Preface written by Gonçalo Amaral for Paulo Reis' eBook: "The McCann's War"


The mysterious disappearance of a blue-eyed, blonde British child in a southern European country has turned into a tremendous Media case, largely because of a marketing strategy centered on the immaculate image of the parents, their exoneration, and a fierce attack on all those who, in the use of their right to opinion and freedom of expression, dare to put the kidnapping thesis for pedophile purposes in cause, but mainly because the investigation did not followed its normal course, that is, to cover all hypotheses, which twelve years later remain open.

The strategy of the parents of the child mysteriously disappeared presents dogmatic traces of truths similar to a new religion based on that immaculate image and not subject to scrutiny. Someone has already said that the truth of those parents has more force than the truth revealed by the "Messiahs" of monotheistic religions, Christians, Jews or Muslims.
As parents, they claim that there is no evidence of their daughter's death, as defendants they say that there is no evidence to blame them for the mysterious disappearance, as she was abducted in a planned manner by an international pedophile network, as claimants in a claim for compensation in the value of 1.2 million Euros they argue that any opinion contrary to their opinion will put at risk the survival of Madeleine and make impossible to found her. With the decision to file the investigation, they were cleared of any liability, following a second investigation that had been carried out until October 2007.

From a very early stage, their war strategically used the Media and the potential of the Internet, in order to discredit all those who dare to have an opinion contrary to their own, even if based on facts which, despite the millions of Euros spent, have never been questioned and still have evidence and have probationary force. We do not discuss the evidence of the death of the unhappy child, this can not be the center of the investigation of her mysterious disappearance. This kind of investigation must have a beginning, a middle and an end, in a normal zigzagging of any and all criminal investigations. In the end, the facts will speak for themselves.
But, as the couple's spokesman said in an interview conducted by Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio 5 Live on 7 January 2011, this lack of evidence of death motivates them to investigate the mysterious disappearance: "Yet it is possible that she is alive because there is no evidence that has arisen that she is not and that is the whole basis upon which research and private investigation continues to this day. In the absence of anything that suggests that they have done her any harm or, as you suggest, that she has been killed, and there is no evidence to suggest this ... ". But this seems to be not just an instinct: "My instinct has been, and so it continues, that there is a possibility of she being alive and it is on this basis that we do all this."

As far as the truth is concerned, that any opinion contrary to that of the parents puts at risk the child's survival, hindering and calling into question their efforts to find and recover her, we only say that a causal link can not be established between a free and responsible opinion based on facts and something emotionally idealized. On the other hand, it is easier to establish this same causality, more nefariously, between advertising and marketing by parents of the mark of the child's eye (the iris coloboma) and the fragile probabilities of survival. Publicizing it, as it was done, that mark was, somehow, destining the child to death.

Their parental warfare strategy followed the guidelines contained in the long-term absentee family guide produced by the US authorities, keeping alive the idea of recovering her, but introducing profound deviations from the objectives and purposes of such a Guide and expected behavior. One of these deviations was the attacks on me, the attempts to silence me and to discredit me. As an example, read the statement of the parents of the mysteriously disappeared child published on Oprah Winfrey's website, on October 7, 2009: "We have decided to take action against the Portuguese police investigator Gonçalo Amaral after reaching a point of 'already enough'. His unfortunate theories (without any evidence to support them) have greatly (and cruelly) harmed the search for Madeleine, particularly in Portugal, where it seems most likely to reside the key piece of information. A precautionary measure was obtained in September against his book and DVD, which promoted his theories (and gave him a lot of money). This is a significant and much-needed achievement, and we hope that the public will now begin to doubt his credibility and their motives (if they did not doubt it yet..) and start believing that there is a very good possibility that Madeleine is alive and needs of being found."
As it turns out, the main purpose was the desire of the public to begin to doubt my credibility and the reasons that forced me to write the book "Maddie: The Truth of The Lie." As a secondary interest, let such a public begin to believe in the possibility of the child being alive. Look at the work of the detective firm Metodo 3 and other incompetents, in British press articles, of illustrious Portuguese opinion-makers, of the spokesman for the parents and the use of crisis management and public relations companies, an area where the UK leads the world, and we will have proof of my disbelieving as part of the strategy of their war.

One of the public relations companies used would have been "Hanover", which would have worked for the parents of the child mysteriously missing after his return to the UK, in September 2007, at a time when they were "overwhelmed by the interest of the Media "and that company decided to "manage the Media proactively, giving them a new angle to the story, every day." As a result, "after having been provided with positive stories to report, the Media stopped the unfounded rumors and harassment of family and friends” and that company succeeded in achieving its ultimate goal: "Coverage has gone from hostility to parents for the sympathy with their ordeal”, as the words of the spokesman parents said. "Hanover" carried out a successful campaign, having won the crisis communication category of the CIPR 2008 awards.

The aforementioned spokesman of the couple then said: "In the midst of the most complete chaos of demands of the Media, 'Hanover' brought us order, clarity of thought and professional calm. Without this team, it would not have been possible to deal with the Media, Press, Radio and Television. " Excellent, for those who worked only for money, no worries about the truth of the facts.

In Portugal, the parents of the child also contracted the services of public relations companies, as was the case of "Lift". Question: Why the need of these public relations companies? The answer lies in the ethical code used by them: "Communication and Public Relations consultancies are professional service providers that help clients influence opinions, attitudes and behaviors."

Influencing opinions, attitudes and behaviors is the main objective of the public relations companies and this is the strategy of the child parents war. At the end, what is at stake is a principle that is meant to be true: "Only 'outsiders', eccentrics, people who want to get some financial gain, crazy and malicious people, who do not believe in the parents of the mysteriously disappeared child, or those that assume that they are anti-parents, show that they can fit into one of these categories of worthless people.”

Stereotypes were created and those who had an opinion contrary to the parents were slotted into them, without any attempt to understand what in fact happened. The friends were not looked at, nor was the possibility of any wrongdoing among them raised. The friends – who also admitted neglecting their children – were protected by the British Media and authorities. Only what the parents and their “staff” say is important. The rest is ignored, it does not matter.
On my departure from Portimão I became a privileged target. The management of the crisis of the fathers of the mysteriously disappeared child, would have decided that it would be easier to achieve their objectives by attacking me personally, leaving in abeyance attacks on the Portuguese institutions and justice system, which were reserved for later. After the departure of Gordon Brown from the post of Prime-minister of the British Government, the couple came to express disillusionment with the British and Portuguese police, demanding an independent review of the investigation – but only about the sightings, not of what is in the criminal case investigation, filed in 2008. What has followed over the years has brought nothing new and, strange as it may seem, the only solid clues are those that were collected in the first four months of the investigation, which, despite all the attempts, have never been questioned, remaining current and valid.

In this book, Paulo Reis, makes a collection of what was the war of the parents of the mysteriously disappeared child, their strategies and the objective to be achieved, becoming an essential manual of analysis and consultation by all those who have an interest in studying the mysterious disappearance of the British blonde and blue-eyed child.

Lisbon, April 21, 2019

Gonçalo Amaral


Nota Bene: After reading the article under discussion I contacted “The Olive Press”, asking for a retraction and an apology. I received neither acknowledgment nor reply
A week later I sent a repeat email.
This time Jon Clarke, publisher and editor replied, denying that anything was ‘libel’.
I sent a suggested form of words for the retraction and apology.
He replied repeating that they did not consider that there was any libel.

In view of this I believe I am entitled to assume that there is no reasonable prospect of a retraction, a correction, nor an apology.
The attitude of “The Olive Press” towards defamation may also be clear, as it was expressed in an article of November 2011, trumpeting under a 44-point-bold banner headline –
          WHY LIBEL IS NO BIG DEAL IN SPAIN                                                                   [1]

In the previous Chapter “Fake News” I looked at an article by Jon Clarke, the owner and publisher of a free newspaper in southern Spain “The Olive Press”.
I showed how that article, published in 2017, was seriously divergent from, and often contrary to facts as reported by other people. Notably, and potentially seriously, it directly contradicted much of what Kate McCann herself had written in her autobiography “madeleine”. But there the matter rested. It was discussed on several Fora, but was largely dismissed as “the usual nonsense”.

In late March 2019 I went into a supermarket in southern Spain, purchased a bottle of wine and wrapped it in one of the free tabloid papers helpfully supplied at the check-out for this purpose.
On this occasion it was “The Olive Press”. Vol.13 Issue 314 to be precise.

On page 3 is an article on the recent Netflix documentary about missing Madeleine Beth McCann, saying “The Olive Press” played a “starring role” [sic] and entitled “Hoping for Answers”.
The article is not attributed and is written in the third person, but is clearly by Jon Clarke.
As the publisher and editor of the paper he is ultimately responsible for its content.

In it I am identified by name, occupation and location, and then subjected to the routine, gratuitous ad-hominen insults and abuse sadly so typical of what we have come to expect of those who uncritically support the ‘official’ story put out by Team McCann and their acolytes and apologists.

In that article, 7 column inches are devoted to Clarke and the Netflix documentary, whilst 3.5 column inches are devoted to maligning and defaming me. 293 words - v - 140 words
One third of the entire article is devoted to entirely gratuitous abuse.

Gratuitous in that it does not address the central point of the article, which is to emphasise the importance of Clarke and “The Olive Press” in the Netflix programmes.
Gratuitous in that yet again it sets up and then knocks down the straw-man argument about “proving that the McCanns did not kill Madeline’ which it is unlikely anyone actually believes.

I am a long since retired police officer as he accurately states, from a previous millennium and perhaps from a more robust generation. I am hardened to abuse of the sort we come to expect from drunks, drug users, criminals and tabloid journalists.

But there is more. He goes on to make four distinct statements about me.
It is in the public domain, published in 100,000 copies, with huge numbers of readers both on-line and via Facebook and Android apps - his figures, not mine - and so I give a quote

“The former Nottinghamshire copper has long trolled that the parents were guilty and even produced a libellous pamphlet on why they did it. . . .
. . [he] once tried to claim that Olive Press editor Clarke could not have been in Praia da Luz on the morning after Maddie’s disappearance.
In a disgusting blog post he also somehow suggested that Clarke may have been in some way involved.”

Strong stuff. So perhaps a measured and proportionate response is not altogether unexpected.

Let us pick it apart. Let us be clinically detached, ignore the sneering and abusive tone, forget the libel, and stick to the facts of what is being said. Keep our eye on the squirrel.

       “Libellous pamphlet”
No pamphlet in this case has ever been adjudged to be libellous. Clarke is fully aware of this

      [he] . . . even produced . . a pamphlet . . .
I have never produced any pamphlet, libellous or otherwise. Clarke knows this

       once tried to claim that Clarke could not have been in Praia da Luz . . .
This is not true. Clarke knows this is not true

       he … suggested that Clarke may have been in some way involved
This is not true. Clarke knows this is not true

Here we have four distinct and discrete untruths. Jon Clarke knows that each one is untrue.

We can be absolutely sure of this because in each case he has previously published the ’real, true’ facts in other places including his own newspaper. He has previously published the identity of the person who did produce a leaflet and engage in ‘robust discussion‘. And it was not me. So these are not mistakes, errors, typos, mis-information, general editorial sloppiness, nor any of the other excuses normally trotted out on these occasions.

These are lies.
 It logically follows that Jon Clarke, Publisher and Editor of “The Olive Press”, is a liar
and that his newspaper “The Olive Press” deliberately and by design publishes lies.

* * * * * * * *

That might have been the end of the matter. As a person of reasonable fortitude I could have simply accepted that within the fortnight the cat litter trays, the parrot cages and the rubbish bins would have been cleaned and emptied, and that the lies would have disappeared with them – notwithstanding in the modern world they remain forever floating in the aether cloud of the internet.

But I suspected that I was dealing with something else; that I was dealing with organised and concerted mendacity. It is in the first part of the article, in which Clarke’s appearance in the Netflix documentary is featured, that we find very significant differences between what is being said now, and what was said in 2017, only two years ago, authored by the same Jon Clarke.

We need to examine extracts from these three versions together

2017 article in “The Olive Press”                                                                                            [5]

      “But for a couple of loving parents to murder their daughter, bury and cover all traces in an hour while on holiday is stretching it just a bit too far.
      But this didn’t stop the Portuguese police from charging them… “
      “When I arrived at about 11.45am I was firstly able to walk into the apartment, where I introduced myself to the McCanns and told them I would do everything I could to help.
      “The only reporter on the scene till late that evening – apart from Sky News reporter Kate Burley, who happened to be on holiday there – I spent time grilling neighbours, . . ”
      “Incredibly, we had to wait till late afternoon before a couple of sniffer dogs had arrived, which was amateur to say the least, given that Maddie had been reported missing a full 18 hours earlier.

2019 article in “The Olive Press”                                                                                             [4]

      “The Olive Press Editor, 50, was the first journalist on the scene in Praia da Luz the day after police began their disastrous attempt to find the toddler.
      “ . . he takes the crew around the resort, and reveals his shock at how laid back the police operation was and how he met the McCanns in those early hours.
      “Initially there was just a small bit of tape in front of the apartment, and then a bit at the side where the patio doors were,” he revealed in the film.
      “It wouldn’t have been difficult to walk in and have a look round. It certainly wasn’t Fort Knox,” he added.

2019 transcript from Netflix documentary                                                                            [7]

      “This is it, this is it.”
      “This is now what was the Mark Warner complex, the Ocean Club, this one here 5a
      “I said hello to them as they were leaving and introduced myself to them as a reporter from the Mail, and they said “Hi”, and I think they may have also said “thanks for coming”.

      “That was really unfortunately all I could get out of them at that point, so there really wasn’t much opportunity, sadly, to talk to the family about what had happened the night before.

      “Initially there was maybe just a small bit of tape here in front of the apartment, and a little bit at the side where the patio doors were.”
      “And then there was a note on the steps leading up, saying ‘Don’t go past this point’.

      It went up, and I looked in and the door was open and I think I tried to speak.
I didn’t, . . . I didn’t want to push my way through the door or into the apartment which obviously would have been a crime scene, so it wouldn’t have been appropriate to do that, but I got the impression it wouldn’t have been difficult to do that at all, to sort of walk in and take a look around, you know it certainly wasn’t Fort Knox.”

Readers will already realise that some of this is contradictory. In 2017 he says he walked into the apartment and spoke to the McCanns there. In 2019 he says he spoke to the McCanns as they left, and then did not enter the apartment. So let us deconstruct these “versions of the truth

Australian journalist Mark Saunokonoko's 'Maddie McCann' podcasts

Mark Saunokonoko is a well respected Australian senior journalist based at Australia's 9NEWS.  Mr Saunokonoko is not a member of CMOMM or the MMRG, he has however called on the expertise of both CMOMM members retired Police Superintendent PeterMac (author of What really happened to Madeleine McCann?) and Portuguese journalist Paulo Reis (author of The McCann's War), in addition to basing much of his work on the research of CMOMM members and other commentators across social media.

Over a period of years, he has researched and worked on a series of podcasts concerning the case of missing Madeleine McCann. The podcasts have very recently been broadcast and can be heard here:


New book by Portuguese journalist Paulo Reis: The McCann's War

11 April 2019

A new factual McCann book is soon to be published, in both Portuguese and English, by a Portuguese journalist who was at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz shortly after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007. He witnessed how events unfolded at the time, and has closely followed the McCann's 'war' throughout the years.

From Paulo Reis' new blog:

The McCann's War

Book Index

- Lunch at the restaurant "Carvi"
- The "insult" to the McCanns
- Persistent attacks
- PJ: "Pigs", "clowns" and "incompetent"
- The former British police officers who destroyed PJ's reputation
- "Daily Mirror": from praise to fierce criticism in a few days
- The shuttered blinds
- Gerry and Kate alone looking for Maddie
- The thesis of the abduction by a pedophile network
- Portugal, a "paradise for pedophiles"
- Morocco, the ideal place to host Maddie's kidnappers
- The phenomenon of unreliable sightings and witnesses
- The "uselessness" of evidence obtained through DNA
- The private detectives
- The "locators" of bodies
- The "liquidation" of the best sniffer dog of the world
- An "army" of journalists in Huelva
- The false proposal of "plea bargain"
- "Thousands" of missing children in Portugal
- A brilliant misinformation manoeuvre
- The "Team McCann"
- “The Lost Battle”: A "Perfect Campaign" in traditional media, completely destroyed by the Internet


4th April, 2019


A. 60-80% sure,
B. Not a tourist,
C. Clothes made of ‘cloth’ or cotton,
D. Cream/beige trousers,
E. Date & time stamp,
F. ‘By the way he was carrying/holding Sean’

by Frank McLintock for the Madeleine McCann Research Group,

March 2019

Amongst all the witness statements in the released Portuguese Police files, there are six sets of remarkable and very specific ‘coincidences’.

There were three people who said they were 60% to 80% sure about the identity of someone.

There were three people who said they saw someone and who all said the person they saw was ‘not a tourist’.

There were five people who referred specifically to the clothes of an abductor/kidnapper wearing 'cream'/'beige' trousers and clothes made of 'cloth' or cotton.

There were two people who wove a complex tale about a photograph and who explained to police, in terms: ‘Look, the date and time stamp proves when it was taken’.

There were two people who were prepared to say that they recognised Gerry McCann as a person they had seen with Madeleine (in one case on 3 May, in the other case on 5 May), based solely on seeing a film of him carrying his son Sean down the steps of an aeroplane.

The details are below. 

A short analysis follows at the end.

A. 60-80% sure

Martin Smith

Statement to Leicestershire Police, 20 September 2007:  “I would be 60%-80% sure that it was Gerard [Gerald] McCann that I met that night carrying a child”.


Martin Smith: After initially declaring that he would never recognise the man he said he saw, ever again, over 4 months later he claimed he was 60-80% sure it was Gerry McCann. But soon after that, he began working on behalf of the McCanns and their private detectives, helping to draw up efits for their use: efits that were never released for 5 years

Jane Tanner

Jane Tanner said that she was 80% sure that a new suspect, later known as 'Monsterman' or 'George Harrison man', drawn by Melissa Little [e-fits] was the same person she had seen on 3rd May. But she clearly admitted, originally, that she had never seen the face of the man she claimed she had seen. So how could she possibly be as much as 80% sure it was the same man? Moreover, on 13 May 2007, just 10 days after Madeleine was reported missing, she had told police that she was adamant that the man she had seen on 3 May 2007 was Robert Murat. Her credibility on anything top do with Madeleine McCann is zero. Melissa Little was not as well qualified as she claimed, and was paid by the McCanns' agent and head of their private investigation, stinking rich Cheshire businessman Brian Kennedy.


Jane Tanner: Saw a man carrying a child, but not the man's face. Ten days later she said she was 'certain' that the man was Robert Murat. Later she decided she was wrong about that. Then the head of the McCanns' private investigation, Brian Kennedy, got a forensic artist, Melissa Little, to draw up an image of another suspect, a scraggy-looking man with a big moustache. She said she was 80% certain that it was the same man as the bloke whose face she had been unable to see, back on 3 May 2007     

Read more here:

Australian network Mark Saunokonoko's podcasts 'The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

1st April, 2019


The Maddie podcast series explores what many believe is the well-known story of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance but this is an investigation of the evidence which could make you question everything you thought you knew about the case.

Podcast 1 Maddie!podcast

Podcast 2 They've taken her!podcast

Podcast 3 Red flags!podcast

Podcast 4 Man with no face!podcast

Podcast 5 Eddie and Keela!podcast

A new podcast is broadcast every Monday morning on this link

Subscribe to podcast

PeterMac's Free e-book: What really happened to Madeleine McCann?

Gonçalo Amaral's 'Maddie: Truth of the Lie

Richard D. Hall: 'When Madeleine Died?'

Richard D. Hall: 'When Madeleine Died?'
Please click on image to view all three Madeleine films

Prime Minister introduces Prime Suspect to Royalty

Prime Minister introduces Prime Suspect to Royalty