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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

    I think it has. A diary can be with or without printed dates, even if he was offered one with it’s possible he could have cut them out (for instance remove the top inch containing dates).

    Failing that, he could have just tried to adjust his draft with work with dates, only a few dates in the diary are set in stone so it would have been possible.
    Obviously using actual dates would increase the chance of detectable error, but in short: he didn’t know he was going to get, but clearly there were options. His ad was perfect for obtaining what was needed, namely a blank diary from the relevant period. If he were to be offered more than one, he could choose the most suitable. In the end, he found a solution anyway.
    Why didn't Mike just look for a Victorian notebook? Then he wouldn't have had to worry about cutting the dates off, or trying to edit his narrative to fit dates in even a loose date structure. Looking for a diary when he wasn't faking a diary doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.


    Comment


    • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
      Ok, I tried finding this argument by RJ, and failed. I think RJ’s mention of MB looking for blank Victorian paper just means that MB knew the paper had to pass muster with testing. Not that MB was looking for sheets of paper.
      There's another fly in this ointment, Kattrup, and it might be better for RJ himself to explain what he meant, rather than for you to 'think' he meant that Mike knew the paper had to be Victorian in order to 'pass muster' with testing.

      If Mike tried to obtain a diary dated 1880-1890, so that at least its paper would pass muster, but the diary he ordered from Martin Earl failed him on almost every other count, he still needed to find something genuinely Victorian. But he claimed that the scrapbook he felt sure he had obtained at auction in January 1990 [which, thanks to Orsam's magnetic internet dating technique, and remarkable powers of persuasion, has now shifted to 31st March 1992] had the maker's stamp mark inside the front cover, dated 1908-1909, which he removed. Presumably this was so that it was still able to pass muster as Victorian, because as Mike no doubt guessed, scientists are not historians and would have had no idea that the dear old Queen was not still sitting on the throne by then.

      Ooh and another fly in the fly paper - Mike had no idea by 19th March 1992 that he was going to be offered anything as a result of his enquiry. How long would he have waited before trying another route, to obtain the Victorian paper he needed if he was ever going to get the job done and produce what was on his word processor? He'd already told Doreen he had the diary and I have to wonder how he managed to come away from those early phone calls [prior to auction day on 31st March], without Doreen once asking him to describe the physical book. What excuse did he have ready for avoiding giving her the least little clue, if she needed to know before committing any further time to it? I never had Doreen down as an incurious person, especially when it came to the diary, but maybe I misjudged her.

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      Last edited by caz; 08-07-2020, 02:26 PM.
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

        Why didn't Mike just look for a Victorian notebook? Then he wouldn't have had to worry about cutting the dates off, or trying to edit his narrative to fit dates in even a loose date structure. Looking for a diary when he wasn't faking a diary doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.
        He was faking a diary, though. That was his stated intention. So it makes perfect sense to go looking for one.
        Perhaps he was hoping for one with “DIARY” and “(c) Cotton Traders’ Stationary Office 1888” stamped on the first page, but really he was just trying his luck and seeing what he’d be offered.

        Are you saying that what he ultimately faked is not a diary?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

          He was faking a diary, though. That was his stated intention. So it makes perfect sense to go looking for one.
          Perhaps he was hoping for one with “DIARY” and “(c) Cotton Traders’ Stationary Office 1888” stamped on the first page, but really he was just trying his luck and seeing what he’d be offered.

          Are you saying that what he ultimately faked is not a diary?
          You are twisting words and circumstances to make an argument, Katnip.

          You know fine well that the DAiry is anything but a diary except that it starts at some point and ends at some point. It's a scrapbook, a journal, a narrative, a record, a confessional, and - if we accept that it starts and ends at some point - a diary.

          But its place as a diary comes firmly last in that long list. To transcribe that text from his word prosser to a document required a notebook and no more and it certainly didn't require a diary.

          Where you are just stuck in a rut is in being transfixed by Barrett's telling Montgomery that he had the 'diary of Jack the Spratt McVitie' and would she be interested in seeing it. It must have been a 'diary' in his mind all along, then, I hear you say, in that sad, tunnel-visioned way of the typical Bongo-defender. But it was never a diary, and it therefore did not require a diary.

          Honestly, mate.

          I'm helping you out here.

          Ike
          Iconoclast

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

            He was faking a diary, though. That was his stated intention. So it makes perfect sense to go looking for one.
            Perhaps he was hoping for one with “DIARY” and “(c) Cotton Traders’ Stationary Office 1888” stamped on the first page, but really he was just trying his luck and seeing what he’d be offered.

            Are you saying that what he ultimately faked is not a diary?
            I travel to Aarhus very often for business, and I know now where the word Kattrup comes from - it was bugging me. A quick Google search reminded me that it is a small town located about 40 mins north off Billund.

            I'm an honoury Dane at this stage, and one thing I always love with Danes is their ability to handle honesty and critical feedback. It seems to be inbuilt into the national psyche, much like Hygge - it's uniquely Danish. The facts are facts and that is that. In business it is hugely useful having that approach. Jesper Buch is a personal friend of mine and he epitomises that beautifully and is why he is super successful, but he is also not beyond criticism despite his success.

            Driving through Denmark I am often struck at how flat the land is. The straightness of the roads. How everything just works as it should. I am of Irish stock and in Ireland we have a more creative approach to life. We are a nation of story tellers. We have a rich history in it. Our roads bend and wind and are full of pot holes. They take you to the same destination, but sometimes the journey is what makes it - not the destination. It's why we have such kinship with scousers, we are cut from the same cloth.

            So when I look at Mike Barrett I do not see a man pragmatically starting his hunt for the perfect specimen to engage in his desire for a hoax. I see a scouser wondering if he himself has been spun a yarn, like the many yarns he himself has spun others over the years.

            Without trying to paint with too broad a brush of national stereotypes, I do think that sometimes the lens in which people see things makes all the difference in things like this. Not all lenses take the same picture.
            Last edited by erobitha; 08-07-2020, 08:08 PM.
            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

              I travel to Aarhus very often for business, and I know now where the word Kattrup comes from - it was bugging me. A quick Google search reminded me that it is a small town located about 40 mins north off Billund.
              Yes, well spotted. There is at least one other Kattrup, Kattrup Manor, an estate from the 14th century, near Kalundborg.

              Though I took my username from Frederik Oskar Kattrup, one of the first Danish ripperologists - interviewing Kattrup was the basis for Carl Muusmann’s 1908 book Who was Jack the Ripper?

              Kattrup’s familyname would most likely have come from Kattrup near Billund a few generations earlier.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                You are twisting words and circumstances to make an argument, Katnip.

                You know fine well that the DAiry is anything but a diary except that it starts at some point and ends at some point. It's a scrapbook, a journal, a narrative, a record, a confessional, and - if we accept that it starts and ends at some point - a diary.

                But its place as a diary comes firmly last in that long list. To transcribe that text from his word prosser to a document required a notebook and no more and it certainly didn't require a diary.

                Where you are just stuck in a rut is in being transfixed by Barrett's telling Montgomery that he had the 'diary of Jack the Spratt McVitie' and would she be interested in seeing it. It must have been a 'diary' in his mind all along, then, I hear you say, in that sad, tunnel-visioned way of the typical Bongo-defender. But it was never a diary, and it therefore did not require a diary.

                Honestly, mate.

                I'm helping you out here.

                Ike
                What a weird argument. It’s only a diary because it starts and ends at some point (in time, I suppose), then immediately after you phrase it “if we accept” that it starts and ends. Are you suggesting it’s uncertain? That Maybrick, for instance, wrote all of it in one sitting?

                Anyway, even if we pretend for a moment that your argument is correct and the diary should not be labeled a diary, that still does not explain why MB went shopping for a diary. If he wanted something to compare with, why would he not be content to buy a blank Victorian notebook? Or scrapbook? Or album?

                He thought of it as a diary, whether he was producing it or comparing it, so I’m not sure the argument “but it’s not actually a diary so he needn’t buy a diary” is very convincing.

                Also, what you or others believe was needed to produce the diary is not very relevant. MB did not “need” a diary to complete his fake, he didn’t even need a notebook or a journal. But if he could get one, all the better. In the end, he couldn’t, so he made do with what was available. And it did not matter, even though the diary was not written in an actual diary, notebook or journal, and even though pages had been cut out, suggesting quite clearly that revealing materials had been removed, it still got published.

                He didn’t need to write a text free of mistakes, anachronisms and direct quotes from secondary texts. If he managed, great. But the diary as is contains all those things, and still managed to fool some people.
                Which shows the argument e.g. that he and his wife would have needed to be conscious of and careful to avoid lifting phrases from books is false. They didn’t. The book already has such phrases so whoever wrote it obviously did not need to be careful.

                The “what was needed”-argument also misses the point:to write a bestseller. Not to write a fake that would withstand scrutiny. But to make a fake that would grab attention, get some headlines and result in cash. Once the factual and levelheaded criticism came in, which could always be delayed by not admitting to tests or requiring further tests etc. it would be too late.

                MB went shopping for a blank Victorian diary and shortly after proclaimed he possessed the genuine diary of Jack the Ripper, which had no provenance at all.
                Whether you call it a diary or not, that won’t change.

                Comment



                • What a weird argument. It’s only a diary because it starts and ends at some point
                  Sounds like a diary to me. It starts and it ends. What kind do you favour?

                  That Maybrick, for instance, wrote all of it in one sitting?
                  No, but I am now thinking that you are stretching really hard to find a problem where none exists.

                  Anyway, even if we pretend for a moment that your argument is correct and the diary should not be labeled a diary that still does not explain why MB went shopping for a diary.
                  Now you're catching on! Nothing can adequately explain why Bongo Barrett - if he was attempting to hoax a document - needed a diary when loose paper or a notebook would have been fine.

                  If he wanted something to compare with, why would he not be content to buy a blank Victorian notebook? Or scrapbook? Or album?
                  OMG - and I thought you were arguing against my position!

                  He thought of it as a diary ...
                  Woah cowboy! 'He thought of it as a diary'? Nice presuppositional there! Helps your argument, but strays a billion miles from what we know.

                  , whether he was producing it or comparing it, so I’m not sure the argument “but it’s not actually a diary so he needn’t buy a diary” is very convincing.
                  Well if that had been what I was saying, I'd agree with you, but what you've done there is a rapid revisionist interpretation of what I actually said. Either that or you just didn't understand what I was saying, which is the version I would honestly prefer here.

                  Also, what you or others believe was needed to produce the diary is not very relevant. MB did not “need” a diary to complete his fake, he didn’t even need a notebook or a journal.
                  Why do you keep iterating my own argument as though it wasn't my argument???

                  But if he could get one, all the better.
                  Hold on, Katnip, you can't revision that hard and get away with it. Barrett did not request a 'diary' amongst other things. He requested a diary. So he was only ever going to get a diary. He's not going to get a scrapbook or a notebook or even loose leaves of Victorian paper as a result of that advert. He was going to get a diary or nothing, so it was all or nothing.

                  In the end, he couldn’t, so he made do with what was available.
                  This is a specious argument. He asked for a Victorian diary. He got a Victorian diary. It was obviously not suitable to hoax what he turned up in London with so we can not unreasonably infer that he was not seeking something to write the hoax into in its entirety (as we now know that he had ample opportunity to decline the purchase but he went ahead with it). He then showed up in London with a Victorian scrapbook. That's as much as we know for certain, regardless of the circus of claims he made a couple of years later.

                  And it did not matter, even though the diary was not written in an actual diary, notebook or journal, and even though pages had been cut out, suggesting quite clearly that revealing materials had been removed, it still got published.
                  No, it did not matter. It did not matter after he went to London with the scrapbook, and - thus - it is rather clear that it did not matter before he went to London with the scrapbook unless you can show conclusively that he needed an actual diary to create an actual hoax.

                  He didn’t need to write a text free of mistakes, anachronisms and direct quotes from secondary texts. If he managed, great. But the diary as is contains all those things, and still managed to fool some people.
                  Careful, Katbnip. You're pre-suppositionalising again. Your argument only holds true if he had fooled some people.

                  Which shows the argument e.g. that he and his wife would have needed to be conscious of and careful to avoid lifting phrases from books is false.
                  And whose argument is that? I don't recognise it as mine.

                  They didn’t. The book already has such phrases so whoever wrote it obviously did not need to be careful.
                  I can only think of 'tin match box, empty' off the top of my head. If it was a hoax, it is not so much that the hoaxer did not need to be careful but more that they simply weren't.

                  The “what was needed”-argument also misses the point:to write a bestseller. Not to write a fake that would withstand scrutiny. But to make a fake that would grab attention, get some headlines and result in cash.
                  If 'nothing was needed', he was extremely specific in his advert. If an actual diary was not required, we come immediately and irrevocably back to why he requested one and why in such specific detail. "I don't need an actual diary, Mr Earl, but I thought I'd be this specific to cause a right old stooshy in a few years time when I decide to pretend I did need one." And this is all only true as long as we publish stuff without checking first. "Here's your ten million, mate. By the way, leave the scrapbook with us for a few days while we do the odd ink test and what have you".

                  Once the factual and levelheaded criticism came in, which could always be delayed by not admitting to tests or requiring further tests etc. it would be too late.
                  And that is why much of the testing was done ahead of publication (as I recall). You'd certain assume it! Publish, make a fortune, run away, test it. I don't think it worked that way, but I'd have to check and it's just too hot to bother right now.

                  MB went shopping for a blank Victorian diary
                  Yes, he did, didn't he? There's no flies on you, mate.

                  and shortly after proclaimed he possessed the genuine diary of Jack the Ripper ...
                  Barrett proclaimed to Doreen Montgomery on March 9 1992 that he had the diary of Jack the Ripper. Are you arguing that there is evidence to show that he had requested a Victorian diary from 1880-1890 before then? That'll be news to us all so please share how you uncovered this gem.

                  ... which had no provenance at all.
                  Crikey, how many potential provenances do you need before you have a provenance??? "'ere you go, mate, that's forty provenances, and I've chucked in a couple of affy Davids for good measure - just for you".

                  Whether you call it a diary or not, that won’t change.
                  Well it's not me who's calling it a diary, mate!
                  Iconoclast

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                    What a weird argument. It’s only a diary because it starts and ends at some point (in time, I suppose), then immediately after you phrase it “if we accept” that it starts and ends. Are you suggesting it’s uncertain? That Maybrick, for instance, wrote all of it in one sitting?
                    This has really got my goat, and I'm not done.

                    So, Katnip's explanation basically reduces down to Mike and co-conspirators not giving a great deal of thought to the preparation of their hoax? It didn’t matter whether the text included mistakes, anachronisms and direct quotes from secondary sources, nor that they didn’t have a clue what Maybrick’s handwriting looked like, because the fake document would not have to withstand scrutiny. Didn’t even have to be a diary, notebook or a journal. The paper just needed to be Victorian. And if that was a problem, well just find something that looked vaguely the right period and remove any tell tale clues which showed it was early Edwardian rather than late Victorian.

                    Anyway that type of irksome detail would be by-passed by the clueless literary agent and easily fooled publishers. All that was required was to grab some headlines which would result in cash. Then call in some easily fooled experts and gullible researchers and write a best seller. Avoid all factual and level head criticism including the Baxendale report, until after publication. Delay or find excuses for not having any further tests on a suspect document but just pretend to be satisfied about its authenticity.

                    Robert Smith would be quite capable of fending off a Scotland Yard investigation brought about by The Sunday Times and if charged and convicted with fobbing off on the public a document he knew to be a fraud, well, that didn’t really matter. He’d made a bit of money which he could think about whilst serving a prison sentence with his professional reputation in tatters.

                    As for Mike and Anne, they hadn’t invested too much time in creating their hoax diary. They risked prosecution of course but their lives were already falling apart, so one more thing wouldn’t bother them unduly. But if Mike was going down for fraud, it would be galling for him to be dismissed as an incompetent forger. He wanted the world to know that he had spent over two years in masterminding this hoax and all the credit belonged to him. Hence his January 5, 1995 affidavit.

                    Is that how it would have all worked in Katnip's world of make belief?

                    Ike
                    I'm Fizzin', Me
                    Iconoclast

                    Comment


                    • Iconoclast.
                      It seems this argument is based on some misunderstanding. Possibly mutual.

                      Here's the argument you're making, as I interpret it:

                      1. The diary is not written in an actual diary.
                      2. Therefore, a hoaxer would not need an actual diary to perpetrate his or her hoax.
                      3. Therefore, since MB asked for an actual diary, he cannot be the hoaxer.

                      I do not consider that a valid argument, even though you repeat it. The fact that whoever hoaxed the diary did not NEED a diary is true. We know this, since the diary is not written in an actual diary.

                      However, it does not follow that whoever wanted to hoax the diary did not WANT a diary to perpetrate his or her hoax. We also should not assume MB or whoever would know in advance or expect that obtaining a blank diary would be difficult nor that obtaining one through his one known request was his or her only plan:

                      1. MB only placed one ad for a diary
                      2. The ad produced only one result, unsuitable
                      3. An hoaxer would have foreseen this and asked for other materials as well
                      4. therefore, MB could not have intended to hoax a diary, since he only asked for a diary.

                      I do not consider this a valid argument either, because we cannot simply assume that a hoaxer would know or anticipate how easy or difficult it would be to find a suitable diary.
                      Also, MB clearly pursued other avenues: he claimed to receive money from his father-in-law, money which would cover at least "the appropriate paper should I find it" and he went to at least one auction. His remark about the paper shows that he was not sure about being succesful.

                      Although MB had asked for a diary, if that didn't work he could possibly have placed requests for other types of materials, as you suggest. It seems he did not, because he managed to find the album at the auction and decided it was good enough. So the assumption that MB's diary request was his only hope - all or nothing, as you put it - is false.

                      So really, I don't think the argument "The diary is not really a diary and so MB would not need an actual diary and therefore it makes no sense for him to request one, he should have requested something else that would have been easier and had more chance of success" has any merit at all.

                      MB stated that his intention was to write the diary of Jack the Ripper. It's therefore perfectly straightforward that he went looking for a diary in which to write the diary.
                      The fact that he was unsuccesful in obtaining a suitable diary does not mean that it was not his intention.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                        So, Katnip's explanation basically reduces down to Mike and co-conspirators not giving a great deal of thought to the preparation of their hoax? It didn’t matter whether the text included mistakes, anachronisms and direct quotes from secondary sources, nor that they didn’t have a clue what Maybrick’s handwriting looked like, because the fake document would not have to withstand scrutiny. Didn’t even have to be a diary, notebook or a journal. The paper just needed to be Victorian. And if that was a problem, well just find something that looked vaguely the right period and remove any tell tale clues which showed it was early Edwardian rather than late Victorian.
                        Iconoclast, I hate to break it to you, but you just described the diary as it is. So clearly: no, it did not matter.

                        As usual, Bongo's level of expertise can be scaled up or down as it suits you: in this case, you imagine he'd foresee all kinds of difficulties and since he did not correct for them, it follows he cannot be the hoaxer. I.e. because the hoaxer made mistakes, MB cannot have been the hoaxer.

                        In other cases, Bongo is an bungling fool who could not write a text to save his life or who'd never read a book in his possession.

                        Producing the diary was taking a chance - it could be succesful and bring reward but it could also be a risk. You're suggesting that since it was risky and could carry negative consequences, MB would not have done it.

                        Any criminal or quasi-criminal enterprise carries some risk and yet, there are some who try. Even married couples with kids. Usually, people focus more on the potential rewards than the inherent risk. As it happened, it was a pretty succesful gamble. No criminal charges (that I know of) and quite a lot of money.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                          Iconoclast.
                          It seems this argument is based on some misunderstanding. Possibly mutual.

                          Here's the argument you're making, as I interpret it:

                          1. The diary is not written in an actual diary.
                          2. Therefore, a hoaxer would not need an actual diary to perpetrate his or her hoax.
                          3. Therefore, since MB asked for an actual diary, he cannot be the hoaxer.
                          No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

                          Your conclusion is way off the mark. It should have read:

                          3. Therefore, since MB asked for an actual diary, there is no evidence that he was seeking to create a hoax of anything (never mind of a diary of Jack the Ripper).

                          Your pre-supposition is obvious, if not to you perhaps: Your argument comes constantly from the general assumption that the scrapbook is a hoax and from the specific assumption that Barrett was the hoaxer.

                          Your pre-supposition could be wrong. I - for one - believe it to be.

                          Ike
                          Iconoclast

                          Comment


                          • I do not consider this a valid argument either, because we cannot simply assume that a hoaxer would know or anticipate how easy or difficult it would be to find a suitable diary.
                            So - if Barrett could not 'simply assume ... or anticipate how easy or difficult it would be to find a suitable diary', why on eartyh would be so grossly restrict his options when he placed his advert?

                            It is the highly specific nature of his request which tells you that he is looking to see what a Victorian diary looks like. Granted, he wanted at least 20 blank pages - which this entire argument fundamentally hinges on - and that's not easy to explain if you're on my side of the fence; but if he was planning to use this diary to create a 63-page hoax in the next week or two, why did he specify a diary (thereby restricting his more than suitable alternative options - and why on earth did he still purchase the diary when it was self-evidently nothing like what your version of Barrett wanted?

                            Perhaps Barrett's version of Barrett had an ulterior motive?

                            Earl: "So what I've got here Mr Barrett is a trillion miles away from what you need so you don't need to buy it, I can stop the process right now.
                            Barrett: No, no. Send me it anyway.

                            But carry on.

                            Ike
                            Iconoclast

                            Comment


                            • and he went to at least one auction.
                              Remind me, which auction did Barrett attend again?
                              Iconoclast

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                                Iconoclast.
                                MB stated that his intention was to write the diary of Jack the Ripper. It's therefore perfectly straightforward that he went looking for a diary in which to write the diary.
                                The fact that he was unsuccesful in obtaining a suitable diary does not mean that it was not his intention.
                                Get a grip of your brain, man.

                                The only auction Barrett could have attended before April 13 1992 was on March 31, 1992, and - of course - he had no idea what he might find there. So he took an almighty and quite irrelevant risk when asking for a Victorian diary when he could not possibly have known if there'd be anything he could use (or win a bid for) at an auction due to be held on March 31.

                                Barrett: "I'd like a genuine Victorian diary, please, Mr Earl, if necessary from a quite impossible year - I am a complete idiot after all. Don't worry if you're unsuccessful - I'll just nip along to the Last Minute Shop and outbid everyone for a Victorian scrapbook I don't even know will be there yet".

                                But carry on.

                                Ike
                                Iconoclast

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