The Smith sighting revisited

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The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Watcher on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:39 pm

Evening all.

Okay, before I begin, can I make clear this is nothing to do with Bonkers Bennett and his loopy theory. I regard Bennett as a fraud and a charlatan.

I have taken a look again at the Smith sighting, as I am sure the investigating officers will have done, and it is perfectly possible that what I am about to say has already been raised with the Smiths and clarified.

One of the difficulties with this case is having any reliable timeline, as much of it relies upon people's recollections and can't be verified.

However, the Smith's dinner that night, at the Dolphin restaurant, is one thing which can be verified.

So, in brief, here is what we know.

The Smith party numbered nine in total, and their table was booked for 19.30
Their itemised bill came to a total of just over 180 euros and was settled by credit/debit card, so we know precisely what time that occurred - 21.27

They then moved on to Kelly's bar where they had some drinks before leaving for their apartment. It was on their way back to the apartment that they believe they encountered the man we refer to as ''Smithman"

I am going to state at this point that I believe the Smith party to be entirely sincere. However, without a fixed reference point, any time estimate is just that - an estimate.

In his statement, Martin Smith said that they left the Dolphin at around 21.00.

We now know he was probably out by about 30 minutes, given that the bill wasn't settled until shortly before 21.30. By the time the party were assembled and ready to move on, it would have been 21.30 or slightly after.

The journey to Kelly's bar would not have taken long, it's only about 50 yards, but some of the party were youngsters, so lets assume it took five minutes. That gives us an arrival time of around 21.35

Here is where the uncertainty arises.

We have the till roll for Kelly's bar, but there are several unknowns.

We know the total for each transaction, and the time. We do not know what drinks were ordered, how many, or how the bill was settled for any of the transactions. We also do not know whether the bill was settled when the drinks were ordered, or on leaving the bar.

That takes us to the next time point on the timeline.

Mr Smith estimated their time of departure as 21.55, because they had an early start the following morning, and the encounter with the mystery man occurring about five minutes later, at approx 22.00.

However - Mr Smith was out by a factor of about half an hour on their arrival time at Kelly's, which raises the question, is the estimate of 21.55 for their departure also out by a similar factor?

I have cross referenced with the transactions at Kelly's Bar.
Here is where it becomes necessary to make an assumption or two

These are the times and the totals for the transactions. I am starting with the earliest one which can possibly be the Smiths, given the time the bill was settled at the Dolphin. They are numbered sequentially on the till roll, so I know none are missing.

1. 21.39.......................... 13.75
2. 21.46..........................   8.00
3. 21.49..........................   8.00
4. 21.50...........................  5.00
5  22.16...........................  8.00
6. 22.24...........................  4.00
7. 22.28...........................  3.00
8. 22.29...........................  1.25
9. 22.31...........................  5.75
10. 22.47......................... 11.00
11. 22.53......................... 16.50


So, if we assume that the drinks were rung in at the time the order was placed, the only one which could be the Smiths is timed at 21.39, which is consistent with them leaving the restaurant at approximately 21.30. That total is also consistent with a round of drinks for a group.

For the next hour, all the transactions are for small amounts, probably equating to one or two drinks. The next sizeable order is not until 22.47, which is probably far too late.

So the question is this:

Did the Smiths really leave at 21.55?

Peter Smith estimated they left the restaurant at about 21.00, and had ''a few drinks'' before leaving at around 22.00
Aoife estimated they left the restaurant about 21.30 and spent about half an hour in the bar, but stresses that she knows what time they left because they had an early start.

So - what do the actual records suggest?

Well, they confirm an exit from the restaurant at about 21.30, therefore the round of drinks purchased at 21.39 is almost certainly theirs. It certainly can't be any earlier, because the transaction immediately before was much earlier, just after 20.00

So unless they absolutely threw their drinks down, it is unlikely that they had moved on by 21.55, which is only 15 minutes later.

My guess is that the real figure is probably somewhat later and that it is very unlikely that they left Kelly's prior to 22.15, possibly as late as 22.30

Now - it is perfectly possible that the police have been able to clarify this with them since, with reference to the till transactions at Kelly's, or if they paid on a card which would give a timed transaction.

However, considering that the point where they crossed paths with the ''Man carrying child'' was about five minutes after leaving Kelly's I think it is safe to hypothesize that this was unlikely to be before 22.20 at the earliest, and possibly as late as 22.35

I should also say that if the bill for the drinks was settled on departure, then the only realistic options are the ones at 22.47 or 22.53, which would raise the prospect that their timeline is out by a whole hour.

Happy to hear from anyone who has any thoughts on this
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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Grom on Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:48 am

I would expect Operation Grange to have done a similar exercise. They were also able to discuss it with the Smiths and to get card statements. They may have a very good idea of the time.

The media have made much of the fact that Gerry McCann had an alibi, but did he? He tried to suggest that the alarm was raised by Kate at 10.13, a time confirmed by no-one else. Is that a clue?

http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/GERRY-MCCANN-10MAY.htm

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Travers on Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:54 am

Couple of points
1 neither 13.75 or 16.50 euros sound much for drinks for a party of 9
2 As the group included small children and they were to have an early start the following morning, would they really keep the children out as late as you suggest?
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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Watcher on Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:03 am

Travers wrote:Couple of points
1  neither 13.75 or 16.50 euros sound much for drinks for a party of 9
2  As the group included small children and they were to have an early start the following morning, would they really keep the children out as late as you suggest?

I agree that it isn't much for a round of drinks, but the majority were children, so soft drinks, plus it is more than a decade ago.

In terms of how late the children were kept out, we are only talking about a difference of 20 to 30 minutes between the time they estimated and the time I have estimated.

In any case, it is very common on the Iberian peninsula to see whole families out in restaurants until very late in the evening, including young children, so I doubt it was out of the ordinary for them if they visited regularly
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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by AJS on Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:35 pm

Hi, watcher. Yes, interesting.

The problem, though, is that, like the rest of the famous "Case Files", we are now essentially dealing with dead material.

That is not because of the passage of years per se but, because at least three  known reviews or re-investigations (PJ Porto, Grange,  PJ re-opening) have, between them,  spent literally millions on highlighting across the board the tricky anomalies such as those you have brought to notice. It seems reasonable to assume that slim folders or 50 kb files such as Smith - and the rest that we know matter - are all now crate-sized and megabitted with updates and evidential summaries about which we know nothing whatever except they will undoubtedly have led in directions of which we are also ignorant.  

I don't say that it's pointless studying the case but, as I've no doubt said before, it's the primary material that's emerged since 2008, particularly the legal processes, that tell us things rather than provide material for argument: that's why the McCanns and their clique stay away from them like leprosy.

This fossilization of the brief and limited 2007 case evidence can be witnessed on what remains of twitter McCann where people are comfortably, if noisily, bent over with magnifying glasses studying material akin to Neolithic excrement pits.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Grom on Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Didn't A C Rowley keep the 2007 files firmly in the picture when he said that it was that evidence which had dealt with the question of parental involvement?

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by AJS on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:04 am

Hello. He said - a rather important distinction - that it was the Portuguese investigation, not the evidence, that had "dealt with" the question of parental involvement. Whether  that is a frank statement of the situation  is for you to decide, particularly since it is a matter of agreed fact (the reconstruction section in the Archiving Summary) that only partial evidence was provided to the investigation on the question before the case was shelved.  

But I'm not making a big thing of this, merely saying that the percentage of the publicly released case files that we know to be up to date - a very high one in summer 2008 - is now completely unknown and we have, for example, no idea what the police have done to establish or invalidate  the timings of the Smith sighting since, nor where their work has led.  That's why I am willing to wait.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Grom on Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:45 am

It was 'dealt with' in so far as the Portuguese investigators tried to gather evidence against the parents and failed, I suppose.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Arthur League on Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:59 am

So either...

No more evidence has been found since the beginning, in which case the case won’t be solved.

There is more evidence which is pointing to a crime and possibly a perpetrator, in which case it will be a case of pressure being applied.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by AJS on Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:57 pm

Grom wrote:It was 'dealt with' in so far as the Portuguese investigators tried to gather evidence against the parents and failed, I suppose.

Exactly. If it "failed" and if, as the reconstruction section states irrefutably, the holiday group withheld co-operation and information relevant to the question of possible parental involvement, then it follows at once that Mr Rowley cannot be telling the truth in his statement. No line of investigation can be described as "dealt with" (as against "considered") while evidence is known to have been deliberately withheld.

The only question is why he should have told the  deliberate  untruth. And the answer to that is also in plain sight (unless you are of the whitewash/conspiracy persuasion): he cannot tell the truth about any aspect of Grange that even touches on possible parental involvement without prejudicing their rights prematurely and thereby bringing a hurried end to Grange.


Last edited by AJS on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by AJS on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:14 pm

Arthur League wrote:So either...

No more evidence has been found since the beginning, in which case the case won’t be solved.

There is more evidence which is pointing to a crime and possibly a perpetrator, in which case it will be a case of pressure being applied.

Hello. But again, unless one believes that whitewash/conspiracy pertains and the police are making everything up as they go along, the Yard have made it quite clear that "No more evidence has been found..." does not apply and is not an alternative.

In their official statements they have listed the many thousands of leads and options that they have first of all examined and secondly further investigated: you can find those figures in minutes on the Yard sites and official transcripts. What they won't do yet is tell us where they've led. Secondly they have stated officially that new evidence has been found in the various statements about the Tanner sighting and the "new timeline".

That's why I repeat my naïve statements that Grange remains on track and on target: the post-2012 evidence suggests it. Whether it will lead to charges afterwards I have no idea.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Grom on Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Hi again.I noticed that Rowley described the McCanns as 'parents of a missing girl', not an abducted girl.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Texty on Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:08 am

Grom wrote:Hi again.I noticed that Rowley described the McCanns as 'parents of a missing girl', not an abducted girl.
The contrast was highlighted in the October 2015 Met update, when the Met referred to"disappearance" four times and "missing" twice, whilst in the McCanns' quote contained in the update, they referred to "abduction" (which itself contrasted with their statement in the same quote that they didn't know what happened to Madeleine!

http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-on-the-investigation-into-the-disappearance-of-madeleine-mccann-135459

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Watcher on Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:21 am

AJS wrote:Hi, watcher. Yes, interesting.

The problem, though, is that, like the rest of the famous "Case Files", we are now essentially dealing with dead material.

That is not because of the passage of years per se but, because at least three  known reviews or re-investigations (PJ Porto, Grange,  PJ re-opening) have, between them,  spent literally millions on highlighting across the board the tricky anomalies such as those you have brought to notice. It seems reasonable to assume that slim folders or 50 kb files such as Smith - and the rest that we know matter - are all now crate-sized and megabitted with updates and evidential summaries about which we know nothing whatever except they will undoubtedly have led in directions of which we are also ignorant.  

I don't say that it's pointless studying the case but, as I've no doubt said before, it's the primary material that's emerged since 2008, particularly the legal processes, that tell us things rather than provide material for argument: that's why the McCanns and their clique stay away from them like leprosy.

This fossilization of the brief and limited 2007 case evidence  can be witnessed on what remains of twitter McCann where people are comfortably, if noisily, bent over with magnifying glasses studying material akin to Neolithic excrement pits.

Hi AJS
Agreed.

In reality, whether there is any significance in what I spotted would depend on how much weight had been previously attached to the sighting and the fact that Gerry was provably elsewhere at the time estimated by the witnesses. It does make me laugh, though - this small, though potentially significant, discrepancy has always existed in the files, and I worked it out ages back, but it seems to have flown under the Nutjob radar. Presumably, they were too busy sweating over a tatty reprint of ''The Last Photo''
Very Happy
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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by pathfinder73 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:52 pm

21.39.......................... 13.75

IMO that is the Smiths paying for their round of drinks. Aoife had the correct times in her statement. Left Dolphin at around 21:30 and stayed for 30 minutes at Kelly's Bar nearby. I have the Smithman sighting at 22:03 because some overconfident fool gave the time away to cover his own ass.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by AJS on Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:32 pm

For those interested. The Blacksmith Bureau today - The Death of MancCannstein's Monster.

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Re: The Smith sighting revisited

Post by Watcher on Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:24 pm

AJS wrote:For those interested. The Blacksmith Bureau today - The Death of MancCannstein's Monster.


Great post, AJS

I do love that timeline - never fails to make me laugh
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