Madeleine – Netflix #1 update

Bar Carib is a bar/restaurant located in the west of Luz. It is the only facility in a very large area of Luz. It has the advantage of ample car parking, which is useful as the area is hilly and many of the ex-pats are no longer spring chickens.

Bar Carib is the dot in green. It is fairly close to the circle in pink, which is 27 Rua das Flores, the villa used by Kate and Gerry McCann when they left the Ocean Club. The map layout is a little confusing at this scale, because it looks like there are several car exits from 27 Rua das Flores, but many of these are pedestrian-only. The reality is cars go via Rua dos Hibiscos.

If the McCanns went jogging from 27 Rua das Flores there is a good chance they ran up Rua dos Hibiscus, and if so, they would have passed the sign for the Bar Carib. For all I know, the McCanns may have used it as their local.

Other than this sheer speculation, I have not heard of any connection between the Bar Carib and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. At least until now.

The yellow dot on the map is apartment 5A, close to Baptista supermarket (and the Tapas Restaurant). The blue dot is the Millennium, around a 650m walk from apartment 5A.

The orange dot beside the Millennium is the Mirage. It gets a couple of little mentions in the PJ Files, with possibly two more flying under the radar.

The owner of the Mirage is David Jones, co-creator of Fireman Sam. The Mirage has been closed since 2014, because it was losing money. Mr Jones was in the Carib recently, and the locals do enjoy a good gossip when they socialise.

Mr Jones said that he had indeed been in touch with Netflix. He told them that he had no significant knowledge regarding Madeleine’s disappearance. In my opinion, he is in error on that point, but I assume he does not know the slivers of gold he is sitting on, like many a person in this incident.

His interview with Netflix was restricted to whether Madeleine’s disappearance had an impact on his business. Since I was not at Bar Carib to hear his story first-hand, I will simply say he does indeed think there was a Madeleine effect, a very detrimental one.

If you look at the map again, the Mirage is not best placed for general business. There is car parking, though not a huge amount. The Mirage is adjacent to the Ocean Club, and it is an obvious connection that as the Ocean Club went into terminal decline, the Mirage would struggle badly. Picanhas Brazilian grill opened just a mile or so east of Luz, and that appears to have killed off the Mirage.

Since Mr David Jones is prominent in the Netflix gossip and will probably pop up again, here is a photo of him (on the right).

For more bio, go to


Madeleine – Luz Tour #6

Luz Tour #6 took place on 1st May and 2nd May 2017, just before the 10th anniversary. It was with a UK press member, Michael Havis. I was somewhat apprehensive, given that I had already been flame-grilled by a UK tabloid that had never spoken to me in any way, shape, or form. Things went better this time round, and I consider I received a much more balanced evaluation.

We met up at a hotel in the west of Luz, had a chat for a few minutes, then headed into Luz on foot.

Our first stop was at Rua das Flores. I wanted to show why it made sense for the McCanns to haul rubbish out of their rental villa by car, hence the stinky boot story. The bins are at the entrance/exit to the urbanisation, not easy to get to on foot, but chuck a plastic bag full of rubbish in the boot and everything makes perfect sense. Including a stinky boot.

Off we headed down Rua 25 de Abril to look at the place where Operation Grange dug up the mound. Visitors seem surprised by the size of it. The key details pass them by. It is an integral part of the Luz one-way system. There were two nearby restaurants which opened in 2007, though whether they managed it by May 2007, I don’t know.

Critical point #1 is the statement of Kirsty Louise Maryan. She was up a hill in Luz with two other nannies in the early hours of 4 May 2007 when they encountered Barrington Godfrey Norton, who was sleeping rough in a Ford Escort van. The only place I know of in Luz up a hill where people park camper vans overnight is this mound. I don’t have confirmation from any of the 4 people involved in this encounter that it happened on the mound. It is simply the only place that fits.

We walked through much of central Luz and arrived at the Ocean Club. I was becoming very tired. I took Mr Havis part of the way along the short route between the Tapas reception area and the Ocean Club night crèche. Along the way we saw that the adults-only swimming pool had no water in it. The next day we would find that the indoor pool was also empty of water. Basically, the Ocean Club is dead.

Near the adults-only pool, the short route goes up half a dozen steps, then it goes down a large number on the other side, and I didn’t want to do that, so we parted and Mr Havis continued exploring on his own. It seems he ended up on the sea front for a meal.

He liked the café enough that we met up there at lunchtime the next day, and it was packed. The visitors included large Portuguese groups, presumably down from Lisbon, extending the Labour Day holiday.

On the sea-front promenade on the way to the café, I had been accosted by a charity collector. This brings my encounters with charity collectors in Luz to 6. 4 of these have been calls to my residence, and each of these I would consider suspect. The other 2 have been in busy public areas of Luz, and both of these I consider genuine. Mr Havis was relieved to hear I considered the promenade charity collector to be genuine, as he had made a donation on his journey to the café.

I explained the story about the alleged tunnels and O Pouço to Mr Havis, so he asked if we could have a look, and we did. Then it was back to the front for the renovated Paraíso, where the Tapas 7 went on 3 May 2007, the market stalls where Gerry bought sunglasses on the McCanns trip to the beach, and up Rua Praia da Luz.

This street has at least two components in the Madeleine story.

John Ballinger apparently lives on this street. I knew that previously, but what I didn’t know before was that he appeared on the Sky 10th anniversary special. He explained to roadworks that were open on the night of 3 May, and from his photos, he appears to be the source for a picture in the press. Mr Ballinger said he had reported the roadworks to the police, which implies at that time he was of the opinion it was a missing child who woke and wandered, rather than an abduction.

The other feature on Rua Praia da Luz is the Duke of Holland restaurant/bar. It was taken over and has since closed down, but in 2007 it was run by June and Paul Wright. When the news was made public on 3 May, one of the pair immediately joined the search for Madeleine, while the other closed the Duke later, then got involved in the search. After this they were checked re whether Robert Murat was around apartment 5A that evening, as they knew Mr Murat and could recognise him. Despite returning to the vicinity of 5A several times during searches, Mr Murat had not been seen.

At the top of the beach road we turned left on Rua Direita and headed SW. This also has a number of items of interest on it.

First, the roadworks in the files were being done on this street.

Then there is the Luz Sporting Club. This is one of two places in Luz I suspect Sr Euclides Monteiro may well have been on that evening. His widow has said he was at home in Portelas (about 15 minutes drive from Luz) on 3 May 2007, composing a poem on his computer. I suspect he was in Luz, with friends, watching the big game. There were lots of places in Luz to watch the football that night, but only two where the predominant language was likely to be Portuguese and where the predominant culture was likely to be Portuguese. So Mr Havers took a photo of the club for his stock.

The we went to the Ocean Club reception. Things have changed somewhat with Madeleine’s kids club no longer there, and the indoor swimming pool in disuse.

I didn’t fancy the large flight of steps on the short route used by the McCanns, so we opted for a slightly longer route that is set up for wheelchair users, hence there are no stairs. This is probably the way the nannies moved the children from the kids club to the Tapas zone because it avoids a steep flight of stairs and it is ideally suited to Sammy Snake, the preferred way of getting the kids to walk together.

As it so happens, this goes between Fiji Palms block and Casa Liliana. Fiji Palms was the location of the Carpenter family. Casa Liliana was the home of Robert Murat and his mother Jenny. This is the approximate point at which Stephen Carpenter and Robert Murat met on the morning of 4 May, when Mr Murat learned what was going on, and he went to block 5 to offer his services as an interpreter.

We then headed to the Tapas reception, using the same semi-circular route taken by the Carpenters when they left the Tapas zone on 3 May.

Mr Havis was being pressed by his editor to file at least one story by his editor while he was still in Luz, so he wanted a photo to go with it. This is the one he picked.

After 2 days of Luz Tour #6, I was very tired physically. Mr Havis was going to head back to his hotel, apparently to converse with a colleague. I had just enough gas in the tank to walk home. We did not discuss what either of us would be doing on the 10th anniversary.

I have no idea how Mr Havis spent most of his day on 3 May 2017. I decided that I only had the capacity left for a stab at one trip into Luz, so I picked the 10th anniversary ceremony at St Vincent.

There I bumped into a contact from AFP from Luz Tour #5. He was back down after another 3 hour trip from Lisbon, so he has more stamina than I have.

As it happens, I took the extremely grainy photo of Mr Havis with Reverend Haynes Hubbard that appeared in the UK press.

And yes, I missed the chance to introduce myself to Mr Martin Brunt of Sky TV. He, and the Sky team, looked like they were working their socks off.

Madeleine – Xmas day 11 – Band on the Run

I am still progressing the Day 9 – Wasteland post, and while I was doing it, a thought entered my head. Why do I know so much about the nooks and crannies of Luz, the places that Google does not go?

The answer has two parts. The first is that I am a lifelong walker. When I visit somewhere, I like to make sense of it by exploring on foot. I prefer the parts that are away from car traffic and typically that means old historic centres or in the case of the Wasteland, the trails that few people have used.

I have walked from Luz to Burgau on many occasions, and the coastal pathway is much, much more pleasant and interesting than the M537 road between Burgau and Luz.

The second part of the reason is we have moved frequently in Luz. The shortest stay was one week, while the longest was nearly 2 years. We counted up our residences, and the total so far is 8 in 5 years. This excludes the properties rented by the kids’ family when we were living apart, though they are significant. They rented a house immediately east of the Wasteland, and that is how I know you can hop the wall to get onto the plot. I’ve been exploring on that land before, merely out of curiosity.

Bear in mind that I had very little interest in the Madeleine McCann case until the Operation Grange dig of June 2014, so most of my exploring had nothing whatsoever to do with Madeleine.

When we arrived in the area, the plan was to move to a villa we were renting just outside Luz. We had to stay in an apart-hotel in Luz for a week whilst waiting for our furniture to be moved from the UK to the villa. That week was actually very hard physical work. We had been promised that the villa would be cleared before we moved in, and we had paid for it to be cleaned. Being Portugal, the villa was neither cleared nor cleaned, so we spent large chunks of time gutting it and then cleaning it. When we had finished ripping out aged tat, there was well over a lorryload of the stuff. Fortunately, the local council picks that sort of rubbish up and disposes of it for free.

I woke up early one morning in our week the apart-hotel, and since I didn’t want to disturb the family, I decided it was time to explore. It was late February and the weather was glorious. I hunted down the beach, passing other early morning walkers and exchanging amiable chat with them of no particular significance. Then I arrived at the beach area, and I though the vista was jaw dropping. I had an exploration along the front, including the Roman ruins and the Fortaleza, then I returned to tell the family, excitedly, about what I had found.

It was decided we would all head to the beach area for breakfast. We chose the Paraíso because it was actually on the beach and had the best view. The weather was warm enough in February that we wanted breakfast al fresco, so we sat on the outside. There were 4 adults, 2 teenagers, and one baby. Due to the size of the group, we happened to sit on or near where the Tapas 7 took their children for tea on the afternoon of 3 May 2007. We probably appeared on the exactly the same CCTV, just years later on.

Bear in mind that none of us had the slightest inkling that Luz was connected to the disappearance of Madeleine, nor of the movements of the Tapas 7. We had simply picked a pleasant spot on a beach to have breakfast in the sun. There would be many more such coincidences as we became ‘The Band On The Run’, even if I only became aware of those quirks of fate much later.

The villa we moved into is in Urbanisation Melody. We moved out again soon after because the villa was damp and essential features such as showers and the oven were decrepit, and we had too many people to hack that. The owner assured us the main oven was new, but shortly before we moved out the oven fan fell out because it was rusted through completely. We later learned that our ‘contract’ with the owner was not a legal contract in Portugal, because none of us had the correct documentation to enter into a legal contract. It appears money was being hidden both from the tax man and the owner’s family, who had a right to a share of our rent.

Once more, I did not hear about the scandalous rumour connecting Gerry to Urbanisation Melody until much later. The urbanisation was added to Google in Jan 2015, so you can now peek around for yourself if you want. We were in the villa that has a skinny black dog by the gates.

I did my usual walking, exploring and mapping. I walked to the camp site to the west, which happens to have a tiny role in the Madeleine McCann tale. There I discovered a Brazilian restaurant that did buffet lunches, so we decided to try it out one day. The range was good and the price was relatively inexpensive, but I am not a fan of buffets, so we never went back. That restaurant later relocated to Valverde, where the GNR car was on 3 May 2007 when it got the ‘hurry up’ call. The Brazilian has a good reputation in Luz, so perhaps I am picky about my food. Again by sheer coincidence, my family was in that restaurant for lunch one day when Operation Grange heaved up for their mid-day break from the Luz dig.

Going back to the topic of Urbanisation Melody, the scandalous rumour was that Gerry had buried Madeleine’s body in the garden of one of the plots, and the gardener failed to notice this. This is a scarcely disguised variant of the scandalous rumour that Gerry had buried Madeleine in the villa the McCanns rented at 27 Rua das Flores and the gardener failed to notice this.

I had criss-crossed Urbanisation Melody and the surrounding area in my time there, and trust me, there are dozens and dozens of places to conceal a body that are much better than digging up someone’s garden. This should not be interpreted as meaning Gerry found some better place in the area. Unless he was scouring the countryside like a madman, he would not have been able to find this urbanisation until Google put it on-line in Jan 2015, so it is a complete non-starter.

Of the 8 places we have lived, I can only think of a couple that are not coincidentally connected to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. That is simply due to the size of Luz and the amount of coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine in the media.

Our proposed move to Portelas has crawled forward at a snail’s pace. The house has now been valued by the bank and the valuation is sufficient to cover the mortgage we want. The council has conducted its inspection to check that the work it requires has been done to the standard it requires. We have good reason to believe it has. All we are waiting for now is the paperwork. Mind you, we have been trying to buy the villa for about a year now, and this is Portugal, so we are not holding our breath.

Does Portelas have some sort of coincidental connection to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann? Of course it does. First, in the Luz rubbish disposal tale, it features as a transit station before the garbage is moved on to its final destination in Barlavento. Second, it was the residence of Euclides Monteiro, aka Tractorman, a person I think Operation Grange was checking out in 2014.

Today’s Day of Christmas tale is nearly done, except for a graphic of the 8 locations we have lived in while we were the Band On The Run. It looks a little bit like someone has taped the base graphic over a dartboard and then thrown a dart or eight, without much accuracy. Or is it a blunderbuss spray shot pattern?


Madeleine – jogging v Freud

According to his son Matthew, Sir Clement Freud was in the UK when Madeleine went missing. Unless the family avoided the news, it is reasonable to assume that they matched up the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with Luz, the place in which they had owned the villa Casa da Colina, and which they now rented for holidays.

Kate’s book “Madeleine” has the following. “ At the beginning of July we received the following letter. Dear McCanns. I have a house in P da L, been ashamed of the intrusion to your lives by our media … and if you would care to come to lunch/dinner at any time before Wednesday next, do ring and let me know. I cook decent meals. Sincerely, Clement Freud.”

‘Do ring’ requires a phone number and there is none in this extract, so presumably there was a bit more that Kate McCann chose not to publish.

This letter clarifies that Sir Clement was following the media. However, it is a bit vague of the date the letter was delivered.

Up until 2nd July, the McCanns were in apartment 4G. Then they moved to 27 Rua das Flores.

Casa da Colina was owned in 2007 by Philip Wright. His phone number was 262 *** 879. Gerry McCanns phone records show 4 calls to the villa land-line, two when the first visit occurred in early July, and two around the time they visited when they had been made arguidos.

The first call was on 3 July 2007 at 21:19 and lasted 3 minutes and 31 seconds. Presumably this was when Gerry established the letter was not a hoax, and arranged a date and time for the visit. The second call was on 4 July 2007 at 10:01am and lasted 1 minute and 1 second. That could have been confirmation, or possibly asking if it was OK to bring 3 adult friends and the twins.

The date of the first call suggests the letter was delivered by hand to apartment 4G, or the Ocean Club reception. Since Kate’s book raised the possibility of a hoax, clearly the McCanns did not meet Freud when the letter arrived.

Turning to the jogging aspect, in the Sun story linking Freud to the McCanns a neighbour said the couple were in the vicinity several times, implying more was going on than just the two visits in Kate’s book. This ignores the fact that the logical route for a jog from apartment 4G to the top of the cliffs runs beside Casa da Colina, the villa used by Freud as a holiday home.

So when the McCanns used this route, each time they would pass the neighbour once on the way up, and once on they way back down.

Sir Clement Freud jogging 1

When the McCanns moved to 27 Rua das Flores, this route makes little or no sense. To get to the very bottom of the road leading up to the cliffs, the option is jog or take a car. The jog from 27 Rua das Flores to the start of ascent point involves some of the busiest roads in Luz, thus unpleasant and dangerous. Driving in a car seems highly unlikely, as the McCanns then had a new hill route on their doorstep, up Rua dos Hibiscos, past the water tower at the top, and out towards Espiche, if they wished. This route is fairly quiet and quite pleasant. We lived close to the water tower for a couple of months, and Rua dos Hibiscos was my preferred dog-walking route.

In summary, from apartment 4G the jog past Casa da Colina is logical, while from 27 Rua das Flores it is not.

Then there are the jogging photos. These are from Pamalam at

Jogging 1

Saturday, 19 May 2007. Kate and Gerry go jogging at 7.00am in the morning, to the monument at the top of the steep cliff that overlooks Praia da Luz. They reach it in 19 minutes.”

I had only seen one jogging photo, and I was laboriously trying to pinpoint the precise location by lining up the church with the buildings behind. When I clapped eyes on the second, everything became much easier. They are at the position in the street where the surface changes from cobbles (calcadas) to packed earth.

Jogging 2

That happens to be very near the top of the road, where it comes to an end at a large plateau underneath the cliffs. The plateau is a favoured haunt for dog walkers, who drive up and park at the top end of the road, and then let their dogs off the leash.

If you look at the map again, the entrance gate to Casa da Colina is where there is a little offshoot to the top & left and then the street runs up alongside the villa, while the jogging photos were taken nearly at the point where the road bends to a halt. Due to a bend in the road, I can’t see anything of Casa da Colina in the photos. There is a villa that is further up the hill, and ones in the background that are not on this route.

These are not the first jogging photos at Pamalam. Those appear on Wednesday, 16 May 2007. The jogging outfits are very similar, but not identical. There is no information as to the route taken by the pair on that occasion.

From memory, Kate’s book ‘Madeleine’ describes her first jog as being solo, which would date it to prior to 16 May 2007. And she describes the route as being to the top of the cliffs, which would mean she had taken this route before.

Quite possibly, the two pictures from Saturday, 19th May, are from a pre-arranged photo shoot, presumably for feeding the media snippets to keep them on-side. It seems an odd time to do it, given that the news focus at this time was Robert Murat as an arguido, but who know what ‘deal’ was struck with the media. It could be along the lines of ‘we’ve done our bit so give us a bit of private time.’

Certainly, there wasn’t a photographer at the top of the road by chance at 7am simply hoping. The spot and the framing have been carefully chosen to capture Kate and Gerry, to get enough background to scream Luz, and to carefully frame the photographs to drop distracting surroundings. And whoever took the photographs was not jogging up the hill ahead of Gerry and Kate. These two photos were taken by someone standing in the same spot and using a decent zoom lens.

If it was not an agreed and authorised photo shoot, the alternative is that the photographer knew that Kate and Gerry had an early morning jog routinely going to the top of the cliffs, watched Kate and Gerry set off at 7am, then drove to the plateau and simply waited in the right spot to capture the images.

There isn’t enough information in the photo from 16th May to locate where and when Kate and Gerry were jogging. The fact that Gerry has his t-shirt off suggests it was not early morning, but if they were coming back from the cliff top, it is possible that the hard ascent up from the plateau to the top was enough for him to want to cool down and remove his shirt.

This wander through the jogging photos has reminded me of some interesting points related to the plateau, but as this post is already long I will return to those to another time.

But to finish off, consider the time the run took. 19 minutes from apartment 4G, past Casa da Colina, across the plateau and up to the cliff tops sounds about right for a couple of experienced joggers. Anyone suggesting the McCanns used this for body disposal or body concealment has to factor in the time required to carry a fairly heavy weight to either the plateau or to the cliff top. It is totally inconsistent with the timings of 3 May 2007, so some interim storage point has to be built in.

Madeleine – Smithman challenge 2

The second part of Luz I want to show you is not on StreetView, but it is one that you know well from the Operation Grange Luz dig of June 2014. I think of it as the mound. I have read it called the snail. And I have heard it described simply as ‘the little hill’.

I happen to think the only reason connecting the mound to Smithman is proximity, but I have heard of an alternative explanation. Which view is correct is not important in the following tale.

The dig on the mound was the start of my real interest in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. I had read both Kate’s book ‘Madeleine’, and Gonçalo’s book ‘A Verdade da Mentira’. But I had read both as a pastime, without any real interest in the case.

Then OG started to dig up one of the least believable locations in Luz, and I started reading up in earnest.

First, let me take you on the photos that StreetView does not cover. Here is the mound, on foot. All photos were taken on 23 May 2016.

Photo 1 is taken from the north, within the large area of Luz dug up by OG in June 2014. From here the mound appears to be tiny, but later photos will clarify its height. I deliberately left all the undergrowth in the photo so you get a good idea of the challenge faced by OG. They had to decide on an area of interest first, then strim off all the vegetation in that area before they could begin the search proper.

01 23 May 16

You can see the equivalent of this on Google StreetView. I am now in the road that runs from Rua 25 de Abril in the north to Rua do Calhete in the south. That is the tarmac running across the bottom of the photo. The rough road running up the centre of the photo will lead to the top of the mound. And the mound still looks like it is not worthy of the term ‘hill’.

02 23 May 16

This is just a few metres further south on the rough road. Note the kerb-stones leading from the bottom left hand corner. Although this road looks like a small track, it is actually a 2 lane street that is overgrown with 10 years of vegetation. Note the two trees almost touching, because next stop is the other side of those.

03 23 May 16

This looks like more of the same, but at the top end of the road it starts to bend right, to curve up to the top of the mound.

04 23 May 16

As the road curves to the right, you get an idea of where we are by the view to black rock.

05 23 May 16

This is half way up the mound, located to the south of the hill, and facing west to the Urbanisação Paraíso.

06 23 May 16

On the road below, there is a motor home (parked close to a big pile of rubbish). I will return to this motor home shortly.

07 23 May 16

Facing west, this is the alternative route to get on and off the mound. The way to the top is on the right.

08 23 May 16

As you can see, the road to the top is now a fairly steep incline.

09 23 May 16

From close to the top, this is the view to the NE. On the horizon on the left, the V-shaped bob with a spike on top is the water tower. That is the location of the 3 masts of the Optimus tower. In apartment 5A, Kate was on antenna Luz 2 of the Optimus network. Gerry was on Vodafone, and its mast is quite a bit to the east of the mound. There is a very minor reference in the files to St James, the pink and white buildings stretching from the centre to the right hand side of the photo. Gerry was seen driving past it on Rua do Cemitério. This was considered insignificant by the PJ. It happens to be the logical route from Baptista supermarket to 27 Rua das Flores.

10 23 May 16

This is nearly at the top. The road is still climbing quite a bit and turning to reach a flat, large area.

11 23 May 16

This is basically the top of the mound and looking south, where it opens out into a large turning zone. The size is hard to grasp from the photo, but a car would be able to turn round without needing a 3-point turn. If you remember the photos of the Operation Grange dig of this whole area in June 2014, it was normal to see a very large van parked on the top. I presume that was a mobile control centre for the exercise.

12 23 May 16

OK, I’ve gone to one corner of the car park/turning area, looking towards Luz and the cliffs to the east. While I’m trying to show you that which Google does not, most people go to the opposite end of the tarmac, and take vista photos from there. The building with the stepped top is LuzTur, on Rua Primeiro de Maio.

13 23 May 16

Look carefully at the next photo and almost dead centre you can see a small black car travelling down Rua 25 de Abril. In the June 2014 dig, that is where most of the photographers got there pictures of the activities near the top of the mound. Now you have an idea of what the police saw from the top of the mound when they looked down at the media bods.

14 23 May 16

This is the road that runs along the south of the mound, the lowest level. I wanted to have a look at the motor home that appears earlier. This is from the entrance to the road, and the motor home is tucked away from any traffic. This road is also two lanes wide, again looking much narrower because of the overgrowing vegetation.

15 23 May 16

This shows again how far the motor home is from the end of the road. I should have paid more attention to where the vehicle was registered, but by this time I was getting dehydrated in the sun.

16 23 May 16

I scampered around the motor home for a few minutes, and I never heard a single sound from within. Either the people inside were quiet as church mice, or they were very trusting, leaving a window wide open like that. Had they not heard about the ‘spate of burglaries’ in Luz associated with the Madeleine McCann case?

17 23 May 16

The next photo is simply to give you some idea of how big the mound looks from the south. This was taken very close to the motor home. It is a flight of steps that leads from the bottom level of the mound to the middle level. It goes up perhaps one half of the hill. I don’t know why it has been built here. Basically, it goes nowhere, saves no time, and frankly it looks like a truly horrendous climb.

18 23 May 16

Earlier on, I showed you the police view from the top of the mound to the journalists on Rua 25 de Abril. This is the opposite view, from the photographers favoured position to the mound. If you are wondering why it only looks vaguely familiar, please remember that the photographers came armed with enormous zoom lenses. My camera is fitted with an 8x optical zoom which gets nowhere near what those guys were capable of. But what I was doing was trying to reproduce what the human eye can see, not what can be done with a zoom lens.

19 23 May 16

It has been a particularly long post, so I will leave the analysis to another day. Just remember the motor home on the flat earth road beside the sea and the motor home on the mound.

Madeleine v missingmadeleine on body disposal

Madeleine v missingmadeleine re body disposal

Administrators have forbidden any new members.”

I noticed from my blog that a recent source of hits was aka Missing Madeleine Every Child Counts.

Fred, a platinum poster with 4,698 posts wrote @

Body disposal

Post fred on Mon 23 Nov – 15:23

Any thoughts? I’m still with Huelva but many disagree.”

OK, what have I got so far? I now know that fred reads my blog, is referring to my recent post on rubbish transfer stations in the Algarve, and seems to think that Madeleine was disposed of in Huelva. So far, so good.


I tried to set up a username on missingmadeleine so that I could reply.

And what I got was … “Administrators have forbidden any new members.” Weird, but true. It looks like only members who joined before a certain date can post there.

Sooooo….. I am going to have to respond here, and hope that fred checks in to my blog again. If you do fred, feel free to copy and paste me to the forum. Itlooks a tad quiet over there and this might spice things up a little.

Sooooo….. on to body disposal in Huelva. Date 3 Aug 2007 for the trip.

Body disposal in Huelva has the odd thing or two going against it.

It requires that the McCanns were successful in concealing a body in a locality they were not familiar with. It requires that an extensive search over the next 7 days failed to find that place. It requires that body concealment worked at least until they rented the Scenic. Actually, it requires that body concealment worked until they moved into 27 Rua das Flores, assuming you believe in the dogs. That was 2 months down the line from Madeleine’s disappearance.

It requires that the McCanns retrieved the corpse during what was then the biggest news story in the world. It requires that in the trip to Spain there was a body in the rear luggage space of the Scenic, and that video director Jon Corner did not try to stow some gear in the rear. I could be wrong, but wasn’t there also a cameraman, in which case I need room for him and his gear?

It requires that the McCanns go AWOL in Huelva. This may have happened. More importantly, it requires that the McCanns knew how to dispose of a body in Huelva. Personally, I have no idea of how one would going about disposing of a body in Huelva.

Then there’s the border. It requires that the McCanns thought that they could transport a dead body from Portugal to Spain in 2007, across the border.

With the benefit of hindsight, I believe this could have been done in 2007. I just don’t see how the McCanns could have predicted it at the time of the trip.

Sooooo….. No, I can’t see a case for the McCanns disposing of a body on the trip to Huelva.

Administrators have forbidden any new members.” I am happy to debate under your forum rules, under your moderators, but if this has been blocked, my blog remains open for business.

Sooooo….. Let’s look at the comments since the thread was originally posted.

From AnnaEsse, Administrator. “I tend to keep thinking about how two doctors might dispose of a small body.”

From me (ShiningInLuz). Given enough time, I have no doubt whatsoever that two doctors could dispose of a body in Luz. The constraint is time. Without a fair deal of time, visitors to Luz would find it extremely difficult to dispose of a body here. Locals would have much more chance of making this succeed.

From fuzeta, platinum poster. “Well there were enough trips to the rubbish tips with ‘ rotten pork’ and ‘ dirty nappies’, also a fridge. So it makes you think.

Fred, I am interested in your thoughts on Huelva and wondering if they are they same as mine. If you cannot say please send me a pm xx”.

From me (ShiningInLuz). Unknown to both locals and visitors alike, all the rubbish goes to a single tip, where it was extensively sorted through for several reasons, the most important being to extract toxic waste that was not permitted in landfill. Since fridges contain toxic waste (refrigerant) plus recyclable material (metal), the tale that Madeleine disappeared in a fridge is a myth. Portugal uses a standard system whereby when you get a new white good delivered, you pay a small charge for disposal of the old one. There’s no evidence of fridge disposal or fridge purchase.

From AnnaEsse. “This is what I’m thinking fuzeta. I’m quite sure that a chopped up small body could look like cuts of meat. Distributed around on various tips and there is the chance that the body is gone forever. I reckon Maddie will be found if one day a dog runs off a tip with a bone that proves to be human.”

From me (ShiningInLuz). All the rubbish in the Western Algarve went to a single site at Porto de Lagos. In the unlikely event that Madeleine made it into the landfill there, the remains are now under tons of rubbish that went on top. Apartment 5A showed no signs of a body being butchered. Locals in the area have much less risky methods of disposing of a body.

From fuzeta “Yes Anna and there are many farms around.”

From me (ShiningInLuz). There are, split into those that are farmed, with farmer and farm dog, and those that aren’t. The constraint on the McCanns is time and knowledge. Personally, despite living here, I could not take you on a tour of abandoned farms because, strangely enough, it has never been of interest to me. So, someone with a knowledge of abandoned farms strikes me as someone who had a pre-existing reason to be interested in abandoned farms, such as people sleeping rough and criminals.

From AnnaEsse “I hadn’t thought about the farms, fuzeta, but of course! I think that when the McCanns said they were transporting rotting meat, they were telling the truth, but what kind of meat?”.

Let me see.

Someone with 25 years in the PJ in the Algarve had not a clue about how to dispose of a body in the Algarve. The folks who have succeeded him don’t know either – Rebelo, Redwood, Wall. Did 2 doctors beat this lot?

Huelva, sorry fred, please keep reading my blog. Feel free to post your ideas on here because I welcome different ideas and opinions. But I am struggling with Huelva on practical aka logistical reasons. I just cannot make it fit.

After that we get rubbish tips. Sorry, no, the rubbish did not work that way.

Chopped up small body. Sorry, no, who chopped, how was the chopping concealed?

Farms? If we know about these – and do we – who knew about these then?

For locals, there are easier and safer ways of disposing of a body. For visitors, body disposal was neither safe nor easy.

Textusa, Martin Grime and the dogs #2

Most of Textusa’s post “Cadaver compound” (5 Jun 2015) is about why splitting hairs over what Eddie smells is cadaverine, cadaverine plus putrescine, or some cocktail containing these and more, is a futile exercise. We don’t know exactly what it is, and it has not been successfully replicated artificially, so why get tied down in a debate about this. So far, so good.

We do know, via Textusa, that Martin Grime says Eddie cannot distinguish between the smell of dead pig and dead human. We know that Eddie alerts to dead blood, also according to Martin Grime. We don’t know how far away from dead pig and dead human we have to go until Eddie stops alerting. Focussing purely on dead things, does Eddie alert to other human substances that were once alive, such as semen? Does Eddie alert to faeces, given that these are produced with live human bacteria in them. Does Eddie alert to ANY other dead flesh e.g. chicken?

I have no answer to these questions, and if any reader can point me to an update of Eddie’s capabilities in these areas I would be grateful. NB I know Martin Grime says Eddie does not alert to roadkill and foodstuffs. I have problems with the foodstuffs claim, given that raw flesh is already in a stage of decomposition. I would have thought Eddie would alert to raw pork for this reason.

It is clear that the areas in apartment 5A marked by Eddie are hardly likely to be due to dead pig. However, the rear of the Renault Scenic cannot simply have the possibility of raw pork, or similar, arbitrarily ruled out.

Textusa asserts that Eddie was proved highly accurate in apartment 5A, therefore Eddie was highly accurate with the Renault Scenic and the objects/clothes removed from 27 Rua das Flores. This a major assumption, based on what Martin Grime asserts. This is despite a lack of proof of Martin Grime’s assertions.

It runs contrary to Martin Grimes statement that the dog alerts are not evidence, but provide areas where forensics may give results. It runs contrary to the FSS results, which did not prove any death had occurred, and failed to find supporting evidence in the case of the flowerbed alert outside 5A. Since the wardrobe alert location and the objects/clothes from 27 Rua das Flores were not subjected to forensics, there is no support for Eddie in these instances. As regards the Renault Scenic, the boot alert, by Keela only, was inconclusive, according to the FSS, while the key alert by both dogs was attributed to Gerry McCann, not a corpse.

Textusa is picking and choosing which of Martin Grime’s statements about the dogs to move onto the assertion that the dogs are highly accurate, and choosing to ignore Martin Grime’s statement that the dogs are not evidence.

The latter part of Textusa’s post is devoted to the carpet squares experiment. Take a recently deceased human body. Wrap it in cotton. Put the body in non-direct contact with carpet squares (body in contact with cotton, cotton in contact with carpet, but carpet not directly touching body). Put the carpet squares in a sealed container. Days later test the dogs to see if they alert.

The key phrase is put the carpet squares in a sealed container. There is no sealed container in the Madeleine McCann case so this experiment tells us little.

The nearest to carpet is possibly the boot of the Renault Scenic. In 5A, the alert locations were a tiled area behind the sofa, a vague indication beside a wardrobe, and a vague indication near a flowerbed. The fabric of the objects/clothes from 27 Rua das Flores may give a similar effect to carpet. The key fob of the Renault Scenic probably does not, though I cannot be certain.

The experiment showed that the dogs could smell carpet squares exposed to a cadaver, with a high degree of accuracy, up to 65 days after the squares were exposed. Because of the sealed container part, this tells us that the smell of death can remain in a sealed environment for 65 days. It does not tell us how long the smell remains in a non-sealed environment, or in one where the contamination source (carpet square or body) has been removed.

Madeleine McCann disappeared on 3 May 2007. The dogs inspected 5A in very late August or very early September, around 4 months later, say 120 days or so. Our 65 days in a sealed container tells us nothing about 120 days in a non-sealed environment. This is especially the case in the flowerbed, as the flowerbed was exposed to weather, plant growth and potential gardening.  Please note it has been pointed out to me that 5A was inspected by the dogs in late July 2007, and I accept that I was in error on this point, and that the dogs searched 5A considerably earlier.  Mea culpa.  I am grateful for this correction.

It tells us nothing about the alerts to the Renault Scenic. Partly this is because we don’t know when contamination occurred. Partly it is because car usage was extensive, so doors and the boot were opened frequently, therefore cutting down any sealed container effect. As far as the items from 27 Rua das Flores are concerned, once again we don’t know when they were contaminated.

The useful things the carpet squares experiment tells us in the Madeleine McCann case are very limited. First, the bodies used were less than 3 hours dead, therefore the smell of death develops quite quickly. Second, indirect contact through porous material such as cotton fabric is enough to allow cross-contamination to occur. Beyond this meagre haul, I can think of nothing. The length of exposure in the experiment is irrelevant due to the difference between materials such as carpet floor and tiles.

The most fundamental mistake in the Textusa post is to equate ‘cadaver odour’ to the existence of a cadaver. This enforces the need for a further body move after the date of the hire of the Renault Scenic, and the scenario to do this and get contamination of Kate’s clothes, Sean’s clothes and Cuddle Cat (whilst Gerry is clean) is tortuous.

It also defies the FSS evidence that the material on the Renault Scenic key fob belongs to Gerry McCann, and Gerry is not dead.

It further contradicts Martin Grimes statement that Eddie alerts to dead blood.

I thought the use of the word cadaver in the term ‘cadaver compound’ was a poor choice due to its connotative association with a dead body. It looks like it is indeed a poor choice.