More than ever I question why the original notes were not produced. If they were hard to read then a transcript should have been prepared. If they were destroyed then that is destruction of original evidence pure and simple.
I want to repeat and emphasise this point. As far as I can make out, a transcript was NOT prepared.
A transcript by definition is an exact replica of an original. The purpose of transcribing handwritten notes is to make them easier to read. The transcript must not have words added to it that were not in the original or words removed.
If, when being "tidied up", the "re-typed" version of the notes were altered in any way, to make them more coherent or for any other reason, then this version is not a transcript.
What should have happened is a transcript was first prepared THEN a coherent version of the notes produced, if that was felt necessary.
But if the typed version contains elements from both Mike and Anne then we have lost Mike's research notes. There is no way of knowing what Mike wrote contemporaneously and what was added by Anne later.
Given that there is a suggestion that these notes might have been faked to make it appear that the research was carried out over a longer period of time than it actually was, the importance of seeing the full version of these notes cannot be overstated.
Prior to the publication of her 2003 book, Shirley Harrison referred to Mike Barrett's research notes in a response to Melvin Harris' 1997 "Fact File for the Perplexed" (as reproduced in her book). She said:
"I have Michael Barrett's 'research notes' in my possession. They were typed and collated for him by Anne, his then wife, while he was trying to make sense of the Diary, before he brought it us. Where he can't find what he wants, he writes 'nothing to date.' Or 'not known'..."
And she says:
"This is not the strategic, forward-looking plan of a forger embarking on research! It reflects the uncertainties of a man struggling to understand material that has already been written."
She goes on in the next sentence to comment:
"Had Mr Harris spent more time with his 'nest of forgers', he would realise just how unlikely his theory is!"
So Mike's research notes are right up there as Exhibit A in the case for the Diary being old and authentic.
A few things strike me about Shirley's comments in her response to Harris.
1. She says that Anne "collated" Mike's notes. Is this supposed to be the same as "tidied up"? For me they convey different impressions. Collated gives the impression of the notes merely being organised whereas "tided up" suggests that they have been changed and improved.
2. She says the notes were "typed", not "re-typed". Why did she use the word "re-typed" in her 2003 book? Just a mistake or is there some significance to it?
3. She says (as she says in her book) that the notes were created before Mike brought the Diary to London. If it is now being said that the notes were probably created AFTER he brought the Diary to London how did she get it so badly wrong both in her response to Harris and in her book which appear to have been written about six years apart?
4 There is no mention in her response (as in her book) that she had any input into the research notes and, indeed, she expressly refers to them as "Mike Barrett's 'research notes'". If she was given them by Mike and/or Anne how is it possible for Shirley's information or input to be in them? If she's marked up the notes in manuscript, so one can see her comments, that's fine but it surely can't be possible for Shirley Harrison's input to be in notes that were typed by Anne before the Mike and the Diary had even come to London, can it? And I repeat my comment from earlier in respect of the book that "I can't see anywhere in the book where Shirley says that she provided some information and input into Mike's research notes but perhaps she wasn't telling the full story, I have no idea." I really do have no idea.
What is essential, if we are shortly to be told that the Diary came from Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, is that the full version of Mike's research notes MUST be produced in full so that everyone can examine them. This is especially true if the notes in any way contradict the notion that Mike received the Diary on 9 March 1992. They cannot any longer reasonably be withheld.
Thank you, Abby - once again I am humbled by the kindness of my fellow posters. Not one to blow my own trumpet, it's always nice to receive a compliment from time to time and your clam remark touched me deeply.
Not sure about the witty bit though - these are serious thoughts I've got squeezed between my ears, and I share them for the learning of all. OMG, I feel a LOL coming on!
Anyway, shocked by the gender confusion raging elsewhere on this thread, I trust that you at least are Abby Normal in every way possible???
Ike (still a bloke)
I'm a dude. But I do have great ass, so I'm often confused for a hot chick.
__________________ "Is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream?"
-Edgar Allan Poe
"...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."
-Frederick G. Abberline