T’Would be nice if you said hi!

I like folks who challenge my ideas.  I like this because it makes me think harder, it makes me think sharper.  Sharper is better so I like folks who challenge my ideas, ‘cos I like seeing every angle, ranging from I am barking up the wrong tree to I need to tighten up my thoughts on theory X.

Hence, I like Loops.  Loops is a visitor who challenges my ideas and therefore makes my think harder and therefore makes my thinking sharper.

But then I get all the other folks who don’t say hi and who don’t challenge my ideas, so all I get from them is a bit perplexed.

Let me give you one example.  I am not picking on this person, ‘cos I could have taken many another example.  It’s just that I need an example to illustrate my point.  Nothing personal at all.

The blog stats show that I am regularly (most days) getting visited from South Africa.  I have never visited South Africa and I don’t have any friends or relatives in South Africa.  So the question arises, why am I getting regular hits from South Africa?

Is it because South Africa uses English?  I don’t think so, because I also get hits from places like Serbia and Greece.  I am assuming that those folks also speak English, given that I am not blogging in Serbian.  Further, I am not blogging in Greek, which is just as well, as my knowledge of Greek language on a scale of 0 to 10 rates around a 1.  Greek exists, I can read a tiny bit, but no, I could not decipher a Madeleine story written in Greek.  I definitely cannot write in Greek.

Back to South Africa.  Is the connection to South Africa simply along the lines of ‘Madeleine a global obsession’?  In other words, there isn’t a connection at all?  Just some folks digging up some info on Madeleine – start – end.  I happen to live in Maddieville, they like Maddie stories and I happen to write about Maddie in English.

It could be that.  This would explain why I get hits from places like China and Japan.

But South Africa?  I cannot think of a connection between Madeleine and Serbia, China or Japan other than possibly the English language.  The connection to Greece is tenuous.  The child-carers from the Ocean Club in Luz were promptly dispatched to another Mark Warner site in Greece after the Madeleine case slashed business in the Algarve.  So whoever is looking me up by searching for Amy Tierney, I do believe that is what became of her.  What I don’t know is what your angle on Amy Tierney is, because you are not saying Hi!

Back to South Africa and the connection may be a little clearer.  Please, note, I am stressing the word MAY.

Luz had/has a South African restaurant.  And a South African gift/craft shop.  And the said South Africans noticed some unusual phone activity outside their restaurant in the days before Madeleine disappeared.  Plus, they had the Smiths in their restaurant shortly before the infamous Smith sighting.  And at least one of them got involved in the early searches for Madeleine, thus proving that the good folks of Luz were precisely that.  Good folks.

As far as I know, the folks who now run the South African restaurant are not the ones who did back in the Maddie days.  (Please note, this is from the files.  I could be wrong on this.)

Therefore, in what would be a bit of a long punt, it could be that my South African regulars are interested because they have first hand knowledge.  This is highly unlikely.  But should they do so, I think these people are sitting on a small piece of information that could move the Smith sighting on a fair bit.

Hence my interest – why do I seem to get regulars from South Africa?

Can I spice up this post a bit?

There is a lady in Luz who has been very energetic, very enthusiastic, very helpful in the time that we have been here.  She is a can do, will do type of girl.  She makes things happen.  She is my type of girl.

She has a tale.  It is quite simple.  When the McCanns moved out of the Ocean Club they moved to 27 Rua das Flores.  In that villa, which also became infamous because of the dogs of death, my heroine has a story.

Gerry took the old freezer out of 27 Rua das Flores, disposed of it by taking it to the dump, and put a new freezer in.

This tale, as entertaining as it may be, is wrong on so many points.  But …

My heroine is still a good heroine who does well and frankly, if she took a lie-detector test on the freezer tale I would back her to pass.   But that does not make the freezer tale true.

I am still working on the freezer tale because my heroine is a good lady who engages and gets involved.  Therefore, I feel some sort of moral obligation to reciprocate.  I need to see what is on file and how it matches up.  27 Rua das Flores will be coming soon because it is more fun time with the dogs of death.

Out of all of this rambling, you should see a small idea that is actually rather important.

If the visitors from South Africa have no direct connection to Madeleine or to Luz, but are merely interested in more media, so be it.  If my visitors from South Africa are more connected, t’would be interesting if they left a comment or two.

My heroine in Luz, strangely enough, is someone whom I have never met.  I have only heard of her.  But I like her, based on the descriptions given to me.  She sounds like a very good person.  Therefore, when she speaks on 27 Rua das Flores and freezers, it is time for me to see if I can offer something in return.

Let’s finish with Loops, the person with the highest number of comments on this blog.  I have never met Loops and probably never will.

But Loops makes comments, raises criticism, suggests alternatives and overall forces me to think … what?  More?  Nope!  Harder?  Maybe!  How about sharper and clearer?

Hopefully, dear reader, you are getting the point.

My heroine is getting something back because she put something in.

Loops has got a lot back.  This is only fair as Loops has put a lot in.

Then there’s my South African (or please insert any other country you wish as this is only an example) regular visitors.   You visit.  You say nothing.  What you get in return is what I felt like dishing up before you visited.

What you could be getting is so much more.  Just like my heroine.  Just like Loops.

The question is, are you going to say hi?




10 thoughts on “T’Would be nice if you said hi!

  1. You’re very kind… it’s true, though, I am a legend. If you do social media and that, feel free to add me in on facebook… my name just as in my e-mail with .904 after.

    In any case, have a wee gander at this for me. No doubt you’ll have seen it before. I’d like you to pay particular attention to the interviews with Jane Tanner. Let me know what you think, and I’ll get back to you later on, after I get some actual work done!

    • There’s many a thing about this case that I haven’t seen before, because I had very little interest in it until Scotland Yard decided to camp in Luz in June. Didn’t follow it. Didn’t read the papers. Didn’t see the documentaries.

      This prog was better than most and given the time it was made, it’s actually quite a decent effort.

      Why the focus on Jane Tanner? Apart from the “we’d go back to be re-interviewed” comment that got retracted, it’s difficult to see what she could really add with an overhaul.

      First, she could definitely see the area that she refers to in the man crossing the street. (Not from her statement, but from standing where she stood.)

      Second, a light on the corner (RHS from her viewpoint, not quite in the correct spot in the documentary model) meant she could definitely see the man. Not maybe or possibly, but definitely.

      Third is where I hit some problems. At around 9:10 to 9:15 PM is when the natural light drops from the point where you can see colour to where you can only see in black and white. Or at least, that is all I could see when I tried the spot out at the correct time on an anniversary. However, Jane Tanner’s eyes are younger than mine, so perhaps she could see more. But that corner light is sodium so all the colours come out distorted. I’d therefore be a tad dubious about ‘pinkish’ pyjamas, as opposed to ‘light’ or ‘dark’.

      Statements unsupported by forensics or video or similar are notoriously unreliable. The good thing about Jane Tanner’s information is that she remembers WHY she remembers the man. If there was nothing of consequence, nothing important, nothing remarkable about the man, then the way memory works she should not have remembered the man. So knowing why she remembers the man is a plus.

      In contrast, I cannot for the life of me think why any of the 3 Smiths should have remembered the man they saw. Please, I am not saying they are lying about their man. I am merely saying that as they saw an unimportant, normal man with no memorable features, they should not be able to remember this non-entity.

      How does one remember something that is non-remarkable, that is non-memorable? That stuff is called trivia. And the only way to win at trivia is …. to spend endless hours studying it. Trivial Pursuit. The Chase. Whatever.

      I enjoyed your link, so thanks for that.

      • Good points. Firstly, though, about you doing the ground research at that time of year: I read that after the event, that, for rather obvious motives, foliage was dramatically reduced around G5, and also, lighting was significantly improved. If that’s the case, if you couldn’t make much out, JT with inferior lighting and not necessarily scrutinising, must have been worse off.

        You’re right- for her and the Smiths, the man and child was not a significant sight at the time. Why would they remember it? The Smiths clearly did- perhaps those streets were very quiet, so for that reason he was remarkable as the only adult encountered on the way home? Did they greet him or not? Did he blank them? Did he hurry? Was he acting strangely? A lot of that was added afterwards, and isn’t in the statements. I’m not sure. Perhaps he registered in their short-term memory as trivial, and then took on significance once the news came in. Not sure I’d remember someone in that situation. The fact they’re a family must mean they then discussed it, though, and reassured each other about what they saw. A single person might not have some forward.

        JT, I suppose, you could apply similar thinking to- trivial short-term memory at the time. She says she clocked him because of his heavy clothing and the fact that he child was not wrapped-up, so in passing she thought ‘rubbish parenting’ (somewhat ironically). Then it takes on significance in retrospect. But her actual sighting? She started off with the ‘egg-man’… had zero details… actually was not sure if it was a man or a woman originally. Then, she tried her best to extract the detail from her memory- so if OG nailed it, and the photo they released is correct, that detail must have been in her head somewhere, because the subsequent sketch matched their crèche-dad perfectly.

        What I wanted you to do with JT was examine her interviews closely and seek to ascertain if she’s being truthful all the way through, or, if not, when she is lying. I’ll give you my take on it after.

      • Oddly enough, your link shows very well what the foliage was at that time. 5A would have been a bit dark, as the trees are at the same height as the street lights. So shadowy and dark.

        Jane saw the man not at 5A but at the top of a road that is well lit, about perhaps 3 metres from a good quality street light. She thinks she saw colour, and perhaps she did. Under a street light that casts a yellow glow, I am less than certain.

        The Smiths definitely did discuss their sighting as a family, according to their statements. What I don’t know is what triggered them to come forward. Jane’s sighting (without e-fit) was released into the press the day before the Smiths gave statements. Thus independent? Perhaps Jane’s info had been leaked in the press beforehand, but I just don’t know. For some reason, the Smiths remembered something that should have been totally unmemorable to them at the time. And unlike crècheman, they came forward and got mangled by the media, whereas crècheman never came forward. If Andy Redwood is to be believed, SY found crècheman from the OC records. So, unless Smithman, who was in a part of Luz nothing to do with the OC now decides to come forward, it’s not likely that he will turn up in the OC records.

        For Jane to be lying, you need to come up with a reason why she is lying, of which the possibilities are many. The number of people with insignificant lives who have embroidered the McCann tapestry is enormous. I watched a YouTube yesterday on two psychics who managed to figure out that Luz has a golf course nearby aka Boa Vista. Quite why they had to fly in to Luz rather than just looking on Google or Google Earth is beyond me, but it seems the prog was popular when it aired. So there we have it. Maddie is to the east of Luz, perhaps on Boa Vista, perhaps in one of the several drains that were investigated at the time, perhaps in the water off Rocha Negra. If the two psychics are to be believed. (I think I prefer the dogs of death. The dogs were much cuter than the psychics.)

        Back to Jane Tanner. Her story is wobbly, shaky and it evolves. Much like every other McCann story.

        Therefore to your final point. Can I tell if Jane was lying or not? Answer = no. Can I tell if Kate was lying or not? Answer = no. Can I tell if Gerry was lying or not? Answer = no, mainly. The entry-by-keys statement was definitely not true.

        Matthew Oldfield? Nope.

        David Payne? Nope.

        I can nail quite a few of the people with stories around and about Madeleine McCann with outright crap because it is easy to disprove.

        The T9 nutshell is tough.

        The Gonçalo Amaral shell is more like soft-shell crab. It is more easy to find out why his solutions are wrong.

        Please switch back to the 2 psychics, because they define the mentality of this drama. What did they find? There is a golf course (actually a posh housing complex) called Boa Vista (that would be nice view to you or me) and it overlooks Luz and it overlooks the sea. Just like Google maps and Google Earth said it did. Oh, and the pipes. At least this time (after many previous references) not as sewage pipes but as ‘outlet pipes’.

        Bring on the dogs. I suspect that Eddie and Keela versus the Renault Scenic is coming shortly.

      • Right- well, I won’t bore you with the details of why, but this is a topic I know something about. JT is incredibly easy to read. She’s trying to be as forthcoming as possible, but she is clearly deceptive in two parts of that interview: once briefly at the start when she suggests the 20-min frequency of her checks, and then for a bit longer at the end when stating her enthusiasm for being re-interviewed. You can deduce that from her involuntary body movements, and in her case, the movement of her head. When someone is being truthful, and if they move their heads while talking, you can expect that movement to back up truthful statements, as it does throughout the rest of the interview, when she is affirming she nods, or denying or stating a negative she shakes her head. When someone is lying you can expect discrepancy… and here it’s clear as day. She shakes her head when implying her routine was 20-minute checks. She shakes it again when asked if she’d be happy to be re-questioned about the time-line.


        1) she was not in the habit of checking her kids every 20 minutes.
        2) she does not want that to come out in a proper interview at this stage.
        3) the T9 time-line is not factually accurate.

        JT is otherwise honest, and I get the impression she really wants to help. She felt terrible for the tragedy suffered by her friends, and for years she felt the guilt of someone who could have, in her mind, stopped the abduction by being more inquisitive/aware/assertive. Maybe, though, just maybe she thought, like the others, they were helping the McCanns (and themselves) by painting a picture of vigilant parenting that was not entirely accurate.

      • Have a think about this.

        Does the frequency on the checks on the children matter one jot?

        Option 1. Frequent kid checking. That makes it ultra-hard for an abductor. Surely then it must be the McCanns or one of the T9?

        Option 2. Infrequent kid checking. The abductor has a better chance. However the McCanns, plus the other 4 who did not have a decent baby monitor, are now in deep poo regarding child neglect.

        Body language and the interpretation thereof is a topic for an evening in a friendly hostelry over a bottle of vino. The problem with the McCann case is that it broke every known barrier. Nothing like it had ever happened before so no-one knew what the correct reaction was. Absolutely no-one.

        Even after 7.5 years, I’d love to see a reconstruction. I would absolutely love to know whether Matthew Oldfield thinks, on his 9:30 check, that the shutter was open, closed, can’t be sure, can’t remember. That would be some wicked fun next May.

      • The difference it makes is pretty clear, though. If the time-line on 3/5 is wrong, the window of opportunity for the abductor is wider, then that affects the investigation.

        Also, if they were far more lax than they claim, suspicion could sway away from a massively organised individual or gang who had done surveillance and reconnaissance and planned an abduction down to a T, and opens up to lone weirdo with ample time to bungle through an abduction and also to just about everyone else who might take a child.

      • Agreed.

        Much of the hour between 9 and 10 seems fabricated or false. What emerges if you change one or more components makes the scene much less complex, increases the chance of an external predator or burglar, and decreases the probability the McCanns needed to dispose of a body.

        However, that is speculation and I cannot get clarification, therefore I’ve got to work with what I’ve got.

        Of course, if that speculation was correct, then the T9 have really screwed up the hunt for Madeleine.

      • Yes to the last bit. We can’t know for sure, but my own common sense would lead me strongly towards that conclusion. It seems far more likely than what they’re suggesting. However, it also seems like an incredible thing to be doing as a tragedy is unfolding, some of them would have needed to be thinking ‘wait, all of us are going to look pretty bad here’.

        I suppose it is possible, though. KM’s immediate reaction, which I think she disremembers, and oddly Amaral misinterprets as ‘a medical expression’, involved her screaming at GM ‘we’ve let her down’. You’ve the crying incidents, and KM feeling guilty already before the event. I suppose that feeling would have been shared by the group as a whole, and I’d guess one of the group suggested an idea which they considered practical and perhaps harmless.

        But if it’s they case, they’ve caused immeasurable damage to the investigations, in the manner mentioned above with the time-line leading one way or another, and also, it must be said, by nervously going ahead with minor untruths making them seem suspicious from day 1. Not that it wouldn’t have happened anyway, but that drew the focus in on them.

        I don’t believe any of the various T9 conspiracy theories (aside from the one above I’m outlining above, which is literally a conspiracy theory, now I think of it). There is one basic logical flaw that rules them all out for me in one go.

        But when I got quite interested in this case at first, not all that long before you, actually, I had to consider all possibilities. Now I think there’s deception in the T9 statements for the above motive alone.

        This would fit with the concerns expressed by DCC Stalker in an interview which is endlessly misquoted or snipped partially to imply something entirely different. I can link to the full version if you want it. In short, the child was abducted, but the T9 are hiding something, though are not in any way involved in the abduction. That thing they’re hiding is embarrassing to them. Truth will out.

        What he didn’t know was their silence was enforced somewhat, and he wouldn’t have had access to the statements, but only an idea they weren’t fitting with each other. It seems apparent to me the embarrassing secret is simply that they were far less vigilant than they have stated, leaving the children for long periods alone. MO’s check never happened. GM’s did, as did KM’s, clearly… but perhaps hourly checks were planned, and maybe that was an improvement even on previous nights thanks to MBM’s crying question.

        That’s the big secret. Not that big, really… but huge for the case and the effect it had.

      • The only flaw I can think of is the Paynes. If the 6 parents with children in 5A, 5B, and 5D were sloppy and checks were only hourly, the Paynes had a baby monitor that worked, therefore no need to do checks, therefore not in the plot with the other 6.

        Unless of course that monitor did not work properly at that range. But that is getting complex, as the 6 need to lie that the monitor worked and all 9 need to agree that the Paynes did not check. Whilst the Paynes have to be vague about who checked when, given it was not important to them.

        When the Paynes came out very late on the evening of 3rd May, they came out of the central stairwell of block 5, putting them only yards away from 5A, 5B and 5D. It would taken just a second to be friendly and do a listening check.

        All of this conjecture, however, depends on them. Either one of them owns up that the time of the checks is wrong, or they continue to make it tough for a burglar or an abductor.

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