Madeleine – Heriberto on phones

I have been in an exchange of communication with Heriberto Janosch González recently, regarding analysis of phone data in and around Luz on 3rd May 2007.

I was disheartened to hear that he was thinking of withdrawing from the Madeleine McCann case. He has provided me with more than one genuine step forward in this quest. I am therefore pleased to see he has decided to continue to contribute to the discussion.

He has posted some extremely interesting information on his blog at Please go off and read it right now, as he has an easy style, and trust me, this stuff is very important indeed.

OK, what is so important about Heriberto’s post? I would like to split this into 3 categories, those being minor problems, major problems, but most importantly, pure gold!

Let me kick off with minor problems. Heriberto has detailed latitude and longitude for 4 masts in/around Luz. My difficulty is that when I map these co-ordinates, I get places miles to the north of Luz and simultaneously miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.

How can I possibly classify this as a minor problem? Heriberto’s phone map has two locations that I recognise without any further checking. Therefore, I am sure we have a minor technical glitch in co-ordinates.

Heriberto makes the Luz water tower at 37.090395N, 8.742667W. I make it 37.052753N, 8.443516W. I am dumping my co-ordinates in here purely so Heriberto can check my figures. The positions look close but they are many miles apart so this is a technical glitch we need to fix. Since we are agreed that there is telecoms capability up the water tower in Luz, I don’t see this as a major glitch.

A potential major problem from Heriberto’s post is that his information is from Aug 2013. Heriberto does warn that this may need refinement. I believe I can supply an immediate pointer to improve the discussion.

The location on Heriberto’s map shown as a Vodafone mast at location ‘d’ is well known here. We call it the pineapple roundabout. It is a large mast disguised as a tree, and it it supposedly part of a failed attempt to make the whole of Luz wi-fi enabled. Moving on from the gossip, that location is post-Madeleine. Streetview shows that roundabout did not have a mast in Aug 2009.

I will need to re-check this, but I remember starting off thinking that this roundabout had telecoms before working out that in Madeleine’s time, it only had quite small palm trees.

Now we come to some differences of thought between Heriberto and myself. These might appear to be major problems, but I class this stuff as pure gold.

Heriberto is popping up masts operated by a single operator. I am working with the view that 3 operators shared bandwidth on each mast. Heriberto makes the Luz water tower pure Optimus. I make it shared Optimus, TMN and Vodafone.

If Heriberto is correct, we need more than one mast location, and my phone analysis so far needs a major overhaul. Potentially, this is a big step forward, whichever way the outcome falls.

I believe there are bigger fishes in this haul.

I have been struggling for quite while with a mast to the east of Luz on Boa Vista. I can see it has telecoms equipment on it but I have not found anything so far in the records that clearly refers to it. The mast is painted in alternate red and white. That is what is used here for aircraft warning masts. So, I have been thinking for a while that although it has some telecoms capability, it is not a major part of the story.

Heriberto has not popped this mast up in his map or his blog entry, therefore I clearly need to dig into the Boa Vista mast to see if it had a role on 3 May 2007.

Minor problems, major problems, and some pure gold. But shall we move on to the best part?

Since Optimus usually reports on 3 different lobes per mast, I have been wondering if this things are directional. Heriberto’s post goes for directional. This is absolutely critical.

A Luz water tower that covers the whole of Luz, a big chunk of the N125, and most of Espiche is really tough to use. An Optimus report on the Luz water tower that splits the area into 3 is much more valuable. From Heriberto’s map, it looks like one antenna picks up east Luz (apartment 5A plus), one antenna picks up Luz west (out towards Burgau) and one is close to north (N125 and actually seems to be pointing at Espiche).

What could become of this?

Take the case of the gardener, who according to the media, was drinking in Luz on the night Madeleine vanished, or as some reports claim, was drinking in the Ocean Club on the night Madeleine disappeared.

The gardener claims he was in Espiche (and he was cleared by the PJ).

If his mobile connected that night, via Luz water tower, then records exist to show whether he was in Luz east, the area around 5A, or whether he was to the north of Luz, in Espiche, as he asserts.

As this is a very big step forward, I need to do a sanity check on Heriberto’s info on the water tower. He points one lobe to the east of Luz. He points one lobe to the west of Luz. He points one lobe to the north of Luz. Can this be verified by independent means?

Here is the Google Earth photo of the water tower and surrounds. I think Heriberto is about 80m out on his location, but I do not wish to quibble on trivialities. Heriberto’s location of the water tower on the map is good enough to shine a light on Luz.

What about the directions of the mast lobes? You, dear reader, are lucky that Google Streetview provides enough information that you can check Heriberto’s info in considerable detail.

I am posting the GE view of the area. The water tower is obvious. There is a big complex immediately to the south. It is parcelled up as 6 to 8 units, each complete with its own postbox, own water meter, own electricity meter.

Luz water tower 1

How do I know this? At a particular point in my journey through the adventure that we call Luz we needed yet another place to live, once more at very short notice. A couple who feature in the Madeleine McCann files as folks who went searching on the night of 3rd May kindly rented us the villa just to the south-west, the one with the big white square. That square happens to be baked earth, nothing more or less.

The Luz water tower can be checked. It has 3 lobes.

Luz water tower 2

One is near north, just as Heriberto informed us. One is south-west, just as Heriberto informed us. One is south-east, just as Heriberto informed us. This is close to genius. The large blob that was Luz / N125 / Espiche has now been carved into 3.

As far as I am concerned, it gets much better than this. It is clear that to get this information, Heriberto has knowledge of the files containing detailed knowledge of phone masts, their locations, and their directional sensitivity. This is knowledge that I was completely ignorant of.

It is also an example of why people who have contributed much information and progressed the case of Madeleine McCann should be encouraged to continue. There is just so much more to be found.


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