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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Only one post today, Ike, and I may be gone for a while.


    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

    As I've said already, by my reading of what I have access to, Eastaugh did not do any form of ink solubility analysis. If he did, he did not discuss it in the copy of his report I have. Maybe he took a learning from Baxendale and mentioned it in letters and reports subsequently when he realised that it might have suddenly become quite important information? I do not know why he would have said this to Shirley Harrison or indeed anyone else.
    I'm finding statements from Robert Smith where he alludes to Eastaugh critiquing Baxendale's solubility test (at one point Dr. E suggests Baxendale's observations were 'subjective') but unfortunately Smith doesn't give any sources for these quotes--though perhaps he does, elsewhere, and I'm not seeing it. Was a full report written or are these later telephone calls/letters from Eastaugh?

    Still, a long post from Martin Fido dating to 26 May 2001 (quoting a 1995 letter from Alec Voller) does seem to suggest that Eastaugh conducting a solubility test or the equivalent of a solubility test and used a solvent. But which solvent? And when was the test?

    "The second letter, addressed to Shirley Harrison on 1st February 1995 is perhaps the most valuable of the three. It reports the results of Mr Voller’s own attempts to extract and identify nigrosine from a sample of Pre-1992 Formulation Diamine Ink that had been allowed to rest on paper for one week before being tested with various solvents, including those used by Dr Eastaugh and the Leeds laboratory. And the results?

    “The results are absolutely negative. The ink has proved totally solvent resistant and no detectable trace of nigrosine has been extracted. This suggests three possibilities:

    “1) I am doing something wrong.
    2) The dyestuff extracted from the diary ink by Dr Eastaugh et al was not nigrosine (and I regard this as being at least possible), in which case the diary inl is not Diamine MS.
    3) The dysetuff extracted by Dr Eastaugh et al was nigrosine but rather different from the nigrosine used by Diamine Inks (more about this later), in which case once again the diary ink is not Diamine MS.”


    I don't think there is much point in proceeding further until we can get the date of Eastaugh's solubility test (assuming he conducted one, which he apparently did) and finding out what solvent he used.

    Why does Voller say he used the same solvent used by Dr. Eastaugh, but not the pyridine used by Baxendale? Or did Dr. E also use pyridine (which is recommended in many forensic handbooks?) Or did Martin mean Baxendale and miswrote?

    Baxendale observations that the diary's ink dissolved easily and flowed freely might be called 'subjective,' but only barely so--how else could he describe it? He was obviously contrasting the ink's behavior in comparison to the older exemplars. That's not subjective--not really. He doesn't appear to have used a stopwatch, but the difference was dramatic.

    And B's most damning observation is not subjective at all: only a slight amount of ink residue was left on the paper. This is in stark contrast to what Leeds reported two years and four months later.

    Ciao.
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-30-2022, 01:13 PM.

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    Ike, Old Man - as I've been relooking at the ink evidence, something has occurred to me.
    ...
    I had always assumed that this meant that Eastaugh had conducted an ink solubility test of his own when testing the diary at the beginning of October 1992.
    But is that truly the case? Did he ever even test it? Or is this just an assumption?
    ...
    The only other analysist that actually soaked the diary's ink and paper in an eluting solvent was Leeds in November 1994, as I have already reported. They didn't find it readily soluble, but this was fully 28 months after Baxendale checked it.
    What was the basis of Eastaugh's claim that the diary's ink was not readily soluble?
    As I've said already, by my reading of what I have access to, Eastaugh did not do any form of ink solubility analysis. If he did, he did not discuss it in the copy of his report I have. Maybe he took a learning from Baxendale and mentioned it in letters and reports subsequently when he realised that it might have suddenly become quite important information? I do not know why he would have said this to Shirley Harrison or indeed anyone else.

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    But in studying it all again, Baxendale himself didn't use acetone as his solvent --he used Pyridine (C5 H5N). This is what he diluted with an equal part of distilled water.
    If you had bothered to read Melvin's dissertations, Ike, you could have caught my mistake quickly.
    Why don't you just post the link, RJ, so that we can all read the relevant dissertation?

    2. What did Eastaugh use when he studied the ink in 1992? [I have a partial copy of his report, only--can you help?]
    Apologies, RJ, you've asked this sort of stuff from me on many occasions so I need to address it finally. When I received (and indeed still receive) material from different sources, I do so on the unwritten premise that it stays with me unless I am explicitly given the right to share it. I've never asked for such permission, and I don't intend to start as I wouldn't want any of my sources to think I am unreliable in any way. The more reliable I am, the more material I expect to continue to receive. I trust you'll understand my very selfish position on this issue?

    3. If Baxendale found the ink 'easy' to dissolve in July 1992, is it outside the realm of possibility that Eastaugh would find it "well dried" in October 1992, granting that the diary was, theoretically, almost new?
    As I think I said the other day, it is my understanding that Eastaugh did not test for ink solubility.

    In other words, Robert Smith's assumption seems to have been that the diary was an old document, so if Eastaugh found it "well dried" in October, it must have been "well dried" in July, ergo Baxendale must have made an error (according to Smith).
    Despite what is from time to time implied on this Casebook, Robert Smith is a perfectly honourable chap. I could ask him about Baxendale (and maybe I will one day), but for now I take the view that Baxendale blighted Baxendale's report and Robert simply didn't trust a word of it thereafter. If Eastaugh wasn't asked to check for ink solubility, I would put it to you that Robert or whoever (I forget who requested the work) was not influenced by Baxendale's fluctuating findings a few months earlier. I agree, it would have been really interesting to know what Eastaugh made of the ink's solubility, but he does not appear to have tested for it.

    Can't both men have been correct, and the diary simply managed to dry further between July and October?
    I don't think Eastaugh could have been correct on a point he didn't analyse and comment on, RJ? But, no, I don't think there is any possibility whatsoever that ink which was still so very easily soluble in July 1992 would have been anything other than utterly soluble in October 1992. I'm no chemist, of course, but I find it hard to believe that freshly-laid-down ink in April 1992 would be fully bonded to the paper for many years to come. But I'm no Alec Voller.

    Was the diary ever out of Smith and Harrison's hands during this time? Did Barrett still have access to it?
    Where are you going with this, RJ?

    More work is needed, Ike, and I am going to have to retrace my steps, but if we really want to examine this like adults, we will have to start a new thread and place every document dealing with the diary's ink--in its entirety--onto this website.

    If copyright restrictions still apply, we can also do this privately.
    I would not disagree, RJ, other than that I wish to continue to protect my sources so that I continue to receive all manner of interesting emails and bits and bobs of information and ideas from various sources (see my brief reasoning, above).

    What do you say, Old Boy? You can see from the above that I am acting in good faith and admit when I have stayed from precision and admit also when there is uncertainty.

    Are you willing to do the same and help compile all the necessary documentation?
    I don't doubt your integrity, RJ, but you do take a singularly tunnel-visioned (one might almost say drainpipe-visioned) view of data. That coupled with my reservations stated above, I'm keeping what I've got to myself (unless anyone who has given me stuff proactively emails me and says "Oh shut the old duffer up - give him what he wants").

    Ike

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    You have definitely been ploughing a lone furrow here on the Casebook regarding Baxendale's solubility-out-of-nowhere conclusion - certainly for the last few years, RJ.

    Orsam may very well have kept the torch burning for it, dangerously in the tight, airless spaces of those bloody drainpipes he likes to type into, but no-one would ever know as it's impossible to find anything easily in Drainpipe Ally.

    Quoting folk who mentioned it almost thirty years ago literally made me laugh out loud - how desperate you must be to be right! You've clearly been spending far too much time around the Teddy Boy himself (think about it), Lord Algernon Ronald Sebastion Edward Orsam (think about it), the First (and, thankfully, presumably the only).

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Almost no one talks about the ink anymore, some finding more joy in searching for anagrams in the Goulston Street Graffiti, etc.
    Poisoning the inkwell again, are we, RJ? They are not anagrams. They are representations. 'Juwes' becoming 'James' is because the word 'Juwes' is able to represent 'James' without being utterly obvious about it. Though I'm sure you knew this even as you were pouring a fresh vial of arsenic into the well ...

    I understand that my interpretation of the GSG seems utterly surreal to everyone else and I'm completely sanguine about my lonely stance on it, but imagine a world where James Maybrick was established categorically as Jack the Ripper. Everyone would say "Oh, there you go, turns out these representations finally explain to us what the purpose of the GSG appears to have been".

    In truth, such a neater, simpler explanation all 'round for the GSG than the truly inane attempts to make sense of it semantically, syntactically, literally, or any other ally you care to mention.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Ike, Old Man - as I've been relooking at the ink evidence, something has occurred to me.

    All these years, I have given Robert Smith and Shirley Harrison the benefit of the doubt when they reported that Dr. Eastaugh had found that the diary's ink was not readily soluble.

    Now, I can appreciate that he may have said something like this--possibly--but on what was it based?

    I had always assumed that this meant that Eastaugh had conducted an ink solubility test of his own when testing the diary at the beginning of October 1992.

    But is that truly the case? Did he ever even test it? Or is this just an assumption?

    The procedure he used to analyze the ink is described as 'non-destructive method of exciting atoms in a small target area on a page with an accelerated beam of protons..."

    The SEM/EDS system. This uses a dry sample of the diary's ink.

    Eastaugh describes the procedure in Appendix One (page three) of his 1/2 October 1992 report.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	Eastaugh Appendix 2 Oct 1992.JPG Views:	0 Size:	30.7 KB ID:	788615


    By contrast, a solubility test requires that a small sample of the diary's ink and paper are soaked in an eluting solvent--such as the fore mentioned pyridine or MEK or acetone or wood alcohol, etc.

    I can't find any evidence that Eastaugh ever did this. If so, where is his report?? What evidence is there that he actually conducted a solubility test ever?

    Is the above description incomplete and did he use an eluting solvent. If so, what was it?

    As recently as yesterday, I read an old post from Robert Smith who said that Baxendale was the only man who had ever reported the ink being readily soluble--and Smith was obviously scoffing at this and doubting. He implied that Eastaugh, Kuranz, etc. never notice any 'easy' solubility whatsoever.

    But did any of them even check? If so, where are the reports? If none of them actually tested it, isn't Smith's comment rather misleading?

    The only other analysist that actually soaked the diary's ink and paper in an eluting solvent was Leeds in November 1994, as I have already reported. They didn't find it readily soluble, but this was fully 28 months after Baxendale checked it.

    What was the basis of Eastaugh's claim that the diary's ink was not readily soluble?
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-29-2022, 06:46 PM.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    Baxendale's dramatic 'findings' regarding ink solubility should have killed the scrpabook stone dead the moment it became common knowledge to the wider public - whenever that was and by whatever means it reached us. And yet it only ever seems to be you who mentions it?
    I've gone back and checked, Ike, just to make sure.

    The ink's suspicious solubility was also mentioned in The Sunday Times on September 19, 1993. (The well-known article by Maurice Chittenden)

    The Sunday Times!
    'One test used commonly to date documents such as this is, the solubility test...For a document purportedly more than 100 years old, Baxendale would have expected the ink to take several minutes to begin to dissolve. In this case, says Baxendale, "it began to dissolve in just a few seconds." Baxendale concluded it had probably been written recently, in the past two or three years."'




    Why are you under the impression that I am the only one that has ever mentioned it?

    I can appreciate the unbonded ink must be a violent shock to your system, Old Boy, but it has been known about and discussed for nearly thirty years.

    Baxendale's findings DID kill the diary 'stone dead'--at least as far as The Sunday Times was concerned. They declined to publish it as ha been previously arranged.

    It's hardly Baxendale's fault that someone else later picked up the book despite all the evidence of a fake.
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-29-2022, 05:13 PM.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    It is interesting and illuminating to return to Baxendale's original July 1, 1992, report for Robert Smith and assess exactly what level of scientific analysis he applied to the scrapbook.
    This shows you are not acting in good faith, Ike.

    You're like the old codger who has watched too many episodes of A Touch of Frost or Rumpole of the Bailey and are now acting like a barrack room barrister and throwing around a lot of silly arguments in your posts.

    Was Dr. Baxendale placed under caution? Could anything that he didn't mention in his initial report now be used against him or be considered inadmissible in the "court of history"?

    How convenient for you -- and how slippery!

    If you would simply dip your toe into the archives, you will find posts by Robert Smith that refer to 'two reports' by Baxendale. He often refers to the 'second report' in discussing the solubility.

    And you have only now admitted that you haven't seen that report.

    And it was Smith who probably commissioned it and asked for it in the first place.

    As I say, if we are going to analyze this intelligently, we must have all the reports before us.

    I can appreciate, however, why you might be afraid to 'lift the painted veil,' for Baxendale obviously found the ink 'easy to dissolve.'

    He directly states that nearly no ink was left on the paper.

    Are you not curious to know why?
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-29-2022, 02:43 PM.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    THROWING A LIFELINE TO IKE

    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

    Your bias does you no service, RJ.[*]Baxendale's dramatic 'findings' regarding ink solubility should have killed the scrpabook [sic]stone dead the moment it became common knowledge to the wider public - whenever that was and by whatever means it reached us. And yet it only ever seems to be you who mentions it?
    You need to crawl out of your echo chamber once in a while, Old Boy.

    The solubility of the diary's ink has been discussed many times. Can I help it if you are asleep in the backrow? It was very big news back in the day, though obviously in recent years Caz has successfully moved the discussion in the direction of Eddie Lyons and an "old book."

    Almost no one talks about the ink anymore, some finding more joy in searching for anagrams in the Goulston Street Graffiti, etc.

    Melvin Harris mentions the ink's solubility in his dissertations (still on this site); it was debated at length on these boards when Robert Smith was still posting twenty years ago; it is mentioned by Joe Nickell; it is mentioned by your good friend Lord Orsam in the articles available on his website. You also claimed not all that long ago that you yourself had dealt with Baxendale and the ink's solubility in Society's Pillock--until I corrected you and you then admitted that you hadn't!

    Of course, if you seldom take your nose out of Paul Feldman's The Final Chapter, it must surely come as a tremendous shock to you that if Dr. Baxendale was correct, the diary's ink was barely dry on the page in April 1992.

    Here's a lifeline that I am throwing to you, because I notice that I made an error in a previous post.

    I fully admit it is a rathe significant error, but I am now correcting it.

    Whether it is relevant or not remains to be seen -- I may have to consult an ink chemist--if so, that may take considerable time.

    My notes wrongly refer to a solubility test conducted with acetone (C3 H60). I am uncertain of the source-- Robert Kuranz (?) -- or where I got this information but you have my word that I will try to trace it.

    But in studying it all again, Baxendale himself didn't use acetone as his solvent --he used Pyridine (C5 H5N). This is what he diluted with an equal part of distilled water.

    If you had bothered to read Melvin's dissertations, Ike, you could have caught my mistake quickly.

    The reason this may be relevant is that Pyridine is considerably different chemically from MEK (the solvent used by Leeds). Acetone, by contrast, isn't.

    So, if we want to approach this like adults, and go where the evidence leads us instead of playing the rhetorical games you are playing, we need to determine three or four things:

    1. Could the difference between the Pyridine solution (used by Baxendale) and the MEK/ammonia/isopropyl alcohol solution (used by Leeds) have any bearing on the dramatically different ink solubility observed in July 1992 and November 1994?

    2. What did Eastaugh use when he studied the ink in 1992? [I have a partial copy of his report, only--can you help?] What is the basis of Harrison's claim that Eastaugh didn't find the ink readily soluble if this was not mentioned in his report? (and you write that it wasn't)

    3. If Baxendale found the ink 'easy' to dissolve in July 1992, is it outside the realm of possibility that Eastaugh would find it "well dried" in October 1992, granting that the diary was, theoretically, almost new?

    In other words, Robert Smith's assumption seems to have been that the diary was an old document, so if Eastaugh found it "well dried" in October, it must have been "well dried" in July, ergo Baxendale must have made an error (according to Smith)

    But why must this be the case?

    Can't both men have been correct, and the diary simply managed to dry further between July and October? Was the diary ever out of Smith and Harrison's hands during this time? Did Barrett still have access to it?

    More work is needed, Ike, and I am going to have to retrace my steps, but if we really want to examine this like adults, we will have to start a new thread and place every document dealing with the diary's ink--in its entirety--onto this website.

    If copyright restrictions still apply, we can also do this privately.

    What do you say, Old Boy? You can see from the above that I am acting in good faith and admit when I have stayed from precision and admit also when there is uncertainty.

    Are you willing to do the same and help compile all the necessary documentation?
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-29-2022, 02:19 PM.

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    It is interesting and illuminating to return to Baxendale's original July 1, 1992, report for Robert Smith and assess exactly what level of scientific analysis he applied to the scrapbook. Baxendale writes (in his remarkably brief and utterly superficial report) on five subject headings.

    The Paper

    He notes that it is unbleached and contains no optical brighteners. It consists of mainly cotton fibres. So he's done some level of analysis, though he quickly reverts to describing the structure of the scrapbook which Robert Smith could equally (and less expensively) have employed his neighbour to do or he could have done it himself by just looking at it.

    Impressions

    He notes that he has looked at the fly pages and the first pages to see if he can see any signs of what had been written on the missing pages but he can't see any signs

    Stains

    He then notes that there are stains which he soon establishes is glue. Ultraviolet light and microscopy are employed to achieve this.

    Ink

    Microscopy is employed to establish that the lines were written with separate pen and ink. He then comments on what he can see and from that he deduces that there is no suggestion of an iron-gall ink. He then uses his eyes again to establish that the ink is evenly distributed therefore is likely to have been a free-flowing ink.

    Handwriting

    He then gives his views about the handwriting. This forms the largest section of his report and was not what Robert Smith had asked for.

    And that's it, folks. That's the sum of Baxendale's analysis of the scrapbook. His last line is "I therefore regard the handwriting in this book with suspicion", and then he gives his name.

    If any of you are overwhelmed by the analysis, I suggest you ask a four-year-old child to explain it to you. If any of you are confused by the statistical breakdown of the composition of the ink, for example, I suggest you turn to any one of the other reports which were commissioned as Baxendale provided none.

    Baxendale pulled together a quick report using mainly prima facie evidence to conclude that the handwriting made the book suspicious. No mention that this is just a preliminary report and that more is due in the next few days. No mention of solubility. That all appears out of nowhere a week later when he's being challenged by Smith, Montgomery, and Harrison. No mention of nigrosine and pretty much no mention of anything that wasn't just his eyeballed opinion.

    And this is the report Orsam and RJ want you to believe killed the scrapbook stone dead.

    My arse.

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    Of course it should have killed the diary stone-dead!
    Why are you blaming Baxendale? Should he have pulled a revolver and placed it to the publisher's head and demanded that he not publish it?
    All he can do is tell Smith that the diary was not written in 1888-89 and the ink was too soluble and had completely separated itself from the paper--unlike how a Victorian document should have behaved.
    After that, the ball was in Smith's court.
    Similarly, the handwriting should have killed the diary stone-dead.
    The idiotic provenance supplied by "Mr. Williams" aka Mike Barrett should have killed the diary stone-dead.
    The text should have killed the diary stone-dead.
    Your bias does you no service, RJ.
    • Baxendale's dramatic 'findings' regarding ink solubility should have killed the scrpabook stone dead the moment it became common knowledge to the wider public - whenever that was and by whatever means it reached us. And yet it only ever seems to be you who mentions it?
    • The provenance supplied by Mike 'Williams' was just a lie - why should it kill the scrapbook stone dead?
    • The text was written by someone who never expected it to be read by anyone else. It is in his private hand. Please show us your copy of Maybrick's private hand (i.e., where there is no intended audience), and let's compare that with the scrapbook.
    And indeed, publishers did pull out of their contracts and wouldn't publish the diary.

    Time Warner pulled out because of Kenneth Rendell's woefully inept report not because the scrapbook was a proven hoax.

    Correct me if I misunderstand, but all you seem to be saying is that if a flimsy and wildly suspicious documents is published, it can't be flimsy and wildly suspicious, because someone published it! For whom on earth would do such a thing, if his forensic examiners were warning him in a series of reports and letters?
    Is that what you are suggesting? If so, isn't that a question for the publisher?
    I can't comment for Robert Smith but I can opine that he was very likely unimpressed with Baxendale's errors in his original report, and perhaps he too was as amazed as the rest of us when Baxendale's hastily-constructed July 9 report suddenly had additional conclusions in which were not referenced nor even pre-empted in the original document.

    "Here's you report, Mr Smith", he basically said. Like his omission of the word 'oxidised', are we to understand that he also omitted the word 'preliminary' too?

    How many other words did he omit, I wonder?

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    This is in stark contrast to what Leeds found 28 months later, and there is no rational explanation, nor any credible reason why Baxendale would have lied about it.
    Baxendale does not need to have lied about it to have got confused about it. If he had confused free-flowing with freely-soluble then this would be obvious from the lack of analytical data to support the claim-from-nowhere on July 9. Please don't say that a professional chemist would never make such a mistake. Busy people make mistakes, and he makes it very clear in his letter to Montgomery that Smith has employed a worryingly busy man. If there is data to support his claim-from-nowhere, where is it? Show us the clipping if not the full July 9 report.

    Obviously, the diary faithful want Baxendale to go away. What he observed the ink doing destroys their faith in the diary. It is necessary to sweep him under the rug, but the attempts to do so lack all credibility—there is no reason he would have lied.
    As I say, an extremely busy, pressurised person does not need to have lied to have got confused. If he provided the data behind the delayed analysis (which he completely neglected to mention to Smith in his original report on July 1, perhaps precisely because he was so very busy) then you will surely show it to us all so that we can all agree that Baxendale definitely did solubility tests which he forgot to mention first time around and only mentioned once Smith had telephoned him on the morning of July 9 and suddenly a new report was issued. I don't think this is too much to ask, RJ.

    The irony about your comment about 'the diary faithful' wanting Baxendale to go away is that it was quite the opposite originally: Baxendale wanted Baxendale to go away! He realised that his commentary regarding nigrosine was badly inaccurate and he was therefore at pains to forego his payment on the condition that his original report of July 1 (and indeed his out-of-the-blue follow-up on July 9) was not published or used in any way. Not the mark - I put it to you - of a man free-flowing in confidence about the work he had done for Robert Smith in between his other pressurised responsibilities. Baxendale can stay as long as Baxendale wants so long as no-one puts words into his typewriter which we haven't been privy to. The danger of not clarifying this for us is that we might start to wonder if Baxendale had ever been privy to his own thoughts too.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    I notice that an error has crept into my previous post.

    "Dr. Eastaugh subsequently detected the presence of iron in the ink, showing it was ink-based."

    I obviously meant iron-based.

    Eastaugh, Kuranz, and the scientists at Leeds all confirmed the diary's ink contained iron.

    A number of questions remain unanswered. Why did Baxendale notice no bronzing in 1992, and it also not mentioned anywhere by Eastaugh, Kuranz, Rendell, etc?

    The most obvious answer is because it wasn't there.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    WHAT BAXENDALE MEANT BY NO OBVIOUS EVIDENCE OF IRON


    Extract from Fax to Robert Smith, Fax No. 071-278-1677

    from Document Evidence, Independent Forensic Document Examiners, 230 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1AY.
    Ref: 107/92-3. 1 July 1992
    Report by David Baxendale
    pp.2-3

    “The ink is generally dark grey in colour and is not obviously an iron-based ink. Most inks used in the late nineteenth century were based on iron as a main ingredient, and such inks tend to change to a brown colour with age. There is no sign of such a brown colour.”


    Baxendale’s statement has been widely misconstrued and misreported, particularly by Robert Smith, Shirley Harrison, and Caroline Brown, but even by Chris Jones in his short entry in The Maybrick A-Z. They all have claimed at one time or other that Baxendale said there was no iron in the ink.

    What he actually wrote was that there was no obvious sign of iron, and he said this because he could find no evidence that the ink had browned (what Ero calls ‘bronzing’) which one would expect to find in an old document using iron gall ink, which was the common manuscript ink of the Victorians.

    Martin Fido once made a very plausible suggestion that someone (Smith or Harrison?) had misread the relevant line in Baxendale’s report, wrongly believing that he meant “obviously not iron” when he actually wrote “not obviously iron.”

    We can see what Baxendale meant because he also wrote in his report “"There is nothing to suggest the presence of iron,” which is not the same as saying there is no iron.

    Baxendale was asked for clarification, as reported on these boards back in 2001 by Karoline Leech:

    “Baxendale subsequently wrote to [Melvin] Harris to make it clear that he made this above statement on an optical examination alone, based on the absence of bronzing, and stated that the first line quoted above should have read:

    "There is nothing to suggest the presence of oxidised iron"

    Baxendale further wrote:

    "The omission of that one word ['oxidised'] caused some misunderstanding".

    It is commonplace in science for further tests to give us further information. That’s why more tests are conducted!

    Dr. Eastaugh subsequently detected the presence of iron in the ink, showing it was ink-based. Baxendale never disputed this, and his belief that the ink contained nigrosine was supported by Eastaugh finding sodium, and also by the chemist Voller of Diamine Ink, who believed the same thing--all put together, we can know with confidence that the diary's ink was iron gall, with nigrosine as a sighting agent.

    Dr. Robert Kuranz, the American chemist on Rendell’s team, also detected iron.

    So did the scientists at Leeds
    .

    All the evidence points to the Maybrick Diary having been written with an iron gall ink with nigrosine as a sighting agent.

    Do Mitchell, Owl, and Hartley dispute this?

    If so, you are wasting my time.

    Karoline L. also made the very astute comment that rather than conflicting one another (which is what the diary-friendly folks want us to believe), when properly understood, the forensic reports complement one another. There is agreement that the ink contains iron. Baxendale and Voller’s beliefs that the ink also contains nigrosine is supported Eastaugh’s findings.

    The only staggering difference notices is that Baxendale found the ink “easily” dissolvable in July 1992, free flowing in the solvent, and completely separated from the paper been soaked in the solution.
    This is in stark contrast to what Leeds found 28 months later, and there is no rational explanation, nor any credible reason why Baxendale would have lied about it.


    Obviously, the diary faithful want Baxendale to go away. What he observed the ink doing destroys their faith in the diary. It is necessary to sweep him under the rug, but the attempts to do so lack all credibility—there is no reason he would have lied.
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-28-2022, 05:11 PM.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    [I]PS Does the July 9 report make a huge deal about the solubility (and the fact that that should have killed the hoax stone-dead)?
    Of course it should have killed the diary stone-dead!

    Why are you blaming Baxendale? Should he have pulled a revolver and placed it to the publisher's head and demanded that he not publish it?

    All he can do is tell Smith that the diary was not written in 1888-89 and the ink was too soluble and had completely separated itself from the paper--unlike how a Victorian document should have behaved.

    After that, the ball was in Smith's court.

    Similarly, the handwriting should have killed the diary stone-dead.

    The idiotic provenance supplied by "Mr. Williams" aka Mike Barrett should have killed the diary stone-dead.

    The text should have killed the diary stone-dead.

    And indeed, publishers did pull out of their contracts and wouldn't publish the diary.

    Correct me if I misunderstand, but all you seem to be saying is that if a flimsy and wildly suspicious documents is published, it can't be flimsy and wildly suspicious, because someone published it! For whom on earth would do such a thing, if his forensic examiners were warning him in a series of reports and letters?

    Is that what you are suggesting? If so, isn't that a question for the publisher?

    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-28-2022, 04:38 PM.

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