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  #4731  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:14 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Scott Nelson posted in another thread:

Quote:
What I don't understand is why Scotland Yard supposedly investigated a possible Diary forgery after it first emerged, but then the investigation stopped without answers. They interviewed the electricians who worked in the house, Anne Graham, etc. They must have concluded that Anne Graham had no involvement or they could go no further with what she told them.
This question is based on the false premise that Scotland Yard "investigated a possible Diary forgery". They did not. They investigated Robert Smith regarding a possible fraud (on the Sunday Times) regarding the Diary. The only conclusion one can draw from the conclusion of the investigation without an arrest or prosecution is that they did not have sufficient evidence to arrest Smith for committing the alleged fraud.
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  #4732  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:32 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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A week has now passed since I asked why Robert Smith hasn't produced a copy of the anonymous letter supposedly written in Diamine ink that he supposedly received in 1995. It's surprising not to have had any answer to this question and equally surprising that an image of the letter has not been posted on this forum. One of the members of this forum is "a close friend" of Smith's, and has been for nearly twenty years, so it should be such a simple matter to get in touch and for him to scan and send over an image of the letter.

At the same time, he could have explained (1) how he is so sure that the bottle of ink sent to him by Shirley Harrison in 2012 was the same bottle of pre-1992 formula Diamine ink she had received from Voller in 1995 and (2) why he thinks Voller has a doctorate.

The silence in respect of these questions is quite apparent.
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  #4733  
Old 05-23-2018, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
From RJ's source, namely a 2002 book by Katherine Koppenhaver, entitled "Attorney's Guide to Document Examination" we read this (my bold):

"In addition to the first manufacturing date of ink, forensic chemists have devised a method of testing ballpoint ink samples to give a relative date of the writing. Ink dating can only determine the approximate date a message was penned on paper. According to Erich Speckin, an ink chemist with Speckin Laboratories in a lecture to the National Association of Document Examiners, "In the field of forensic chemistry advances in technology have made it possible to date ink within six months or less.

Ink chemists determine the age of ink by the rate of extraction from the paper and the percent of extraction. They measure how fast the ink can be chemically removed from the paper and how easily it is removed. Ink dries chemically in approximately three and one-half years according to Erich Speckin. By using the rate of extraction, ink chemists can determine the age of the application of the ink to within six months. After the ink has completely dried, the chemist can only state that the ink is over three and one-half years old."


So Koppenhaver was discussing, in 2002, in a book written for American attorneys (thus obviously relating only to the dating of modern documents) a technique for the dating of documents written in ballpoint ink using a method based on recent advances in technology.

The Speckin Forensic Ink Dating Technique(s) can actually be viewed here in this 1998 video, involving a punch, a backer, a vial, a syringe and/or an oven, a plate, a densitometer and a computer and it bears no relation to the type of simple solubility test that would have been conducted by Dr Baxendale:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKUsdgPOzkw

Let's move along, nothing to see here.

No own goals…
Fair enough, but I'm not sure how anyone was meant to know this from rj's original post, which omitted the rather crucial detail referring to ballpoint ink! What a complete waste of time.
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  #4734  
Old 05-23-2018, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
It's pretty obvious that proving the diary is a fake – as the phrase "one off instance" does - is a completely different issue to whether the Barretts forged the Diary in March and April 1992, the latter subject indeed requiring a million more words to be written.

I nearly posted this yesterday in response to an identical comment but couldn't be bothered because it was so obvious and now the world's leading sleep inducer – someone who actually believes that the diary is a fake!!!! - has repeated the same flawed point today so I'm compelled (yet again) to state the bleedin' obvious.
So the red diary proves nothing after all. Glad I was right on that score at least.
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  #4735  
Old 05-23-2018, 05:54 AM
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"Have you ever wondered why Mike [helped along by Alan Gray] backdated the writing of the diary to early 1990 in his January 1995 affidavit, putting Tony Devereux's death back accordingly to mid-1990?"

I've spoken in the past about the Great Misunderstander, but even knowing of her amazing ability to fail to comprehend, it's genuinely hard to believe that I can read a question like this.

As I have said time and time and time again, it is easy to confuse "writing" or "drafting" with "transcribing". What I am suggesting could easily have happened is that Barrett told Gray, no doubt through a drunken haze, that the diary had been written while Tony Devereux was alive, by which he meant the text of the diary had been drafted, not that it was then transcribed into the scrapbook. Gray, however, believed that the entire forgery was done in 1990 (or 1991 because I assume that's what the affidavit was meant to say) and set out the chronology of events accordingly but had misunderstood what he had been told. Subsequently, Barrett – the drunken Barrett – either did not read the affidavit or did not read it carefully before signing it. How many times do I have to repeat this simple point before it actually sinks in to the head of Chief Diary Defender?
Not remotely good enough. It's clear from the affidavit that the red diary was deliberately included in all the events described as happening in early 1990, because it would have been useless for confession purposes [as well as forgery purposes] if its actual date of purchase in 1992 had been included at the time.

It's also clear that Tony Devereux was meant to have been alive but severely ill at the end of the 11 day creation, which for some unfathomable reason meant the completed diary had to be left for a while and could only be taken to London after Tony's death. [Presumably this was because their story would only work if Tony couldn't be questioned. God, could this have been any more obvious? Such a childish lie. ] All a load of rubbish because although Tony may have been housebound in early 1991 following a fall, his death from a heart attack in the August was unexpected. What would they have been waiting for, exactly, while he was meant to have been severely ill? For him to make a complete recovery - to do what? For Christmas?

If the diary was created in early April 1992 it was not 'left for a while' because Tony was ailing but still a liability, but rushed off to London with indecent haste, almost the instant Anne was putting the pen away.

Face it, the whole thing stinks more than my cat's breath.
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  #4736  
Old 05-23-2018, 06:50 AM
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This extract from a letter written by Melvin Harris to Alec Voller (presumably in 2001) may be of interest (bold highlighting by me):

"…Nick Warren saw the Diary in December 1994, found no bronzing and for the record, wrote to Robert Smith drawing his attention to that oddity. Smith replied on December 21st; he accepted that Nick was right but went on to argue that “Your comment on ‘browning’ is not, as far as I know, conclusive.”…

Following that you kindly made up samples of the original Diamine Black Manuscript Ink and gave these to Smith and Harrison and to Nick. You also gave advice to aid in making tests with this ink. On January 26th 1995 Nick set up one test by sending me a letter written with your Diamine Ink. Ten line[s] were written with a new clean fountain pen, while a large Jack the Ripper signature and flourishes were written with a Victorian steel pen. This letter was kept by me between two protective sheets of plain white paper and checked for damage at intervals.

By late 1998 I saw signs of irregular fading and bronzing. Since then the bronzing has increased to the extent that, today, the portion written with a steel pen is dramatically bronzed. Bronzing in the heavier, fountain pen section is not so dramatic and is uneven. I have taken this letter to colour-copying firms but all the fine details are far too subtle for the machines to pick up fully, nevertheless they have managed to capture enough of the bronzing effect to let you see the proof for yourself.

To sum up….your authentic Diamine ink has been shown to fade in an irregular pattern and age bronze IN THREE YEARS. Thus the phenomena you observed does not equate itself with any great age at all….

In brief: The Diary ink has been identified as an iron-gall ink using nigrosine. Your ink is an iron-gall ink using nigrosine. You speak of the poor opacity of the Diary ink. But everyone who has seen your authentic ink in action has noted its poor opacity. Nick in the enclosed letter even comments on this saying “…the effect is very watery, astonishingly so at first.” Indeed the Diamine ink I have seen is so close to the ink on your Diary pages that I regret that Smith and Harrison did not take your advice and write something down on a blank page back in January 1995. "
"By late 1998 I saw signs of irregular fading and bronzing. Since then the bronzing has increased to the extent that, today, the portion written with a steel pen is dramatically bronzed. Bronzing in the heavier, fountain pen section is not so dramatic and is uneven. I have taken this letter to colour-copying firms but all the fine details are far too subtle for the machines to pick up fully, nevertheless they have managed to capture enough of the bronzing effect to let you see the proof for yourself."

I think the above just about wraps up this sorry episode. Many thanks to David for being honest enough to post it.

There is no 'dramatic' bronzing to be seen in the diary. In fact there is hardly any to be seen at all, just very slight, barely visible bronzing in one or two places when held up to the daylight. There is also no evidence that this very slight bronzing and irregular fading throughout the diary appeared just in the nick of time for Voller's scrutiny in October 1995 and was not already there from day one. And the bronzing Voller observed in 1995 most certainly hasn't visibly increased since then, never mind to the extent observed with Diamine.

In short, if Diamine used in January 1995 showed visible signs of bronzing by late 1998 [just over three and a half years later], which increased after that until, by 2001, the sample written with a Victorian steel pen was 'dramatically bronzed', then there is no way it can be compared usefully with the diary ink, or help to determine when the diary was written.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:43 AM
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It's funny how you can change the meaning of a sentence by the use of bold. Look at this:

"As Shirley wrote: 'With the help of the Science Library in London it took very little time to establish that nigrosine was patented in 1867 by Coupier and was in general use in writing inks by the 1870s!"

If a person who doesn't even live in London has to call in aid the Science Library in London to establish the history of Nigrosine then it can hardly be unreasonable for a forensic document examiner to say that reliable information is scarce. Back in 1992, Dr Baxendale, who was based in Birmingham, didn’t have the internet and would presumably have had to rely on whatever reference books he possessed on the subject. It is, therefore, certainly very unfair to him to have removed the comment in his report that information on the subject was "scarce" because it shows he was clearly saying that he was NOT an expert on the history of Nigrosine. The idea the Robert Smith was doing him a favour by removing those words, without any indication to his reader that he had done so, is a joke.
Right, so removing a forensic document examiner's clear admission that they know sod all about the history of Nigrosine is 'very unfair' to that person is it? Dr Baxendale's caveat about reliable information being scarce solely concerned whether it may have been used in ink as early as between the wars. Had he stopped there, David may have had a point. But Baxendale went on to state categorically - and incorrectly - that it was not used before the First World War, with no appeal to the information on this being scarce.

No doubt David will continue to pick at the scab of Baxendale's less than expert opinions, if he thinks he can score another personal point along the way.
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  #4738  
Old 05-23-2018, 08:25 AM
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If I may use a Hawleyesque expression, for those following another thread, there is a fatal flaw in the argument of the world's leading expert on the ink who, it transpires, knows "very little on this subject". Well that is evident and, in very un-Hawley fashion, I am actually going to reveal the fatal flaw.

I have in the past, had occasion to warn against the sleight of hand of a Diary Defender and we really do find it here.

When Alec Voller referred to "bluish undertones" he did so in November 1994 (before he had seen the Diary) and he was NOT specifically talking about Diamine, he was talking about Nigrosine. Hence:

"Nigrosine, although a black dyestuff, does have bluish undertones...."

This was in a letter to Shirley Harrison dated 21st November 1994.

Yet, when Voller later examined the Diary in October 1995 (we don't know the exact date, unfortunately) he stated positively that the Diary was written with a Nigrosine based ink. "This" he said "is definitely Nigrosine".

It doesn't need me to point out the problem for the Chief Diary Defender.

Nigrosine has bluish undertones, says Voller, and the Diary ink, according to Voller, contains Nigrosine!!

So what do we conclude from that?

Well one very obvious, and surely inescapable, conclusion is that when Voller examined the Diary on that unspecified day in October 1995 he saw bluish undertones in the Diary ink.

Yes, it may have been dark grey, but in Voller's mind, dark grey with bluish undertones, hence he established the presence of Nigrosine.

Or perhaps Voller was one of those colour blind men that we have been warned about.

If Voller did not see bluish undertones in the Diary ink it is astonishing that he did not mention this, especially if the lack of such undertones is some sort of indicator of the age of a document.

On the contrary, Voller said that if the Diary were written with Diamine, which was a Nigrosine based ink, he would have expected it to have been "blacker".
I don't claim to know what Voller saw or didn't see, but he didn't mention seeing any bluish undertones when examining the diary ink in 1995, and neither did David's favourite forensic document examiner, Dr Baxendale, three years earlier in 1992, who described the colour as dark grey, just as it has always looked to Robert Smith and just as it looks to this day. So perhaps I can leave it to David to explain how the ink went from dark grey to dark grey with bluish undertones then back to dark grey again, and why Voller was so sure the ink wasn't his own nigrosine based Diamine, which would have looked "blacker".

Could it be that the level of nigrosine in any ink will determine whether bluish undertones are visible or not? Might Voller have known this, but had some other way of recognising a nigrosine based ink that was not his own Diamine?
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:35 AM
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And there is more Diary Defender sleight of hand that we need to be aware of.

Somehow the anonymous sample of handwriting received by Robert Smith at some unspecified point in 1995 - a sample which he did not think fit to reproduce in his book - has become known as "Warren's sample".

Well I do not know if Warren wrote that sample or not but the sample referred to by Robert Smith in his book is definitely NOT the confirmed sample written by Nick Warren on 26 January 1995 with Diamine ink recreated by Alec Voller, an extract of which I posted on this forum recently.

Indeed, if the anonymous sample was received by Smith prior to 26 January 1995, and if it was indeed written by Nick Warren (for which confirmation is awaited - and if we see it we can compare the handwriting), it may well have been written using the post-1992 sample of Diamine Ink which Warren purchased from the Bluecoat Art Shop in, I believe, 1994. In other words, it may well be the wrong sample to use for comparison purposes.
In which case, how could it have looked 'identical' to the pre-1992 Diamine ink which Voller sent to Shirley and Nick Warren, which Robert used to add some words to it? And why would Robert have said it looked identical if it was obviously some other ink entirely?
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:21 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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We seem to be going backwards now in our understanding of Voller. When he referred in his letter of 8 February 1996 to "a matter of weeks" to create five years exposure to sunlight he wasn't talking specifically about a UV sunlamp. He didn’t mention a sunlamp in that letter (which was only referred to in his letter of 13 February 1996).

If Voller gave Shirley an opinion that the diary was "at least 90 years" old then he must have changed his opinion from his original inspection in October 1995 because he put it in writing in his letter to Nick Warren dated 8 February 1996 that:

"You are of course aware of my visit to London last October when I examined the diary and expressed the opinion that on the basis of appearances, ink and paper had been together for 80-90 years".

He repeats the same time period when says later in the same letter in respect of the accelerate fading apparatus:

"How long it would take to produce an 80-90 years old effect with ferrogallic writing, I have no idea; as far as I am aware, the experiment has never been tried."

So he does, in February 1996, seem stuck on the notion of 80-90 years, having already confirmed in writing that this was his opinion in October 1995. But perhaps he was just a confused old man?

A fading apparatus will certainly cause fading, as its name suggests, but, as it is replicating the effects of sunlight, it can presumably have other consequences for ink. A name is just a name. If it was called an Accelerated Fading and Bronzing Apparatus would that make people happy?

As I keep saying repeatedly, though, the issue of the sunlamp is probably a red herring because the effects of both fading and bronzing appear to occur naturally with Diamine Ink, unknown for some reason to Voller, as demonstrated very clearly by the 1995 Nick Warren's test sample and Voller's reaction to it in 2001. I'm quite sure I have never said I posted a photograph of this original test sample from 1995, so someone must be imagining things.

Either Voller can be relied on to tell us whether the Diary ink is Diamine or he can't. If we have to discard everything he said in October 1995 due to Nick Warren's Diamine sample being similar to the Diary ink then we are still back to the Diary ink possibly being Diamine.
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