Madeleine – Nighthawk 1 Jun 2017

After the issues with my camera-work on the 10th anniversary, I wanted to go out and test a setting where my little camera should not fire the flash every time, in order to get closer to what the human eye sees. This is low-light mode, no flash. See what you think.

All photos are 1 June 2017, from around 10.10pm on.

This is roughly what Peter Smith saw as he passed Smithman on 3 May 2007. The most important thing is that all the lighting was coming from behind Smithman.

And this one is roughly what Smithman saw as he headed down Primary School Street that night. Please note again the lighting. There are 2 key sources. The street lamps are behind me. And another street lamp lighting up the junction with 25th April Street. The darkness is due to the building on the left blocking this light, then quite a lot of light at the bottom.

Now cast your beady eyes on that figure on the Lane of Little Steps. Right in the middle, that fuzzy figure is a gentleman heading downwards. The point is Smithman could see the Smith troupe coming from a long way off. He had every chance to avoid the Smith 9. He chose not to.

The next photo is from 25th of April Street down the Lane of Little Steps. You can still see the couple who were heading for their night out. The blue blob at the bottom is the Dolphin restaurant, where the Smiths had a South African meal before heading to Kelly’s for a nightcap.

Moving quickly on, because I was running late, this is the spot on 25th April Street where Sergey Malinka’s Audi was torched, with the word fala (speak) spray-painted in red on the pavement.

And here is my shot of St Vincent’s. This is what I wanted to check out. The truth is it is no better than the photos I got on 3 May 2017, but that tells me something.

Across the road the Ice Cream Factory was shutting up shop. Who wants ice cream at 10.20pm?

At the other end of the promenade, here is the refurbished Paraíso. It wasn’t the restaurant that caught my attention. It was the kids squealing with pleasure on the boardwalk on the beach.

This is what the good folks of Luz get up to on a night out. The sign says A Fábrica was opened in 2010, so don’t factor it into the Madeleine McCann story.

This place may well be quite important in the story of Madeleine’s disappearance, and I’ve got to say I am quite chuffed about this photo. The location is the junction of the beach road and the high street, Rua Direita. This is Clube Reacritivo Cultural e Desportivo Luzense. The recreational, cultural and sporting club of the people of Luz. It is one of just two particularly Portuguese places in Luz where Senhor Euclides Monteiro might have spent the evening of 3 May 2007.

It’s now 22.30pm. This is the Ocean Club 24hr reception. Except it is closed.

Above is Madeleine’s play-group area and the night crèche. Except it is closed.

The Ocean Club is dead.

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27 thoughts on “Madeleine – Nighthawk 1 Jun 2017

  1. Have you given consideration to the fact that Smithman continued because he did not want the Smiths or anyone to see where he was going? That after the Smiths were out of sight, he turned back?

    There is a building of interest, an apartment complex in Rua da Escola Primária, near a junction which would make a lot of sense.

    As for Smithman being Portuguese, I doubt it SIL. Portuguese people in the area are not many and those who live there have no need to carry a child in pyjamas through the streets at night or in light clothes. At the most, the child would be dressed in proper clothes, or warmer clothes to go out in the beggining of May on a cold night.

    I am not sure are you implying that Euclides Monteiro is involved. But for your reference, Euclides Monteiro was ruled out not only by DNA but also because he was home at the time according to PC activity. Then we have the more obvious fact that you cannot mistake a white man for a black man. Sergey Malinka was also cleared of any involvement by the PJ who extensively checked his property and computers. I think Malinka himself and Monteiro’s family have suffered enough with this charade as has Robert Murat and the other Grange persons of interest with names splashed in the media and 3 of them unethically hounded by BBC Panorama for the 10th anniversary Mitchell’s sad reality show.

    On other comments in your previous post, I have to agree with Bjorg. The alarm was at 22h15 , never before that and from the balcony of 5A, not from the restaurant at all. I also agree with her that Gerry McCann has no independent witnesses placing him at the restaurant from 21h30 onwards. Two of the waiters clearly put him absent from the table from 21h30 onwards and the other waiters don’t mention him as being there or not. There were no other diners in the restaurant at that time with the exception of maybe the Sperreys, but the fact of the matter is that the only witnesses for GM being at the table at the time of the Smith sighting are his group of friends.

    • Hi Isabel,

      I agree with a lot of that. In particular, I disagree with SIL in thinking Smithman was likely Portuguese. The whole ‘cultural differences’ of how parents from Portugal would handle dinner with the children versus how a British couple might on holiday has been done to death, but it is true. A Portuguese (or Spanish, French Italian) dad would have brought his daughter with him for the family dinner, and not off-loaded her like a rugby ball into a creche to go and get squiffy.

      It follows that if Smithman is to be ruled out, he’d most likely be another holiday maker from the British Isles, because the child would not have been wearing pajamas if Portuguese, but normal clothes.

      On the people putting GM at the table at that time, I’ll disagree. I would just say the waiters and chefs weren’t paying attention to who was where, but from memory they corroborated. Redgrave was very specific in ruling out Gerry McCann for the sighting, due to witnesses placing him at the table.

      I understand you’d like independent witnesses, but the implication there gets pretty mad fairly quickly. Hypothesis: GM goes for a slash, discovers his dead child, phones the missus to tell her he’s just chucking her in the sea, to cover for him and he’d explain later. Gets back to the table, and all the doctors agree he’d done the right thing, and concoct a false abduction and relevant alibis and back stories in, what, 5 minutes, with not a second thought? Does that seem likely to you? How are you making that story, or a similar one, fit within the realm of reality?

      The time of the alarm does move a bit, depending on the witnesses- but take the nanny at the creche- she claims circa 2215 a woman came in claiming she’d seen a man calling out Madeleine’s name in a panic. So, that’s search in full swing… the alarm was most likely raised very close to the hour mark.

      • thank you Bjorg and Loops.
        My idea is that whatever accident occurred , it took place between 6pm and 8 Pm I don’t believe something happened during the dinner as such , (I also never believed anything happened before evening on the 3rd May and I believe there was neglect )

        Yes , I see your point all seems impossible and improbable . I do believe though that people panic and do desperate things totally opposed to their nature .

        On the waiters ‘ statements what puzzled me the most was crossing every tapas staff statement to realise nobody had actually seen or heard Kate at the restaurant raising the Alarm . The waiters learned what happened trough Diane Webster . It’s peculiar .
        On timings I generally guide myself by the phonecall made to john Hill which is registered at 2228 and the time Ms Fenn heard the commotion downstairs at around 2230. Salcedas first statement is also pointing to that . I know he makes a statement a year later where he changes Times to 9.30 while describing things that only happened after ten , so tricky . That’s why I’m inclined for 22h15, but you also make a very valid point .

        Yes SIL , I did mean to thank you for all the pictures and posts very informative and useful . Thank you .

        Isabel

      • Hi Isabel,

        It’s clear you know this case really well, and it’s interesting to discuss it with you, SIL and Bjorn there.

        Now, I don’t know what happened to MBM. But I do work off probability and logic when appraising hypotheses- and even simple human nature.

        You’ve chose an Amaral-esque theory to postulate- between 1800 and 2000 the child has some kind of accident on the day, and dies. Possibility of drugs/neglect leads to a panicked staged abduction, deposition and relocation of their daughter. Must admit, already sounds implausible to me at that stage. But, let’s just examine that logically.

        First, by their accounts, the parents (one or both) were present in the apartment at that time. Sure, they could be lying, but it fits with the nannies’ statements and Payne’s. So I’m not sure how you think the child died. Did the McCanns nip out for a few liveners before dinner?

        Ok, if so, they come back and find their dead first-born. So, they concoct a horrorific plan, hide her body, convince the T7 to cover for them, set up an abduction… while all the while strolling around and chatting to the people they met in a relaxed and jovial fashion???

        Seriously???

        Gerry’s just secreted his daughter under a pile of rocks, and he runs into Jez ‘Oh, mate, your backhand has come on something special. That instructor is a genius. Ah, your child won’t sleep either? Yeah… used to have that problem too. Found a swift walk to the beach solved it. Bleedin’ left her there and all. Ha ha ha ha. Only joking. I’m off for some sardines. Hope they have that aniseed drink- it’s the business. You know the one! Ha ha ha. See you.’

        Really???

        And Jez is left going off thinking ‘what a nice chap. Certainly not involved in any major crimes, that’s for sure.’

        Humans don’t work like that, Isabel.

    • I agree that Richard Bilton was certainly out of his mind when he interviewed those OG persons of interest but broadcasting those interviews was shameful.
      I wonder how you’re so sure, Isabel, that the alarm was at 22h15. Were you there by chance and equipped with a watch running fast ?

  2. Thanks for posting these, SIL. It’s very odd when you’ve looked at a set of streets so much in photos and google maps and street that you feel like you’ve been somewhere you haven’t.

    I’m going to disagree with you on Smithman, though, while bowing to your obvious local knowledge, given the above, and if you tell me I’m wrong, I’ll concede.

    BUT, if the meeting is at the point you suggest, and I think you’re spot-on, then 1) good point about the lighting, those e-fits are worthless as the Smiths weren’t paying close attention and couldn’t have seen clearly if they had been, and 2) yes, on the RHS of the street, Smithman would have seen them coming. Exactly where is he supposed to go to avoid them?

    He’s coming down that slope at a decent walking pace- do you think he’d stop and turn on his heels, go back uphill and try and hide in that car-parky area on his right? That would be majorly suspicious. Remember, at that point, he would assume that anyone would think him an innocent holiday maker, as they have no reason to think otherwise.

    What he doesn’t want is the Smiths to see his face, nor where he is going. He carried the child on his left shoulder, blocking his face to a degree, and the light meant he’s fairly unidentifiable, plus it’s unclear which way he went, so he got a result on both aspects.

    Personally, I would hazard a guess that, if the culprit, he went down the steps.

  3. Peter Smith is shown as a good way up Rua da Escola Primaria when he passed Smithman. Go the same distance further north (where Smithman might have been when Peter entered RdEP) and there is a choice of 3 alternative routes, none of which look like turning back.

    Smithman could see the Smiths coming. He chose to walk past them, though it would have been easy to avoid them.

    • Hi elcacraig, Isabel, Loops

      Yes, i see your point here elcacraig. It has been discussed on other blogs as well, as you know. However, we must have at least two things in mind here in trying to understand what options “smithman”had in reality, if he was Gerry.

      Firstly we cannot know whether the Smiths at that point of time were talking loudly among themselves, if Gerry overheard that, or if they just happened to be quiet at that moment.

      If this group of people had appeared in front of him as a surprise, it would have been highly suspicious if he had turned around or escaped into another lane. Secondly we don’t really know what other voices or sounds “smithman” could have heard from the 3 alternative routes, which you mention. Sounds/voices which might have prevented him from going in any other direction, than straight on.

      • It is obvious that I cannot prove either that Smithman is Portuguese or that Smithman is innocent. That would require identifying the man and checking out his alibi.

        However, I have now been in that location 3 separate times at 10pm on 3 May. I never once saw any passer-by in Rua da Escola Primaria or on any of the 3 alternative routes. A key determinant is that it turns dark by 9.15pm so by 10pm most non-tourists are indoors.

        One does see tourists out and about around the restaurants, but there are none of those on Rua da Escola Primaria.

      • Hi all. What Bjorn says of Smithman is true if he’s guilty. Bjorn thinks he’s Gerry. I vehemently disagree. But it’s irrelevant to the point you’re making. In that, I do agree, turning around would have been suspicious in any case. SIL says he could have ducked in somewhere- depends on the exact points of contact, but he’s been there, so it’s possible. Probable? IDK- SIL says so. Never having been there, I can’t argue otherwise reasonably.

        To SIL, as I wrote above, logically, the fact that the child in Smithman’s arms was unshod and in pajamas, to my mind, at least, all but logically excludes the idea that she was Portuguese. How would you answer that?

    • I don’t agree at all, when Smithman crossed Peter S, he couldn’t see Aoife going up the stairs and it was too late to avoid Martin and Mary. He might have heard them however, if they were talking.
      He had an objective and no choice except for turning east, west or south down the steps. As he was in a hurry, my bet is that he turned east.
      Ah, I agree with Isabel that Smithman couldn’t possibly be Portuguese. People here cover their children as if they were living in North Pole.
      And I agree that the e-fits are rubbish. Our common friend, SIL, sent me to-day an October photograph of a Lagos Tuk-Tuk with a guy inside looking very much like one of the e-fits !

      • Kindly come to Luz and I will be happy to show you around.

        From the ‘north’ point of Rua da Escola Primária to the bottom of Travessa da Escadinhas, you can see everyone.

        Smithman could see 9 people coming. He walked past all 9.

  4. Hi Elcacraig, Isabel and Loops

    Hi
    There are indeed a lot in the witnesses’ statements regarding the time for Kate’s alarm that could be further investigated.

    Here is just one of many interesting witness statements, which could add to those you’ve just mentioned Isabel

    From the P J files

    Arlindo Epifanio Goncalves Fernandes Peleja (executive chef of the kitchen). When he arrived there ( my comment: I suppose outside the McCanns’ apartment and in front of the tapas restaurant), by vehicle, at around 21:10,… (h)e remembers having seen in that esplanade, one table, occupied by three couples, without children, and all of them adults. On the esplanade, he encountered no one else. A few minutes later, when it was around 21H20, he heard some clamour, which made him leave toward the restaurant, a few meters away, and was then informed that a child had disappeared.

    He could have meant 22H10 and 22H20, or it could be a mistake in the translation from Portuguese. Or he may have forgotten about “summer time” Anyway 21H10/21H20 doesn’t make sense in this context.

    P S appreciate your intelligent sense of humour Loops, quite different from mine, I assume.

    • Björn ( apologies I had your name wrong earlier , I’m sorry ) ,

      Yes , I read that at the time ( peleja ) it puzzles me he’s one hour out . However , we know from the other staff and guests and Mrs Fenn as well as police telephone call that it was not raised before 2215. The translation is correct, I just double checked to make sure . It’s an hour out which is odd but when comparing with other time documented statements it makes no sense . And I think there’s one more ? I believe the receptionist is also one hour out , in his case we know he’s wrong since the phone log is there to show first call to police at 22h41.

      But yes , puzzling nevertheless . You’re quite right .

    • Time translation is correct and summertime had occurred more than a month before.
      Alarm time is before 10 in other independent statements.
      It is not plausible that the group looked at their watch when the alarm was launched. But had Gerald MC not been there, nobody would have reported Kate saying “Gerry, Madeleine’s gone”. He was there.

  5. Hi Elcacraig
    I just wonder if you by any chance happen to know if Jenny Murat still owns “Casa Liliana”, or if she’s sold it to another family/person who now reside there? It seems as though this house and its garden are of no interest to anybody anymore.

  6. I do not know personally.

    Two reporters for The Mirror say she lives 100 yards from 5A, which would be Casa Liliana. It is up to you how much you trust The Mirror.

    • Thanks Elcacraig
      The paper in question may not be too reliable, but some journalist must have knocked at her door, as she told us about the mysterious woman, so I guess she still lives there.

  7. AFAIK, the mysterious woman on the corner story is actually quite old, around 10 years old in fact.

    The interesting thing is the photo of Mrs Murat appears to be recent. I have never seen her, personally, so I am going by her age. The credit for the photo is the BBC, which must mean the BBC interviewed Mrs Murat at some time. And presumably recently.

    As Robert Murat appeared in the BBCs 10 anniversary Panorama, but Mrs Murat did not, there may be a story floating around the BBC that I have not seen.

    • Yes, mysterious woman in purple she mentioned at the time. As did Jez Wilkins. Were there any other sources for her that anyone knows of? Official line is she’s their main lead now, no? Or the disappeared OC worker? Or is that her? Buh.

  8. SIL, I’ve been in PDL and at approximatively the same time (earlier since it was end of February) I figured out I was Smithman, hypothetically carrying a corpse and having in my mind (everybody’s idea in this case, as highlighted by Mark Harrison) to deliver it back to mother Nature that would soon return it, but sort of clean of all marks that could incriminate me. Would I have some choice at the junction with Primeiro de Maio ? No, definitively no choice but getting down dark Escola Primaria. Before the the kind of largo on the right I would first hear people walking up. Would I change my route, using steps on the left that led to a car park ? The point is I was in a real hurry and the Ocean was now very close by. But after having to slightly move in order to avoid direct look of Peter S and his wife, I saw that other people were coming up and I realised suddenly that they would remember me if the corpse was returned by the next high tide. What could I do ?

  9. I’ll see if I can get a few piccies to show exactly what you could do before the meeting point.

    So what did your Smithman the corpse carrier do after this meeting? He would still have had a corpse. Where did it go to?

  10. We know that Smithman was carrying the child as a father or a grand-father would do (otherwise the Smith family would have noticed something was wrong), not the way we imagine a predator would. This is what “saved” Smithman from being spoken of during 2 weeks.
    But had the missing child be found drowned the following day, it is very likely that the Smith family would have wondered about the man who carried a child with just a pyjama on.

  11. From what I remember, both Peter Smith and Martin Smith learned about Madeleine’s disappearance around the time the sun came up on 4 May 2007 or shortly thereafter. Madrugada. They did not think it significant until much later.

    I have ‘prowled’ the streets of Luz many times around 10pm at night. Checking on things like lighting levels, what restaurants are open, how much pedestrian traffic there is.

    I have never seen a man carrying a young child.

    But I was not in Luz in 2007.

  12. Martin S was informed by his daughter (from Ireland) in the morning (not “de madrugada”) that something extraordinary had happened in PDL. Peter S was flying back home with his family at that time.
    When I was in PDL I also didn’t spot any person carrying a child. A guy carrying a child remains usually unnoticed except if he seems to have difficulty to fight against gravity or if the child is half naked in a chilly night.
    A certain Tony Bennett believes that Smithman was an invention of the S, just because the S didn’t acknowledge him within days. Ludicrous ! The S family saw a father/grand father/oncle/elder brother carrying a child likely from a car to an apartment.
    Peter remembered suddenly (how does memory work exactly, are you aware of that ?), after days had passed and the hypothesis of wandering off ad getting lost was extinct, that they had met a carrier walking south.
    I find it very normal. They started to discuss and made an effort of recalling. Martin S is a reflecting guy, he has proved it. When they together thought that they could have a sighting, they called the PJ. The PJ didn’t even take notice of it ! So they had to contact the gardaï who contacted the LC who contacted the PJ !
    All this took time.

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