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What if the watch is real but the document isn't?

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  • What if the watch is real but the document isn't?

    Whilst it seems most observers are in check mate with regards to the scientific dating of the diary ink and paper of the Maybrick document, the watch seems to be a real spanner in the works for detractors of the "diary". In the 1993 tests, the engravings were classed as being "tens of years" old at least - as the decaying of brass particles in the base of the engravings would be extremely difficult to forge or fake. I use phrase "extremely difficult" because nothing is ever impossible, but the science seems to stack up across all the watch reports - the engravings were not recent to 1993. The "anti-diary" supporters seem to accept that either the document was either a recent forgery (e.g post 1991) or is in fact real.

    How did the watch end up in the antiques shop where Albert Johnson purchased it in 1992? What if the watch was "planted" in the antiques shop delibertaley, in the hope that one day an additional artefact would back up the provenance of the forged document? After all, who would believe the watch alone could point the finger at James Maybrick, even though he had effectively confessed via the engraving? The watch alone would not be enough. Hence, the motivation for the document forgery. Let the watch support the diary, but actually the diary was created to support the existence of the watch.

    The watch has been a conundrum for many detractors, including Melvin Harris and Martin Fido. The science behind the watch offers an inconvenient truth.

    Which leads to the question, who then engraved the watch?

    On a side note, William Maybrick, James' father was by trade an engraver. Something James would have some basic knowledge of having been around it most of his childhood.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by erobitha; 02-07-2020, 04:38 PM.

  • #2
    I've often found myself wondering what if the watch had come to light instead of the scrapbook. As you say, scientific tests suggests that the scratches are indeed old enough for it to be genuine. Then there's the signature on the watch which actually resembles Maybrick's, and it was brought to the world's attention by someone considerably more credible than Bongo Barrett. I agree that the watch on its own is not enough to point the finger at JM, but it could well be the inspiration behind the scrapbook.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by StevenOwl View Post
      I've often found myself wondering what if the watch had come to light instead of the scrapbook. As you say, scientific tests suggests that the scratches are indeed old enough for it to be genuine. Then there's the signature on the watch which actually resembles Maybrick's, and it was brought to the world's attention by someone considerably more credible than Bongo Barrett. I agree that the watch on its own is not enough to point the finger at JM, but it could well be the inspiration behind the scrapbook.
      There is a much simpler way of looking at this, of course - and one which accords with all of the facts of the case (well, almost all) ...
      Iconoclast
      Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

        There is a much simpler way of looking at this, of course - and one which accords with all of the facts of the case (well, almost all) ...
        Oh absolutely Ike, I was simply wondering if Jim as Jack might have carried more weight with Ripperologists if it was the watch that came to light via Albert, rather than the scrapbook via Mike.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

          There is a much simpler way of looking at this, of course - and one which accords with all of the facts of the case (well, almost all) ...
          That it's all a load of bunkum that's fooled the naive and gullible?

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          • #6
            In the 14th century they believed ‘bad air’ was causing the plague that was killing millions across Europe. So the establishments of the day decided quarantine would keep the afflicted safe from the ‘bad air’.
            This action went on to save many lives and reduce the contagion of the disease quite considerably. Wrong theory but ultimately the correct result.
            Perhaps the focus should be more on Maybrick himself and the watch without the theory of the document and dismissing the watch as some kind of forgery after the fact. The watch science is much more conclusive - it’s just that alone is not enough. You can’t publish a watch either. Maybe we have the right man but our theory to prove is not the right one yet. Maybe time will reveal all.

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            • #7
              With the falling-off of discussion on this Forum concerning both the Diary and the Watch, I'd just like to say:

              1] I never believed that the Diary was a genuine 'journal' written by James Maybrick. I think there is a slight possibility that it can be dated back to a short time after the Ripper Murders, but so far it has not been possible for forensic science to make an accurate analysis.

              2] I never believed that the Diary was conceived and manufactured by Mike Barrett. However, I think, with no real basis and probably erroneously, there might be a slight possibility that his wife had more to do with it than we have so far been led to believe. It could be that it really was passed down to her by her father - we'll never know, but if as some folk still maintain it isn't a modern forgery, then this would seem a most likely route. And Anne Barrett has maintained her strict silence for many years now.

              3] Without casting any aspersions, I've always felt that it was a remarkable coincidence that the Watch came to light so soon after the Diary was revealed. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if there is still some missing but highly germane information regarding this, and which has never been made public. But maybe there isn't. Maybe it really was just coincidence.

              4] What, precisely, was Robbie Johnson's true role (if he had one, that is) in this saga?

              The above are just my thoughts and suspicions, no more, and I'm only writing this because lock-down is now beginning to get on my nerves.....

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Graham View Post
                With the falling-off of discussion on this Forum concerning both the Diary and the Watch, I'd just like to say:

                1] I never believed that the Diary was a genuine 'journal' written by James Maybrick. I think there is a slight possibility that it can be dated back to a short time after the Ripper Murders, but so far it has not been possible for forensic science to make an accurate analysis.

                2] I never believed that the Diary was conceived and manufactured by Mike Barrett. However, I think, with no real basis and probably erroneously, there might be a slight possibility that his wife had more to do with it than we have so far been led to believe. It could be that it really was passed down to her by her father - we'll never know, but if as some folk still maintain it isn't a modern forgery, then this would seem a most likely route. And Anne Barrett has maintained her strict silence for many years now.

                3] Without casting any aspersions, I've always felt that it was a remarkable coincidence that the Watch came to light so soon after the Diary was revealed. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if there is still some missing but highly germane information regarding this, and which has never been made public. But maybe there isn't. Maybe it really was just coincidence.

                4] What, precisely, was Robbie Johnson's true role (if he had one, that is) in this saga?

                The above are just my thoughts and suspicions, no more, and I'm only writing this because lock-down is now beginning to get on my nerves.....

                Graham
                I honestly don't believe the "diary" is much older than the date it was miraculously "discovered" on, whichever version of discovery you favour personally.

                It didn't originate from Battlecreese, that's for sure. The amount of work done on that building yet it wasn't found sooner? The whole saga of the "found it in the house and took it to the university" story is redundant, as far as I'm concerned.

                Whether people choose to believe that Barrett wrote it or not, he's the only name available, besides his wife, with the sheer audacity to try and pull it off, and by offering up an unknown writer, you're just furthering the nonsense of it all, IMO. Barrett was a writer, he was the sort of bloke you'd imagine would try and make a few quid duping the gullible, and he basically fits the description of a snakeskin oil salesman.

                There's simply nothing to suggest that it was an old hoax, IMO. Regardless, someone wrote it, and it obviously wasn't James bloody Maybrick.

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                • #9
                  Well, I was, perhaps forlornly, hoping for something of a discussion, but possibly out of the question.

                  I never suggested that I believed the Diary came from Battlecrease (note the spelling). Whatever it was that Paul Feldman thought had been taken to Liverpool University by some of the workmen, it wasn't the Diary. Feldman never actually discovered what it was, but later came to the conclusion that it wasn't the Diary.

                  What 'unknown writer' was I supposed to be offering up? I said that there is a slight possibility that Anne had more to do with the Diary's production than she evwer admitted. I also repeated the old tale, which Anne put about, that she found it behind a cupboard and that it had been in her father's possession since 1940. This was never proved, and Anne never went into much more detail.

                  Barret was a writer?? You what? Ever seen any of his productions? he could hardly sign his name!

                  And the Watch? You've not given me the benefit of your considered and esteemed opinions regarding this. Don't you have any, then?

                  Graham

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Graham View Post

                    Barret was a writer?? You what? Ever seen any of his productions? he could hardly sign his name!
                    Hi Graham. Too bad you weren't there to alert the editor of Celebrity Magazine to this remarkable 'fact.' Maybe he wouldn't have been so eager to publish Barrett's articles if he had known that Mike was completely illiterate.

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	Celebrity.JPG Views:	0 Size:	71.4 KB ID:	733833


                    So, out of curiosity, how do you explain the "disconnect" between the professionally published articles by Michael Barrett that appeared in the mid and late 1980s, and the scribbled notes from the mid-1990s, also by Mike, as published by Skinner, Morris, and Linder?

                    Stroke? Alcoholic haze? Deliberate subterfuge? Or was Anne helping Mike "tidy things up" all along?

                    I confess that, on one occasion, I found an old note of my own, written after a night down at the local watering hole, that bore little resemblance to anything I would have written when sober.

                    Deny it until the cows come home, but Barrett publishing articles in the 1980s is an objective fact. It is as true as the sun appearing in the east every morning.

                    Stay safe,

                    RP



                    Last edited by rjpalmer; 04-01-2020, 08:14 PM.

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                    • #11
                      RJ, listen. I do not, never did, and never will believe that Michael John Barrett wrote the Diary. He had not the wit. If he was personally responsible for 100% of that article you show in your post, then call be Hans, 'cos I'll be a Dutchman. No way. At best, he may have had something of an input, but if the Diary originated in 12 Goldie Street, then it wasn't Mike who produced it. If he did, then why did he not pursue a lucrative and glamorous career in journalism? Mike apparently always wanted to be a writer, and told as much to anyone who would listen, but he never made it, did he? Too pissed? Too crap?

                      The fact remains that, unless Anne ever cares to speak up (and who would believe her even if she did, given the degree of universal cynicism on these boards) we shall never know.

                      I find it significant and somewhat illuminating that the two responses so far to my post have failed to mention the Watch, which is actually also the subject of this thread. The Watch seems not to attract the same degree of pulpit-hammering as the Diary, possibly because the forensic analysis is much more difficult to shoot down, and almost certainly because it is beyond the grasp of mere mortals such as we.

                      So.....about the Watch, gentlemen?

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the response, Hans.

                        The watch? I am not as impressed by the forensic analysis as you are. I am more impressed that Paul Feldman admitted in print that Robbie Johnson had lied to him about the markings, pretending ignorance, even though he had previously made a detailed and accurate sketch of them.

                        And no, I don't buy the claim that someone would need an electron microscope and great technical skill to create this mess of scratches on the inside cover of watch. Happy dreams.

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                        • #13
                          And thank you for your response, Lionel.

                          Would you be kind enough to point out to me where, in his book or elsewhere, Feldman made this reference about Robbie Johnson? Are you in fact suggesting that Robbie Johnson admitted to making the markings himself?

                          You are free to accept, discard or simply ignore the forensic investigation of the Watch. Up to you. And the same applies to me and everyone else.

                          Graham (not Hans)
                          We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                            Thanks for the response, Hans.

                            The watch? I am not as impressed by the forensic analysis as you are. I am more impressed that Paul Feldman admitted in print that Robbie Johnson had lied to him about the markings, pretending ignorance, even though he had previously made a detailed and accurate sketch of them.

                            And no, I don't buy the claim that someone would need an electron microscope and great technical skill to create this mess of scratches on the inside cover of watch. Happy dreams.
                            The scientific analysis, by world-renknowned experts in this field, all claimed the aged brass particles at the base of the engravings could not be faked without advanced technical knowledge and the markings were at LEAST decades old - in 1993 - long before the diary was discovered.

                            The watch remains an incnovenient truth, dismissed because of timing and not science. The irony.
                            Last edited by erobitha; 04-02-2020, 09:09 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                              The scientific analysis, by world-renknowned experts in this field.
                              There is no such thing as a world-renowned expert in dating scratches in metal. Such a creature is mythical. Those who actually undertook the analysis admitted it couldn't be done, that more work was needed, and all they could basically do was to describe the order in which the scratches were made---in other words, 'chronology' in relationship to other scratches, but no actual date of origin for any of the scratches.

                              The question of this infamous microscopic brass particle found one scratch is a tedious one, and I don't care to revisit it--not because it is an "inconvenient truth," but because it is utterly inconclusive. It could have been nothing more than a flake off the engraving tool used to make the scratches circa 1993, and was already corroded. It could have been contamination from a cleaning rag (as suggested by Melvin Harris). What you are assuming is that this microscopic particle aged 'in situ' over many decades, which is not a 'fact,' let alone an 'inconvenient' fact. Regardless of how it got there, brass can easily be 'darkened' by any number of different solutions, including common vinegar. The particle could have been accidently darkened by someone cleaning the watch with some solvent, and we know the watch had been recently cleaned. It does in no way prove the scratches were 'decades old.'

                              Why do you think Robbie Johnson lied to Paul Feldman? When Robbie confronted Anne Graham in front of witnesses, what did he mean by saying "Anne, you need throwing out the window. Jesus, I can't believe all this. You mean that we're going to get a few bob after all this?"

                              What did he mean by "all this"? What exactly had Robbie Johnson done to deserve a pay day? And why is his overriding concern about what they are "going to get" out of it? In all honesty, none of this raises a red flag??

                              I do hope social distancing ends soon. This quarantine is making me so stir crazy I'm actually starting to discuss the Diary again!

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