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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

    Wasn't this simply a novel though, using the plot device of a discovered manuscript in order to frame it as a true story. Isn't this just a classic literary technique, rather than a deliberate attempt tp create a "genuine" hoax?
    I'm not aware that the author actually claimed (outside of the novel itself) that the events recounted had actually happened, nor created a physical version of the supposed manuscript, which would be a parallel in this case. Although it has to be said, he did use an actual ancestor of his as the protagonist and alleged author of the alleged manuscript.

    As best I can remember it was not published as an acknowledged fiction, which is why some people accepted it as true. I do't believe the imaginary manuscript was faked to support the narrative, but the supposed author was a real person and I seem to recall that the book contained photographs of him, giving verisimilitude to the narrative. The actual author has not denied the book was a fake when he's been asked outright, but, as he says and as the book was perhaps created to demonstrate, very few people asked. So, as I understand it anyway, whilst the plot device of finding a manuscript in an old desk was a well used one, the book wasn't presented as a work of fiction and the use of a real person, including photographs of him and, I seem to recall, a genuine biography, the purpose was to see how many people would ignore the clues to it being a fiction and would accept it as genuine without checking. I'm not suggesting that there are strong parallels with the 'diary', but it is fortunate that enough people know the truth about that supposed UFO encounter for it not to have passed into UFO history as all that survives of a now-lost manuscript or something, a possibility that perhaps illustrates that someone in the past could have faked the 'diary' as part of some scam that was never put into practice. Anyway, it was only an idea, not an altogether serious proposition.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


      Hmm. A series of articles pretending to investigate it…

      The following comment is merely a joke, Paul--or I hope it is--but the only ones that went on to write a series of investigative 'articles' about the hoax in question---the Maybrick Diary--were Melvin Harris, or, if we allow book length studies, Harrison and Feldman. (Though I suppose we'd have to expand our nest of suspects to include Smith, Linder, Morris, Skinner, Barrat, and Mitchell!)

      This sounds strangely like Simon Wood's 'shrewd' theory--if I am understanding Simon’s enigmatic statement correctly--that the whole thing was a set-up by those who wished to 'pretend' to investigate a spoof hoax that they, themselves, had created…

      But, moving along from shrewd paranoia to the analytical, the 'spoof' theory doesn't really clarify matters, does it?

      A joke or a spoof can be created in 1991, just as well as in 1930.

      One would still have to show why an older date is somehow preferable to a modern date, particularly in light of the circumstantial evidence against the Barretts, by which I mean their evasive and shifting stories, as well as their attempt to buy blank Victorian paper.

      It is by no means surprising that the old hoax theory made the rounds, because Rod McNeil’s ion migration test had dated the diary to roughly 1920, give or take a few years. The ‘old hoax’ suggestion can be seen as a reasonable attempt to reconcile early, conflicting reports.

      But we now know more than we did 25 years ago, and McNeil’s test hasn’t aged well.

      Other scientists couldn’t explain how it could work—which goes against the very foundation of science--and McNeil confused matters further by conceding the diary’s ink could have been applied as late as 1970. Worse yet, McNeil’s own colleagues appear to have doubted his results, and tried to walk them back.

      Indeed, Joe Nickell, in his book on hoaxes, goes out of his way to inform us that McNeil’s testing techniques can be “beat” (either deliberately or accidentally) and that McNeil had given the wrong date for a modern forgery of a supposed draft copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

      And now, 25 years on, McNeil’s “ion migration test” seems to have been abandoned entirely.

      This is inconceivable, isn’t it? If his test is valid, it would be of enormous benefit to historians, document examiners, and the police.

      Instead, no one ever hears of it anymore.


      If we dismiss it—and accept Baxendale’s solubility test and the textual evidence pointing to a recent concoction—what are we left with other than a modern hoax with only two or three credible suspects?
      Of course a spoof can be created at anytime, but I think you are misunderstanding my point that I suggested the possibility of an old fake because the arguments had polarised into genuine v modern fake, and tests were being directed at proving one view or the other. That wasn't the right way to go about things, but it also meant that alternative possibilities, such as an old fake, were being ignored. Obviously, one would have to have shown why an older date was to be preferred, but I wasn't arguing that the 'diary' was an old fake, only that that possibility should not be ignored. I don’t recall Rod McNeil’s ion migration test having any direct bearing on my thinking at all; its reliability was even in doubt at the time it was done and it was a bit of a mystery why David Baxendale had included it in his report since he obviously rejected the conclusion. I'm not sure what the relevance is to what I have said. I have just tried to explain why I was the first (or maybe I credit myself with too much when I say that) to suggest an old fake possibility.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by PaulB View Post
        \I don’t recall Rod McNeil’s ion migration test having any direct bearing on my thinking at all; its reliability was even in doubt at the time it was done and it was a bit of a mystery why David Baxendale had included it in his report since he obviously rejected the conclusion.
        I think you misspoke and must mean Kenneth Rendell, Paul. He's the one who invited Rod McNeil and his new-fangled test onto his team. But yes, he and Nickell seem to have dismissed McNeil's findings.

        For those who aren't aware of it, Baxendale was an independent consultant hired by Harrison and Smith, who felt the ink must have been recently applied to the paper, because it proved readily soluble when placed in a solvent, unlike samples of genuinely old inks and paper, which when tested, weren't readily soluble.

        Thus, initially, McNeil's claim that the diary dated to around 1920 made the rounds publicly and reached a wide audience, while Baxendale's report, which suggested something entirely different, stayed unknown.

        That's unfortunate, in my opinion, and added to the confusion.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

          I think you misspoke and must mean Kenneth Rendell, Paul. He's the one who invited Rod McNeil and his new-fangled test onto his team. But yes, he and Nickell seem to have dismissed McNeil's findings.

          For those who aren't aware of it, Baxendale was an independent consultant hired by Harrison and Smith, who felt the ink must have been recently applied to the paper, because it proved readily soluble when placed in a solvent, unlike samples of genuinely old inks and paper, which when tested, weren't readily soluble.

          Thus, initially, McNeil's claim that the diary dated to around 1920 made the rounds publicly and reached a wide audience, while Baxendale's report, which suggested something entirely different, stayed unknown.

          That's unfortunate, in my opinion, and added to the confusion.
          Baxendale never said the ink was recently applied. He said the sample he tested separated more easily versus the samples from 1908 and 1925. No conclusion was reached to state it was recently applied - that is the interpretation of the reader. He also stated he would expect bronzing and the sample he analysed lacked the amount he would expect. Of course in normal conditions. How does bronzing occur? Oxidisation.
          https://www.thefreedictionary.com/oxidisation


          As I have said before, documents with severe lack of access to oxygen have known to look very recent. Check out the assurance policy papers found in the attic timbers of Van Gogh’s Brixton Lodgings. These were not in any kind of container just a stable environment.
          https://www.google.ie/amp/www.theart...oom-in-brixton
          Last edited by erobitha; 09-21-2020, 03:09 PM.
          "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
          - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

            I think you misspoke and must mean Kenneth Rendell, Paul. He's the one who invited Rod McNeil and his new-fangled test onto his team. But yes, he and Nickell seem to have dismissed McNeil's findings.

            For those who aren't aware of it, Baxendale was an independent consultant hired by Harrison and Smith, who felt the ink must have been recently applied to the paper, because it proved readily soluble when placed in a solvent, unlike samples of genuinely old inks and paper, which when tested, weren't readily soluble.

            Thus, initially, McNeil's claim that the diary dated to around 1920 made the rounds publicly and reached a wide audience, while Baxendale's report, which suggested something entirely different, stayed unknown.

            That's unfortunate, in my opinion, and added to the confusion.
            Rendell. Yes, indeed, that's who I meant. How quickly time dulls the memory... But how the hell did I manage to write Baxendale instead!

            Comment


            • "Baxendale never said the ink was recently applied. He said the sample he tested separated more easily versus the samples from 1908 and 1925. No conclusion was reached to state it was recently applied"

              Did you happen to see the exchange of letters between Baxendale and Harrison?

              It's obvious from the context that she wanted him to back peddle, but he stuck to his guns. He couldn't understand why the ink would have behaved the way it did if it was Victorian or of similar date. I believe he used the phrase 'much more recently,' or 'more recently,' did he not? But correct me if I'm wrong.

              Regardless, it very quickly separated and gave up color.

              What explanation can you offer for Leeds seeing different results 3 years later?

              Are you suggesting the ink stayed unbonded to the paper for 100 years, and then suddenly became bonded between 1992-1995?

              Or is a more rational explanation that the ink was recently applied in 1992, and, by 1995, was fully now bonded to the point that it could 'pass' a solubility test?


              Originally posted by erobitha View Post
              As I have said before, documents with severe lack of access to oxygen have known to look very recent.
              Well, I wouldn't care to judge it on its looks. Do they pass a solubility test?

              Why would something underneath a floorboard experience a "severe lack of oxygen"?

              And, obviously, time would be the chief factor, would it not? Otherwise conducting a solubility test on an unknown document would be pointless.
              Last edited by rjpalmer; 09-21-2020, 04:40 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                "Baxendale never said the ink was recently applied. He said the sample he tested separated more easily versus the samples from 1908 and 1925. No conclusion was reached to state it was recently applied"

                Did you happen to see the exchange of letters between Baxendale and Harrison?

                It's obvious from the context that she wanted him to back peddle, but he stuck to his guns. He couldn't understand why the ink would have behaved the way it did if it was Victorian or of similar date. I believe he used the phrase 'much more recently,' or 'more recently,' did he not? But correct me if I'm wrong.

                Regardless, it very quickly separated and gave up color.

                What explanation can you offer for Leeds seeing different results 3 years later?

                Are you suggesting the ink stayed unbonded to the paper for 100 years, and then suddenly became bonded between 1992-1995?

                Or is a more rational explanation that the ink was recently applied in 1992, and, by 1995, was fully now bonded to the point that it could 'pass' a solubility test?




                Well, I wouldn't care to judge it on its looks. Do they pass a solubility test?

                Why would something underneath a floorboard experience a "severe lack of oxygen"?

                And, obviously, time would be the chief factor, would it not? Otherwise conducting a solubility test on an unknown document would be pointless.
                It’s interesting how we interpret things. You believe an old etching tool can embed aged brass particles at the base of scratches. I believe that ink in the scrapbook might not have fully dried after 100 years if it was stored in a biscuit tin under floorboards in a stable environment - starved of oxygen.

                I don’t believe everything in the world can be rational RJ. When it comes to the Maybrick document, real, old hoax or modern hoax - none of it is rational. I believe life is full of nuance and we should be prepared for that.

                If all you have is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.
                "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                Comment


                • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

                  Rendell. Yes, indeed, that's who I meant. How quickly time dulls the memory... But how the hell did I manage to write Baxendale instead!
                  We all make mistakes, Paul, such as when RJ wrote that:

                  'the circumstantial evidence against the Barretts' included 'their attempt to buy blank Victorian paper'.

                  I'm sure he didn't intend to mislead the casual observer, but there is no evidence that Anne Barrett made any such attempt, and what Mike attempted to buy was an actual diary, with 20+ blank pages of unspecified size, dating between 1880 and 1890 - not simply 'blank Victorian paper'.

                  What Mike ended up ordering, after Martin Earl described it to him, and what Anne ended up paying for, was a diary which was of no possible use to anyone intending to fake James Maybrick's diary.

                  But we've been through all this very recently, so I can only assume RJ's memory dulls in far less time than yours.

                  Love,

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


                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by caz View Post

                    We all make mistakes, Paul, such as when RJ wrote that:

                    'the circumstantial evidence against the Barretts' included 'their attempt to buy blank Victorian paper'.

                    I'm sure he didn't intend to mislead the casual observer, but there is no evidence that Anne Barrett made any such attempt, and what Mike attempted to buy was an actual diary, with 20+ blank pages of unspecified size, dating between 1880 and 1890 - not simply 'blank Victorian paper'.
                    Hi Caz. Great to see you pop in.

                    I was speaking in 'shorthand,' but since the years 1880-1890 fell within the Victorian era, and the request was for blank pages, then I think it's reasonable to say that they were after blank Victorian paper, or, better yet, an entirely blank Victorian diary. Which, of course, would be suitable for perpetrating a hoax, but would be unsuitable for any rational comparison purposes, or to barter for a priceless artifact.

                    According to Doreen Montgomery, Anne Graham "ruled the roost," and since Anne also signed the cheque for the blank Victorian Diary, and failed to mention its existence to the Diary's researchers until questioned about it some two years later, I am willing to accept that she knew about it. Of course, I have, myself, pondered the possibility that Barrett had connived the hoax behind her back, but you shot down that idea as well!!

                    Why Anne failed to mention it remains a mystery, much as why she failed to mention to Keith anything about Barrett's sworn affidavit. You've recently scolded the memory of Melvin Harris for not immediately handing over something that wasn't his to hand over. Are you similarly going to scold Anne Graham and Shirley Harrison?

                    Anne appears to have been a woman of many secrets. This one is particularly intriguing, isn't it?

                    Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                    It’s interesting how we interpret things. You believe an old etching tool can embed aged brass particles at the base of scratches. I believe that ink in the scrapbook might not have fully dried after 100 years if it was stored in a biscuit tin under floorboards in a stable environment - starved of oxygen.
                    Erobitha-- I think this is rather pointless, don't you?

                    People--a guy named Lars, to be specific--have tried to find a Victorian biscuit tin large enough to house the diary. They have failed.

                    Second, there is not a jot of evidence the Diary was ever in a biscuit tin. The whole story about the bloke visiting a pawn shop with a watch and a book found in a biscuit tin cannot be relevant, because the shop in question did not exist until after Barrett had brought the diary to London.

                    Third, I've yet to see a biscuit tin that can protect ink from TIME. Nor would it be oxygen free, unless attached to a vacuum pump.

                    This isn't a crude 'hammer.' It is simple logic.

                    Yes, I believe an old etching tool can embed darkened brass at the base of a scratch. Why wouldn't be able to do that?

                    I also believe a microscopic piece of brass left in an etching can be darkened by means other than time.

                    If your thinking is 'nuanced' and mine is a clumsy hammer, why are you seemingly blind or unwilling to see these alternative possibilities?

                    But it's good to see Ike's thinking making a comeback. The diary is irrational, and thus we must also be irrational if we are to hope to understand it

                    But I think that's enough for one day. Have a good week. One more post for Barrat's thread.
                    Last edited by rjpalmer; 09-21-2020, 05:48 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                      Erobitha-- I think this is rather pointless, don't you?

                      People--a guy named Lars, to be specific--have tried to find a Victorian biscuit tin large enough to house the diary. They have failed.

                      Second, there is not a jot of evidence the Diary was ever in a biscuit tin. The whole story about the bloke visiting a pawn shop with a watch and a book found in a biscuit tin cannot be relevant, because the shop in question did not exist until after Barrett had brought the diary to London.

                      Third, I've yet to see a biscuit tin that can protect ink from TIME. Nor would it be oxygen free, unless attached to a vacuum pump.

                      This isn't a crude 'hammer.' It is simple logic.

                      Yes, I believe an old etching tool can embed darkened brass at the base of a scratch. Why wouldn't be able to do that?

                      I also believe a microscopic piece of brass left in an etching can be darkened by means other than time.

                      If your thinking is 'nuanced' and mine is a clumsy hammer, why are you seemingly blind or unwilling to see these alternative possibilities?

                      But it's good to see Ike's thinking making a comeback. The diary is irrational, and thus we must also be irrational if we are to hope to understand it

                      But I think that's enough for one day. Have a good week. One more post for Barrat's thread.
                      Firstly who is Lars??

                      Secondly, he musn't have looked very hard. There were plenty of tins (that perhaps held biscuits or tea bags or chocolates - contents do not matter) that would have fit a ledger within it and this is a 3 minute Google search.
                      https://i.etsystatic.com/7720018/d/i....jpg?version=0
                      https://i.pinimg.com/474x/e3/76/f6/e...8e73b935b3.jpg
                      https://i.ebayimg.com/thumbs/images/...EIs/s-l225.jpg

                      But if Lars has done his homework, then perhaps I'm wasting my time.

                      You're fascination with a vacuum pump is interesting. The tin simply has to be starving what is inside it of oxygen, not completely devoiding it, just providing so little that it slows oxidisation right down. In a stable environment under floorbaords would help things. There are hundreds upon hundreds of examples of documents, artefacts and even wine being in great condition hundreds and even thouands of years on. It all boils down to the right combination of conditions.

                      You are trying to apply rational thinking against something in it's motive is completely irrational whether it is real, an old hoax or a modern hoax. I'm sure you find debating with me a very similar experience no doubt.
                      Last edited by erobitha; 09-21-2020, 08:19 PM.
                      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                        Firstly who is Lars??

                        Secondly, he musn't have looked very hard. There were plenty of tins (that perhaps held biscuits or tea bags or chocolates - contents do not matter) that would have fit a ledger within it and this is a 3 minute Google search.
                        https://i.etsystatic.com/7720018/d/i....jpg?version=0
                        https://i.pinimg.com/474x/e3/76/f6/e...8e73b935b3.jpg
                        https://i.ebayimg.com/thumbs/images/...EIs/s-l225.jpg

                        But if Lars has done his homework, then perhaps I'm wasting my time.

                        Lordy! I must admit that you crack me up, Erobitha, with your "funny little games." Cheers!

                        I checked out the first gigantic biscuit tin on your list above. It took me a couple of minutes of detective work to find it, since you didn't bother to attach the full links, nor the dimensions. Here it is again below, from a second angle:



                        Click image for larger version  Name:	Erobitha's Magic Tin.JPG Views:	0 Size:	56.9 KB ID:	742372


                        It’s hardly big enough to hold Bongo's little maroon diary, let alone the Maybrick Diary!

                        The last one on your list is Edwardian, and it’s a whopping 14cc x 17cc. Which translates as roughly 5 ” by 6 ” . So you might want to fetch a saw.



                        Click image for larger version  Name:	The Third Tin.JPG Views:	0 Size:	36.9 KB ID:	742373


                        As for the middle one, I can’t find the dimensions, but it looks like the standard 8” model. The description states it's French and from the 1930s, so at least you’re headed in the right chronological direction.

                        Lars was a guy who insisted that Victorian biscuit tins were large enough to hold the over-sized Maybrick ledger. To prove it, he did exactly what you did: he posted a picture of a tin at least 2" too short.

                        Provided that you eventually find a biscuit tin large enough, what difference does it make if the story mentioned a shop that wasn't in business until after Barrett was in London with the diary?

                        Forget the tins!

                        Have a good night, Old Bean.

                        Comment


                        • Here we go..

                          https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1117...isting_details

                          A whopping 7"4". Plenty of space for a ledger, watch and Mary Kelly's missing key.

                          Honestly, if your going to forward the biscuit tin case, find one that's the right size.
                          Thems the Vagaries.....

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


                            Lordy! I must admit that you crack me up, Erobitha, with your "funny little games." Cheers!

                            I checked out the first gigantic biscuit tin on your list above. It took me a couple of minutes of detective work to find it, since you didn't bother to attach the full links, nor the dimensions. Here it is again below, from a second angle:



                            Click image for larger version Name:	Erobitha's Magic Tin.JPG Views:	0 Size:	56.9 KB ID:	742372


                            It’s hardly big enough to hold Bongo's little maroon diary, let alone the Maybrick Diary!

                            The last one on your list is Edwardian, and it’s a whopping 14cc x 17cc. Which translates as roughly 5 ” by 6 ” . So you might want to fetch a saw.



                            Click image for larger version Name:	The Third Tin.JPG Views:	0 Size:	36.9 KB ID:	742373


                            As for the middle one, I can’t find the dimensions, but it looks like the standard 8” model. The description states it's French and from the 1930s, so at least you’re headed in the right chronological direction.

                            Lars was a guy who insisted that Victorian biscuit tins were large enough to hold the over-sized Maybrick ledger. To prove it, he did exactly what you did: he posted a picture of a tin at least 2" too short.

                            Provided that you eventually find a biscuit tin large enough, what difference does it make if the story mentioned a shop that wasn't in business until after Barrett was in London with the diary?

                            Forget the tins!

                            Have a good night, Old Bean.
                            So I was being churlish posting whatever came up on Google images without executing a thorough search, but I am certain they are out there. A slightly more thoughtful search found below. The tin doesn't die because you don't believe it.

                            9.5"
                            https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/vintage-v...gAAOSwrQZbQzvd


                            What shop are you speaking of? When the floorboards were lifted in March 1992 the watch was purchased 5 months later in July 1992. Are you claiming the Antiques Shop in Wallasey was not in existence up until July 1992?
                            The bag and key ended up in a shop in Southport. The name of which I have no idea, but if this is the shop you profess to have checked out then I am intrigued by which shop you believe it was.
                            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                            Comment


                            • Housekeeping time again...

                              There is no evidence that Mike did remember lending a copy of Tales of Liverpool to Tony Devereux at any point. The police may have concluded, from what Tony's daughter told them about the book, that Mike was being 'evasive', because it didn't ring true that his memory could have been that bad. Yet we all know just how bad his memory was, regarding his old pal no less, when he swore in his affidavit that Tony had died in 1990, and that the physical diary had already been obtained and created by then. So the question remains: was Mike provably being evasive about T of L, or could he have genuinely forgotten about it after Tony's daughter borrowed it? She failed to return it to "Bongo", even after Tony's death, and "Bongo" never asked for it back.

                              It was ascertained after Ripper Diary was published, that Janet Devereux had in fact borrowed T of L "about January 1991", giving all concerned several months before Tony's unexpected death in the August, in which to remember it and get it back to its rightful owner. All three seem to have promptly forgotten about Tony's request to return it to "Bongo" at the weekend. The police didn't question Janet until October 1993, not 1992 as RJ posted. So she had Mike's book for more than two and a half years, without attempting to return it and without Mike asking what happened to it after Tony died. Did he ever know that Janet had borrowed it?

                              Yes, this copy of T of L existed, and the police did indeed take possession. If Feldman claimed Mike's signature was in it, he was wrong. It was confirmed by Bonesy that there were no distinguishing or identifying marks in the book. RJ has been told this before and yet he sees 'no reason' why Feldy would have been wrong, and therefore presumably why Bonesy, who actually had the 'evidence', would have been right. What a quick turnaround, from trusting the police to detect evasiveness in Mike, to not trusting them to detect his signature in the book itself - while Feldman, who didn't have the book, knew better!

                              Devereux had Mike's T of L 'long before' 9th March 1992, when floorboards were raised in Maybrick's old bedroom, because back in January 1991, it was just a popular little book of local mysteries - first chapter on Spring-Heeled Jack - perfect for a bored, housebound friend. There is no independent evidence that anyone knew of the diary's existence in any form, physical or imagined, until 9th March 1992, when Mike called a London literary agent about it.

                              Assumptions and suspicions are all very well of course, but they are no substitute for solid evidence. That will come if and when the diary handwriting is finally identified.

                              Love,

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


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

                                Rendell. Yes, indeed, that's who I meant. How quickly time dulls the memory... But how the hell did I manage to write Baxendale instead!
                                I wouldn't worry as pointed out we all make mistakes. Of course Mr Barrett is no exception to the rule, fancy including "one off instance" in that diary of his, what was he thinking?

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