On 3rd May 2007, around 10 pm, 4 adults and 5 youngsters left Kelly’s bar and headed up the Street of Steps (pedestrian, lots of steps) towards the crossing at Rua 25 de Abril that leads to Rua da Escola Primária (primary school street, because at the top end it has a primary school).
Three statements are made on 26 May 2007, 23 days after a non-significant event. A group in a street pass a person in a street carrying a child. The person just looks like a father carrying his young daughter, which even around 10pm does not look out of place in Luz.
23 days on from Madeleine’s disappearance and 3 of the group make the effort to fly from Ireland to Portugal to give statements in Portimão. Martin, retired, the father of .. Peter, a son, complete with his own family. And Aiofe, the 12 year old daughter of Martin.
On the photo attached at the far right is a red circle. That is where Sergey Malinka lived at the time. It may well be why Sergey was made an arguido recently, as it is close, but it is a red herring. Sergey does not match the e-fits that were made, he does not match the statements, and he does not match with where Aiofe saw the person she saw.
Aiofe is at the green circle closest to the bottom of the diagram. Her statement says she was coming up the Street of Steps and when she got to the top she saw the man to her left.
Oops. To her left. Coming down the street. NOT a fit with Sergey, who should have been in front of her. NOT a fit with TO THE BEACH. Aoife does not put the man heading to the beach. She is very clear that she does NOT know where the man went.
There were 4 lights and 3 sightings that night.
Peter Smith puts his sighting about 30m up Primary School Street (according to the police reconstruction, not according to the statement). The top green dot.
Martin Smith puts his sighting at the entry to Primary School Street. The middle green dot.
All 3 statements mention the poor light. There were (possibly) 4 sources of light that night.
The yellow dot near the top of the graphic marks the position of an omni-directional sodium-based street light. Apart from lighting up the street, it lights up the staircase just in front of Peter, and stops people walking off the small plaza over the 4-6 foot drop into Primary School Street.
The yellow dot towards the bottom of the graphic is BESIDE the actual second light. You can clearly see the shadow of the lamp-post. The lamp itself is actually positioned incorrectly. It is a mono-directional light intended to illuminate the pedestrian crossing at the top of the Street of Steps. Instead, it actually shines down around two yards to the right. There is enough side-light from this to give both Martin and Aiofe a decent view, but once again, this major source is a sodium light, thus false colours.
If you look closely at the graphic to the left of Martin’s dot, you can make out a white dot. That is the LuzDoc sign. It is a fluorescent white light and is surprisingly bright. Because of the positions, it would help Aoife, but not Martin (or Peter).
The PJ photo images show these 3 light sources, so that only leaves the fourth.
2nd May 2007 was a full moon. I do not yet know whether the weather was cloudy or clear, but the odds are that it was clear, therefore a hunter’s moon. A bright silver light on top of the other sources.
Out of the group of 9, three gave statements. As to the other six, at least two were too young to add anything. But while Aoife has added much, at least two adults and one 13-year-old boy are silent.
It is now 7 years on, so it is not about details or a physical description. Too much time has passed for that. It is about vital but simple questions.
Who lead the group? Who brought up the rear end?
It appears like Peter was at the front, looking after his unwell, pregnant wife. Where did the man-carrying-child appear from? Down the steps from the small plaza? Out of a building on the left side of Primary School Street? Did he come from ‘somewhere’ a lot further up Primary School Street?
Possibly Martin’s wife has nothing to add if she was near to Martin, but if that was the case then equally she might. If she was alongside Martin with Peter and wife up ahead then that meant that Aoife, and anyone with her, was in the rear of the troupe. Youngster or youngsters at the back suggests an occasional motherly check behind to make sure all is OK.
Finally there is Aoife at the rear, stating clearly that she does not know whether the man went along Rua 25 de Abril or down the Street of Steps. Was she actually the rear-guard of the group? Was someone with her? Was there anyone behind her?
The simplest of questions. Are there simple answers? Luz was recently searched for a lot less than this.
Look at the graphic again. What you are seeing is a part of Luz that is odd. It is NOT ex-pat land. It is NOT tourist land. It is typically Portuguese. Apartments without swimming pools or gardens. Old native town houses. The Smith sighting could well have been … a Portuguese man coming from his Portuguese friend’s home and going to his own Portuguese home.
A smidgin of information suggests otherwise. The coincidence of the missing Madeleine McCann, and the description of the child carried by the man. That description suggests a non-Portuguese child.
But before there is another Crimewatch reconstruction, or another fingertip search in Luz, how about asking the Smith’s the simplest of questions.
Does anyone know, even very roughly, where the man came from? Can anyone in the group give more information as to where the man went?
Jane Tanner’s man did NOT come forward, despite being widely published. He was tracked down from the crèche records.
The man in the Smith sighting has only recently been published (Crimewatch) in the UK. Portugal does not get Crimewatch. In Portugal, the main publication of the event is in a 2008 documentary based on Gonçalo Amaral’s book ‘The Truth Of The Lie’. In the Portuguese psyche there is zero reason to come forward as the man carrying the child in that documentary was likely to be Gerry McCann.
Forget the fact that Martin Smith identified Gerry as a good fit to the man he saw.
Just ask the Smith’s the two questions highlighted above in bold