Madeleine v The Portugal News

The Portugal News has picked up the online Mirror story about alleged ghouls tours of Luz, and re-hashed it at

The Portugal News claims to be the largest-circulation English language news site in Portugal. It is published by Anglopress Edicões e Publicidade Lda, based in Lagoa (which is a town quite distinct from Lagos). The contacts page notes the publisher as Paul Allen-Luckman and the editor as Brendan De Beer.

Without checkng up, I know that Mr Luckman has previous involvement with the Madeleine McCann case, as there is a video interview by Eamonn Holmes on YouTube. I don’t know if Mr De Beer has prior experience or not.

The article written by The Portugal New on 6 Oct 2016 currently appears on the front page of their web site, and also appears as the second most popular story amongst those viewed by their readers. This rather surprises me given that most personal contacts I have had have long since ceased to find ‘news’ about Madeleine McCann to be of interest.

The article appears to be based on 3 main sources – the Mirror story, my blog response to the Mirror story, and sundry bits from elsewhere.

I have not been contacted by The Portugal News, so everything attributed to me is a bit of a copy-and-paste job.

To put things into perspective, Lagoa, where the publishing company is registered, is around half an hour from Luz. I have been through it on many an occasion, It happens to be immediately north of Carvoeiro, a small beach village, where we once rented a villa. Further, Carvoeiro may have a distant but unpleasant connection to the Madeleine case, if I ever manage to get back to the rather grim topic I was exploring before the Mirror story blew up.

Although Lagoa is only 30 minutes away, the journalist who wrote the piece could be located anywhere. The article is not attributed to anyone, and it has the flavour of someone working from home.

Other than stating that the Mirror story has been demolished, there are two specific points I would like to make with respect to the article in The Portugal News.

The first is the Barragem da Bravura. I believe I have covered this under the category of a red herring story on my blog. The rain-sodden note alleged to have turned up on the doorstep of apartment 5A on the first anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, with the problem being it had been bone dry for days beforehand.

I have never visited the Barragem da Bravura, and no-one has ever requested to see it.

As to David Thomas and his comments, here we have another talking head who should learn when to comment and when not to. There is no crime occurring here and nothing is making the community unsafe, so why the founder of Safe Communities Portugal should have any relevance is a mystery. And while Mr Thomas appears to like promoting his own image, it is clear he has not got a clue as to why I choose to keep the spotlight on Madeleine McCann whilst keeping out of the limelight myself.

My blog has a comments section like any other blog, so the Mirror, The Portugal News and any other reader can get in touch with me if they so choose. But it would seem the journalists choose not to do so.


16 thoughts on “Madeleine v The Portugal News

  1. I do not have a theory about what happened to Madeleine.

    There are alternative explanations, each with its own probability.

    But while there is a great deal of information in the public domain, there is insufficient to solve the case, as is shown by the fact that the case has not yet been solved.

    Whether Op Grange has enough information to solve the issue is another question. OG is DEFINITELY sitting on a pile of data that can be used to progress the case, but whether they understand everything they have got is a moot point.

  2. I see what you’re saying. Would you be willing to briefly list the various alternatives and their corresponding probabilities? I’m not asking for statistical certainty or anything, of course, but am interested in your unique insights and mapping out of the complexities. I don’t understand why your attempts to pass on your information are being ignored.

  3. I have done this elsewhere on a previous occasion.

    I see no point in repeating the exercise at this time due to the effort required. A basic explanation is perhaps two pages of A4, while a full explanation would take ……..

    I do not know whether information passed on previously has been ignored or not, since the feedback does not clarify this.

  4. You got a feedback, not clarifying but a feedback after all ?
    You, yourself, don’t reply systematically… Trying again : why, if the OG and the MC leads didn’t react, don’t you share your discoveries and/or suspicions with the PJ, the jurisdiction on this case ?

  5. As far as I am aware, the PJ team working out of Porto are following a completely different line of approach to OG, therefore info relevant to OG has no particular relevance to them. I suspect the answer from them would be to get in touch with OG via the OG email address set up for that purpose.

    That leaves PJ officers in Faro and Portimão who act in support of OG, whom I would expect to respond in like manner.

    I could spend a considerable amount of time and effort trying to establish who is on both teams, then work out how to get in touch with both, ending up with simply a pointer to the OG email.

    Why should either team actually act on information that OG already has?

  6. The Portuguese are plainly sovereign on this case, ShininginLuz, surely they wouldn’t reject the suggestions generously offered by a British citizen ! What do you think the Portuguese thought when the Mirror lady contacted the LC in the UK about Murat staying 10 meters from the GNR ?
    You were convinced that OG or the MCs would reply, they didn’t, hence you’ve convinced yourself that the Portimão PJ as well will not. Is it a fair hypothetico-deduction ? If you write to the PJ, I can help you with the Portuguese.

  7. Anne,

    I didn’t know that the lady who contacted the Leicestershire Police was from the Mirror. I assume you are correct about this, and if so, I would class it as significant.

    I wasn’t convinced that either OG or the McCanns would reply. I have no doubt that both have gone through thousands of emails, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands. And tens of nutters, or hundreds of nutters etc.

    Why the PJ in Portimão? I thought the Portuguese end of OG was controlled from Faro? But I could be wrong.

    Thank you for your kind offer of help with Portuguese. At the moment, I know enough about Portuguese to be able to write in simple English constructs that most people educated within Portugal would understand. That is not a problem.

    The issue is that I would need to write an entire book to explain all of the unresolved points in this case. Then I would need to pitch it so that it intrigued the PJ sufficiently that they decided to investigate the matters arising directly. Or thought them sufficiently important to funnel them on to OG.

    I can get through to OG, as proved by the standard auto-response.

    Can I get through to the McCanns? Probably not. They have barriers and gatekeepers galore to prevent it.

  8. I’m insisting, ShininginLuz, which seems to mean that I do believe you might have something interesting to say. If I were the PJ inspector receiving your mail, I would reckon the use of basic English and wonder : is this person uncultured or does this person think I’m uncultured ? I would anyhow have a look but if, before the middle of the first page, no precise point popped up, I would just put your mail in the bin.
    Have you done it long, book sized, with the MCs ? With OG ? I suggest you do it exactly the same with the PJ… What are you afraid of ?

  9. Anne,

    The reason I didn’t reply to you first time round was you had raised a point I had not thought of – to approach the PJ.

    I wanted to ‘sleep on your point’, went to bed and slept, but in the morning I had forgotten about it. Mea culpa.

    The first issue is – what do I know the PJ have their hands on that might advance things? That I can answer.

    Issue 2. How do I get in touch with either the Porto team, or the Algarve team? Not the PJ in general, but someone working on the case, who will 1) understand what I am talking about and 2) will have access to the bits of the case file that I do not.

  10. The best is to send the mail (not an email) to
    Departamento de Investigação Criminal de Portimão
    Assunto : Madeleine McCann
    Rua Pé da Cruz, nº2,
    8500-640 Portimão
    For years, and I don’t see why it should have stopped, a police inspector was reading the incoming information concerning the McCann case, any potentially interesting clue being sent to the Ministerio publico, the unique entity that has authority to decide whether to investigate further or not.
    Please write it in English, not in Basic. You could start with “Escrevo em Inglês porque sou um cidadão britânico, mas, se querem e se estiverem interessados, posso traduzir em Português”.
    Try to be concise, if they need more explanation, they’ll ask. Go quickly to the point in order to get their attention.
    Good luck !

  11. Do you have a contact point for the Porto team? At the moment I am thinking about shoving the same info under all 3 teams – Algarve, Porto, OG – and letting each decide what to do with it.

  12. I don’t think that the Porto team still exists. They were a kind of reaction before OG started, a “neutral” review compared to Paulo Rebelo’s one. They found Tractorman and this was the pretext used to reopen the investigation, not in Porto, but in Faro. That team in Faro was only bringing logistic support to OG POs.
    The PJFiles are stored in Portimão, that DIC is the original localisation of the investigation. They still receive informations, a special inspector is checking them and reporting what he finds interesting to the prosecutor in Portimão.
    My advice is sending your letter to the DIC in Portimão and a copy to the Ministerio Publico (but there’s nobody there in charge of the MC case).
    I’m not sure it’s a good idea announcing you’re sending the same letter to another entity, you know what witnesses didn’t do, and why, in Kitty Genovese’s murder…

  13. Did you make up your mind ? Or it’s ok if it’s far, not so sure if it’s close by ?
    I’ve no idea of what you have to say, but if you’re so convinced that it’s important, I think you have to share it somehow. As any responsible citizen would.

  14. Spine is priority. All the best.
    But the more concise you’ll be (and this requires doing and undoing) and the sharpest your point, the better. Isn’t attracting attention your target ?

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