Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Madeleine McCann and the Strange Story of the two Crimewatch E-fits

by Gemma Fairweather, October 2014



               Image A                    Image B

A. Introduction

My article would be a very long one if I went into all the background and all the issues involved behind the unveiling, on the BBC CrimeWatch Special of 14 October 2013, of these two e-fits, allegedly of the man who is now the chief suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

So my introduction will be brief, and what follows will be little more than a series of notes and questions. My aim is to introduce this complex subject to the many people not aware of the many intricacies of the Madeleine McCann case. I want to give the context in which those two images were unveiled on CrimeWatch.

These two images were first revealed to 6.7 million viewers of BBC CrimeWatch in October last year (2013), and around the same time they were published in all Britain’s mainstream print and TV media. They were presented as the face of the new suspect.

We were meant to believe that this new suspect had been seen by members of an Irish family at around 10.00pm on 3 May 2007, the night Madeleine was reported missing. As you will see from what follows, I believe those millions of viewers were seriously and deliberately misled - by one of the country’s top police officers.

B. The ‘sighting’ by Jane Tanner

 Up to the very moment of this broadcast, the entire world had been looking for an entirely different suspect - this man:

This was a sketch made by Melisa Little, on behalf of the McCann Team, of the man said to have been seen by Jane Tanner - one of the McCanns’ close friends - at around 9.15pm the night Madeleine was reported missing.

For nearly six-and-a-half years, this man, if he ever existed, was the No. 1 suspect.

I say ‘if he ever existed’ because there were numerous serious problems with this claimed sighting. Here are just a few of them:

She reported her claimed sighting to her partner, Russell O’Brien. He then wrote out a timeline of the evening’s events, placing this sighting at 9.15pm or 9.20pm. Yet Jane Tanner claimed that she did not tell the McCanns or their other friends about her sighting because she thought it would ‘upset them’. This is barely credible, especially when you consider that her partner, Russell O’Brien, wrote down details of her claimed sighting on the ripped-off cover of an Activity Sticker Book belonging to Madeleine. The McCanns themselves must have given O’Brien that sticker book

As time went on, Jane Tanner’s recollections about what she claimed she had seen kept getting more detailed - contrary to how memory normally operates

She kept changing her story about how far away she was away from the man she claimed to have seen

Immediately before her sighting, she claimed to have walked right past Gerry McCann and his friend Jez Wilkins. But neither of them remembers seeing her.

The Portuguese Police found her statements evasive - and believed from Day One that she had fabricated her sighting
Despite the apparent urgency of identifying this man, the McCann Team did not produce a sketch of this man until a full 5½ months after 3 May. It would be virtually useless after such a lapse of time.
The timings of Gerry McCann leaving his apartment (about 9.10pm) and Jane Tanner claiming to have seen the man carrying a child (9.15pm) meant that any abductor would have to achieve the impossible within the space of less than 5 minutes:

- enter the apartment without being seen or heard,

- find Madeleine in the dark,

- pick her up without waking her,

- have time to open both the window and shutters from the inside without being heard,

- and then escape the apartment, again without being seen by anyone except Jane Tanner.

It was never a credible story.

A. How the Metropolitan Police say they found ‘Tannerman’


Now, the only reason we were told on BBC CrimeWatch to look for the man seen by the Irish family is because DCI Andy Redwood, the Head of Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange - the name of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann -, told us in that broadcast that after 6½ years of looking for the man that Jane Tanner said she’s seen (often called ‘Tannerman’), we should immediately stop doing so.


Because DCI Redwood said he’d found him!

For DCI Redwood, this was ‘a revelation moment’, something ‘interesting’ and ‘exciting’, as he breathlessly told his viewers.

A man had come forward - after 6½ years, so DCI Redwood told us - to say that he was probably the man seen by Jane Tanner.

Of course, DCI Redwood didn’t do anything simple like tell us who this person was, a man who had apparently only just realised he was the very man that police forces and the public around the world had been looking for, for all this time.

Here is how DCI Redwood, and presenter Matthew Amroliwala on BBC CrimeWatch, described the man who had apparently come forward (the full transcript is in an appendix to this article)::

Redwood: “One of the things that we picked up very quickly was the fact that there was a night crèche that was operating from the main Ocean Club reception - and 8 families had left 11 children in there, and one particular family we spoke to gave us information…they themselves believed that they could be the ‘Tanner sighting’.”

Amroliwala: “The British father had collected his 2-year-old daughter from the crèche. He had been walking near the McCanns’ apartment. This is the actual photograph taken by Metropolitan Police officers of the man, dressed in the kind of clothes he wore on holiday. This image was compared to the artist’s impression” [what was alleged to be a photo of the alleged ‘man from the creche’ was shown to viewers, alongside the artist’s impression of Tannerman. They did look very similar].

Redwood: “It is uncannily similar, and we know that the pyjamas their child was wearing, that it is, again, uncannily striking, the similarity”.

The sudden revelation that ‘Tannerman’ might not be the abductor after all raised a number of important questions.

B. Exactly who was this man (‘Crecheman’) that ‘came forward’ and said it was him who saw a man carrying sa child at 9.15pm on 3 May 2007?

The question that occurred to most people was: Why, if this man had indeed been walking back from the creche past the McCanns’ apartment at around 9.15pm, had he not bothered to come forward for 6 years?

But there were other questions.

It was soon noted by a number of Madeleine McCann researchers that if the man had been walking south-eastwards past the McCanns’ apartment, as claimed by Jane Tanner, then he could not have been taking the shortest route back to wherever he was staying (a map is necessary to fully illustrate this point).

Then there were question marks about the family involved.

Redwood and Amroliwala, in the CrimeWatch programme, made these references to the family (see also appendix):

· 8 families had left 11 children in [the creche]

 · and one particular family we spoke to

· having discussed with them

· what they were doing on the night

· they themselves believed

· that they could be the ‘Tanner sighting’.

You can see for yourself that three times above, Redwood & Amroliwala use the word ‘they’. In addition, they refer twice to ‘the family’, and once to ‘them’.

So it is clear that they are talking about a couple - man and wife, or man and partner and child.

Now, if ‘they’, the parents, had put their child in the crèche, say whilst they had gone out for a meal, why would the man be…

· on his own

· without a buggy

· carrying a child dressed only in pyjamas?

This doesn’t make sense, does it? Where is the mother in this story which was put forward by Redwood & Amroliwala to 6.7 million trusting CrimeWatch viewers?

Is it credible that this man who had apparently left his two-year-old in the crèche would have done so without (a) having some sort of buggy or pushchair and (b) without having warmer clothing for carrying home his child on what we know was a cold early May night in Portugal? ;l

I invite you to share with me my view that there is very good reason to doubt whether this man - suddenly ‘found’ after more than six years - ever existed. Would it not be a lot more credible had DCI Redwood actually named him?).

C. The claimed ‘sighting’ by the Irish family: The basic facts  

Anyway, this device of ‘finding’ (or, as I suggest, inventing) Crecheman enabled DCI Redwood to identify, as his new chief suspect, a man said to have been seen by the Smith family, from Drogheda, Ireland.

It’s to this alleged sighting that I now wish to turn.

The brief facts about this claimed sighting are these:

1. Martin Smith, his wife and his two children Peter aged 29 and Aoife, 12, and five other family members were holidaying in the apartment the family owned in Praia da Luz, on the day Madeleine was reported missing.

2. Martin Smith knew local man (and the first suspect in the case) Robert Murat. The two had met, according to the Smiths themselves, ‘on several occasions’. 

3. The Smiths later claimed they saw a man carrying a child at around 10.00pm on the night Madeleine went missing, somewhere between the Ocean Club, where the McCanns were having dinner that night, and the beach.

4. But none of them did anything about this until two weeks later.

5. The day after Robert Murat was made a suspect (15 May 2007), Martin Smith’s son Peter is said (by Martin & Peter Smith) to have ‘phoned his father and asked if his father remembered seeing a man carrying a child on 3 May.

6. This is what Martin Smith said on the record about this telephone call: “We were home two weeks [actually 13 days] 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". They then reported their sighting to the Irish Gardai on 16 May

7. Martin Smith, Peter and Aoife flew to Portugal and on 26 May made formal statements to the Portuguese about what they claimed to have seen. They all said or admitted the following:

· it was dark

· the street lighting was poor
· they only saw the man for a few seconds, and

· they would not be able to recognise him again if they saw him.

8. In addition, there are contradictions in what they have said about this man and the child, which I deal with below.

9. On 9 September, four months after Madeleine was reported missing, Martin Smith says he was watching TV news footage of the McCanns walking down the steps of a plane, each carrying one of their children, as they landed back in England.

10. On 20 September, 11 days later, he made an emotional statement to Detective Liam Hogan of the Irish Gardai claiming that he was ‘60% to 80% sure’, by the way Gerry McCann was carrying his son Sean, that he was the very man he had seen carrying a child on the evening of 3 May. Martin Smith’s claim has since been widely viewed by members of the public as wholly lacking in credibility.

11. At no time did the Portuguese police attempt to get the Smiths to draw up e-fits of the man they said they had seen.

12. On 3 January, a series of newspaper stories in the British press reported that Martin Smith had been approached by Brian Kennedy, a senior member of the McCann Team who was conducting so-called ‘private investigations’ for the McCanns into Madeleine’s disappearance. Kennedy had appointed the controversial Spanish detective agency Metodo 3 as part of his investigation team. Martin Smith said that Metodo 3 detectives wanted to see him.

13. In an article in the Evening Standard in August 2009, Mark Hollingsworth alleged that men employed by Brian Kennedy, in his private Madeleine McCann investigation, had intimidated some witnesses in the case so severely that they now refused to give evidence.

14. We know from a number of published sources that a member, or members, of Kennedy’s investigation team met the Smiths at least once during 2008. Neither the McCanns nor Brian Kennedy nor the Smiths have supplied any details of when and why these meetings took place.

15. At this time, Kennedy was employing a team of investigators from a one-man-band company, Oakley International (‘Oakley’), formed after Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Oakley’s sole Director was Kevin Halligen, a man who, after working for the McCanns for a fee of £½ million plus expenses, went on the run from police, wanted for a number of major frauds. He was arrested in 2009, and spent four years in Belmarsh top security prison and a U.S. jail for his crimes, eventually being released in early 2013.

16. Halligen’s main assistant at this time was Henri Exton, formerly the Head of Covert Intelligence for MI5. He was later sacked by MI5 after being charged by Greater Manchester Police for stealing a bottle of perfume from a shop at Manchester Airport.

17. According to an article in the Sunday Times on 27 October 2013, Exton had produced the two e-fits shown by DCI Redwood of Operation Grange on 14 October. He claimed to have produced them in 2008. He alleged that the McCanns had ‘suppressed’ them, an allegation strongly denied by the McCanns [ NOTE: In September this year (2014) it was announced that the Sunday Times had paid the McCanns £55,000 compensation for their alleged libel ].

18. On the BBC CrimeWatch McCann Special in October 2013, both DCI Andy Redwood and CrimeWatch presenter Matthew Amroliwala intended viewers to believe that the Irish family (the Smiths) drew up these e-fits. But after referring to the family, the chosen words used by presenter Amroliwala were that the e-fits had been drawn up ‘by two of the witnesses‘, not (which he could easily have said) ‘by two members of the Irish family’. Many have asked why he did not use those words, but instead used the ambiguous phrase: ‘two of the witnesses’.

19. The Metropolitan Police have admitted on the record that they interviewed Martin Smith ‘once in 2012’ and ‘once in 2013’. This would tend to suggest that Martin Smith has co-operated with DCI Redwood’s attempt to claim that these e-fits are probably of the person who abducted Madeleine - and to pass them off as having been made up from the Smiths’ recollections. But of course neither DCI Andy Redwood nor Martin Smith will say what was discussed at these two meetings.

I am now ready to begin my analysis of the puzzles and contradictions surrounding these e-fits and the alleged sighting by the Smiths.    

D. Why we can’t accept what DCI Redwood told us about the two e-fits?

1. He maintained that the two e-fits were of ‘the same man’. But most people think the images are clearly of two different men.

2. If you compare the man pictured in Image A with the one pictured in Image B, the man in Image A:
 · looks older
 · has a ‘fatter’ face
· has a rectangular face (Image B man has a triangular-shaped face)
· has curly hair, apparently brushed back 
· has a much shorter nose

· has a much bigger chin, and

· has smaller ears.

3. On the CrimeWatch programme, the presenter did not explicitly say that the images were drawn up by the Irish family.

4. DCI Redwood has not, and cannot adequately explain why these e-fits were first produced five years previously (2008), but never used.

5. It would have been impossible for any of the Smiths to have drawn up either of these two images, for these reasons:

 (a) as we saw above, each of the three members of the Smith family, when interviewed by the Portuguese police, admitted that:

 · it was dark

· the street lighting was poor

 · they only saw the man for a few seconds

 · they would not be able to recognise him again if they saw him, and

(b) according to the limited information we have, if the Smiths did indeed draw up these two e-fits, they probably did so sometime between May and October 2008, which would have been 12 to 17 months after they say they saw the man - far too long after the event to be able to produce a valid e-fit, as police procedures accept and acknowledge. 

E. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 1:   The Smiths’ different stated reasons for their delay inReporting 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 Smith added. ‘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? - we have no details ].

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 the police and let them decide if it was important’."

REASON 5. ‘The Portuguese police were too busy’

[ NOTE: This 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 with his own child from a crèche”.

[ NOTES: 1. This is the first time that Martin Smith has ever claimed 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 seriously ] 

H. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 2: 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. [ NOTE: Mary Smith never made a formal statement to the police, so far as we know ]

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 ]

I. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 3: 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…”

J. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 4:   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 there had been police sirens heard in the village before 11pm on the night Madeleine was reported missing - and by the early morning of 4 May, Praia da Luz was crawling with police and villagers looking for Madeleine ]

K. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 5:  Was the child covered with a blanket - or not? 

In the 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”.

Yet the Smiths in their statements to the Portuguese police say the child was dressed only in pyjamas and was not covered by a blanket.


L. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No.6:   How often had Martin Smith met Robert 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 knows 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… 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.

“Martin Smith said: ‘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”.

M. 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 - far too late to draw up a valid e-fit, let alone two e-fits of what look to most people like two different men,

Here are the relevant extracts from their statements:

Aoife Smith, 26 May 2007

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, 26 May 2007

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, 26 May 2007

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.

N. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 6:   Martin Smith’s improving memory

But now let’s look at the further statement made by Martin Smith in January 2008

This further statement followed Martin Smith’s claim in September 2007 that he thought he recognised Gerry McCann as the man he had seen at around 10.00pm on the evening of 3 May 2007. His unconvincing explanation for that was that he recognised who it was ‘by the way Gerry McCann was carrying his son Sean’ [on his shoulder].

Four months later, on or just before 30 January 2008, an officer of the Irish Gardai, Liam Hogan, took a statement from Martin Smith. Here are extracts from a summary of Martin Smith’s description of the man’s clothing given in January:

The man “was wearing beige trousers and darkish top, maybe a jacket or blazer”.

But in May 2007, just three weeks after his claimed sighting, Martin Smith clearly tells the Portuguese police that “He did not notice the body clothing and cannot describe the colour or fashion of the same”.

Similarly, Aiofe Smith told police in May 2007 that “She did not see what he was wearing above his trousers, as the child covered him almost completely at the top...”

Furthermore, Peter Smith’s evidence in May 2007 was that “He also does not remember the clothing the individual wore, or his shoes”.

Neither Martin Smith nor his two children, in May 2007, could remember a thing about what the man was wearing above his waist. So we are entitled at least to ask, how could Martin Smith be so sure, over eight months later, that the man he said he had seen was wearing ‘a darkish top, maybe a jacket or blazer’?

Why was he unable to describe, three weeks after the event, what the man had been wearing, yet very nearly nine months after the night Madeleine was reported missing, he could apparently tell the Irish police that he was ‘wearing a darkish top’?  

O. Contradictions about the ‘Smithman sighting’ - No. 7: Could the witnesses see the child’s eyes? - or not?

Yet another contradiction emerges when we look at what the three Smith family members say about the eyes of the child they saw they saw. The following are all extracts from the statements of the three family members taken by the Portuguese police on 26 May:   

Aoife Smith says:

“...she didn’t see the child's face because she was lying vertically against the man’s left shoulder…”

Peter Smith says:

 “The girl was asleep; her eyelids were closed”

[ NOTE: How could Peter Smith possibly see that the girl’s eyelids were closed when Aoife says very clearly “I didn’t see the child’s face because she was lying vertically against the man’s left shoulder…” ]

Martin Smith says:

“He says that the man didn’t speak, nor did the child as she was ‘in a deep sleep’.”

How exactly could Martin Smith say that she was asleep if Aoife, his daughter, reports that the child’s face ‘was lying vertically against the man’s left shoulder’? Moreover, based on the few seconds that he saw this man in the dark, what makes him claim the child was in a ‘deep’ sleep? How can he possible know that?

P. The strange and striking similarity of the two sightings: Tannerman and Smithman

One of the strangest aspects of the ‘Smithman’ sighting is how remarkably similar it was to the description given by Jane Tanner of the man she said she had seen. Here is a list of them:

In both ‘sightings’, this was an unaccompanied male, carrying a child and having no buggy or push-chair.

In both ‘sightings’, the child was described as ‘a girl’, ‘barefoot’, ‘wearing light-coloured/pink pyjamas’, and ’looking about four years old’.

 In both ‘sightings’, the child was described as ‘being held on the man’s left side’ and ‘having no blanket or other covering

In both ‘sightings’, the man ‘did not look like a tourist’ (whatever that may mean), was ‘wearing a dark jacket’ and ‘light-coloured trousers’, was ‘about 1.75m to 1.8m tall (5’ 9” - 5’ 10”)’, ‘aged 25-40’, and ‘of average build’.

In both ‘sightings’, the man was described as ‘walking ‘purposefully’/quite fast, the two sightings were within 600 yards of each other, and in neither case could the man’s face be seen properly (despite claims that the Smiths drew up the two e-fits).

We need to consider what can account for these remarkable similarities. Here are the main possibilities:

a) It was the same man wandering around Praia da Luz for 45 minutes carrying a 4-year-old dressed only in pyjamas on a cold night

b) Two different unaccompanied men without a buggy or pushchair, who looked nearly identical, were both carrying a child of about four years of age around dressed only in pyjamas, or

c) The Smiths saw no-one, but invented their sighting by copying the details of the ‘Tannerman’ sighting - which they may well already have learnt by the time they made their statements on 26 May, possibly (as we saw above) with the intention of giving extra credibility to the sighting of Jane Tanner, but at the same time emphasising that the man was not Robert Murat.   


Well, that concludes my little look at those mysterious two e-fits and at the multiple puzzles and contradictions in the Smiths’ accounts of events.

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.

The appendix covering what was said on the BBC CrimeWatch Special by DCI Andy Redwood and presenter Matthew Amroliwala about the ‘Smithman sighting’ is below.

Written for the blog ‘What Happened to Madeleine McCann?’, October 2014




 Transcript of excerpt from CrimeWatch, 14 October 2013

AR: DCI Andy Redwood, Operation Grange, Metropolitan Police

MA: Matthew Amroliwala, BBC CrimeWatch presenter

Taken from: ‘Crimewatch UK - October 2013 Madeleine McCann Special’


[extracts starts at 20 min 55 secs, finishes 23 min 40 secs]

AR: The careful and critical analysis of the timeline has been absolutely key.

Primarily, we’re focused on the area between 8.30 and 10.

We know that at 8.30, that was the time that Mr & Mrs McCann went down to the Tapas area for their dinner and we know that at around 10pm, that was when Mrs McCann found that Madeleine was missing

MA: One of the most pivotal events on the timeline was Jane Tanner’s sighting of a man carrying a child. He was walking in this spot [picture shown of Matthew Amroliwala around the Escola Primaria and the Rua 25 de Abril, Praia da Luz], just metres from where Madleeine had been sleeping [picture of Matthew Amroliwala outside the M Canns’ apartment]. This man was widely thought to be Madeleine’s abductor.

But the team was taking nothing for granted.

AR: One of the things that we picked up very quickly was the fact that there was a night crèche that was operating from the main Ocean Club reception and 8 families had left 11 children in there, and one particular family we spoke to gave us information that was really interesting and exciting.

In fact, I would say it was, it was a ‘revelation moment’, when, having discussed with them what they were doing on the night, they themselves believed that they could be the ‘Tanner sighting’.

MA: The British father had collected his 2-year-old daughter from the crèche. He had been walking near the McCanns’ apartment.

This is the actual photograph taken by Metropolitan Police officers of the man, dressed in the kind of clothes he wore on holiday [picture shown of man dressed in a dark blue jacket and light grey trousers. His face was blurred. His arms are shown projecting forward, as if carrying a child on his arms]. This image was compared to the artist’s impression [above -the one drawn by Melissa Little for the McCann Team].

AR: It is uncannily similar, and we know that the pyjamas their child was wearing, that it is, again, uncannily striking, the similarity.

MA: So what you’re saying is that the timeline everyone was working on for years in this case, was wrong?

AR: We’re almost certain now that this sighting is not the abductor. But very importantly, what it says, is that from 9.15, we’re able to allow the clock to continue to move forward [the sound of a clock ticking is heard], and in doing so, things that have not been quite as significant or received quite the same degree of attention are now the centre of our focus.

MA: This was an enormous discovery for the team, with an innocent explanation for the suspect who’d been at the centre of the case for years.

Their attention quickly turned to another sighting, which could now be the key to the entire mystery.

It was here [picture shown of Matthew Amroliwala around the Escola Primaria and the Rua 25 de Abril, Praia da Luz] at 10pm, that an Irish family witnessed another man carrying child. They saw him come down the hill from the direction of the Ocean Club, headed in that way [he points] towards the beach. Could this have been Madeleine and her abductor?


Thursday, 23 October 2014

A new petition for Madeleine: 30 serious matters that need investigation

 By George Dunham
On 29 September 2014, a new petition on the Prime Minister’s website was launched. It called for:
“An independent public enquiry into the conduct of the various investigations into the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann”.
I’m inviting all of you who read this article to sign this petition straightaway (if you’ve not already done so). It’s easy to do, just click on this link:
The Prime Minister’s website team will ask you to confirm your e-mail address before your signature is added to the list. Your name will not appear on the PM’s website.
Why is it important to sign this petition?
I have signed this petition and support it for the following reasons: 
We want a full, public, independent enquiry into the conduct of ALL the various investigations into the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This means we want an enquiry into:
a) The conduct of Leicestershire Police, who were involved in working together with the Portuguese Police in 2007-2008
b) The conduct of the Metropolitan Police, whose Operation Grange has been investigating Madeleine’s disappearance since May 2011
c) The known involvement of MI5, Special Branch and other government security agencies in the investigations into Madeleine’s disappearance, and
d) The conduct of the McCann Team’s private investigations, led by wealthy Cheshire businessman, Brian Kennedy.
What are the main concerns?
Concerns about Leicestershire Police:
  1. Did they interfere with the Portuguese Police, as claimed by Portuguese police chief Dr Goncalo Amaral?
  2. Why did they delay sending two vital witness statements by GPs Dr Arul and Dr Katharine Gaspar to the Portuguese Police for 5 months?
  3. Why did they invite Dr Gerald McCann to a private tour of their investigation suite at Enderby?
  4. Why did they co-operate with the News of the World in promoting unlikely stories about possible suspects?
  5. Why did they have an over-familiar relationship with the McCanns and their friends?
  6. Who exactly was appointed to a secret panel, chaired by Leicestershire Police, of top police and government officials - set up days after Madeleine was reported missing
  7. Did this secret panel direct or advise Leicestershire Police on how to conduct their investigations?

Concerns about the Metropolitan Police
  1. Why exactly did the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, buckle to pressure from Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Rupert Murdoch’s News International empire, to set up Operation Grange?
  2. Why was the man put in charge of the operation, Detective Superintendent Hamish Campbell, a man with the appalling track record of having pursued the wrong man (Barry Bulsara) for the murder of Jill Dando?
  3. Why did the official remit for the investigation exclude the possible role of the McCanns in Madeleine’s disappearance – by insisting that the Met Police could only investigate an abduction
  4. Who actually decided the remit? - and why won’t the Met Police answer Freedom of Information Act questions about this?
  5. Why have there been numerous leaks about unlikely suspect abductors?
  6. Is Operation Grange anywhere nearer solving this crime after having spent £10 million over 3½ years?
  7. Were the much-filmed helicopter search and the two weeks of digging on a parch of wasts ground in Praia da Luz genuine attempts to uncover relevant evidence? - or just a giant publicity stunt?
Questions about known involvement of MI5, Special Branch and other government security agencies
  1. Why did Gordon Brown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, speak so often on the telephone to Dr Gerald McCann during May 2007?
  2. Why did Gordon Brown lean on the Portuguese police in late May 2007 to release the highly dubious description of a man carrying a child given by McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner
  3. What was discussed between the top brass of Leicestershire Police and Gordon Brown, then Prime Minister, on Brown’s visit to Leicestershire Police immediately after the McCanns returned from Portugal?
  4. What were the reasons for MI5 to be involved in this case from the outset?
  5. Why was it necessary for the Head of the government’s 40-strong Media Monitoring Unit, Clarence Mitchell, to be sent to Portugal to become the McCanns’ public relations agent - and why is he still their main public relations officer to this day?
  6. What was the reason for the significant involvement in the case of the government-backed Control Risks Group? – and what was their role in the case?
  7. Why was Special Branch asked to help and support the McCanns?
  8. Why did Leicestershire Police and the British government frustrate the Portuguese police investigation by (a) refusing to give them information they needed about Madeleine’s medical records and the McCanns’ finances and (b) delaying their response to the Portuguese’s requests for rogatory interviews to be carried out in England?
Questions about the McCanns’ private investigations
  1. Why was Cheshire multi0millionaire Brian Kennedy put in charge of the McCanns’ private investigations?
  2. What relationship (if any) did he and does he have with Britain’s security services?
  3. Why did Kennedy appoint Gary Hagland, an expert in ‘financial compliance’ and money-laundering, as his main man in the search for Madeleine?
  4. Why did the McCann Team and Kennedy appoint a detective agency in Barcelona, Metodo 3, with an appalling reputation, to search for Madeleine?
  5. Why didn’t the McCann Team sack Metodo 3 after their Director, Metodo 3,lied about them knowing who held Madeleine, lying about where she was being held, and lying again by claiming that she would be ‘home by Christmas’?
  6. Did the McCann Team employ Antonio Giminez Raso, who subsequently spent four years in jail awaiting trial for serious theft, drugs and corruption charges, when they knew he was under active investigation for these charges?
  7. Why did the McCann Team go on in 2008 to employ Kevin Halligen, a serial fraudster and con-man, paying him £½ million plus expenses for less than 4 months’ work, while he was mostly living the high life in New York and London with his girlfriend Shirin Trachiotis?
  8. Why did the McCann Team mislead the media and the general public in 2009 by falsely claiming that two men they employed as private detectives, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, were heading up a long-established and successful private investigation business, Alpha Investigations Group? – and did they create a bogus company, ALPHAIG, to perpetuate this deception?

Monday, 29 September 2014

An independent public enquiry into the conduct of Madeleine McCann investigations


Petition to set up an independent public enquiry into the conduct of the various investigations into the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Please sign the petition and share with your contacts
Responsible department: Home Office
 Despite seven years of investigation, Madeleine’s disappearance remains a mystery. There are numerous concerns about the conduct of Leicestershire Police, Scotland Yard & government officials who became involved in the case. There are also major concerns about the investigation by Madeleine's Fund, a private company regulated by the Department of Business. The combined efforts of these organisations have yielded no answers about what really happened to her, nor who was responsible for her disappearance, nor where she might be.

The Leicestershire Police and Scotland Yard investigations have cost around £10 million so far. Madeleine’s Fund also spent millions of pounds on private detectives, mostly coming from the generous British public. The Portuguese Police and police forces around the world have also spent millions on various investigations and following up claimed 'sightings' of Madeleine. We need an independent public enquiry with the power to summon relevant witnesses.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Dear Kate and Gerry McCann

Chloe George has some excellent questions
for Kate and Gerry McCann

All four parts of Richard D. Halls' documentary can be viewed and downloaded free of charge here:

Friday, 5 September 2014


by Amy Wright – 5 September 2014

The purpose of this article is to give people advance warning of a heavily promoted book on the Madeleine McCann case, which will almost certainly be a ‘whitewash’ and fail to address the key issues in that case.
This Sunday (7 September), this important book about Madeleine McCann will be serialised in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun on Sunday. It’s called ‘Looking for Madeleine’, and is written by U.S. authors Anthony Summers (a former BBC journalist who worked on Panorama for a time) and his wife, Robbyn Swan. It will be released on Thursday 11 September. Its publishers, called ‘Headline’, make one of the most extravagant claims ever made for a book. They say that the book will be ‘the most definitive account possible’ of the Madeleine McCann case.  
The authors are perhaps best known for their previous book, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, which was supposedly an investigation into the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. Widely praised by establishment journalists, it has however been condemned as a ‘whitewash’ by the many people who have researched the 9/11 atrocity and found that the official version of events that day had many big holes in it.  
Summers & Swan have chosen to publish their book on the 13th anniversary of 9/11. Below is the publisher’s description of the book, in 13 sentences:
  1. The 2007 disappearance of a three-year-old Madeleine McCann from her bed in Portugal proved an instant, worldwide sensation.
  2. There's been nothing like it since America's Lindbergh kidnapping eighty years ago.
  3. Award-winning authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan have produced the first independent, objective account of the case.
  4. They have examined the released Portuguese files, conducted in-depth interviews and original research to answer the questions: What can we really know about this most emotive of cases? What can we learn from it?
  5. The Portuguese police probe ran into a dead end.
  6. Parents Gerry and Kate McCann, however, have never given up the search for Madeleine.
  7. They blitzed the media, hired private detectives, kept the case in the public eye.
  8. Speculation that the McCanns played a role in their daughter's fate, the authors demonstrate, is unfounded.
  9. Scotland Yard's 'investigative review', ordered by the Prime Minister and begun in 2011, identified some 200 potential leads.
  10. The Yard's suspects have included a mystery paedophile who preyed on other British children.
  11. The Detective Chief Inspector heading the probe has said the little girl may still be alive.
  12. The McCann family's private tragedy has touched millions around the world and aroused sometimes dark controversy.
  13.  Looking for Madeleine is the most definitive account possible.

At point 8, the publisher’s say that ‘speculation that the McCanns played a role in their daughter’s fate’ is unfounded’. If Summers and Swan are right about that, the following must be true:
  • that the two cadaver sniffer dogs brought to Portugal by top international dog handler Martin Grime, and who detected the past presence of a corpse, and of blood and body fluids, in 11 locations associated with the McCanns (in their holiday apartment, in their hired car, and on some of their clothes) made a total 16 false alerts, despite having been 100% successful on all their previous outings
  • that there is a reasonable explanation for the literally dozens of major contradictions and changes of story in the accounts given to the Portuguese Police by the McCanns and their friends
  • that an entire team of Portuguese detectives who made the McCanns formal suspects on 7 September 2007 and explained their reasons in a powerful interim report three days later were all wrong to suspect them.
Let’s just put it this way; Summers and Swan have a formidable task if they think they can successfully explain all the evidence which suggests that the McCanns were involved in their daughter’s disappearance, and have covered up what really happened to her. And there's lots more evidence against them, summarised concisely in the interim Portuguese Police report by Tavares de Almeida
Point 1 says that Madeleine was ‘snatched from her bed’. That claim has yet to be proved. And just a month ago, a brand new 4½-hour film made by Richard Hall, titled: ‘Buried by Mainstream Media: The True Story of Madeleine McCann. It’s available free on his website, or on YouTube, and shows very clearly that this claim by the McCanns cannot be substantiated. There is no evidence whatsoever that Madeleine McCann was abducted apart from the word of the McCanns themselves. Here are the links if you want to watch it:
Summers and Swan’s publishers say there’s been nothing like the Madeleine McCann case since ‘the Lindbergh kidnapping’ 80 years ago. This was the case of the 20-month old son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, whom Lindbergh claimed was ‘kidnapped’. But most authors who have examined the case in detail concluded that the poor toddler, found months later having been beaten to death and buried, was not abducted, but was probably killed by their famous father or friends of his. It is a most unfortunate comparison for Summers and Swan to make. Perhaps they were unwise to do so.
The publishers give credit to the McCanns for ‘blitzing the media’ and ‘hiring private detectives’. ‘Blitzing the media’ is not necessarily a sign of innocence. Many a parent guilty of faking an abduction to cover the death of their child have sought to drown out questions by a media blitz.
As for the ‘private detectives’ hired by the McCanns, again Richard Hall’s 3rd video exposes these private detectives for what they were - many of them outrights crooks, fraudsters and con-men none of whom had any experience in finding missing children. Unbelievably, no fewer than FOUR of the investigators used by the McCanns have been imprisoned in the last six years for various crimes - Francisco Marco, Antonio Giminez Raso, Julian Peribanez and Kevin Halligen. All the appalling details are in Richard Hall’s film. It’s most unlikely that Summers and Swan will tell you much about them, however.
The publishers refer to Scotland Yard having followed up 200 ‘leads’. That sounds impressive. Indeed, DCI Andy Redwood, the man in charge of Operation Grange, has deluged us with a blizzard of statistics over the past three years: 60 suspects in view, 550 known sex offenders being traced, tens of thousands of pages of documents and mobile ’phone records read and analysed, dozens of visits to Portugal, and many more. We can expect to read much about all this in Summers and Swan’s book. But where has it got us? Is it all just for show?
The publishers dismiss the Portuguese Police’s investigation as ‘reaching a dead end’. If you read the book of the original investigation co-ordinator, Dr Goncalo Amaral, you’ll be able to see how the valuable work done by his team was effectively snuffed out by lack of co-operation and gross interference in his investigation by the British government and its security services, by the removal of Dr Amaral from the investigation, and by high-level consultations between the British and Portuguese governments. Little or none of this is likely to feature in Summers and Swans’ book.
So what will be in the book? We have been provided with a clue by a ten-minute news item on SkyNews this week. It featured an interview with former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service, Jim Gamble, who has worked very closely with the McCanns over the past 7 years, and the two authors. They all said the same thing, namely that the reason no progress had been made in the British side of the investigation was because various agencies were ‘too eager to help’, ‘lacked co-ordination’ and ‘were confusing the Portuguese’.
The serialisation this Sunday is in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun on Sunday. The news clip this week featuring Jim Gamble was shown on Murdoch’s SkyNews. The very reason we have a Scotland Yard investigative review is because Murdoch’s Chief Executive Officer of his News International group, Rebekah Brooks, threatened the British Prime Minister, as she admitted at the Leveson Enquiry two years ago. The McCanns’ public relations adviser for the past seven years, Clarence Mitchell, went to work for Rupert Murdoch’s son-in-law, Matthew Freud, at Freud International, after he ceased working full-time for the McCanns. And when Cameron needed a Communications Team to help him become Prime Minister, he appointed ex-Murdoch man Andy Coulson, former editor of Murdoch’s News of the World, and Clarence Mitchell as his No. 2. It is almost as if the whole Madeleine McCann story was created by Murdoch. He has certainly profited more than anyone else on earth from the story. But how much of this will be covered by establishment authors Summers & Swan?
Please do not buy this book which is likely to be a cover-up of the real truths about this case rather than, as the authors boast, ‘the most definitive account possible’. Instead, please resolve, if you haven’t already done so, to watch all of Richard Hall’s video, which we have no hesitation in saying is by far ‘the most definitive account yet’ of what really happened to Madeleine McCann.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

BURIED BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA: The true story of Madeleine McCann

Part 1 - The Initial Storm 
Part 2 - Dogs Don't Lie
Part 3 - Private Investigations?
Part 4 - Government Agents

Monday, 4 August 2014

New Film: Buried by Mainstream Media: The True Story of Madeleine McCann


On Wednesday 23 July, news first broke, on a well-known Madeleine McCann discussion forum, that a new film had been made about Madeleine McCann. The film had been made by Richard D. Hall, who describes himself as a ‘researcher’, and runs the project known as ‘RichPlanet’.

The purpose of this article is to inform anyone who is interested in what really happened to Madeleine McCann about the film and its maker.

Richard D Hall is a graduate of Newcastle University, his home town. He developed an interest in unidentified flying objects – both terrestrial and possibly extra-terrestrial - and began writing and then broadcasting on the subject. He later set up RichPlanet to publicise his views, produced films and DVDs on this and other subjects of interest, and began developing his own TV channel on SKY.

Since those early days, he has focused more and more on the extent to which the mainstream media select what news to report, thus, he says, ‘subverting society’.

Information about the film that he has made about Madeleine McCann makes it abundantly clear that he does not support the official version of the McCanns, and supported by the mainstream media, that Madeleine was abducted.

Here is what Richard has said about his own film:



Filmed in 2014, DVD PAL 16:9: Region Free - by Richard D. Hall

A 4-Part DVD Film: Running time: over 4 hours

The Madeleine McCann disappearance has become one of the most enduring mysteries of our time. It has generated thousands of front page headlines in the UK press. Despite the unprecedented coverage, few people have any detailed understanding of the circumstantial and physical evidence of the case. The mainstream media has been used to create diversion and confusion over what really happened, rather than inform their readers about the facts.

The first film in this series, entitled ‘The Initial Storm’, examines, in a level of detail never described before in any TV documentary, the evidence of the first night when Madeleine is alleged to have disappeared. The second film, ‘Dogs Don’t Lie’, reports on the compelling findings of one of the world’s top sniffer dog handlers, Martin Grime, whose two dogs searched for scent at key locations in Praia Da Luz. The third film exposes the so called private investigations instigated by the McCanns, details of which have never been aired on TV before. In the fourth film, we reveal evidence and detailed testimony about the government agencies who were claiming to be searching for Madeleine or helping the McCanns - but was this really their agenda?

Our four documentaries represent the most detailed film-based analysis of the Madeleine McCann story, leaving the viewer with an understanding of the comprehensive establishment-led cover up, and offer suggestions as to what all the evidence really points to.


In reply to a question from Portuguese Madeleine McCann researcher and translator, Joana Morais, Hall explained on his Facebook page:

“The film is an attempt to bring to the public’s attention the facts that are not being covered in the mainstream media. This is not an attempt to make money out of the story. All RichPlanet films are available to watch for free on the site once they have been released or aired on TV. RichPlanet covers a lot on mainstream media manipulation. The media coverage of this case, especially in the UK, is nothing short of ridiculous. Hopefully the film will cause people to question what is happening and what might have actually happened, rather than just assume Madeline was abducted and that we are now just looking for the culprit”.

If Hall’s own blurb left anyone in doubt, his answer to Joana Morais surely removes any doubt that this will be by far the longest and most comprehensive film to cover the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a point of view sceptical of the McCanns’ claims that Madeleine was abducted.

Another indication of what is in these films comes from a list of references on the Madeleine McCann case that he provides on his website at this link:

There are 22 links given altogether, here are all of them:

Useful links related to Madeleine McCann recommended by RichPlanet:

1. The McCann files, (probably the best source of information on the case)

2. The McCann files - Portuguese Police reports

3. The Truth of the Lie blogspot (Goncalo Amaral’s book in English)

4. Pamalam’s site - a collection of Gerry McCanns' blogs, latest news & PJ files

5. Joana Morais – Film-maker & journalist bringing us up to date news from Portugal

6. What happened to Madeleine McCann - a series well researched articles

7. The Daily Profiler - Pat Brown, U.S Criminal Profiler

8. The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann - discussion forum

9. Missing Madeleine - discussion forum

10. The Madeleine Foundation (new site is under construction)

11. NHS: McCanns abuse of power – BlogSpot

12. Goncalo Amaral

13. Hasta que se sepa la Verdad

14. Free e-book by Michael McLean

15. Truth for Madeleine BlogSpot

16. Dogs don't lie BlogSpot

17. Eddie and Keela's BlogSpot

18. Hi-De-Ho - You Tube

19. The truth of the lie - English Narration

20. The Madeleine McCann Research Group videos

21. Wilyboo's video channel

22. Another one for Justice - video channel

From information received so far about his recent series of talks, it appears that Richard shows 15 to 20 minutes of clips from his Madeleine films, and then shows more clips later on and during the interval. His series of talks were as follows:

24 July - Stirling

25 July - Newcastle

28 July - Derby

29 July - Leeds

30 July - Grimsby

31 July - Liverpool

2 August - Margate

3 August - Cricklewood, London

5 August - Merthyr Tydfil

6 August – Stithians, Cornwall

7 August – Weston-super-Mare.

The only previous film or documentary to take such a sceptical view of gthe McCanns’ claims, made by a Portuguese TV company in 2008, and based on the controversial book, ‘The Truth of the Lie’ by the former investigation co-ordinator, Dr Goncalo Amaral, is currently the subject of a long-running libel case in Portugal. The McCanns sued both the TV company and Dr Amaral for 1.2 million euros damages (about £1 million). It attracted a record audience of 2¼ million viewers in Portugal.

So what has been the reaction to Richard’s film so far?

We’ve received these reports from blog supporters.

From Mrs K.R, Kent

“We attended Richard D Hall's presentation on Saturday. The hall was full, a fair number attended, maybe 80 or so. Beforehand, we had arranged to meet with another couple from a Madeleine McCann forum we belong to.

Although the first half was billed to be about Madeleine, the actual time spent talking about her was about 15 minutes.

However, at the 45-minute interval, some of the DVD set that Richard Hall has put together was shown. From what I saw, I was impressed, and was left in no doubt that Richard doubts the abduction theory and sets out, from what I viewed, to show exactly why.

There were photos taken from PJ investigation, a video showing the dogs’ alerts with Martin Grime describing the significance of their alerts and a lot more.

The DVDs are 'forensic' from what I've been told, based on facts. I have purchased a set (cost me £15 on the night, they're £20 by mail order) and look forward to being able to see them in their entirety.

Although somewhat disappointed there wasn't more in first half related to Madeleine, I do believe the DVDs will more than compensate and be an important tool for showing facts.

Excellent that someone else has the guts to show facts rather than fiction”.

From Mr D.S., Weybridge, Surrey

“I had never heard Richard Hall speak before, in fact I knew nothing about Richplanet until I first heard about his Madeleine McCann films two weeks ago.

I am not believer in UFOs so was doubtful about the likely quality of his films. The room was packed; over 110 people. The venue was nice, the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood. The age range was all ages from teenage to elderly.

As Richard began his talk, it was clear that he has a following. People were eager to hear him, and he held his audience completely.

He said he began researching the Madeleine McCann case in 2011. He referred to his work on the case at talks in Edinburgh and Kilmarnock in 2012 and encountered some resistance to his ‘anti-McCann’ stance. So he decided to research it further and make a film about it, going out to Praia da Luz in March this year to do some on-location filming.

He began by making the point that everyone knew who Madeleine was and was interested in her like no other current subject. The doors of the room were open on to the corridors and hall, and Richard’s voice, miked-up, could be clearly heard in the hall. Staff told him at the interval that customers had stopped their chatter and eavesdropped to hear what he was saying about Madeleine.

He then boldly said that ‘the mainstream media have ‘lied and lied’ about Madeleine’, said that ‘whole parts of the story have never been covered’ and proceeded to show a sequence with Martin Grime speaking to camera. He said that for making this film, some had had dubbed him a ‘money-making crackpot’. He denied this, said the £15 charge for the DVD was to cover costs, and that he would be making it available to view for free at a later date. The shady private investigators who were jailed after working for the McCanns got a mention, as did ‘money laundering expert Gary Hagland’. ‘How would a money laundering expert help to find Madeleine?’, he asked. Clarence Mitchell got a big mention as ‘Blair’s top media spinner’.

After the solemnity of the Madeleine material, Richard brought the house down in hysterical laughter with a hilarious clip of Labour leader Ed Miliband being interviewed. He was asked about a forthcoming strike, and robotically answered with some quotes about ‘how people should get around the negotiating table’. The interviewer then asked him four different questions, and each time Miliband virtually repeated the same robotic phrases five time in a row. Very very funny.

Another segment of Richard’s presentation was a look generally at how the main media ‘subvert society’. On his TV show he asked viewers to send in their suggestions for which TV programmes ranked in their minds as ‘the most subversive’. News bulletins and soaps were named by many. One surprise mention was Peppa Pig. One of Richard’s viewers noted that Peppa’s father was portrayed a complete idiot whilst Peppa herself hated nature and books and was very materialistic. It sent ‘subliminal messages’, said Richard.

After the interval, Richard began a detailed talk on the ‘USAF TR-3B’, a kind of ‘unidentified flying object’, allegedly a U.S. ‘stealth anti-gravity aircraft’ according to some, but a ‘hoax’ according to Wikipedia. I left mid-way through this.

I left after buying the videos, and have watched them. I doubt if anyone who really seeks the truth would he disappointed; it is all there, changes of story, contradictions, dogs, the McCanns’ desperate reactions to the dogs, the worst of Metodo 3, Halligen and the other dodgy detectives, with a lot of pictures I’d never seen before, and in the final DVD, Mitchell, Blair, Brown, Control Risks, MI5 and MI6 and of course Murat given a good airing, with footage inside the grounds of the Eveleighs’ villas and inside the Palmeras Golf Club. I’m sure a professional TV or film company with a million pounds or so could have done much better, but as things stand, this is going to be as good as it gets if you want a near 5-hour run-down on all the nasty things the media have been covering up”.

From Mrs W.J. Bannockburn

“Richard Hall does excellent work out there and it was great to have him here in my home town of Bannockburn last Thursday. Your blog is excellent also, I did not actually buy the video as I’m a pensioner, but the bit that I saw about the dogs was quite shocking, how the McCanns haven’t been charged yet I do not know. Richard’s films are always well-researched and I have no doubt he has exposed a lot of the secrets we all know are buried in this case”.