This post was going to be called “Corrugated Iron”. Instead we opted to call it “Games” because that is what we are witnessing being played in the Ben Needham case.
We repeat that this blog is about Maddie McCann and not about Ben Needham.
We have written about him whenever we consider it to be relevant to the Maddie case.
Ben deserves a separate blog.
We share our conclusions about his case privately and they are what makes us say that we believe that the official outcome in Ben’s case will have a direct impact in the official outcome in the Maddie one.
So that we all know where we stand, officially, in the Ben case, the South Yorkshire police has stated that Ben died as a result of an accident near the farmhouse.
They came to that conclusion due to the fact that they found one of the 2 toy cars that Ben was supposedly playing with when he disappeared from the farmhouse, around 750 metres away from it, on the second digging site.
That is what we know officially. We don’t know if there are any other things besides the toy car that helped reach this conclusion.
As far as we can see, there are 3 options for the South Yorkshire police:
#1 – Silence:
Not speak about the case any further. We will return to this option later in the post but it would be the equivalent of the archival in the Maddie case.
If South Yorkshire police decides for this option, it doesn’t mean that archival will be the option in Maddie’s, it would just mean to let sleeping dogs lie in Ben’s;
#2 – Patsy:
South Yorkshire police would confirm officially that it was Dino Barkas whodunnit at the farmhouse even if it goes against logic, reasoning and above all, common decency.
That would indicate to us that the option in the Maddie case would be the Third Option, we suppose in its latest version, the child trafficking gang.
That or some other invention depending on which direction the sick winds of inspiration happen to be blowing at the moment;
#3 – Truth:
Expose the real culprits of the case. If that option was the chosen one for Ben, we think that truth would be the option chosen to conclude the Maddie case.
This option is most likely to go for only partial truth. Like we think is possible to achieve in the Maddie case – implicating only those “below” Freud – we think that it is possible to divide the Ben case into before and after Maddie. We don’t think any less detail than that in either case can be achieved but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was tried.
Although we think we have a pretty good idea of what the truth is on the Ben case, we won’t be sharing it publicly with our readers for obvious reasons. However, if truth happens to be the option chosen by the South Yorkshire police, we will state our agreement then.
2. Corrugated Iron
So why would we call this post “Corrugated Iron”? Because it’s something that helps prove that games are being played by the British authorities and the British media in the Ben Needham case, similar to those being played in the Maddie McCann one.
Before we are accused of accusing anyone other than the people we intend to accuse at this moment in time, let us make it very clear that we are only accusing the British authorities of playing pretend investigators and the British media of playing pretend journalists in both cases.
In terms of British authorities, Scotland Yard in the Maddie case (Leicestershire Constabulary, FSS and CEOP have been ‘retired’ from it for a while now) and the South Yorkshire police in Ben’s.
Why Scotland Yard is playing games we think we understand the reasons and have repeatedly given our opinion about it in our blog. One just has to realise that as names are missing from the booking sheets, and that have been clearly tampered with, to understand that bigger fish are being protected.
Why is South Yorkshire police playing games as well, we will pretend, for now, that we haven’t the faintest idea. But the point is, games are being played as we will show you.
But what is important to be understood is that at the moment we are not accusing anyone else other than the authorities and the media in Ben Needham’s case.
If the reader has taken an interest in the case before 2014, then a corrugated iron sheet will be familiar.
It was such an odd object that most of our readers are by now remembering what we’re talking about.
If we add that a man’s sock was found beneath it, then we’re certain that all our readers from that time onwards will now be raising their eyebrows and are asking for themselves… “THAT corrugated iron sheet??”
Yes, that one.
For our newer readers, let us tell you that we’re talking about a sheet of corrugated iron thoroughly investigated by Scotland Yard at their first digging site – even in number of diggings sites, two, Scotland Yard and South Yorkshire police match – in Praia da Luz, in that show they put on in 2014 so the world could see them humiliating themselves… thoroughly.
At the time we all jested about it but now, and because of Ben Needham, it has become a quite a relevant object.
That Praia da Luz’s corrugated iron sheet shows that South Yorkshire police were playing games in Kos.
We will now ask readers to go back to that time in Praia da Luz. Scotland Yard set up camp at the 1st digging site, in the west part of the little beach village.
Does the reader remember what was really memorable in that first week of circus (the letters on the wall were in the second week if we remember correctly)?
We would say it was that the media was kept at a distance.
We all got to see what was going on from afar.
As if the Scotland Yard were gladiators in some Roman amphitheatre and the world the spectators.
And as soon as the Scotland Yard started the show, what was to be the surprise star of the show? The corrugated iron sheet of course.
The Mirror in the article of Jun 5 2014 by Martin Fricker “Madeleine McCann search: Police look in Praia da Luz sewers as underground hunt continues” says this:
“Forensic archaeologists also painstakingly began sifting through soil at the bottom of a hidden pit. Sniffer dogs had found the five-foot-by-three-foot hole under wooden planks, corrugated iron sheets and soil 24 hours earlier.
Police prised open another corrugated iron sheet nailed to wooden joists at the entrance to the hole.”
And then it says these very important following words:
“Several evidence bags were taken away from the site and soil was removed by wheelbarrow as digging took place out of sight.
Scotland Yard – who are leading Operation Grange – tonight refused to reveal what the teams had discovered inside the pit.”
There was a commotion noticed from a distance at the digging site and it was reported. Journalists doing their jobs.
Later, we were to discover that under that corrugated iron sheet, a man’s sock was found.
By the way, more than 2 and a half years have passed and we are yet to know to whom Scotland Yard suspects that sock belongs to. We do hope, due to the importance given to it then, that it hasn’t been destroyed like so much forensic evidence was in this case by the British authorities.
3. The sock v the toy car
Now let’s go to Kos in October last year. Like in Luz, we also got to know there were evidence bags filled with possible interesting material and taken away, we suppose for analysis, from the first digging site.
But in Kos we are interested only in the second digging site, the one where the toy car was found.
Let’s first look at where the journalists were.
Unlike in Praia da Luz, where they were kept at a distance, in Kos they were IN the digging sites. Right there in the middle of it all:
But on Sunday, the next day, the South Yorkshire police’s apparent ‘official’ voice the case, the Mirror publishes the article “Police searching for missing Ben Needham end their three-week dig on Greek island of Kos” by Lucy Thornton and Anthony Bond. The article was published at 13:30 and updated at 14:03.
On that same day, at 15:13, the Telegraph published the article by James Rothwell “British detectives halt dig in search of missing toddler Ben Needham on Greek island of Kos”.
The Independent also publishes on that day the article “Ben Needham search: Police halt dig in hunt for toddler who vanished in 1991” by Alex Sims, although we don’t know at what time it was done.
Let’s look at what the articles on Sunday have to say:
“Dozens of South Yorkshire police officers have spent the past three weeks sifting through more than 800 tonnes of soil near a farmhouse in the town of Iraklis.
It is understood that officers and volunteers found no trace of his body but have sent several items back to the UK for further tests.
Several items that were found during the dig have been sent back to the UK for analysis, in the hope they can offer some clues as to the missing toddler's whereabouts.”
“Over the last three weeks, officers from South Yorkshire and Greek search volunteers excavated land around an old farmhouse on the island where the toddler was last seen [note that although the picture that illustrates the article (above) is from the 2nd site, this location is ignored in it]
Investigators officially ended digging operations on Saturday after 21 days.
On Sunday afternoon a team of forensic archaeologists and anthropologists finished their examination of the last of the debris.
The teams broke into a round of applause as they packed away their equipment, Sky News reports.
More than 70 items, which police have described as being of mild interest, were found in the excavation, which saw hundreds of tonnes of soil removed from two locations on Kos, a quarter of a mile apart.
The objects have been sent off for further analysis and police have said they will continue with their investigations even if the items do not reveal any new information.”
“Police searching for Ben Needham have today formally ended their dig on the island of Kos.
South Yorkshire police and Greek volunteers have spent three weeks searching grounds near an old farmhouse.
A number of items found during the search will now be analysed in a bid to discover what happened to the 21-month-old toddler 25 years ago.”
The case breaker evidence had been, allegedly, found on the previous day and the reporters, literally in situ, said nothing about it on the following day.
Hopefully the reader will now understand the importance of Praia da Luz’s corrugated iron sheet has in the Ben Needham case: it shows an inexplicable double standard of reporting in case the South Yorkshire police allegation that the toy car was found on Saturday is true.
The tone of the 3 articles is very unhopeful:
The Telegraph: “"I've got the confidence that we have done exactly what we can, given the plans we had before we came out here so that I can give an answer, whatever that might be, to Ben's family," said Detective Inspector John Cousins, who led the investigation.
It has been a difficult job, the conditions have been extremely hot and very dusty and they are long hours they have been working," he added.”
The Independent: “Police have said there are also other leads to follow from various information collected throughout the investigation’s history.”
The Mirror: “DI Cousins said: “I’ve reviewed, in great detail, every piece of evidence made available to me by the Greek authorities, who are very supportive of the work we’re doing in assisting their investigation.
As a result of the work conducted over the last 18 months I have no doubt this phase of the operation is absolutely essential in order to get answers for Ben’s family.””
Does any of this reflect that the toy car had been found the day before? No, it doesn’t.
Kerry Needham seems to agree with this hopelessness, as is shown in the Mirror:
“And she hit back at claims the South Yorkshire police investigation on the Greek island was “flawed”.
Tearful Kerry, 43, said of police boss Det Insp Jon Cousins: “He will never give up in his hunt for the truth in the years he has remaining as a detective.
"We’ll never ever forget him and all the volunteers who have helped. One Greek man lost two days’ pay to help the police search.
“Don’t anyone dare criticise them. I never want to hear a bad word spoken about these detectives.
"They need medals for what they’ve had to do – not criticism.”
Kerry said of the UK police team: “They know enough to know what happened.
"A detective inspector on his hands and knees in full black uniform digging in the dirt just to find us the truth? What more can you ask for and what more can you say.””
Kerry’s words are clearly speaking about the fact the South Yorkshire police were closing shop in Kos. So AFTER the toy car was found and, it seems, completely unaware that it had been.
Did the South Yorkshire police keep Kerry Needham in the dark on Saturday and Sunday so as to better prepare her and the family for the harsh finding?
Well, to us that seems very unlikely.
The entire operation was based on the premise that Ben was dead. The Needhams were clearly told to prepare for the worst from the outset.
The 3 Saturday articles we have referred to are very clear – please keep in mind that when they were published supposedly no reporter knew the toy car had been found – about the family being prepared to be notified that Ben was indeed dead:
The Telegraph: “They were working on the theory that construction worker Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas, who died of cancer in 2015, was linked to the boy's death.”
The Independent: “The digging operation was launched after fresh evidence suggested Ben may have been accidently run over by a digger clearing land on the day he disappeared.”
The Mirror: “Kerry told the Sunday Mirror she agrees with their theory her 21-month-old son was crushed by a digger on Kos 25 years ago and his body buried.”
Kerry and family were told to “prepare for the worst” after a witness claimed digger driver Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas, who died last year, might have killed Ben with his excavator in a building site crash”
The family was as well prepared as they could ever be. Kerry Needham seems to have agreed that Ben was dead even before the toy car was found.
It would be expected that the moment something relevant was found they would be notified as soon as possible.
So why the inexplicable hiatus in time between the alleged finding and it being reported?
Only one word comes to our minds: games.
Why did the reporters collaborate with this? Are we expected to believe that the South Yorkshire police was able to hide the find from the reporters who were there in the middle of the digging site?
Certainly there would have been a commotion made by those who found the toy.
After 3 weeks of hard labour under the scorching heat, an immediate reaction would not be humanly possible to contain. Please remember Praia da Luz’s corrugated iron sheet.
Even if that emotion was contained, superiors would have been called for decision on what was to be done next. There would have been evident movement in the digging site.
So, it can be deduced that the reporters knew that the toy, or at least a very relevant piece of material evidence had been found.
Yet on Sunday they all were nonchalant about it.
All of them had a major scoop on their hands and decided to collectively collaborate with the South Yorkshire police so that the “punchline” of this case – as if it was a mere high school drama play – would only be delivered on Monday to create the best effect.
Games are being played by the South Yorkshire police and the journalists that were present in Kos.
To confirm that games are indeed being played by the media, Lucy Thornton the reporter who we think has most written about Ben, in her Mirror article of October 17 2016 at 21:58 (updated at 09:39, Oct 18 2016) “Ben Needham's toy car discovered at secret fly-tipping dump just hours before cops called off Kos search” says this:
“The well-preserved yellow metal toy had a number 88 still on the roof and “benzine” written on the bonnet.
It was found on Sunday at the fly-tipping site half a mile away from the farmhouse at Iraklis where Ben and his family were staying when he disappeared 25 years ago.”
She says toy car was found on Sunday and this clearly contradicts what was said by DCI Cousins:
“An item found on Saturday, which I have shown personally to some of Ben’s family, was found in one of the targeted areas at the second site, very close to a dated item from 1991.”
And when was the toy shown to the family?
It was found on Saturday and only shown on Sunday after they informed Kerry Needham that the operation was going to be closed without a relevant find?
Was it something like “Ms Needham, we inform you that we have done all we could but there comes a time when things must come to an end and now it is the time we must return home empty-handed. We hope you realise how disappointed we are with this outcome. Oh, by the way, do you think by any chance that this toy car we found may be Ben’s”?
4. Is Ben dead?
As we have noted it took a while for the Needham family to accept that Ben was dead.
But one must ask, and we are not trying to be morbid about it but rather trying to clarify something that we really think is of the utmost relevance: do the Needhams believe that Ben is really dead?
On Dec 12 2016 – a staggering 56 days after the South Yorkshire police announced on Oct 17 that they professionally believed that Ben was dead – in the Mirror article by Andy Lines “Ben Needham's mum claims villagers on Kos 'know what happened to her missing son'” it is said that:
“Kerry Needham now accepts her son is probably dead and has called on locals to reveal the truth, after police revealed they believe he was accidentally killed by a digger.
Mum Kerry accepts her boy is probably dead.
“There are people on Kos who know what happened and probably know where Ben is buried.””
To believe that someone is probably dead is not to have accepted that the person is indeed dead. There is a big chance that it is so but there is still a glimmer of hope that it may not be so.
The article refers that “Kerry, Christine and Ben’s sister Leigh-anna Needham were speaking on Good Morning Britain.”
From the transcript that we made of that particular show:
“Piers Morgan (PM): Do you? Let me ask you another hard question. Do you accept, as a family, that Ben is dead?
Christine Needham (CN): Yes
PM: You’ve come to terms with that?
CN: Yes, well, we’ve not come to terms…
Kerry Needham (KN): We’re trying …
PM: You’ll never really come to terms with it …
CN: We know it’s the truth.
PM: But you’ve come to terms with the fact that he is dead?
CN: Yes, we know it’s the truth.”
There seems to be no probability involved. The question is very direct and the answer is equally so.
To reinforce this, at the start of the program the voice over says “the family of missing British toddler Ben Needham say they’ll spend the first Christmas in decades coming to terms with the knowledge that he will never be found alive”.
It’s not said he won’t probably be found alive but that he will never be found alive.
Although it has to be pointed out that none of the 3 women of the Needham family present did pronounce the words “Ben is dead”.
But from from the above, one can ascertain that 56 days after the South Yorkshire police concluded that Ben was dead and after Kerry Needham having been photographed distraughtly holding a bouquet of white flowers, the Needhams believed that Ben was dead.
However we could not help to notice that Ben’s age progression photo was kept up on the Ben Needham website. Why?
As a sidenote, doesn’t this remind us all of the “stubbornness” of the McCanns in keeping up the picture of Tannerman on their website after Scotland Yard had clearly stated that in their opinion the presence of that man was explained by him being Crèche Dad?
In the Sun’s article of January 6 2017 by Sam Christie and Jenny Awford “‘NO ONE CAN HIDE FROM THEIR CONSCIENCE’ Ben Needham’s mum issues passionate new appeal for clues into disappearance of tot who vanished in Kos in 1991” some doubt is cast on this certainty that the Needham’s were certain that Ben was really dead:
“Cops told Kerry last year that they fear Ben was killed by a digger on the Greek island.
But at the end of the eight-week long search, police told the Needham family they believed he was involved in a fatal accident with a digger.”
We go back to the hopeful terminology of “they fear” and “they believed”. And note that in the title the word “vanished” is used instead of “killed”.
Please do note that with the exception of the title (vanished v killed) the uncertainty can be read as it’s about whether he was killed by the digger rather than about if he is or not dead.
But the point is that in January 2017 there continue to be uncertainties.
On October 17 the South Yorkshire police was very certain about Ben’s death and how, when and where it happened. Let’s recap DCI Cousins’ words then:
“However, based on the information that I have now, as a result of an extensive and thorough investigation, it is without doubt that the current line of enquiry is the most probable cause for Ben’s disappearance.
My team and I know that machinery, including a large digger, was used to clear an area of land on 24 July 1991, behind the farmhouse that was being renovated by the Needham’s. It is my professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse in Iraklis where he was last seen playing.
The events leading up to and following that incident have been explored by my team of experts to great lengths. The fact that we have not had a direct result during this visit to Kos does not preclude the facts that we know to be true.
An item found on Saturday, which I have shown personally to some of Ben’s family, was found in one of the targeted areas at the second site, very close to a dated item from 1991.
It is our initial understanding that this item was in Ben’s possession around the time he went missing.
The recovery of this item, and its location, further adds to my belief that material was removed from the farmhouse on or shortly after the day that Ben disappeared.”
“Without doubt” that’s what he said then. Now it’s “they believe” and “they fear”.
Is the South Yorkshire police taunting the Needham family? Because it indeed seems that to be the case.
Maybe they’re not.
Please note a very interesting paragraph in this article: “Kerry was later seen collapsing in tears during a visit to the spot where it is feared Ben was killed.”
5. The chosen option?
If one pays close attention, the Needham acceptance of Ben’s death after 56 days of apparent denial – with the exception of that first day when it seemed all said by the South Yorkshire police had been fully accepted – marks a very interesting twist in the case.
That twist being the apparent choice of Option #1 – Silence by the South Yorkshire police.
Please note how the fact that the family has accepted that Ben’s death has taken second place to what is now being pressured to be pursued on the case: find Ben’s body.
Unquestionably, that would expectedly be the following step to take after having been determined that Ben was indeed dead. What is and should be questioned is why it took 56 days for that to happen.
The expected reaction from the family on learning that the police had no doubts about him being dead would be to ask if they knew or had any idea of where body was and what was the planned way forward to find it.
But the family shouldn’t need to ask, it should be the South Yorkshire police to take that initiative and explain to the family and us all what they intended to do about it.
Instead, we had silence, total silence from the South Yorkshire police.
And, it has to be noted that there seems to be no pressure from the family to know the details as to what has happened to Ben. If they were told by the South Yorkshire police, then why haven’t the general details of what happened been shared with the public?
Besides, it seems the family hasn’t been informed of much.
This is what DCI Cousins said on the Good Morning program: “They’ve had 25 years wanting an answer in relation to this and this is the answer that we are able to give them – at this stage.”
Interesting of the use of “at this stage”. Do they know something that they don’t want to share with the family at this point in time but can or will do so later on?
They don’t want to share it with the family nor with us public. We do find it strange that not having been fully informed by the South Yorkshire police, as it seems to be the case, the family does not show, at least publicly, any want to know from the authorities what they think really happened to Ben after he went, allegedly, missing.
But it seems that the South Yorkshire police told the Needhams that they know there are people who know what happened to Ben:
“Piers Morgan (PM): But it may be that the key person is now dead and therefore you’ll never be able to ask the key question of potentially the key witness, if that is the case.
Kerry Needham (KN): We have, we have been assured really, by South Yorkshire police, that people do know, they do know but they’ve lied.
PM: Other people?
KN: Other people. Yes, on the island.
Christine Needham (CN): Yeah, also, there is one other guy who was with the digger driver that day who swears he was with him 24/7, 24/7… quotes – I was his banksman. I was this, I never left his side, we went to lunch together- They didn’t go to lunch together at all because our police have checked.
PM: So you think there are people still alive who are lying?
CN: Yes, there’s at least one person, yes absolutely, yes.”
So, according to the Needhams the South Yorkshire police know who is lying but apparently is doing nothing about it.
It is leaving it all up to the family to make public appeals.
Almost 3 months after declaring Ben dead it not only says nothing but says that it has nothing further to say… at least for the moment.
One must wonder how long this moment will last.
In our opinion it seems that it does wish for that moment to go on for a long, long time.
Maybe, if wishes came true, forever.
That’s why we think this is said in the Sun’s article:
“After thanking police for their efforts, she [Kerry Needham] said: “They know he’s dead but just can’t find him. Police said it’s time we ended our 25-year search.
They are right but I can’t say goodbye knowing he’s still on that island somewhere. I feel physically sick. I can’t feel any worse than I do.””
Isn’t it like when it comes to the Ben Needham case that we are being told “Ben is dead, we’ve told you that, no need to bother you with any of the boring details about what happened, we know you have better things to do and worry about so do move along people and if you have to worry about anything about this case, let it be known that efforts – no need to know which – are being made to find the body”?
That the mystery of Ben’s death has been solved and that people should move on to the next mystery, the only one that matters now, the only one that should have their focus, attention and energy, the only one that is still unsolved, which is to find out where the body is.
Let’s be honest, if they really wanted to look for the body, wouldn’t that have been done while in Kos? They were there, they had just found the breakthrough object for their investigation, so why not request further time on the Island? Surely that would have been conceded by both the national authorities of the UK and Greece.
Instead we got a “hey we’ve found what tells us that Ben is dead, so let’s pack up and go home, there’s nothing more to see here”.
We were told the toy car alone has proven that Ben was killed by a huge digger and are supposed to take South Yorkshire police word for it that it is so without questioning.
Basically by sending us all off to “find” the body, the objective is that when we look back on this case, the public thinks that the digger did it – with time it will be forgotten, if it ever was noticed, that the South Yorkshire police never said such a thing and it was only the media saying it in their name – and that the case is still open because there’s a body to be found. A classical cold case with little chance of ever being closed.
With 3 months having passed after the announcement of Ben death, we are practically the only ones apparently interested in the case.
People have become aware that something is wrong with this case. But, as far as we can see have gone silent about it.
It’s as if Great Britain is completely satisfied with the “conclusion” that it was Dino Barkas who killed Ben accidentally, without being told how, where and when it happened nor why would the man hide the body of a little boy he happened to have killed accidentally after he, supposedly, appeared unexpectedly out of nowhere.
We repeat that this blog is about Maddie McCann case.
Ben Needham deserves a completely separate one as his case is as intricate as is Maddie’s. If for nothing else, the games being played around it by the South Yorkshire police and the media prove it.
We don’t have the police files of the case. Nor do we have a book written by the detective responsible for the investigation.
But we do have enough documentation to come to fair and reasonable conclusions.
For starters we have Kerry Needham’s book “Ben”, written in 2013, which we urge readers to read, particularly pages 291-293 where she writes about the scenario of Ben being killed by the digger driver and dismisses the suggestion categorically.
Then watch the video – which is referred to in the book – “SOMEDODY KNOWS. A Ben Needham documentary”.
If the option would be either #2 – Patsy or #3 – Truth, it would tell us which way the Maddie case was intended to go. With option #1 – Silence (which as we said represents an archival in Ben’s case) leaves all options open for the Maddie case.
The messages intended to be sent from the Ben case to the Maddie one were sent and we believe were received by those they were destined for.
This is a waiting game, everyone is waiting for the Lisbon trial final decision. Including, we believe, the Ben Needham case.
We also know how to play the waiting game and refuse to get distracted from what we think is important.
That means we don’t know when we will publish again. We will be patient. We are certain our readers understand and trust us to return when we think is the most opportune.