Even though the Lawless documentary was a disappointment to many of the people who have more than just a passing interest and knowledge of Ned Kelly and the Kelly outbreak, the greatest disappointments will have been felt by the Kelly fanciers, and by the small bunch of diehards who thought the CSI Team had located the site of the Police camp. Kelly fanciers didn’t miss the main message of that first episode of the series, that Ned Kelly was a seriously violent criminal, that the police killings at Stringybark Creek weren’t self defence but murder, and Kennedys killing was an execution in cold blood. I was more than happy with that Big Picture view, and my complaints were about the detail.
However the Kelly fanciers flooded the History channels Facebook page with expressions of disgust and outrage that the documentary maker had got it all wrong from start to finish, that they started off with pre-conceived notions of Neds guilt and didn’t mention the greater truths of the story, which of course were all the myths that Kelly fanciers hold dear. Their comments exposed their deep ignorance of basic facts of Kelly history, claiming erroneously for example that he was a victim of persecution, that he was standing up for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden, and for his family, body straps, police corruption, that he was a hero and the police got what they deserved…..all the usual unhistorical unverifiable dreamed up excuses and untruths about Kelly and the Police that weren’t mentioned even in passing in the documentary. One bright spark claimed Ned Kelly was an Irish Immigrant, another that ‘impeccable sources’ show that arresting Dan was NOT the reason Fitzpatrick went to the Kelly home, and another denounced it as so biased that he didn’t watch it!
I took it on myself to answer some of the more outrageous claims, ones that we know are completely false such as that Kate Kelly was raped, that it was Fitzpatrick’s fault because if he hadn’t gone to the Kelly homestead none of the ghastly events that followed would have taken place, that the Kelly’s were persecuted and so on. Someone mentioned Kelly’s skull so I replied with information about it that I had learned from ‘Ned Kelly Under the Microscope’. Mick Fitzsimons expressed a belief that the documentary DIDN’T claim that Ned Killed in cold blood:
ME : They got one thing right – Ned Kelly lied about killing in self-defence. It was cold blooded murder.
FITZSIMONS: Give it a rest, they did not conclude that.October 25 at 10:45am
He must have been watching something else!
All my comments were labelled as lies and trolling by Mick Fitzsimons the Kelly fancier who made the foolish admission during one of these conversations that he hadn’t read the book his Facebook page is devoted to ‘unmasking’ – you would have to be very thick indeed not to be aware that such an admission would totally destroy your credibility…! He also declared he never debated faceless trolls ( meaning me! ) but every time I posted something, he couldn’t help himself and immediately responded with his usual rantings! He asserted in several places that I had never been to Stringy Bark Creek – news to me!
But the Kelly fanciers were not the only ones whose pet theories were dealt substantial body blows by this documentary. The tiny mob of supporters of the CSI teams ‘site’ also took a horrendous and demoralising hit, because early on in the filming process the excited CSI team showed the Lawless mob their pet rocks, but then the CSI team was dumped and their input disregarded in favour of the celebrity archaeologist Adam Ford and his whizz-bang drone technology. Ford ruthlessly and unquestionably dishonestly created the impression that his whizz-bang technology found the CSI rockpile/ruined fireplace – but they knew exactly where it was right from the start. And then to add insult to injury Ford announced that the true site was somewhere in the opposite direction from where the CSI mob had said it was.
The CSI team has since tried to take comfort in the fact that their site is closer to the Lawless site than Bills ‘Two Huts’ site, but how is it a bonus to be closer than Bill to the wrong place? This is just another example of the completely crazy logic the CSI team resorts to.
So from no doubt at one time being excited about the possibility they were going to be quoted and have their site recognised, in the end the CSI team didn’t get a mention, and it seems once they had pointed out the location of the fireplace to the Lawless people they were effectively told to piss off. Such is the ethical quality of documentary makers and commercial television producers.
And now I am going to add to the CSI teams horrible week with some revelations about the claim in their recently Updated Report that there is a “strong circumstantial case” that a bullet found at SBC “is in fact from the Spencer Carbine carried by Constable Scanlan and discharged by him towards Ned”
They quote from a 2008 newspaper article in which Terry Scott, a gold fossicker claimed that in 2001 he found a bullet at SBC which was later shown to be the kind of bullet fired by the Spencer rifle used by Scanlan at SBC in 1878. In 2010 Scott showed Bill Denheld where he found this bullet, calculated by the CSI team to be some 260 yards south of where they think the police camp was. They argue this bullet adds support to their claim about where the Police were camped because they claim Scanlan got one shot away, and it may well have gone south past the camp site to the place where Scott found it all those years later. Its plausible, though I wondered how it could travel all that way through the bush and not hit anything, and end up in the mud in pristine condition. I had some small doubts about it in the back of my mind.
Now read what Bill Denheld posted to this Blog a week or so ago :
“Last year around the time I was in contact with Genepool about the pending documentary, I spoke to Terry Scott the Spencer bullet finder by phone and was quite taken aback when he told me he had NOT actually found the bullet where he said and showed me. He said he was mistaken because it was his brother in-law that had found it, but further UP the creek. I said that changes everything does it not? Yes he said, sorry.”
I know the CSI people read this Blog, so they must have felt sick to learn that Scott had now retracted his earlier claim about exactly who it was that found the bullet, and exactly where it was found. Further UP the creek places it somewhere south of Bills site I would guess, meaning if their argument that its location SOUTH of their site lent support to their claims, this new revelation instead added weight to Bills.
But worse really to their entire argument is the fact that their information came from someone who is now at best confused about where the bullet was actually found. After reading Bills comment I found myself wondering if we would ever know the full story about that Bullet.
And then I received a Facebook Message from someone who seemed to know a bit about guns and on reading about that bullet, tracked down its owner, Terry Scott. The following is a minimally redacted version of the message, published here with permission of its author who prefers to remain anonymous :
“I was interested in buying it if its provenance could be confirmed. I managed to speak to the bloke who claims to have found the bullet at SBC and here is a summary of my conversation with him 5 June 2017
Finally managed to phone Terry Scott and speak to him about SBC and the bullet he located there. Must say that it was one of the strangest conversations I have ever had and I’m not sure what to make of him! He rambled on about SBC and a number of other areas of the Kelly story. I found him to be well off the mark on much of what he said and he seems to have run foul of many people with an interest in the Kelly story, including the Vic Police Museum whom he said had thrown him out!
He claimed to have found the Spencer projectile about 25 years ago and his description of where he had found it seems to be basically consistent to the area he showed Bill. The only puzzle I had with his story is that he said that the site of the find was something like 100 metres from the road; I had thought it would have been closer.
I asked him if he was interested in selling the bullet but he said he wasn’t. He claimed that Peter Fitzsimons had offered him $200 for it and that another bloke $400,000! Yes, thats right, $400,000. Who in their right mind would not sell at that price?
While the bullet may well be from a Spencer, I am very suspicious of its background.”
I think its pretty clear that if the CSI team have to rely on such dubious claims to bolster the argument for their site, they’re clutching at straws. Terry Scotts original story was that he made the find in 2001, but he is now saying it was made as far back as 1992, and at a different place altogether and not actually by himself but by his brother-in-law! These newer revelations about that Bullet, and the attitude of the documentary makers to the CSI team and their site are major setbacks to the already crumbling CSI teams case. The person currently acting as their self-appointed public voice is contributing even further to its downfall by his amateurish stunts and dumb attacks on the two huts site.
By contrast the case for Bills site was not affected at all by the Lawless documentary’s claims, and it remains as robust as ever.
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