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Maybrick--a Problem in Logic

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  • Hi Caz,

    You seem to be missing the subtlety of Professor Chisholm’s argument. I would have expected better, and it’s rather disappointing.

    Those hung up on whether the Diarist is referring to the initals ‘F. M.’ or some other initials, or some other alleged ‘clue’ are missing the thrust of Chisholm’s observation.The diarist states that he left ‘X’ (whatever X might be, and we can argue until the cows come home) “in front for all eyes to see.”

    “All eyes”? Who are these people with all these eyes? And how did their eyes come to be “in front” of Kelly? Any guesses Caz?

    The statement only makes sense if the diarist is anticipating the Kelly murder scene being broadcast publicly…and the only way this could happen is through a photograph. Only then can “all eyes” see it. Further, it is only from the perspective of the famous police camera angle that these “eyes” are “in front” of Mary Jane. In the actual room in Miller’s Court there is nothing in front of Kelly but a blank wall, almost entirely consisting of windows covered with an old jacket and other rags.

    Maybe Keith will appreciate the following analogy. The subtle error in the narrator’s perspective is kind of like an actor forgetting the concept of the “fourth wall,” and suddenly addressing the audience—or at least becoming aware of the audience. Or like Michael Caine, in Alfie, suddenly and disconcertingly turning to the camera in front of him. Caine shouldn’t be thinking of “all eyes” being on him, should he? Unless he already knows an audience will eventually be sitting in a movie theatre watching him?

    Now do you get it? But perhaps Chisholm was being overly subtle to win the admiration of the herd. Richard Whittington-Egan seems to have appreciated his point, and so do I.

    Anyway, as far the initials ‘F.M.’ go, I was merely exploring Observer’s observation. I am not particularly convinced that Barrett was referring to FM on the back wall. I think he was referring to the inverted ‘F’ on Kelly’s forearm: F for Florence. Anyone could have noticed this vague ‘F’ at anytime after the photograph was first published in 1975 in Rumbelow. Who would have seen it before that date? You aren’t suggesting that Melville Macnaghten wrote the Diary to secure the release of Florence Maybrick? By George, we have another hoaxer in the nest!!

    With continued admiration, RP


    P.S. If you have any complaints about the size of my diction, please forward them to Stephen Ryder, who seems to have recently changed software. I notice that Ike suffered from the same physical defect in his post, though he suddenly swelled up towards the end of his exertions. With pride, no doubt.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	The Initial F.JPG Views:	0 Size:	25.0 KB ID:	735667 Click image for larger version  Name:	Alfie.JPG Views:	0 Size:	50.7 KB ID:	735668 Smile, you're on camera!

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    • Originally posted by Graham View Post
      I don't really wish to get involved in any of this just now, but I would remind RJ that in October 1995 the Diary was shown to Alec Voller, who was then Chief Chemist of Diamine Inks Ltd, Liverpool (a company with which I incidentally had business dealings). Voller - and if anyone should know it's he - stated categorically that (a) the Diary ink is not Diamine; and (b) it had been on the paper for a long time - 90 years he felt.

      Graham
      Thanks for the reminder, Graham, but perhaps you should have bought a subscription to Ripperana. The ink Voller supplied to Nick Warren bronzed in as little as 2 years. Which is unfortunate, because Voller didn't examine the diary until 3 years, 6 months after Barrett brought it to London.
      Last edited by rjpalmer; 05-23-2020, 12:01 AM.

      Comment


      • Well, with all the preconceived conclusions and out-and-out guesswork that pepper this thread, maybe I should have expected such a response. So, basically, you're telling me that people with zero knowledge and experience of inks and paper are far more clued up than the Chief Chemist of a long-established manufacturer of inks? God, I seriously and genuinely apologise for my own ignorance, thinking that Alec Voller really knew what he was talking about.....

        Graham
        We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
          Well, with all the preconceived conclusions and out-and-out guesswork that pepper this thread, maybe I should have expected such a response. So, basically, you're telling me that people with zero knowledge and experience of inks and paper are far more clued up than the Chief Chemist of a long-established manufacturer of inks? God, I seriously and genuinely apologise for my own ignorance, thinking that Alec Voller really knew what he was talking about.....

          Graham
          Hi Graham

          with all the preconceived conclusions, it is indeed a good idea to refresh what was actually said. On David Barrat’s site, https://www.orsam.co.uk/nottruefunnyseems.htm one might read up on Alec Voller’s statements, for instance:
          When Nick Warren subsequently created a handwritten test letter on 26 January 1995, using the ink sent to him by Voller, it looked remarkably similar to the ink in the Diary and exhibited similar characteristics. This was confirmed by no less a person than Alec Voller himself. After seeing Warren's test letter in 2001, he wrote: 'I agree that the ink of Nick's letter has taken on an appearance similar to that of the Diary, as regards fading and bronzing...'.
          The sections Ink, The Doctor Who Never Was, The Nigrosine That Never Was and The Smearing of Ghosts might be of interest.

          Comment


          • See Caz's Post 550 above.

            Graham
            We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

            Comment


            • Originally posted by caz View Post

              Do you know how the solubility might have been affected if the old book had emerged from a dark place, away from normal atmospheric conditions and unopened since the day the last entry was written - however long ago or recently that may have been - and was then tested fairly soon afterwards? Would it be so surprising to find the result was different after two years spent being opened and shut and pored over and examined in completely different conditions?
              Conditions dictate how such chemical reactions take place. It is wholly conceivable if the diary was kept in cold metal tin, starved of oxygen - and then in a cool and stable environment that the ink may not have fully bonded with the paper completely. Oxidisation will rapidly accelerate that process.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                And with regard to the solubility of the ink which Leeds then found they couldn't dissolve ("so it must have dried in the meantime" seems to be your conclusion), the casual observer would be thoroughly justified in asking how - if this were true and meaningfully so - the debate ever got a step further than the Leeds analysis of IIRC 1994?
                I think that is a question best put to a psychologist.

                Or, in one case, to an accountant.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                  [SIZE=16px]Hi Caz,

                  Those hung up on whether the Diarist is referring to the initals ‘F. M.’ or some other initials, or some other alleged ‘clue’ are missing the thrust of Chisholm’s observation.The diarist states that he left ‘X’ (whatever X might be, and we can argue until the cows come home) “in front for all eyes to see.”
                  Here's a scenario which played out for real this afternoon.

                  Ike's 'phone rings. It's Roger Palmer.

                  RP: Hi Ike, just checking in. Hope you're staying safe whilst solving the greatest murder mystery of all time.
                  II: I am indeed, Rogey. I'm working so hard I've worked up quite an appetite. Honestly, I could eat a horse.
                  RP: A horse! A horse? A horse, my boy??? Why, are you mad? Are you mad, my boy? Have you lost your mind? Have you gone under the charabanc of madness? A man can't eat a horse. A man can't eat a horse, my boy! It's just not possible! If I take you literally - at your very word, my boy - as I understand your intention; if I take you exactly as you speak, I am lost! I can't understand a word of which you speak for you speak of a thing which can't be done. Literally can't be done, my boy! A man can't eat a horse! You can't eat a horse, my boy! And if you can't eat a horse, my boy, all else of which you speak has no truth in it. I therefore conclude that you are not hungry at all, my boy!
                  II [Eating]: Crikey, calm down, Rog, you'll give yourself another hernia, mate. I've just made myself a lovely peanut butter sandwich - the doctor says I'm not to have them but to Hell with it, I'm eating it here in my kitchen for all eyes to see.
                  RP: All eyes to see, my boy? All eyes to see! Are all eyes in your kitchen, my boy? Are they? Are they all there, my boy, in your kitchen, right now - all eyes? All eyes in the world? All human eyes, all cows' eyes, all horses' eyes, all cats' eyes, all insect eyes? All eyes to see? I don't think so, my boy. I can only conclude that all eyes can not see this fictitious sandwich and that you are not even in your kitchen!
                  II: Fair enough, Rog. [Burps] Oops, apologies for that - I must have not been eating too quickly …
                  RP: Not been eating too quickly? Not been eating too quickly, my boy. [Ike leaves the 'phone on the kitchen table and returns to it some hours later]
                  RP: It's like saying you're over the Moon. Over the Moon? Over the Moon, my boy? You can't be over the Moon, my boy, for the Moon is some two hundred thousand miles away. No one person can ever be over the Moon. How did you get all of the technology to get you there, my boy? Do you see? You literally cannot be over the Moon! [Ike recalls that it was Roger who made the call so he puts the 'phone down again and goes back in to the Casebook - not literally, of course - to tell the tale].
                  Iconoclast
                  Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                  Comment


                  • Smile, you're on camera!
                    And never were you better caught more candidly, Rog, than in your not-so-subtle reference to the rather explicit 'F' carved on Kelly's arm as being 'vague'. Ever one to question what to others might seem fairly straightforward and beyond contention!

                    Oh how I larfffed …

                    PS Could you please hang up the 'phone?
                    Iconoclast
                    Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                    Comment


                    • You got me there, Ike. It was indeed fortuitous that the Kelly photograph survived and was published, and that Maybrick anticipated its existence, survival, and publication, so he could quite accurately write that he left the letter F "in front" for "ALL EYES TO SEE." Not Bowyer's eyes, mind you. Or Abberline's. Our eyes---the eyes of Ike and the rest of the readership that Barrett envisioned would be happily hunting for "clues" in the famous photo. Probably one glass of stout too many that night, Poor Bongo. He slipped out of character, but then, even Homer and Feldman nod.

                      When you and your colleagues are arguing for the existence of imaginary enormous biscuit tins with hermetically sealed lids that magically keep ink in suspended animation for 102 years, I think it is time that I hunted down a website dedicated to the "meaningful truth" (to use your curious phrase) of the Cottingley Fairies. I could use a more credible diversion.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        You got me there, Ike. It was indeed fortuitous that the Kelly photograph survived and was published, and that Maybrick anticipated its existence, survival, and publication, so he could quite accurately write that he left the letter F "in front" for "ALL EYES TO SEE." Not Bowyer's eyes, mind you. Or Abberline's. Our eyes---the eyes of Ike and the rest of the readership that Barrett envisioned would be happily hunting for "clues" in the famous photo. Probably one glass of stout too many that night, Poor Bongo. He slipped out of character, but then, even Homer and Feldman nod.

                        When you and your colleagues are arguing for the existence of imaginary enormous biscuit tins with hermetically sealed lids that magically keep ink in suspended animation for 102 years, I think it is time that I hunted down a website dedicated to the "meaningful truth" (to use your curious phrase) of the Cottingley Fairies. I could use a more credible diversion.
                        I can only say to you, Roger, that James Maybrick - in my opinion - could perfectly reasonably have written (some days after he did the dastardly deed), "I left it in front for all to see" without having to mean anything more profound than "I left it in front for anyone who walks into this hell-hole to see". As neither you nor I can be absolutely certain what we were expected to see (had we been there), we cannot therefore sit so smugly in our Chigwell semis 130 years later and say that this statement could only have been written by a hoaxer for only a hoaxer could have - in a moment of error - thought that some people might see a photograph. Neither you nor I could say with any certainty that Maybrick could not have written it, and yet curiously you do.

                        PS I am wondering about whether or not to wear my macintosh today because I have heard that it is going to rain. Someone tells me that the sky is cloudy. That is the truth (it turns out) but it doesn't help me one iota. Someone else - more attuned to my needs - then adds that those clouds are very dark indeed. That is also the truth (it turns out) but this time meaningfully so, and I wear my mac. I think my problem is that I'm just too clever, Roger, and sometimes I forget myself. Still, I'm perfectly happy to wait until you catch up.
                        Iconoclast
                        Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                          Not Bowyer's eyes, mind you. Or Abberline's. Our eyes---the eyes of Ike and the rest of the readership that Barrett envisioned would be happily hunting for "clues" in the famous photo.
                          Now, Roger, you're being a naughty little boy here. Where in the Victorian scrapbook does James Maybrick get down and dirty about the actual people whose eyes will see? Where does he exclude Bowyer but include Iconoclast? Where does he exclude Abberline but include Palmer?

                          And - to augment your remarkable claim - do you need to rely on a truly excessive overdose of the literal in order to cancel out what I trust is a burning sense of cognitive dissonance right now? Come on - admit it - you know that this is one of the weakest arguments ever made in support of the hoax theory (and thankfully there have been so many else the world may not have received the wisdom of my brilliant Society's Pillar!).
                          Iconoclast
                          Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                          Comment



                          • Hi Roger,

                            By chance, I've just heard back from Keith regarding Don Rumbelow's book (but I can't remember from which post I was inspired to write to him - hence no quotation), and he tells me that he had never heard Mike mention Don Rumbelow’s book but he does agree with you that Mike would have seen the photograph in Paul Harrison’s book (1991) which was one of the two JtR books Mike used for the Ripper content of the scrapbook – the other being Wilson & Odell 1987. Unless, that is, Mike’s research notes are interpreted as genuine research notes and not his writer’s notes used for creating the scrapbook's narrative?

                            Incidentally, quite a few people would have seen the Kelly photograph before Don Rumbelow published it in 1975. Dan Farson used it in 1972 and before that, Lacassagne in [Keith thinks] 1899 [or possibly earlier] (I'm confident it was 1895 for any pedants out there - oh bollocks, I've just Googled it and Keith was right). So Keith advises that we do not take away from Mike either of these sources, always remembering that according to his sworn affidavit of January 5th 1995 “...I read everything to do with the Jack the Ripper matter” so his research was presumably fairly exhaustive.

                            By chance, I'm awaiting the arrival of Farson (1972, or 1973?) to see the 'FM' on Kelly's wall as it is apparently very well-defined (I think I may have got this gem from Keith but I'm not sure). Did someone else not also publish it in 1975? The royal conspiracy bloke - oh what the hell was his name? Knight!

                            Anyway, if Mike researched every book on the Ripper than pretty well every detail was available to him when he created his masterpiece.

                            But he couldn't have put the 'F' and the 'M' on Kelly's wall. Mark me!

                            Ike
                            Iconoclast
                            Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                            Comment


                            • Hi Ike. I'm aware that the photograph appeared in Lacassagne, but I thought the likelihood of the forger having access to that obscure text, and then using it in such a rickety vehicle, as about as likely as the hoaxer having had access to the police inventory list of Eddowes' belongings, or being able to quote Dick Crashaw off the top of his head. After awhile the probabilities of these 'explanations' becomes so ludicrous that I simply refuse to even entertain them. I became lazy and took Feldman's word that the Kelly photograph first appeared in Rumbelow. I have Farson's book, and there it is, of course, 1972. But, from a textual examination, I suspect Rumbelow was a major source for Barrett. A number of the Diary's ridiculous errors (taking away Mary Kelly's missing key, the farthings in Hanbury Street, the breasts on the table, etc) appear in these sources, so it is not always entirely clear which error Barrett cribbed from which source. But my guess is Barrett used Colin Wilson's book (mentioned in his 'research' notes') for the killer taking away the key, because Wilson erroneously concluded that Kelly's lock was not of the 'spring' variety, and the Killer did, indeed, take it away. Abberline said otherwise.

                              Here's Feldy. I would have thought that Keith might have corrected Feldman's error, but perhaps Feldman didn't invite a watchful editorial hand?

                              "Since 1975, when Donald Rumbelow first had the photograph published in his book, The Complete Jack the Ripper, nobody had ever noticed these two initials..."

                              Paul Feldman, The Final Chapter, p. 64.
                              My bad. Note to self: double, triple, and quadruple check anything coming from the pen of Paul Feldman.

                              Take the rest of the afternoon off, Ike. I'm climbing onto my motorbike and won't be reading your slings and arrows of outrage.

                              Comment


                              • P.S. Ike. If you're in contact with Keith, maybe you can talk him into releasing the typescript of the diary manuscript produced by the Barretts? Or an audio file of the Barrett/Gray tapes? Keith made quite an information dump over the past 12 months or so--but it is hard not to notice that all those podcasts featured Feldman, Graham, Harrison, etc. One wouldn't want to be left with the impression that an unseen editorial hand had placed his thumb firmly on the scale, only releasing data generally favorable to the diary's authenticity...

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