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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
    Can you please define Chief Diary Defender? Someone like Iconoclast?
    One minute you want a definition then the next minute you want an identification. If you can't work out what the expression "Chief Diary Defender" means or who that person is then you haven't been following the debate properly - in which case, take it from me, you really don't need to know.


    • In what universe, I wonder, is the expression "my dear boy" (for that is how I used to address Pierre) considered an insult? I have very fond memories of my exchanges with my good friend Pierre and I remember with affection how he used to sign off his posts to me as "Your dear boy". Ah, good times. Mind you, one can only imagine the frustration of someone who has spent hours, if not days, if not months, trying every search imaginable to find a single example of "one off..." in the nineteenth century, absolutely desperate to try and prove me wrong, but failing to do so time and time again, yet seemingly unable to reach the obvious conclusion that the expression simply did not exist (and that, therefore, I am right!). Whether this immense frustration justifies the most extraordinary and bad tempered example of hypocrisy I've seen on these boards for a long time is doubtful but there are hypocrites in all walks of life and they are best ignored or treated with utter disdain.


      • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
        It's extraordinary how the world's leading expert on pedantry, who is so normally insistent on the reproduction of the exact words used by other writers, can write (bold in original):

        "On page 6 of Robert Smith's 2017 book, after quoting Voller's words to Warren: "Nigrosine, although a black dyestuff, does have bluish undertones", he goes on to write that in 1995, Warren had sent him a sample of his own writing using Diamine ink supplied by Voller, who had also supplied Shirley Harrison with two bottles.

        Robert says he spotted the unmistakable "bluish undertones" of the Diamine ink used by Warren."

        But what Smith actually says in his book is that he received an anonymous letter in 1995 which he assumed to have come from Warren: "I assume it was him, as he was the only person to receive the ink from Dr Voller apart from Harrison." Not sure why that wasn't mentioned.
        I thought it would have been a bit mean to include a detail that would only serve to make Warren look even more of a twat than he was thought to be all those years ago. But if our resident ink expert is quite happy to do so, who am I to argue? In fact I'll join in the Warren bashing and quote what he wrote anonymously, like a naughty schoolboy, to Robert:

        'This paper was made in 1888
        Diamine ink is an old ink
        Give the fools a laugh
        I cannot wait for the thrill'

        I imagine he's still waiting.

        But what's even more extraordinary is that this same pedant, who normally insists on seeing things with her own eyes, is happy to accept Smith's word for it that he spotted the "bluish undertones" of the Diamine ink.
        Why wouldn't I? Robert has been a close friend of mine for nearly twenty years and I've never noticed anything that much amiss with his eyesight over that time. Assuming Warren's test sample was in the same Diamine ink Voller supplied to Shirley [otherwise what was the point of his funny little game?], why wouldn't Robert have seen the same "bluish undertones" that we can all see in his own test sample using the same Diamine ink pictured on page 34 of his book?

        So why has he not reproduced a copy of what he was supposedly sent by Warren in 1995?
        I have no idea, but I plan to ask Robert when I can tear myself away from the entertainment here. Perhaps he didn't want to humiliate the man quite to the extent our resident ink expert would evidently like to see.

        For it certainly is not the same letter that I have reproduced in this forum.
        Well no. Which I suggest is not really Robert's problem. At least he had an original sample to compare with his own original sample.

        And, as Smith says that, "I wrote some rather more sober words using the Diamine ink and a Victorian dipping pen on Warren's missive" - something he could only have done no earlier than 2011 when he first received what was purported to be Harrison's missing bottle of Diamine ink - adding "the two samples are identical", it would appear that there was no change in the ink in the 1995 letter over a 16 year period.
        Should there have been? Does Voller say anything about Diamine changing colour, on the page or in the bottle, after a certain number of years?

        But we need to be sure that the letter received by Smith in 1995 really was from Warren and really did exhibit bluish undertones. So why is a copy not available?
        I'm not sure why our resident ink expert wants to go down this road. Why would Robert have wanted to see bluish undertones if there were none? He knew he was using Voller's Diamine, so if the missive had looked in a different colour he'd have assumed it was just a joke and wouldn't have known or cared who might have sent it or what ink had been used. It was the very fact that the inks looked identical in colour that confirmed for Robert that it was Warren playing with the same Diamine supplied to him by Voller. I suppose it's possible that Warren gave one of his bottles to someone else who had it in for Robert [ooh, I wonder who that could have been?], but it would still have been the same ink.

        What I see in the Warren sample from 1995 that I have reproduced is the same greyish undertones as we see in the Diary.
        What larks. So what on earth was Warren using for that sample? I do hope our resident ink expert is not being a big ole hypocrite, and expecting anyone to simply accept Warren's word for it that he was using the right, pre-1992 formula Diamine, straight from the bottle, undiluted. Someone I don't know at all apart from his rather clammy handshake and willingness to send people anonymous letters.

        Voller also seemed to be troubled by the comparison so it's really got nothing to do with viewing an "old photo" on a message board – a photograph which, incidentally, was taken last month, so is not old.
        Good - a bit more info. So the writing in Warren's sample is as the original looks now, which is probably, though not necessarily, as it would have looked in 1995. No wonder Voller seemed troubled, considering how different his Diamine looks on page 34 of Robert's book. I wonder if that would similarly have troubled him. I'm not sure his ink was designed to vary that much from one user to another, regardless of time spent in the bottle or on the paper. If he was troubled to see Warren's sample looking more like the diary ink than his own Diamine, it would certainly be helpful to have confirmation that Warren wasn't pulling someone else's leg this time or using the wrong ink by mistake. How would we know?

        There is no evidence from anyone that Diamine ink starts off as astonishingly watery, and grey, and then becomes opaque and black or blue as time goes on. Voller has never said any such thing so let's not start trying to guess at what Diamine does.
        I thought it was only Warren who claimed that the Diamine supplied by Voller was astonishingly watery 'at first', while Voller himself described it as blacker and more opaque than the diary ink, and Robert found that to be the case when he used it.

        It may well be that further tests can be done but that only demonstrates that there is uncertainty as to what ink the Diary was written with and the issue is by no means resolved.
        Indeed. It is not yet known where or when the diary author obtained the ink.

        It might not be Diamine ink, but it still might be. If someone wants to make a positive assertion one way or another, the onus is on them to establish it.
        Okay, agreed. I don't personally believe there is a cat in hell's chance that the diary was written with Diamine, or by a Barrett for that matter. But if anyone wants to claim they know better, the onus is on them to demonstrate it.

        I'm off for steak frites and a bottle of the red stuff. Yum.


        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        • 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.


          • If Baxendale found nothing to suggest the presence of iron then that is the fact of the matter. It was perfectly proper for him to report that (absence of) finding. He did NOT say that there was no iron in the ink.

            Here is some very important information which may never have been published before - I've certainly never seen it. It's an extract from a note by the late Melvin Harris based on what he had been told directly by Dr Baxendale (underlining in original):

            "When Dr. Baxendale made the first examination of the diary ink it looked so new to him that he didn't even bother to make a chemical test for iron. As he explained to me, he made a visual examination of the ink only and since it showed not the slightest trace of age-bronzing, concluded, rightly, that it could not possibly be an iron-gall ink laid down some 104 years ago. His solvency test, a perfectly valid test in experienced hands, took him by surprise; "The pigments dissolved in distilled-water within seconds", he told me. This should not happen with a century-old gallotanic ink."

            Baxendale's area of expertise was forensic document examination. He had a lot of experience in the subject. This is why he was chosen by Smith and Harrison, above all others, to examine the diary. He remains, in fact, the only forensic document examiner to have examined the diary. He concluded that it was a modern fake. People don't like this result so they try to smear him. But that is what he concluded and, hey, who knows, maybe he was correct!


            • I wonder if my "supporters" and my "fan club" (NB. Annual subscription is due at the of THIS month, don’t forget everyone) are able to work out the source of the claim that Mike, on being handed the Diary by Eddie Lyons (as per the Diary Defender theory), was told to "do something with it".

              I'm not aware of a recording of any such meeting between Eddie and Mike nor of the existence of any witnesses to such a meeting. Eddie denies ever being in possession of the Diary, let along handing it to Mike.

              So what is the source of the comment "do something with it"?

              Oh hold on, it's MIKE BARRETT!!! Yes, Mike Barrett, that lying untrustworthy scoundrel, was actually telling us something truthful, according to the diary defenders. He was honestly and genuinely saying that he was given the diary and that when he was given the diary he was told to "do something with it".

              Not that the Diary Defenders wish to pick and choose which bits of Mike's story they believe. Oh no, not all.


              • If I may quote myself:

                Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                if the ink was a Nigrosine based ink why is there no nitrogen?

                It should be there shouldn't it? But if you can't find the N in Nigrosine might that not be the same reason why you can't find the N in chloroacetamide? If, of course, the ink contained chloroacetamide.

                And if that's the case is it really Case Closed?
                In response, a lot of waffle with the accompanying comment "I know very little on this subject".

                Like I said, is it really Case Closed?


                • 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".


                  • Given that Voller appears to have been satisfied that the Diary ink was Nigrosine, which is known for its bluish undertones, it would seem that Robert Smith, that great non-colour blind man, has misunderstood the meaning of "bluish undertones".

                    For me, as I have said, not disputing that the ink in his test sample is black, there would appear to be "bluish overtones" in that ink.

                    In other words, it's not a question of colour interpretation but a question of interpretation of the word "undertones" in ink, in particular regarding Voller's use of the word.


                    • 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.


                      • Ultimately the issue of whether Robert Smith's 2012 sample has bluish undertones or not is irrelevant. The reason for this is that we have Nick Warren's contemporary sample, written with Alec Voller's Diamine Ink, dated 26 January 1995.

                        I posted an extract from this sample and I don't think there can be any doubt that it looks similar to the Diary ink.

                        But you don't even have to take my word for it or question the quality of the photograph (itself a desperate tactic) for we have Melvin Harris saying, as I quoted yesterday, but which has, so far, been ignored:

                        "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 the 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. "

                        (NB. my original transcription of "your Diary pages" was wrong and should have been "the Diary pages")

                        Harris was, here, enclosing a colour copy of Nick Warren's sample for Voller's inspection and saying that it was "so close to the ink on the Diary pages". As we know, Voller commented in 2001 that the sample was indeed similar to the Diary ink (and I am paraphrasing there).

                        Yet, Warren's 1995 sample does not look very much like Robert Smith's 2012 sample.

                        I do not claim to be able to explain this but might I suggest that, as the bottle of ink went missing for 16 years, it may be that the bottle that was found in an attic in 2011 might not actually have been the same sample provided by Voller in January 1995. Perhaps it was a bottle of post-1992 Diamine which had been purchased from the Bluecoat Art Shop and which Shirley confused herself in 2011 into thinking was Voller's recreated pre-1992 sample. If the anonymous letter received by Smith was also written with post-1992 Diamine Ink purchased from the Bluecoat Art Shop then that would explain why they are similar (if they actually are similar, for which evidence is awaited).


                        • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                          One minute you want a definition then the next minute you want an identification.
                          Actually both in the same minute. But I am interested in the definition of a "Diary Defender". Anyone know?


                          • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                            Actually both in the same minute. But I am interested in the definition of a "Diary Defender". Anyone know?
                            I already discussed this on the forum Scott. As I suspected, you just haven't been following.


                            • I see the latest person to be smeared is Nick Warren. And he's a real doctor (unlike the imaginary one who gets cited so much). It's the usual desperate tactic. When the evidence is irrefutable throw in a smear or two, because that's really going to work.

                              And, incidentally, I don't recall saying that I photographed the original letter written by Nick Warren.


                              • Originally posted by caz View Post
                                Why would Mike even be looking for details of Crashaw's life and works to begin with, when researching the ripper and Maybrick? And what were the chances of finding such absolute gems?
                                The same questions could be asked of any hoaxer at any time, Caz. Chances are, whoever wrote the diary just found these Crashaw poems in books. The biographical links and the Times Crossword bit strike me as being the same kind of curious coincidence whether we're talking about Mike or a non-Mike hoaxer.

                                To turn your question on its head: "Why would a non-Mike hoaxer even be looking for details of Crashaw's life and works to begin with?"
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)