess' or whatever, same as my kids dressed up as spider-man.

What I find curious is the angle of the shot, Maddy's position (head titled back), that she looked clearly upset (not a good subject for a photo), and that the McCanns thought this would ever be a good image to make public.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by HelenMeg on 04.03.14 10:57

Its very interesting to read your comments on photos and photo-shopping.

I'm also interested that the only photo that you seem to think is photoshoped is the tennis ball photo. Its really helpful to get your views and its so easy to think that these photos have all been shopped and go off at some tangent based on that view. I suppose the only one that appears shopped to me is the 'Last Photo' and that is because Gerry appears to be floating.

Anyway, as you say the thread is not about photo-shopping

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 10:58

@HelenMeg wrote:Its very interesting to read your comments on photos and photo-shopping.

I'm also interested that the only photo that you seem to think is photoshoped is the tennis ball photo. Its really helpful to get your views and its so easy to think that these photos have all been shopped and go off at some tangent based on that view. I suppose the only one that appears shopped to me is the 'Last Photo' and that is because Gerry appears to be floating.

Anyway, as you say the thread is not about photo-shopping

I think the one of Kate as a gangly youth was "photshopped" in about 1985 using a pair of scissors and some Prittstick.
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by HelenMeg on 04.03.14 11:01

I still think that the apartment in Burgau and the indicated presence of JT / RM is extremely intriguing and potentially significant. I was trying to research apartments in the Solimar building last night and found one that is available for hire.. My aim was to try and look closely at pictures of the walls and see if I could find that 'thing' that appears on the blue makeup photo, to the top right hand side of Maddie's head.

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The Icecream Photo

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 13:10

As a n00b, I must say this about theories I've read about the detached, thus must be photoshopped arm in the Icecream Photo:
 
She's sitting on someones lap, and that person's holding an icecream.
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by whatliesbehindthesofa on 04.03.14 13:18

MarcoG wrote:As a n00b, I must say this about theories I've read about the detached, thus must be photoshopped arm in the Icecream Photo:
 
She's sitting on someones lap, and that person's holding an icecream.

I concur.  You can see the end of the person's sleeve, and Maddy's left arm bulges out around the arm that is holding the ice-cream.

I remember a discussion about another photo where posters were convinced that there was an 'evil face' of Gerry reflected in a toaster.  It was the reflection of a picture of Shrek (on a lunchbox or cup I think).

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 13:21

@whatliesbehindthesofa wrote:
MarcoG wrote:As a n00b, I must say this about theories I've read about the detached, thus must be photoshopped arm in the Icecream Photo:
 
She's sitting on someones lap, and that person's holding an icecream.

I concur.  You can see the end of the person's sleeve, and Maddy's left arm bulges out around the arm that is holding the ice-cream.

I remember a discussion about another photo where posters were convinced that there was an 'evil face' of Gerry reflected in a toaster.  It was the reflection of a picture of Shrek (on a lunchbox or cup I think).
Lol! Shrek.
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by bobbin on 04.03.14 13:48

@whatliesbehindthesofa wrote:
MarcoG wrote:As a n00b, I must say this about theories I've read about the detached, thus must be photoshopped arm in the Icecream Photo:
 
She's sitting on someones lap, and that person's holding an icecream.

I concur.  You can see the end of the person's sleeve, and Maddy's left arm bulges out around the arm that is holding the ice-cream.

I remember a discussion about another photo where posters were convinced that there was an 'evil face' of Gerry reflected in a toaster.  It was the reflection of a picture of Shrek (on a lunchbox or cup I think).

There's a bigger (not so cropped) version of this photo somewhere, I hope someone will be able to produce it.
Maddie is not sitting on anyone's lap, she is standing up, and someone's arm, thick enough to hold the ice cream steady at so low a position on the cone, would make Maddie's arm bulge more, unless of course the arm is two dimensional and very flat indeed.  spin 
Good try otherwise to explain that bizarre separation of Maddie's supposed lower arm from her upper arm, especially with the pattern of her dress being so clearly present in that gap.  spin 

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by whatliesbehindthesofa on 04.03.14 13:53

@bobbin wrote:
There's a bigger (not so cropped) version of this photo somewhere, I hope someone will be able to produce it.
Maddie is not sitting on anyone's lap, she is standing up, and someone's arm, thick enough to hold the ice cream steady at so low a position on the cone, would make Maddie's arm bulge more, unless of course the arm is two dimensional and very flat indeed.  spin 
Good try otherwise to explain that bizarre separation of Maddie's supposed lower arm from her upper arm, especially with the pattern of her dress being so clearly present in that gap.  spin 

I'll reserve judgement until I see this bigger image.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 13:59

@bobbin wrote:
@whatliesbehindthesofa wrote:
MarcoG wrote:As a n00b, I must say this about theories I've read about the detached, thus must be photoshopped arm in the Icecream Photo:
 
She's sitting on someones lap, and that person's holding an icecream.

I concur.  You can see the end of the person's sleeve, and Maddy's left arm bulges out around the arm that is holding the ice-cream.

I remember a discussion about another photo where posters were convinced that there was an 'evil face' of Gerry reflected in a toaster.  It was the reflection of a picture of Shrek (on a lunchbox or cup I think).

There's a bigger (not so cropped) version of this photo somewhere, I hope someone will be able to produce it.
Maddie is not sitting on anyone's lap, she is standing up, and someone's arm, thick enough to hold the ice cream steady at so low a position on the cone, would make Maddie's arm bulge more, unless of course the arm is two dimensional and very flat indeed.  spin 
Good try otherwise to explain that bizarre separation of Maddie's supposed lower arm from her upper arm, especially with the pattern of her dress being so clearly present in that gap.  spin 
Thank you, I haven't seen the bigger picture.
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 16:00

MarcoG wrote:
Thank you, I haven't seen the bigger picture.

Have you seen the wider agenda?
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 17:03

@HelenMeg wrote:I still think that the apartment in Burgau and the indicated presence of JT / RM is extremely intriguing and potentially significant. [...]
***
That was mitochondrial DNA, meaning that somewhere [and maybe far away] in the female line they have a common ancestor ... No indication or proof of their presence or being related.
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 04.03.14 17:24

Clay Regazzoni wrote:
MarcoG wrote:
Thank you, I haven't seen the bigger picture.

Have you seen the wider agenda?
Ha!
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Shhh on 11.05.14 16:10

@Nina wrote:I agree re the Burgau apartment being the venue for the eye shadow photograph. It is more than coincidence that the wall and the blue of the chair should be in the apartment shot and also the eye shadow shot.

I have always assumed that the removal of Madeleine from the creche only 15 minutes after enrolling was due to the fact that she was either crying, having a twopenneth strop or some other reason for her parents to be called to take her away. I now question whether she was enrolled and then taken away after 15 minutes for some other reason.
So sorry to resurrect but been reading this thread and the above quoted post caught my eye.

K insistent at a time maddie was taken by a couple.  The couple she was taken to that afternoon?  

But then there's the dogs etc.  this is so confusing yet possibly she was taken there for what purpose that afternoon?  Receiving injuries that eventually lead to her death later that evening.  Not forgetting the infamous words in Kate's book.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by worriedmum on 11.05.14 18:19

lol! 
MarcoG wrote:
Clay Regazzoni wrote:
MarcoG wrote:
Thank you, I haven't seen the bigger picture.

Have you seen the wider agenda?
Ha!
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by j.rob on 13.05.14 20:38

How did the interviewing of the Polish couple by the police lead to the DNA samples of Tanner and Murat being found? Sorry haven't read the thread in entirety. Was the apartment where people think those awful photos of Madeleine were taken rented by the Polish couple? Or something. 

Also, reading the accounts of the man who saw the couple acting suspiciously photographing his children at covertly and at strange angles etc, reminds me that perhaps that is a bit how Nigel felt when he went up to the McCann group to tell them that their video-recording of his daughter playing tennis at the Ocean Club was making him uncomfortable.  

http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/NUNO_LOURENCO.htm

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by j.rob on 13.05.14 20:41

It is also very disturbing to note that this photo was released on an anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. Especially when you take into account the nature and tone of the Madeleine was Here series which also, I think, coincided with an 'anniversary'.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Nina on 13.05.14 21:10

I have to say this, but during the last 7 years I have met parents, other posters, who would have thought that dressing their children up as mini adults is quite normal, quite ok and have been adamant that they are good parents. Parents who have thought that their little boys wearing little girls clothing, and make up and nail varnish was also quite normal. 
I am left thinking that I have missed something somewhere, where and when was all this deemed as normal? A little girl, aged very young wearing adult style clothes, following bands with very dubious lyrics, learning the bumping and grinding motions and actually being applauded and cheered at family events. Little boys being bought little girls clothes, and toys, and it being what responsible parents do.
So maybe, Kate and Gerry McCann are of that ilk, and I am ready for the knackers yard?

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 13.05.14 21:20

@j.rob wrote:How did the interviewing of the Polish couple by the police lead to the DNA samples of Tanner and Murat being found? Sorry haven't read the thread in entirety. Was the apartment where people think those awful photos of Madeleine were taken rented by the Polish couple? Or something. 

Also, reading the accounts of the man who saw the couple acting suspiciously photographing his children at covertly and at strange angles etc, reminds me that perhaps that is a bit how Nigel felt when he went up to the McCann group to tell them that their video-recording of his daughter playing tennis at the Ocean Club was making him uncomfortable.  

http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/NUNO_LOURENCO.htm
There is more here from this old article by 'Blackwatch', unfortunately either my computer's programs or the forum's won't let me post the photos that go with it:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  

On 5th May 2007 at 19:30, two days after Madeleine McCann went missing from Apartment 5A of the Ocean Club, a team from the Sector's Local Crime Laboratory of Forensic Science at the request of the Criminal Investigation Department of Portimão Criminal Police searched apartment C of the Hotel Sol e Mar in Burgau (see image above). The apartment consisted of a kitchen, a living room, one bathroom and one double room. According to Mark Harrison's report for the National Police Improvements Agency (attached to the British Home Office), the methods and searches undertaken by the authorities were 'extensive and professional' and commensurate with a search and rescue operation. As a result of these searches of apartment c several hair samples were collected on the kitchen floor of the apartment, and packed in paper envelope, according to the instructions issued by the Division of Biology. Hair fibres were also collected on the floor of the hallway in the apartment and the master bedroom. Detailed examinations of a couch and the kitchen were also made, the latter yielding a blood specimen (see image below)



However, it wasn't until Inspector Amaral had been removed from the investigation and Paolo Rebelo took over the case that forensics were on the fibres were undertaken by Police Scientific Lab from the INML. In a request dated 31st October 2007 Rebelo writes:

"As it is necessary for the investigation of the abovementioned crime and being of a VERY URGENT nature, I request that the appropriate analyses be carried out as quickly as possible on the human blood samples collected by officers from the Local Crime Scene Unit (examination 200707356-CR IL of delivery guide 196/2007 ? CRL on 5th May 2007 in apartment c, 2? of aparthotel Sol e Mar in Burgau. These samples are in the Biology Area (200707143-B6). We require the determination of the DNA profile and a comparison with the DNA profile of Madeleine McCann and the DNA profiles sent to the Police Scientific Lab from the INML ... "

Whilst Inspector Amaral had made similar VERY URGENT requests on the blood samples found on the walls of Apartment 5A and from the wall of Quinta dos Figos in Praia da Luz he had made no such 'urgent requests' for those found in Burgau, even though a process demand had been made to the Director of the Scientific Police Laboratory by Chief Inspector Tavares Alemeida as early as May 15th 2007 (05-Processo Vol V page 1196/05_VOLUME_Va_Page_1196)

The results of the forensics tests performed on the hair fibres by the Forensics Services are perplexing to say the least. Results showed that the samples matched the haplotypes of Jane Tanner and Robert Murat (Processo n' 2007/000565/PT-B). The reports in question were served by the Servicos de Genetica e Biologia Forense based in Lisbon at the request of Paulo Rebelo in a fax dated October 2007. When we talk about hair samples and hair haplotypes we are talking about mtDNA profiles and a system (called haplogroups) that illustrate how these profiles relate to common ancestry groups. One human cell contains two types of DNA - nuclear and mitochondrial. mtDNA is inherited from a mother to a child. Surprisingly, mtDNA analysis is more sensitive than nuclear DNA profiling. The samples found in the Solimar Apartments were identical haplotype matches to Tanner and Murat. This means that the samples were either from them or two people having the same maternal bloodline.


Little more than one week later, after suspicions had been raised by reporters and concerns had been aroused by officers fielding a slew of probing questions about the case, Robert Murat was made a formal suspect in the case.

However, the results of the finds are not unproblematic. The forensic tests could only conclude that the fibres matching those of Tanner could indeed have come from any one of her maternal bloodline - including that of her 3 year old daughter who had accompanied her and her partner on the trip (or indeed more distant cousins or relatives). Much has been made of the physical resemblance of Tanner's daughter, Ella to Madeleine and the similarity in features and stature has led some internet sleuths to speculate that the actual target of the abductor may have been this child and not Madeleine (three of the Tapas children had been born within days of each other: Grace, Madeleine and Ella).

That Murat had spent a month in Exeter prior to returning to Portugal on May 1st appears to have only deepened speculation - Exeter being the home town of Tanner and O Brien. However no evidence has been unearthed that Murat knew either Tanner or O Brien prior to May 3rd and Police cleared Murat of any involvement in the case. Was Tanner's daughter Ella ever let out of parent's sight during the course of the holiday? Who knows. In her rogatory interviews Tanner admits to having visited Lagos some years before (where Murat has several business interests) but stresses she had never stayed in Lagos. Where she did stay isn't recorded.

What led to the forensic examination of the Apartment of the Hotel Sol e Mar in Burgau, has thus far remained a mystery, but one explanation seems more plausible than all the rest.

According to both Amaral's book and the released Police Files, shortly after news of Madeleine's disappearance broke a man came forwarded alleging that he had confronted a man taking pictures of his four year old daughter on a beach in Sagres. The man's name was Nuno Manuel Lourenzo de Jesus. Whether or not he bore any kinship to Gaynor de Jesus (friend of Robert Murat and translator for SKY News) is not recorded in any of the diligences the Police made. Although he had been born in the nearby municipality of Aljezur to parents José de Jesus and Maria Inês Lourenço, he had lived some 14 years in Germany with his German wife, Birgit Erdmann and was visiting his mother in Sagres at the time of the alleged incident. Between 16H00 and 17H00, he cannot be more precise, he noticed a male individual holding a small silver-coloured camera who, in a disguised fashion, was taking pictures of his children. After several bungled attempts to photograph the man's face, he eventually took a shot of the car in which the man was driving. The statement he gave to Police was made on May 5th.

The car was eventually traced to a Polish couple. Anetta Malgorzata and Wojciech Krokowski. According to further diligences carried out by Interpol, it was learned that the couple arrived at Faro airport on April 28th 2007 on flight Al32744 from Berlin.

Confronted later with photographs of Malgorzata and Krokowski, Lourenco de Jesus identified the male as having been the man that day on the beach. The very clear CCTV images (see image below) had been captured at The Beach Bar restaurant in Burgau and volunteered by the owner of the Restaurant, Ralph Eveleigh - Uncle of Robert Murat and brother of Robert's mother Jennifer. The beach bar owner was also able to give a detailed witness account of a conversation he had with the couple that confirmed they were from Poland. Amazingly, the name of the witness and the man who volunteered the CCTV images was not recorded in the files by Police. The officer appears not to have taken his name. Strangely, this is only occasion I've come across when a statement is recorded without the name of the witness being recorded also. And in the early stages at least, this was one of the most significant leads that they had. The names of other witnesses who had encountered the couple were duly recorded and formal statements made - but not this one. Make of this what you will.

Information collected by the German authorities from Air Berlin indicated that Wojciech and Krokowski had used the Berlin route because there were no direct cheap flights to or from Faro. Interpol also relayed the information that Anetta Malgorzata had convictions for drugs and drinks offences and for 'obtaining property by deception' - more commonly known as fraud. Naturally, the Police were keen to know a little more about their activities in Burgau and during the course of their investigation they spoke to Jorge Alberto Bandarra Rocha, owner of the Burgau restaurant, Refugio. Rocha tells the police of an unusual Polish couple who had reserved a table for dinner at the restaurant. He alleges that they had been brought to the restaurant as a result of picking up business cards that had been left in rooms at the Sol e Mar apartments. He goes on to allege that the Poles talked and mingled with some German diners:

"Almost immediately, the women began to photograph the interior of the restaurant without asking for permission. This situation captured the attention of the witness because his clients, tend to be of a 'posher class' and are more discreet in their conduct. This couples clothing was of a vulgar fashion ..."

Whilst it's tempting to draw a parallel between this story and the story of the Polish couple visiting Eef Hoos's Starlight Pet Crematorium, some have rightly questioned whether the entire incident provided a means of redirecting attention away from the real activities going on at the Sol e Mar apartments onto some believable Polish scapegoats. The Hoos anecdote does not, afterall, appear in the actual files themselves and is likely to have been a story dreamt up by the press.

What's apparent though is that the search of the Sol e Mar apartments appears to have arisen in response to statements made by either Jorge Rocha of the Bargau restaurant at which the Polish couple dined or Lourenco de Jesus.


above - the two Polish actors filmed at the Beach Bar - owned by Murat's Uncle.

Rocha only makes his formal Police statement about all this on May 6th and the Police forensic team had completed their search of the Sol e Mar apartments a day earlier on May 5th (although we might be able to conclude that Rocha had made similar informal statements some 24 hours earlier). It's also a mystery why Jorge Rocha says the couple dining at his restaurant arose as a result of business cards he left at the Sol e Mar apartments. According to other records in the file the Police record that the Polish couple are staying at the Solimar apartments in Burgau - owned by Peter and Margaret Owen from Cardiff. Had the Poles arranged to meet someone at the Sol e Mar apartments and picked up the card during one of their possible visits or are the Sol e Mar and Solimar apartments one and the same property?

Clearly, it occurs to me now that the Sol e Mar and Solimar apartments are one and the same building. One has only to compare and contrast the respective photos of the properties to see they are a perfect match (see facade image below). Why the Police Files record them under such radically different spellings is not clear but may be explained by inadequate procedural efforts. However, a more deliberate attempt by someone within the department to confuse the issue cannot be ruled out.

The Solimar Apartments where the Polish couple stayed were designed and built by Jacinto and Murat, the property development company in Lagos once co-owned by Murat's father and now under the directorship of his old partner and architect, Joao Jacinto. Jacinto. Jacinto, however, claims not to have spoken to Robert in years. He had fallen out with his father some years before and the two had severed their partnership. The apartments are now managed by Actividades Turisticas do Burgau (ATM Holidays). It's director is Nuno Felisberto - their website designed and maintained by the Webgami - a design and property agency owned and staffed by Josa Barbosa in Burgau.

According to his website, Joao Jacinto and his son Joao Pedro, like James Gorrod, are also enthusiastic and experienced yachtsman, regularly entering their boat, O Pedrosa - moored in Lagos Marina - in the Lagos-Palos regatta. Matthew Oldfield and Russell O Brien tell of their own sailing activities on the afternoon of May 3rd in their rogatory interviews, in a series of sessions arranged and coordinated by the Ocean Club. For all those amrchair sleuths pouring over the details of a witness account of a man seen dragging a girl toward the Marina in Lagos the pursuit is inevitably pointless. Having an interest in sailing is shared by the vast majority of those visiting and those local to Lagos.

Had Robert ever been introduced to Jacinto's son, Joao Pedro? Not to the best of our knowledge, no. But we do know that Robert and Jacinto & Murat share a liberal interest in sex, Jacinto & Murat promoting the fact in the keywords of their website. Nothing wrong with that though. Maybe the company were looking to persuade broadminded adults to book broadminded stays at the apartments. Everyone needs a room to rent at sometime or other. Priests. Even prostitutes.



Whatever the case, given that the Sagres incident was itself only reported on May 5th (that's the day de Jesus gave his statement) it seems remarkable that the Police were able to respond within hours with a search warrant and a team to search the building (the search of the Sol e Mar apartments was conducted on the evening of May 5th).

Were the Poles a genuine lead or a plausible cover story for undertaking a search of the Sol e Mar Apartments or at the very least an attempt by parties either within or without the Police to implicate Tanner and Murat?

What may or may not be significant is that Jane Tanner did not take part in the confrontation organised by the Police between Murat and the Tapas party. O Brien was there. Rachel Oldfield was there. Fiona Payne was there - but Tanner was absent. As was Matthew Oldfield and David Payne.



Will Burgau yield any further clues? Who knows. It's not the first time either the village or German Nationals are mentioned in the files. The Murat family used to have a home in the district, Murat's father had another business project in the district called Burgau Investimentos Turisticos Lda (with an unspecified Englishman) and a search of Murat's cousin, Sally Eveleigh's Salsalito guest house was also undertaken by Police. And then we have another German man - 69 year old Karl Kleine Brocknoff disappearing and then being found dead in mysterious circumstances in June 2007 - not far from where any of this took place.

Russell O Brien even admits to receiving a text message from a friend in Germany just as they arrived at the Ocean Club on April 28th (the Polish couple flew from Berlin Airport to Faro on April 28th, arriving at the Solimar apartments on the same day) and there's even a record of Robert Murat making to trips to Germany with his Remax friend, Rui Cristino for the sale of a car. Sagres photographer Nuno de Jesus and his German wife, Birgit Erdmann - born locally - but living in Germany at the time of the event. The list goes on ...

If it transpires that the empty property near the Almadena Windmill and Trig Point in Praia da Luz which was destroyed within weeks of Madeleine's disappearence (and mentioned in Mark Harrison's search report for the NPIA) had links to any of the property managers here, then the possibility of solving the mystery is likely to remain buried within its rubble (which was taken away incidentally).

But before leaping to any conclusions it might be worth remembering that there's plenty more herrings in the sea. Maybe former head of The Division Against Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Inspector Amaral could throw some light upon the case. Or something not so bright.

More reading:
Burgau Apartment DNA Explained: Hapless Guide to Haplotypes
other images of the Hotel Sol e Mar:

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 13.05.14 21:24

I don't think it's a recent trend, Nina. I agree with you about children being dressed as mini-adults and having interests more suited for teenagers.

I can imagine what you will think of these parents!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2623174/The-five-year-old-boy-banned-church-likes-wear-pretty-dresses.html
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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by HelenMeg on 13.05.14 21:34

fleffer wrote:
@j.rob wrote:How did the interviewing of the Polish couple by the police lead to the DNA samples of Tanner and Murat being found? Sorry haven't read the thread in entirety. Was the apartment where people think those awful photos of Madeleine were taken rented by the Polish couple? Or something. 

Also, reading the accounts of the man who saw the couple acting suspiciously photographing his children at covertly and at strange angles etc, reminds me that perhaps that is a bit how Nigel felt when he went up to the McCann group to tell them that their video-recording of his daughter playing tennis at the Ocean Club was making him uncomfortable.  

http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/NUNO_LOURENCO.htm
There is more here from this old article by 'Blackwatch', unfortunately either my computer's programs or the forum's won't let me post the photos that go with it:

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On 5th May 2007 at 19:30, two days after Madeleine McCann went missing from Apartment 5A of the Ocean Club, a team from the Sector's Local Crime Laboratory of Forensic Science at the request of the Criminal Investigation Department of Portimão Criminal Police searched apartment C of the Hotel Sol e Mar in Burgau (see image above). The apartment consisted of a kitchen, a living room, one bathroom and one double room. According to Mark Harrison's report for the National Police Improvements Agency (attached to the British Home Office), the methods and searches undertaken by the authorities were 'extensive and professional' and commensurate with a search and rescue operation. As a result of these searches of apartment c several hair samples were collected on the kitchen floor of the apartment, and packed in paper envelope, according to the instructions issued by the Division of Biology. Hair fibres were also collected on the floor of the hallway in the apartment and the master bedroom. Detailed examinations of a couch and the kitchen were also made, the latter yielding a blood specimen (see image below)



However, it wasn't until Inspector Amaral had been removed from the investigation and Paolo Rebelo took over the case that forensics were on the fibres were undertaken by Police Scientific Lab from the INML. In a request dated 31st October 2007 Rebelo writes:

"As it is necessary for the investigation of the abovementioned crime and being of a VERY URGENT nature, I request that the appropriate analyses be carried out as quickly as possible on the human blood samples collected by officers from the Local Crime Scene Unit (examination 200707356-CR IL of delivery guide 196/2007 ? CRL on 5th May 2007 in apartment c, 2? of aparthotel Sol e Mar in Burgau. These samples are in the Biology Area (200707143-B6). We require the determination of the DNA profile and a comparison with the DNA profile of Madeleine McCann and the DNA profiles sent to the Police Scientific Lab from the INML ... "

Whilst Inspector Amaral had made similar VERY URGENT requests on the blood samples found on the walls of Apartment 5A and from the wall of Quinta dos Figos in Praia da Luz he had made no such 'urgent requests' for those found in Burgau, even though a process demand had been made to the Director of the Scientific Police Laboratory by Chief Inspector Tavares Alemeida as early as May 15th 2007 (05-Processo Vol V page 1196/05_VOLUME_Va_Page_1196)

The results of the forensics tests performed on the hair fibres by the Forensics Services are perplexing to say the least. Results showed that the samples matched the haplotypes of Jane Tanner and Robert Murat (Processo n' 2007/000565/PT-B). The reports in question were served by the Servicos de Genetica e Biologia Forense based in Lisbon at the request of Paulo Rebelo in a fax dated October 2007. When we talk about hair samples and hair haplotypes we are talking about mtDNA profiles and a system (called haplogroups) that illustrate how these profiles relate to common ancestry groups. One human cell contains two types of DNA - nuclear and mitochondrial. mtDNA is inherited from a mother to a child. Surprisingly, mtDNA analysis is more sensitive than nuclear DNA profiling. The samples found in the Solimar Apartments were identical haplotype matches to Tanner and Murat. This means that the samples were either from them or two people having the same maternal bloodline.


Little more than one week later, after suspicions had been raised by reporters and concerns had been aroused by officers fielding a slew of probing questions about the case, Robert Murat was made a formal suspect in the case.

However, the results of the finds are not unproblematic. The forensic tests could only conclude that the fibres matching those of Tanner could indeed have come from any one of her maternal bloodline - including that of her 3 year old daughter who had accompanied her and her partner on the trip (or indeed more distant cousins or relatives). Much has been made of the physical resemblance of Tanner's daughter, Ella to Madeleine and the similarity in features and stature has led some internet sleuths to speculate that the actual target of the abductor may have been this child and not Madeleine (three of the Tapas children had been born within days of each other: Grace, Madeleine and Ella).

That Murat had spent a month in Exeter prior to returning to Portugal on May 1st appears to have only deepened speculation - Exeter being the home town of Tanner and O Brien. However no evidence has been unearthed that Murat knew either Tanner or O Brien prior to May 3rd and Police cleared Murat of any involvement in the case. Was Tanner's daughter Ella ever let out of parent's sight during the course of the holiday? Who knows. In her rogatory interviews Tanner admits to having visited Lagos some years before (where Murat has several business interests) but stresses she had never stayed in Lagos. Where she did stay isn't recorded.

What led to the forensic examination of the Apartment of the Hotel Sol e Mar in Burgau, has thus far remained a mystery, but one explanation seems more plausible than all the rest.

According to both Amaral's book and the released Police Files, shortly after news of Madeleine's disappearance broke a man came forwarded alleging that he had confronted a man taking pictures of his four year old daughter on a beach in Sagres. The man's name was Nuno Manuel Lourenzo de Jesus. Whether or not he bore any kinship to Gaynor de Jesus (friend of Robert Murat and translator for SKY News) is not recorded in any of the diligences the Police made. Although he had been born in the nearby municipality of Aljezur to parents José de Jesus and Maria Inês Lourenço, he had lived some 14 years in Germany with his German wife, Birgit Erdmann and was visiting his mother in Sagres at the time of the alleged incident. Between 16H00 and 17H00, he cannot be more precise, he noticed a male individual holding a small silver-coloured camera who, in a disguised fashion, was taking pictures of his children. After several bungled attempts to photograph the man's face, he eventually took a shot of the car in which the man was driving. The statement he gave to Police was made on May 5th.

The car was eventually traced to a Polish couple. Anetta Malgorzata and Wojciech Krokowski. According to further diligences carried out by Interpol, it was learned that the couple arrived at Faro airport on April 28th 2007 on flight Al32744 from Berlin.

Confronted later with photographs of Malgorzata and Krokowski, Lourenco de Jesus identified the male as having been the man that day on the beach. The very clear CCTV images (see image below) had been captured at The Beach Bar restaurant in Burgau and volunteered by the owner of the Restaurant, Ralph Eveleigh - Uncle of Robert Murat and brother of Robert's mother Jennifer. The beach bar owner was also able to give a detailed witness account of a conversation he had with the couple that confirmed they were from Poland. Amazingly, the name of the witness and the man who volunteered the CCTV images was not recorded in the files by Police. The officer appears not to have taken his name. Strangely, this is only occasion I've come across when a statement is recorded without the name of the witness being recorded also. And in the early stages at least, this was one of the most significant leads that they had. The names of other witnesses who had encountered the couple were duly recorded and formal statements made - but not this one. Make of this what you will.

Information collected by the German authorities from Air Berlin indicated that Wojciech and Krokowski had used the Berlin route because there were no direct cheap flights to or from Faro. Interpol also relayed the information that Anetta Malgorzata had convictions for drugs and drinks offences and for 'obtaining property by deception' - more commonly known as fraud. Naturally, the Police were keen to know a little more about their activities in Burgau and during the course of their investigation they spoke to Jorge Alberto Bandarra Rocha, owner of the Burgau restaurant, Refugio. Rocha tells the police of an unusual Polish couple who had reserved a table for dinner at the restaurant. He alleges that they had been brought to the restaurant as a result of picking up business cards that had been left in rooms at the Sol e Mar apartments. He goes on to allege that the Poles talked and mingled with some German diners:

"Almost immediately, the women began to photograph the interior of the restaurant without asking for permission. This situation captured the attention of the witness because his clients, tend to be of a 'posher class' and are more discreet in their conduct. This couples clothing was of a vulgar fashion ..."

Whilst it's tempting to draw a parallel between this story and the story of the Polish couple visiting Eef Hoos's Starlight Pet Crematorium, some have rightly questioned whether the entire incident provided a means of redirecting attention away from the real activities going on at the Sol e Mar apartments onto some believable Polish scapegoats. The Hoos anecdote does not, afterall, appear in the actual files themselves and is likely to have been a story dreamt up by the press.

What's apparent though is that the search of the Sol e Mar apartments appears to have arisen in response to statements made by either Jorge Rocha of the Bargau restaurant at which the Polish couple dined or Lourenco de Jesus.


above - the two Polish actors filmed at the Beach Bar - owned by Murat's Uncle.

Rocha only makes his formal Police statement about all this on May 6th and the Police forensic team had completed their search of the Sol e Mar apartments a day earlier on May 5th (although we might be able to conclude that Rocha had made similar informal statements some 24 hours earlier). It's also a mystery why Jorge Rocha says the couple dining at his restaurant arose as a result of business cards he left at the Sol e Mar apartments. According to other records in the file the Police record that the Polish couple are staying at the Solimar apartments in Burgau - owned by Peter and Margaret Owen from Cardiff. Had the Poles arranged to meet someone at the Sol e Mar apartments and picked up the card during one of their possible visits or are the Sol e Mar and Solimar apartments one and the same property?

Clearly, it occurs to me now that the Sol e Mar and Solimar apartments are one and the same building. One has only to compare and contrast the respective photos of the properties to see they are a perfect match (see facade image below). Why the Police Files record them under such radically different spellings is not clear but may be explained by inadequate procedural efforts. However, a more deliberate attempt by someone within the department to confuse the issue cannot be ruled out.

The Solimar Apartments where the Polish couple stayed were designed and built by Jacinto and Murat, the property development company in Lagos once co-owned by Murat's father and now under the directorship of his old partner and architect, Joao Jacinto. Jacinto. Jacinto, however, claims not to have spoken to Robert in years. He had fallen out with his father some years before and the two had severed their partnership. The apartments are now managed by Actividades Turisticas do Burgau (ATM Holidays). It's director is Nuno Felisberto - their website designed and maintained by the Webgami - a design and property agency owned and staffed by Josa Barbosa in Burgau.

According to his website, Joao Jacinto and his son Joao Pedro, like James Gorrod, are also enthusiastic and experienced yachtsman, regularly entering their boat, O Pedrosa - moored in Lagos Marina - in the Lagos-Palos regatta. Matthew Oldfield and Russell O Brien tell of their own sailing activities on the afternoon of May 3rd in their rogatory interviews, in a series of sessions arranged and coordinated by the Ocean Club. For all those amrchair sleuths pouring over the details of a witness account of a man seen dragging a girl toward the Marina in Lagos the pursuit is inevitably pointless. Having an interest in sailing is shared by the vast majority of those visiting and those local to Lagos.

Had Robert ever been introduced to Jacinto's son, Joao Pedro? Not to the best of our knowledge, no. But we do know that Robert and Jacinto & Murat share a liberal interest in sex, Jacinto & Murat promoting the fact in the keywords of their website. Nothing wrong with that though. Maybe the company were looking to persuade broadminded adults to book broadminded stays at the apartments. Everyone needs a room to rent at sometime or other. Priests. Even prostitutes.



Whatever the case, given that the Sagres incident was itself only reported on May 5th (that's the day de Jesus gave his statement) it seems remarkable that the Police were able to respond within hours with a search warrant and a team to search the building (the search of the Sol e Mar apartments was conducted on the evening of May 5th).

Were the Poles a genuine lead or a plausible cover story for undertaking a search of the Sol e Mar Apartments or at the very least an attempt by parties either within or without the Police to implicate Tanner and Murat?

What may or may not be significant is that Jane Tanner did not take part in the confrontation organised by the Police between Murat and the Tapas party. O Brien was there. Rachel Oldfield was there. Fiona Payne was there - but Tanner was absent. As was Matthew Oldfield and David Payne.



Will Burgau yield any further clues? Who knows. It's not the first time either the village or German Nationals are mentioned in the files. The Murat family used to have a home in the district, Murat's father had another business project in the district called Burgau Investimentos Turisticos Lda (with an unspecified Englishman) and a search of Murat's cousin, Sally Eveleigh's Salsalito guest house was also undertaken by Police. And then we have another German man - 69 year old Karl Kleine Brocknoff disappearing and then being found dead in mysterious circumstances in June 2007 - not far from where any of this took place.

Russell O Brien even admits to receiving a text message from a friend in Germany just as they arrived at the Ocean Club on April 28th (the Polish couple flew from Berlin Airport to Faro on April 28th, arriving at the Solimar apartments on the same day) and there's even a record of Robert Murat making to trips to Germany with his Remax friend, Rui Cristino for the sale of a car. Sagres photographer Nuno de Jesus and his German wife, Birgit Erdmann - born locally - but living in Germany at the time of the event. The list goes on ...

If it transpires that the empty property near the Almadena Windmill and Trig Point in Praia da Luz which was destroyed within weeks of Madeleine's disappearence (and mentioned in Mark Harrison's search report for the NPIA) had links to any of the property managers here, then the possibility of solving the mystery is likely to remain buried within its rubble (which was taken away incidentally).

But before leaping to any conclusions it might be worth remembering that there's plenty more herrings in the sea. Maybe former head of The Division Against Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Inspector Amaral could throw some light upon the case. Or something not so bright.

More reading:
Burgau Apartment DNA Explained: Hapless Guide to Haplotypes
other images of the Hotel Sol e Mar:

This is so interesting. That Tanner and Murat's DNA were located at the apartment in Sol e Mar. However, as stated it could well have been DNA from Jane's daughter who bore a close resemblance to Madeleine. I believe that it was decided to use Jane's daughter as the decoy from Gerry to carry on the night of the 3rd. This apartment was built by Murat's father. This means that Murat and JANE OR HER DAUGHTER (or both) had been present in the apartment. Why?

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by petunia on 13.05.14 22:17

If you look at page 6 of this thread tony makes a point of the hair bead and the length of the hair in both the last photo and the make up photo..I noticed it looks like she is wearing a pink strappy top if you look to the left near her neck.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by spirals on 14.05.14 8:36

@petunia wrote:If you look at page 6 of this thread tony makes a point of the hair bead and the length of the hair in both the last photo and the make up photo..I noticed it looks like she is wearing a pink strappy top if you look to the left near her neck.

I don't see a hair bead in the make up photo, I see a hair clip. Looks like a little pink bow. At least to me they don't look the same at all.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Gillyspot on 14.05.14 10:12

The make up pic should have a thread of its own (if it doesn't already have one).

BTW I have had a thought that far from "raiding" a make up box Madeleine was keeping still with her head raised & eyes closed whilst someone else was applying eye shadow.

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Re: What was so special about Burgau?

Post by Guest on 14.05.14 10:19

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