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Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

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Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

Post  matthew on Thu 28 Feb - 16:06

http://www.mccannfiles.com/id232.html

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

Post  margaret on Thu 28 Feb - 17:21


By Dr Martin Roberts
28 February 2013

THE X FACTOR

The concern here is not with that talent contest, nor the instantly forgettable 'celebrities' it spawns. The X in question is that enshrined by one of the most iconic images in all science: The X-ray photograph of the DNA molecule taken by Rosalind Franklin, that confirmed the suspicions of those locked in the race to formulate the structure of the 'life' molecule and led directly to the announcement by Crick and Watson (for the second time), that they had figured it out. And this time they had. Some eight years later both they and Maurice Wilkins, a co-worker of Franklins and himself an expert in X-ray crystallography, were awarded the Nobel Prize. Tragically, Rosalind Franklin was not nominated. The prize is never given posthumously.

Crick and Watson were unabashed opportunists, who profited mightily from the investigative work of others, that of Wilkins and Franklin especially, provoking resentment of their 'discovery' in scientific circles, amid the feeling that the Cambridge duo had simply rounded off the spade work done elsewhere. But since the study of DNA dated back almost a century before the pace quickened post-war, it would have been all the more remarkable had Crick and Watson not exploited others' work; the less than contemporary endeavours at least. No doubt they did. But they also succeeded in 'ripping the rushes off the press,' so to speak, before relevant current news was broadcast to a wider audience.

And yet the Nobel Prize laureates genuinely brought something of their own to the table; an ingredient no less essential to the process of discovery than the dogged pursuit of observational data - constructive imagination. You see, it does not matter how much data you gather, if you cannot interpret it successfully it remains simply that, and the old cliché about letting the data speak for itself becomes something of a futile exhortation if, in the event, no-one is listening. One need be in no doubt however that Crick and Watson were listening; to everyone else as it turned out.

But this is not an essay on the conduct of science. It has really to do with the explanatory power of hypotheses. Crick and Watsons' postulate, in particular, was revealed in all its three-dimensional glory via a model, the full implications of which were obscured to those who had confined themselves to pencil and paper analyses. The beauty of the thing can be appreciated by a child. Not so its formulaic counterparts. Significantly, Crick and Watson proposed a unique molecular structure; one which took account of a number of pertinent coincidences, i.e. that the four chemical bases comprised two of one type plus two of another, that the quantities of these substances within the molecule were consistently balanced across species, suggesting these DNA components might be paired together somehow, and that the crucial Franklin X-ray photograph, the clearest achieved at the time, was suggestive of a helix. Their three-dimensional representation was unquestionably the right one and has proven itself to be the mainspring of genetic research ever since.

But what on earth does all this have to do with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

Simply this: That whatever the explanation for her apparently unexpected departure from the holiday complex where she was lodged in May 2007, it must, if correct, be able to account for each and every 'pertinent coincidence' one might identify. Despite protestations of the 'I know because' variety, until more definitive evidence becomes public, no-one is in a position to be categorical. Whether inclining toward 'abduction' or something else, one's theory (and that includes the McCanns' own), can be no more than hypothetical. Which gives us a level playing field and the opportunity to ask the following question: Which of two opposing views better accommodates a number of identifiable coincidences pertaining to events in Praia da Luz during the period 1-3 May 2007?

On the one hand we have the postulate of abduction on the night of Thursday May 3. On the other, the possibility that something rather serious happened to Madeleine as early as Monday.

And the coincidences in question are?

In a nutshell, a variety of odd occurrences in the period before Madeleine McCann's alleged abduction.

A previous discussion (the Cerberus Problem, McCannFiles, 13.8.11) examined the possibility that Thursday 3 May was, in very many respects, an addition to the narrative of the holiday, and logically unconnected to prior events. One might straightforwardly question therefore whether an altogether unexpected abduction that Thursday night can provide any sensible explanation whatsoever for earlier, otherwise coincidental, eventualities; eventualities such as Kate McCann's sudden retirement from photography that very afternoon, the seemingly bizarre anomalies contained within the Ocean Club crèche registers, and the synchronised deletion of call records from the mobile phones of two individuals, to mention but three. There are others.

If we address these facets one at a time, it quickly becomes apparent that Madeleine's 'abduction' on the Thursday night is in no way contingent upon any of them and, across the board, has no explanatory power in that regard whatsoever. But what if we now test these coincidental events against the alternative hypothesis, that of a much earlier drama of some kind? Are they any better explained?

Taking them in the order as above, Kate McCann's 'I haven't been able to use the camera since I took that last photograph (of her)' would, given the alternative view of events, necessarily apply to a photograph taken much earlier than the Thursday afternoon. (If for some reason Madeleine were indisposed on the Monday, she would not have emerged brimming with smiles on the Thursday, simply in order to have her photograph taken). The observation makes rather more sense in the context of the aftermath of a contemporaneous traumatic event, one that Kate McCann would rather not refer to specifically, than it does in the wake of a subsequent, sudden abduction. Unless Kate McCann's actions represent anticipatory behaviour, one might expect her to have said: 'I haven't been able to use the camera since Madeleine's abduction,' there being no 'taboo' attaching to mention of the principal event. Fixing the onset of 'down-time' with the photography itself however, suggests that something else (occluded) detracted from its pursuance in the meantime.

Turning to those apparently coincidental anomalies within the crèche registers, their pertinence in the context of an 'early exit' hypothesis is clear. 'Keeping up appearances' would have been an essential part of any alternative explanation to be advanced in the immediate future. Again, such activity ahead of an altogether unexpected abduction would be quite inexplicable.

Similar considerations apply to the selective deletion of recent communications histories. Unless they were the victims of some internecine power struggle, what possible bearing could the recent prior contacts of parents have on the unanticipated abduction of their child? None at all. So they should be concerned to erase them? However, whilst conversations concerning 'what we did back then' may not be of relevance, those of a 'what on earth do we do now' nature most certainly would be. And these would of course follow a significant occurrence of some kind, not precede one.

Three at least, then, of the peculiar coincidences surrounding the supposed abduction of Madeleine McCann would be better explained in the context of a prior event than in the singular context of a later abduction, which offers no explanation for them at all. We may continue in this fashion with a fourth item on the agenda: The sudden return to Portugal of Robert Murat.

Murat's arrival in Praia da Luz on May 1st was prompted, so we are told, by his need to attend to business at short notice. But who made the 'phone call to England, and what exactly was the nature of the business? (Property. O.k. Whose property?) Well Murat's arrival on the scene had nothing whatever to do with Madeleine's abduction on May 3rd. His intervention as translator was clearly after the event and Gerry McCann almost hadn't heard of him before then. So the two events remain unconnected and the one cannot even begin to explain the other. But in the case of an 'incident' on Monday 30th there will have been 24 hours at least in which someone could have invited Robert Murat to lend assistance. That is not to say they did so, but merely to point up the greater feasibility of his coincidental return's being associated, in some way, with an unforeseen eventuality on the Monday than the Thursday.

At the risk of seeming over-confident, one could go on in this fashion, evaluating the coincidences against each hypothesis and invariably finding a better fit with the time flag shifted left rather than right. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that Bet 365.com would happily lay it off. But no doubt those of a different persuasion would throw a flare or two onto the pitch in an attempt to obscure the game. And the smoke screen would probably look like this:

What about all those coincidences Kate and Gerry mention? And Jane Tanner? And...?

The blanket dismissal, put in its simplest form, is that we are here concerned with coincidental fact, not fiction. Without exception, the contingent observations of the McCanns, and others associated with them, are entirely speculative. They are all of the 'what if' or 'may be' varieties, lacking in evidential confirmation entirely. The abductor 'casing the joint' beforehand, reading the staff notebook, climbing in or out of the bedroom window, carrying a little girl dressed in pink pyjamas, etc., are all suppositions, nothing more. As such they are worthless. The 'coincidences' we are concerned with however are entirely factual. Kate McCann herself admitted to the sudden onset of photophobia. The crèche records contain glaring anomalies (confirmed, again by Kate McCann, in her book Madeleine). The McCanns' mobile 'phone memories were 'adjusted' prior to their examination by police in Portugal and Robert Murat undoubtedly returned to Portugal prior to May 3, 2007. The $64,000 dollar question in each case has to be 'Why?'

Although this discussion is not in itself an attempt to put forward an answer, it remains the case that these rather strange goings on in the days immediately preceding the announcement of Madeleine McCann's disappearance are a better fit with her absence, for want of a better word, on the Monday than the Thursday. It is this hypothesis which reveals itself therefore as potentially able to accommodate all of these known data; something the claim of abduction on the Thursday night simply cannot do at all.

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 28 Feb - 17:29

Brilliant piece of writing. Excellent reasoning for an earlier disappearance of Madeleine.

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

Post  frencheuropean on Thu 28 Feb - 18:55

AnnaEsse wrote:Brilliant piece of writing. Excellent reasoning for an earlier disappearance of Madeleine.

Yes but difficult to believe that nobody would have noticed her absence from Monday on.
The timing of strange behaviours is nevertheless interesting to study because that could indicate when something unexpected occured.

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

Post  weissnicht on Fri 1 Mar - 5:11

frencheuropean wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:Brilliant piece of writing. Excellent reasoning for an earlier disappearance of Madeleine.

Yes but difficult to believe that nobody would have noticed her absence from Monday on.
The timing of strange behaviours is nevertheless interesting to study because that could indicate when something unexpected occured.
I don't know. mcs never did anything with the kids, and the waiters in Mark Warner even commented that they didn't even know they had kids. Rest of tapas7 spend their afternoons with their kids, mccanns never enjoyed them.

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts The X Factor

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