Saturday, June 27, 2015

Monday Monday by Dr Martin Roberts

Update: I have re-upped this post here: MONDAY MONDAY Bumped Please address your comments at the new post please.


The Mamas and the Papas had plenty to say on the subject. The McCanns, on the other hand, had nothing to say on the subject, either when asked by police in 2007 or since (in Kate McCann’s ‘Account of the Truth’).

And now it appears they are silent once more – deaf to the question of why a computer file generated by CEOP and archived against a date of 30 April 2007 should have appealed for help in finding Madeleine McCann, who was not due to go missing until 3 May! The man who genuinely should know the answer, former CEOP supremo Jim Gamble, has also ‘assumed the foetal position’.

One cannot help but wonder whether Robert Murat booked his urgent early morning flight to Praia da Luz having read the CEOP announcement the night before. Or whether Kate really did take her famous ‘tennis photo’ on the morning of Tuesday 1 May, when Murat was heading home to Portugal.

You see, if Madeleine’s disappearance was known about on the Monday, it would have been when the child was still perfectly well and able to scamper around a tennis court the following morning. Should she then have been extricated from the family’s holiday apartment on account of some incapacity, this might suggest that CEOP also knew about that incapacity in advance.

You can hear the chorus from wherever you sit: “Oh no they didn’t! Kate McCann was confused. The ‘photo was already available to CEOP’s ‘mccann.html’ file (at 11.58.03)! The link was only broken temporarily - until the McCanns managed to communicate the image!” That very day - Monday 30 April; the morning when Madeleine’s group of infant crèche captives actually had an hour’s mini-tennis planned for 10 .00 a.m.

A ‘pic’ prepared within the hour then. Unless of course it was taken on the Sunday evening, following that impromptu social tennis session for newly-arrived adult guests (another truth accounted for by Kate McCann in her book). It does seem rather strange that a moment in time captured immediately following a group tennis session, be it a group of adults or a group of children, should show not a semblance of any one’s presence save that of the subject and her photographer.

And what of those CEOP internet ‘home pages’ that appear suddenly to have gone ‘tits up’ in October 2007? You know, the 10 October edition that cites the latest news to the 8th of the month and the 13 October edition that forgets all about it, but instead seeks to rival Reuters with a reference to what happened no later than the 2nd. Surely that and other strange perturbations can have nothing to do with the McCanns’ return to the UK, having been declared arguidos on 7 September, nor Jim Gamble’s protestations of their innocence a month to the day thereafter, and which were quoted in the Daily Mirror of the same date (7 October):

"We absolutely support the McCann family, they are to be applauded for their tireless work to keep the campaign to find their daughter in the public consciousness."

No, of course not. Pure coincidence, nothing more.

The current ‘hot topic’ though is that ‘30 April 2007’ archival date attributed by the Wayback Machine to certain CEOP internet files; files that make explicit reference to Madeleine McCann, the little girl who was not destined to leave the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, until 3 May.

Whilst interpretation of the information they contain, both visually and in terms of their source code, suggests very strongly that the incriminating date (30 April) is in fact correct, there is a rump of detractors who remain adamant that neither of the two files, which feature heavily in the dispute, was composed, ‘crawled’ (archived), or whatever on 30 April, but that they were legitimately configured on some indeterminate later date and simply ‘misfiled’ by the Wayback Machine, which dropped a stitch somewhere along the line. As a staunch proponent of the WBM’s inadequacies has put it quite recently:

“The same process that archived with an erroneous date will have updated the index with the same erroneous date.”

Note the involvement of a single process, an (as in one) erroneous date, and the inclusion of the latter within the (solitary) index.

Since the keepers of the Wayback Machine have been alerted to these specific shortcomings, they are no doubt busily preparing an announcement to the effect that, having identified the process in question and corrected the system error responsible for appending that one false date (in nearly twenty years of operation) they have ‘fixed the problem’, and we can all now go back to work.

Unfortunately no.

The whole being the sum of its parts in this matter, will have to do rather better than that. Considerably better in fact. They will have to examine the architecture of their entire system if they are to convince anyone other than themselves that the ‘error’ which has been brought to their attention is confined to the archiving of but two files in 485 billion, since there is now further evidence that it just might have been a tad more widespread. Either that or CEOP have even more explaining to do.

The Wayback Machine is something of a technological wonder of the modern world. Its database is unimaginably large and its retrieval systems concomitantly complex. Nevertheless, at the touch of a button almost, it is possible to establish just how many files associated with a specific URL it has actually recorded over time, even those files set up and administered by CEOP – all 8779 of them according to recent estimates (see following):

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If one takes the trouble to review this inventory, it very quickly retraces events back to….30 April 2007. And what should we find listed among all those separately identified files with their unique URL terminations? Why, two image files labelled ‘madeleine’, recognizable as ’madeleine_01.jpg’ and ‘madeleine_02.jpg’:

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There can be no question that the ‘madeleine’ referred to here is Madeleine McCann, as these terminators are exactly those employed within the structure of the CEOP home page as visible (and archived) on 13 May 2007, a construct which, incidentally, features several references to ‘mccann.html’, another data structure that according to WBM detractors was not created until later that year. (Why on earth would anyone program a computer to access a non-existent file? I ask myself):

For larger image, right click open in new tab.

To judge from the foregoing, either The Wayback Machine could be off-line for a considerable period, while their ‘techies’ rebuild almost their entire indexing and retrieval systems, or J. Gamble Esq. had better come up with some convincing explanation as to what CEOP would have been doing with photographs of Madeleine McCann barely two days into the McCann family’s fatal 2007 vacation.

Martin Roberts

Update: Comments for this post have been moved to here. Please address your comments there and not here. Thank you.

Goncalo Amaral: We The People

We the people have spoken, and we the people are having none of it, Madam Home Secretary, Commissioner Howe.

Just as we will have none of your lame excuses when this case reaches the inevitable and only conclusion possible, the truth of the matter.

You have already shown yourselves to be on the wrong side of history both, and do remember, when the truth, like all the evils of the world flies out, well I never and whodathunkit? will just not be good enough. Will they not Mister Savile?

The world and his dog know this scurrilous pair are guilty of all that they are accused, it's time you woke up to the fact. Or would I be more accurate in saying, it's time you stopped ignoring the fact?

You cannot stop us, for our struggle is greater than what you can comprehend.

For Madeleine McCann, for Brenda Leyland, and not least, Goncalo Amaral.

Brits take Maddie cop appeal fund to almost €46,000

Portugal Press
June 26, 2015

In an amazing outpouring of support, British people donating to an online appeal have raised almost €46,000 to help former Portuguese detective Gonçalo Amaral stand his corner against the parents of Madeleine McCann.

As newspapers have reported throughout the world, Amaral has been slapped with a €600,000 bill for the pain and anguish his book ‘The Truth of the Lie’ caused Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry.

In a poignant interview with Portuguese magazine Nova Gente, Amaral explained how the only thing keeping him alive since the verdict that went against him was his heart.

“My life is gone,” he said.

But he hadn’t bargained on the sheer volume of support, waiting to be rallied to his cause by a 22-year-old single mum from Birmingham, who was only 14 when Madeleine went missing from apartment 5a in the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz.

In six whirlwind weeks, almost 2,000 people have dug into their pockets, some again and again with tiny amounts, others occasionally with lump sums of £1000 at a time.

As we clocked off for the weekend, the fund was one person short of 2,000, with the amount collected standing at £32,675.

Leanne Baulch, the young woman behind the initiative, was “amazed”.

“I never imagined we would get this far,” she told us.

The money now will all be ploughed into Amaral fighting his appeal, lodged earlier this month, and likely to cost “at least £40,000”, explained Ms Baulch.

The long-running civil court case was lodged against Amaral by the McCanns in 2009 after he wrote his book explaining the theory that Madeleine had not been abducted at all. Portugal Press

Donations as of 27/05/2015 £33,040   awaiting today's figure

Great is the truth and mighty above all things, Home Secretary. And the truth is, you and the office you represent, should not be in the same room as uncleared suspect, Kate McCann.

You are a disgrace Madam, if not to yourself, then certainly to your office.

Comments and Link Dump New

Page full, please post your comments here.

Kate McCann Curtains. Blah blah.

What was it you were saying Kate, whoosh was it?

Too many details Kate; always too many details and nobody believes a word of it.

For Agnos
And Peter Jukes, third edition?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Files by Dr Martin Roberts A CEOP Mystery

I'm far from qualified to opine over this latest can of worms for reasons simple. One, I have not been following the debate over this issue. Two, internet technology is not my forte.

All I can say, if it comes down to matters of trust, does one put one's trust in man or machine?

I cannot speak for machines, but I think I might offer an opinion about the man, in this instance, that man  being Jim Gamble, late of the CEOP.

Of course you can trust Jim Gamble, he's a career policeman of twenty five years plus experience.


The furore over Steve Marsden’s apparent discovery of inappropriate computer files having been generated by CEOP in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, revolves around two entities that were archived, according to the San Francisco-based Wayback Machine, on 30 April, 2007, several days before Madeleine was reported missing – an impossibility according to some, just as it appears impossible for a file recorded on 30 April to include specific references to events the following October, under the heading: ‘Latest News’.

On the basis of these paradoxes a number of scrutineers have concluded that the Wayback Machine was at fault and subject to computer error – a ‘glitch’ as is commonly referred to by those who use computers without actually understanding how they work.

Whilst Marsden pointed up the potentially explosive significance of a premature CEOP-generated internet file with a URL that included the name ‘mccann’, it was another, more expansive document that revealed a chronological inconsistency. Although both were archived on the same date, distrust of the one promoted dismissal of the other and, with the WBM backroom staff now busily ‘tinkering’ with their own records, it would appear that what might have been a smoking gun has had its cordite fumes wafted away. Or has it?

The ‘computer done it’ school of thought would have it that some as-yet-unidentified species of error occurred in late October 2007 (on a date following those futuristic ‘Latest News’ references) which led to the CEOP home-page for that period being erroneously recorded as an archival on April 30 – a leap backward in time of six months. The smaller, yet infinitely more significant, ‘mccann’ file was deemed, by extrapolation, to have suffered the same fate.

There has since been intense scrutiny of/debate surrounding/speculation over the very coding of the files in question, in an attempt to discover what exactly happened to them, and whether Marsden’s first impressions were justified, or not, as the case may be. Equations abound, the academic fur has been flying, whilst staff at Wayback headquarters, after giving a handful of contradictory answers to initial questions, have remained resolutely silent on the matter. As has Jim Gamble, Head of CEOP at the time the puzzling files were created. Perhaps the Marketeer’s dictum (‘KISS’ - ‘Keep it simple, stupid!’) should be brought to bear.

Let us suppose, merely for the sake of argument, that the Wayback Machine did indeed suffer some calamity, of whatever origin, during late October 2007. The first question to ask is whether there has been any evidence brought forth of said disruption’s having affected all the internet files the Wayback Machine has ‘crawled’ in the eight years since (*/*) – a catastrophe almost beyond measure if so.

Answer: ‘You cannot be serious!’

So then we should re-iterate the question, but progressively narrowing the field each time, until we are left, more simply, with ‘all CEOP files ’ (*).

This is already the test case, since the two files which have given rise to the debate are each CEOP files, and no mistake. One, it is claimed, has been affected, the other simply tarred with the same brush. However, since the files in question are functionally independent of each other we are entitled to examine them independently.

According to the Wayback Machine, on 30 April 2007 the file ‘mccann/html’ featured a single photographic portrait of young Madeleine McCann, together with a provisional link to a second picture. If, however, we consider what that second picture eventually turned out to be, we discover it is a ‘head and shoulders’ view cropped from the now well-known ‘tennis photo’, which Kate McCann claims in her book to have taken on Tuesday 1 May. However smart a computer may appear, it cannot refer for information to an event that has yet to take place.

At a stroke it becomes obvious that the 30 April version of the internet page in question (‘mccann.html’) must have been incomplete. In point of fact, no ‘screen shot’ of this file’s 30 April output has succeeded in revealing more than one photograph, plus a ‘broken link’ icon in respect of the other. Subsequent archivals by the WBM (on 13 May, for instance) include both pictures, which are reproduced without demur.

Had this file been ‘crawled’ in October and wrongly assigned as an April 30 record, then what until recently appeared to the viewer to be the earliest known instance of the file ‘mccann.html’, should have incorporated two photographs. It did not. In reality this file probably did not even exist beyond August 2007 and is highly unlikely to have featured in any October review by the WBM.

Even if one were to trace the history of the ‘two-picture page’ backward in time, with a view to offering up the fatuous argument that the WBM found a ‘broken link’ example only slightly earlier than 13 May and proceeded to drop that into its 30 April folder instead, that contention is still untenable, since the ‘crawls’ conducted by the WBM in this instance were two weeks apart (30 April – 13 May). As far as ‘computer glitch’ proponents are concerned, 13 May should have marked the file’s very first appearance among the WBM’s records, given that CEOP did not join the party until officially invited to do so on 7 May.

Instead we are brought back to the ‘Marsden scenario’ that first set alarm bells ringing. Until such time as its ‘minders’ completely re-work their indexing in this regard (and they will) the WBM self-evidently contained a record of CEOP file ‘mccann.html’ archived on 30 April, 2007 – four days before Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Even if we dismiss its contents, the very existence of such an entity is potentially incriminating.

But…but…but…how do we explain the contradictions inherent in that other file – the CEOP home-page with its Latest News from October? How did that come to be identified with April?

Answer: By accident or design. It matters not a jot, since we have already adduced evidence to establish that not all CEOP files were affected by whatever caused their home-page to experience a premonition. Whatever befell that page structure, it was an event unique to that document and basically irrelevant to the focal issue, which requires resolution.

Instead of bombarding the keepers of the Wayback Machine with questions concerning a problem they have never experienced, we should be asking Jim Gamble to explain how and why CEOP came to be preparing a ‘find me’ campaign for a girl who had yet to go missing.

Martin Roberts

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Parents Killed Maddie English Police Are Stupid

So reads the translation. But I beg to differ with the latter part of the observation.

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