Saturday, 11 December 2010

Now you see it - Now you don't.

By guest author CountySet.


Now you see it - Now you don't.

A nice turn of phrase and one that down the ages has come to signify the work of those who would deceive. There can be many reasons to deceive and not all of them are with criminal intent. A magician at a children's party with the words "Abracadabra" elicits many genuine oohs and ahhhs of wonderment from his excited young audience with the most simple of visual gags. No one child has ever been harmed and the sole purpose of the trick is to amuse and delight. To adult sensibilities childish tricks like making a rabbit disappear and reappear from a top hat is only one of the more annoying aberrations which magicians are able to conjure from their special larder store of physical laws.

At the McCann's villa, the Vista Do Mar, their final abode in Praia Da Luz on the 8th of September 2007 at around mid-morning Michael Wright drew open the villa's large green painted metal gates. The moment the gates were open to their fullest extent the McCann's Renault hire car was seen reversing at some speed across the gravel driveway and towards the posse of photographers and journalists gathered outside. They beat a hurried retreat to the sides of the adjoining lane to allow the car access to the lane and the asphalted road.

The press were all keyed up that day to see who would be lucky enough, the lucky one, to snap the first pictures of Gerry McCann on this the first full day Gerry McCann was set to spend as arguido or suspect in his daughter's disappearance. The previous night Gerry McCann had returned to the villa in the early hours of the morning. As he got out of the car to open the gates to the villa driveway he was asked by a reporter if he had anything to say. Gerry McCann paused for a moment and no doubt remembering one of his newly acquired rights was the right to silence, replied with almost detectable glee, "I've been told I can't say anything". Smirking at his eloquent use of the phrase Gerry McCann then returned to his car and drove up the driveway to the villa, the precise position from which the car reversed today.

The Renault hire car having started in reverse had to continue on reversing down the short lane and even though the car was moving at some speed it could not help but pass close by the multitude of cameras and videos of the assembled pressmen, photographers and broadcasters. The cameras peered in at the windows as the car passed each one in turn hoping to catch a glimpse of the occupants inside. The car was no more than a couple of feet from the camera's peering lens and yet despite being so close for some reason it was almost impossible to make out who the occupants of the car were or even who was the driving the Renault hire car.


Image 2: That yellowish smudge in the rear child's seat is Sean. Apparently.


Image 3: That blank car window seen in the top two frames - is Gerry McCann sitting in the rear passenger seat. As the car came to a rest and executed the first part of a three point turn the face of Sandy Cameron can just be made out, along with the shape of a light haired woman sitting alongside Sandy in the other front passenger seat.


Image 4: As the car '3 pointed' it stopped. It was at that moment these shots were taken from across the bonnet. Sandy Cameron is just a shade more visible, as is the mystery woman at his side. She now appears to be large with light coloured off the shoulder hair and to be wearing a white cardigan with a badge on her right lapel.


Image 5: The car must now complete its manoeuvre and in doing so it must yet again drive within a few feet past the waiting cameraman. The camera only a few feet away - the car accelerated - some loose stones from the tarmac spun up - and these four shots are all we are left with as the car shot by and spun off down the road. From these pictures it is possible to identify the mystery woman who was in the McCann's Renault hire car on Gerry's first day as suspect and that woman was Eileen McCann, Gerry McCann's mother.


Image 6: The press were dumbfounded. Who was that in the car - did you get a picture of Gerry McCann - was he there - he drove straight past - you couldn't see. They were all incredulous at their misfortune in not getting a useable shot. They were puzzled as to who was in the car and as to where it was going. One member of the press was invited to share in the McCann's privileged information. That solitary pressman can be seen running up to the McCann's car to talk to Gerry as the car stopped a small distance off from the rest of the press.

This series of pictures suggest Gerry McCann was photographed taking his mother along with Sean and Sandy to Faro to see Eileen McCann onto a flight back to the UK as these were the last shots taken of Eileen McCann in Praia Da Luz.

Sandy Cameron was the chauffeur that day for the McCanns. This was a job Sandy was well used to undertaking. As usual the McCann's Renault hire car had been turned out a treat. The bumpers glistened and shone. The bodywork groaned under the layers of wax emulsion, each lovingly layered, and the glass surfaces shone so much they appeared not as windows but more like mirrors reflecting all casual gazes and all but the most persistent of glances even those from a telephoto lens.