My small adventure on 2 Jan 2017 was to have a wander through a plot of land commonly referred to by the media as wasteland. The plot size is 58,000m2, so a lot bigger than the site searched by Operation Grange in June 2014. It is slightly further away from apartment 5A than the mound, but it has plenty of anomalies for Operation Grange to sink its teeth into.
First up is a satellite image of how Luz looked in May 2007. Kindly note how many ‘wastelands’ there are. This was around the start of the global crash, and I would suggest Luz looks much the same in 2017. Buying a piece of land and doing nothing with it for years is called land-banking, and a lot of land-banking happens in Luz and the surrounding area.
The red dot is apartment 5A. The yellow dot is the mound, as searched by Operation Grange in 2014. The green dot is the ‘wasteland’ I want to take you through. The pink dot may be the decider. It is the Smithman sighting, and it is obviously closer the the yellow dot, the mound, than the green dot – my 9th day special. Whatever, I want to show you a piece of ‘wasteland’ in Luz, to illustrate the challenges faced by the searchers.
This is a very simple photo. It shows the ‘wasteland’ and a ruin north of the road coming in from Burgau to Luz. There is a sheet metal fence around this part of the plot, and in Portugal, I know that putting a fence or wall around your plot means others are obliged to keep off the property. The trouble with this fence is that I know towards the north of the plot there are no such barriers. This means that people can, and definitely do, wander over the plot for many a reason, just as I did on the 9th day of Xmas.
It sounds truly and utterly boring. But it happens to be how Luz worked. It happens to be important to working out what happened to Madeleine. Decide for yourself how tough the searches were. Decide for yourself how many hiding holes there could be in Luz. And remember, this ‘wasteland’ is just one of many in Luz.