Madeleine McCann: The Smith Sighting Part 1

The Smith family sighting of a man carrying a child on the night of 3rd May 2007, in Luz, is problematic throughout.

Three members of the Smith family gave first statements on 26 May 2007, some 23 days after the sighting, after a lot of publicity about the case, and the day after the Jane Tanner sighting, and description, was made public.  (This news of the Tanner sighting was NOT the trigger for the Smith statements.)

Martin Smith (father), Peter Smith (Martin’s son, with a family of his own) and Aoife Smith (12 year old daughter of Martin) were those giving the first Smith statements.

200908 Dolphin to Kellys

They dined at the Dolphin restaurant, which is the building on the left.

(The phone box in front is the one where the Dolphin owner saw a man making strange phone calls in the days before Madeleine’s disappearance.)

The tree behind the phone box is at the end of a road which has pedestrian access, but not car access, to the area in the centre of the photo.  This may be important in solving the Smith sighting.

If your eyes are sharp, you can just see a person, in a white T-shirt and orangey-red shorts, behind the tree, coming down the “Street of Steps”, a pedestrian lane leading from the photo location up to Rua 25 de Abril.

Next to the Street of Steps, with brown doors is Fernando’s, aka Bar Calheta.  Then there are 3 houses, one obviously a ruin.

At the right is Kelly’s bar.

Finally, note the car park.  That is busy throughout the day and late into the night, as it is one of the few areas for parking in this vicinity.

On with the Smith statements.  Martin, Peter and Aoife say 9 of the family ate there on 3rd May 2007- 4 adults and 5 children.  Martin and Peter say the group left at about 9pm.  Aoife puts it around 9:30pm.  A documentary based on Gonçalo Amaral´s book “The Truth of the Lie” says the bill was paid by credit card, and this was time-stamped as 9:27pm.  (See Joana Morais for the video and a full transcript in English.)

All three state they went to Kelly’s pub for some drinks.  This seems curious as they could have more drinks in the Dolphin and as all three say Peter’s pregnant wife was feeling unwell and that Peter’s family were due to fly back to Ireland in the morning.  Martin makes it ‘early morning’, and it turns out he was the one to drive them to Faro airport for that early flight.

What appear to be the timed receipts for Kelly’s bar for that evening are on the Internet.  (I have yet to check if these are valid.)  The receipts are for small amounts and are a poor match for a group of 9.

The three statements put departure time from Kelly´s at around 9:50pm to 10pm.  This could be correct, but if Martin and Peter’s recollection of nearly an hour in Kelly’s having some drinks is correct, it would shift the sighting to more like 10:30pm.  While if the departure time is correct, it begs again the question of why go to Kelly’s with an unwell pregnant wife and an early morning flight to come?  (Note, there was a convenience store a minute away if a subset of the group wanted more drinks.)

Whatever, the group left Kelly’s, passed the front of Fernando’s, turned right to go up the Street of Steps to the junction at Rua 25 de Abril.

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