Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The wayback machine - as reliable as Gerry McCann.

16th June 2015; Steve Marsden, former admin of a group called Abduction and Scam, and Frances Gallagher, the former lead figure of the group, begin a campaign of misrepresentation of facts. I'm being very kind when I use the word "misrepresentation", if I wasn't being polite, I could say that the pair had blatantly lied in order to gain numbers and popularity, in a group that under their control, was seemingly dedicated to fooling people with sensationalism and myth. However, this post will be lengthy enough, without me getting personal, and dragging up the many, many lies of a woman many people lovingly refer to as "Fanny" Gallagher, and her sidekick "Stevo" Marsden.

So make yourselves a brew, find a comfortable seat, reach for your Hobnobs, and we'll digest this beast together.

Firstly let's start with Marsden's original post.

Marsden clearly stated, and backed up the Wayback machine findings, that CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) created a web page on the 30th April 2007, (3 days prior to police being informed), that Madeleine McCann was missing.

Now let's look at this realistically:

If indeed there was a pre planned, fake abduction, and that Jim Gamble (the head of CEOP at the time) was involved in the scam, then would CEOP have really announced this before news "officially" broke?

Given that CEOP use an outside agency to update their website, would Gamble really have given the order to produce an internet page without first confirming with Kate and Gerry that Madeleine had been reported missing?

The very idea is ludicrous.

What Marsden did by using this info to suit his own theory, was to claim that this would explain CEOP's involvement early in May 2007.

Yet again "Stevo" was completely wrong. It was Goncalo Amaral who requested CEOP be involved, as detailed below in an email (dated 7th May 2007) sent to Detective Chief Superintendent Robert Hall:

"2. In the spirit of Police to Police Cooperation we request the presence of a British Criminal Analyst who may be able to assist the enquiry.
Also the collaboration of the UK's "Child Exploitation Online Protection" may be useful if they wish to send one of their officers to provide assistance to the investigation,"


So does "Stevo's" theory now extend to Goncalo Amaral being involved in the cover up as well?

Moving on. Both Marsden and Gallagher claim the Wayback machine is never wrong.

Yet again, they're lying.

Take a look at this link written by Dr. Fred Cohen http://fredcohen.net/

– CEO – Management Analytics, the piece; "focuses on two examples of legal matters involving archived data, one a digital archive of born-analog data, and the other a digital archive of born-digital data. Their resolution is explained, and along the way, several of the challenges and issues related to digital archives, the transition from classical diplomatics to modern diplomatics, digital forensics in the light of current record-keeping systems, and related facts and supporting data points are explored"

"Case 2 involved a dispute between ex-partners in a financial business. The business failed and each went their own way seeking to start a new financial business, with ownership of a domain name remaining with one of the
partners. Several years later, in viewing what was believed to be an image of the prior Web site using the Wayback machine at archive.org, the party not retaining control of the Web site was unhappy to find that, according to the
displayed content, the subsequent company advertised the new company prior to the termination of the partnership..."

The piece is very lengthy, but some key quotes that mention, and highlight Wayback's flaws are:

"The WayBack Machine is a form of automatic storage, while archives 'preserve'. Preservation is a process in which the archivists identify, authenticate, protect, describe, build retrieval systems, provide access to, and otherwise act to protect the material being archived. The term “Internet Archives” in the context of the WayBack machine is a misuse of the term of art 'archive'. Of course people have trusted anything called archives for centuries, and those at archive.org demonstrated excellent marketing skills in using that term."

"The 'Internet archive' is a bit more nebulous in that it is a web site operated by a non-profit (i.e., public interest) corporation, seemingly like a museum or other archive. However, this is what the WayBack machine is NOT. It is not like a museum or an archive because there is no curation or assurance of protection and permanent authenticity from the moment of acquisition."

"Examination can detect inconsistency in and between records and fonds and this supports trusting (or challenging) the trustworthiness of the records.
But this is not the case for depictions presented by the Wayback machine. Collections are made on a seemingly arbitrary time frame from subsets of automatically selected Web sites. Different components that form a visualized Web page are collected at different times, stored with only a single reference to a collection date, and are not attributed or tracked in all of the other ways archives are managed. They are not systems of records as much as amateur collections, but they are sometimes treated as if they were traditional

"In the digital world, alteration can happen unintentionally or intentionally, the state of the art in protection of the WayBack Machine is not transparent, and its adequacy has not been established by a scientific or rigorous process. It does not apparently follow the rigors of archival science or records management, and thus it should be inherently obvious to an expert in the field that it does not have the same status as public records or archives maintaining and operating within those standards of care"

"The situation is further complicated by the fact that the mechanisms of the Wayback machine change over time, are not externally well documented or transparent, and do not follow widely accepted archival principles. In fact, once the findings discussed here were made public, the Wayback machine was changed with only minimal notice and little apparent transparency. Thus there isn't external repeatability across those changes, a basic foundation for scientific fields, and doing an accurate reconstruction becomes problematic"

"The Wayback tool is NOT a reliable tool for digital forensics"

Did you read that last quote "Stevo"? Kind of puts an ironic slant on your comments where you try to discredit anybody who discredited the wayback machine huh...

"If the Wayback machine didn't use date and time stamps as pathnames and store them with reasonable accuracy in some portion of the instances involved, this approach would not work. Indeed, there is no real assurance that the time
mechanism of the Wayback machine is generally reliable or reliable in any given case."

I've only taken snippets, but if you are interested, please take the time to read the full article.

For those who are still awake...

Taken from http://all.net/forsale/forensics.html

"In a recent case involving allegations of financial fraud we were able to show that the basis for the allegations was an inaccurate depiction of a situation in time that never actually existed. This was caused by the incorrect interpretation of information provided by "The WayBack Machine", a commonly used source of evidence that, if improperly applied, tends to give wildly wrong impressions of historical facts."

...and more:


...and yet more:


We don't just have the expertise of Fred Cohen to call upon though. One of the most respected researchers on the case - JillyCL - has also stated that she found many time and date stamps to be inaccurate,

Given the fact that Jilly was part of a team that archived somewhere in the region of 25,000 articles on the McCann case, in fact every article between 2007 - 2015, I would say that makes her as good a source as you will find on the subject.

All of the articles archived (many of which we wouldn't be able to view if it wasn't for their hard work and commitment), can be read on the link below:


For some of course, the use of sensationalism to attract numbers, will always be more important than logic, common sense, and indeed facts.


  1. Thank you for this. If people keep repeating these myths I feel that it brings them down to the level of the rabidly pro-McCann lobby.

    1. Agreed.

      Sadly the internet is the intellectual analog of the Wild West (Shoot first, ask questions later).

      Instead of articles being subject to peer review prior to publication, by those with a professional concern for standards, claims are bandied about and underwritten by the gullible, after the fact.

      Like the 'three little piggies', we have to wait until the wolf shows up to find out who's actually built the safest house and can only pity those whose material was less than solid.

  2. Only 1 comment after 24 hrs.? You clearly did not approve of my earlier critique.

    Well I can't say I'm sorry if I rained on your parade.

    "For some of course, the use of sensationalism to attract numbers, will always be more important than logic, common sense, and indeed facts."

    Physician, heal thyself.

    1. I didn't approve it, as I wanted to save you from looking like an idiot. I take it you haven't seen the screenshot of the wayback machine 'finding' results on the disappearance of Madeleine in 2005. A year BEFORE CEOP was formed, and 2 years BEFORE Madeleine was reported missing. Now, get your brolly out, I just pissed all over yours. Oh and when you speak to Stevo, ask him if his threat to take me to court for outing him as a liar, still stands.

    2. That would be interesting to know whether he was still going to sue you. You sure did piss on the umbrella. Well done.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.