Please Explain…

This is the image published in the Christies Auction House Catalogue in 2002.
Ive removed the Post from “Anonymous” that James Gray and Leigh Olver objected to, having thought about their complaints overnight and seeking an opinion from a friend.  Ive removed it even though in my opinion it was  a valid expression of frustration, suspicion and opinion in relation to the now publically displayed “Alleged Ned” image and the long promotional campaign that the Vault has been engaged in for the last six months. Ive removed it because I don’t want the important points it raises to be submerged in an argument about politeness and the manner rather than the substance of the comment.
To that end I am going to rephrase the questions it posed and add a few comments of my own.
Essentially what this person was objecting to was that now, having seen the image, he (or she?) feels that what was delivered was not what was promised, and feels ripped off and angry. I haven’t yet seen the image itself or what the Vault has done with it, but certainly I don’t think anyone would argue that the Vault didn’t deliberately create massive expectations and ramp up the status of this Image, sensationally describing it as the Kelly find of the Century, mysterious, the most significant discovery of its type in 54 years….and so on. The promotion included Radio interviews and Press Releases, and various Posts on Facebook like the montage of several Ned Faces…
The expectations of the public were repeatedly set back by delays in the date of the Images public showing, and an air of secrecy was maintained about many of the details in relation to it, but I for one, and obviously many others also expected that once it was finally shown at the Vault, all would be revealed.
In fact what has been revealed is that much of the hype was less than accurate – in particular the claim that the Image had never been seen before : it had been published in an Auction Catalogue but didn’t sell because of doubts about who the figures were. Secrecy about where the image came from has been maintained, and access to the Image has been restricted to the Vault so it can only be seen by paying an Entry Fee ( $8 minimum ) 

On Facebook the other day, when searching questions were asked of Leigh Olver about his involvement with this promotion and why he could confidently assert that Elsie Pettifer was wrong to claim one of the people in the photo was her father his response was dismissive : you’ll just have to trust me on this one he said. Leighs earlier comments seemed designed to give the impression that he was not involved in this promotion in any way, but when asked about a 2003 article in the Age which quoted him discussing these very images, again he became defensive and evaded giving a direct answer. This reticence only fueled suspicions in some peoples minds  that the Public was being taken for a ride – I called it being jerked around – by the Vault.  There was a distinct lack of openness and transparency about the whole thing. There was a patronizing attitude to non-Kelly related people who were expected to believe Leigh because he was a Kelly descendant. The Vault itself maintained a silence that was increasingly obvious, given their failure to keep the agreement made weeks ago to answer questions posted to Facebook before the unveiling. Leigh and the Kelly bully Fitzsimons attacked a Female contributor, accused her of being me or being some other Fake person, or Sharon…In the end I was banned from the Ned Kelly Central  Facebook Page for breaking a rule that didnt exist and all my comments and questions for the Vault disappeared. 
So, we come to the Comment that I have reluctantly deleted because it upset some Kelly people.  It was not written by me or anyone I know but I completely understand the frustration and the anger this person expressed because like me he (or she) feels dudded by the Vault and the Kelly people who are trying to extract the maximum out of this image, who say they cant be 100% sure its Ned but woe betide anyone who doesn’t agree with them, who say they had Photoshop work done on the Image but are angered by someone asking exactly how much did they do to the Image, who are clearly going to make money out of this enterprise but who from some perspectives treat the paying public with contempt, behaving as if they owe us nothing, who seem to expect us to swallow anything that come out of the mouth of a Kelly.

I really do believe the Vault and Leigh Olver have some explaining to do. They are welcome to do it here.
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9 Replies to “Please Explain…”

  1. Mark Perry says: Reply

    Hi All. Yes, Anon had made a prick of a comment so deleting it was the correct thing. For me, it wasn't so much the sentiment but the smart arsed, arrogant way it was done. Glad it's gone. And posting as anonymous is gutless anyway. Identify yourselves you sooks…We aren't children. We are not in a spy novel. Be men. I cop a lot of crap. But I identify. So does James Gray and a handful of others. We must have balls…

    Dee. I don't believe Leigh, Matt or anyone involved have any explaining to do. The Vault has produced and presented exactly what it said on the tin, so to speak. They have presented a long forgotten pic of Ned. For all intents and purposes, it is new to most of us. They have had it cleaned up, yes, but NOT doctored in any way. I think to suggest such a thing is pretty crappy and disrespectful. Most of these comments by the various "anons" are often made in jealousy. Matt Shore has busted his gut for the Indigo Shire, Beechworth and the vault. Getting it up and running and working was an enterprise where he drew no reward and still doesn't. Would all of the Ming Mongs that whinge on this forum do the same thing? 15 years work of hard slog for nada? I think not.

    And it's pretty simple. The Kelly relatives who had the pic do not want to be identified. What is so hard to understand about that? Their request is therefore being honored. Hello? McFly.. Anyone home?.. Obviously, you guys would break such a committment would you? You are asking what will not and cannot be divulged. It's not f cking rocket science.

    I'm sorry to be so blunt and obnoxious about it but really and truly… Get a grip. And get some manners. They cost nothing. Thank you. Love Mark. From Adelaide.

  2. James Gray says: Reply

    Thanks Mark for your honesty and truths, and especially reflecting my craving for an adult discussion, without the need for name calling and shaming.

    But unfortunately it continues, now bringing me (and other individual names, independent Facebook sites, etc,) into all this, ????

    Moving over to a fresh new blog post today, and…….oh look, again the above piece continues to demonstrate just how sour our head blogger currently is. Using my name in the opening paragraph, as a partial escape goat for the apparent lack of eBlog moderation that should have happened at the start…really!!!… I'm not digital bate to be compared to one side or the other, but I do see things from a neautral perspective, and unlike how you, the head host is currently demonstrating, I'm actually pretty fair and impartial.

    But, to stay focussed and logical in all of this, and get back to the image, do people really think that all the experts who were asked to test, assess, or whatever they do to an old image, actually made their professional judgements based on the enhanced, digitally remastered copy?, or the original?…. I'll let you all have one guess…and I'm also guessing they (the professional experts) were also invited to see the high resolution version, it's called digital verification.

    The Vault is a 'not for profit organisation', and yes they do need help to cover costs, doesn't every museum? I've also heard from numerous people that the owner of The Vault is as sincere as they come, and is passionate about the preservation of Ned Kelly history. Wow, I wish there were more people out there like that.

    So instead of dusting, and regurgitating questionable blogs from a deleted (extremely bullish) anonymous statement, and making decisions here of what people 'might have been feeling' or 'deciding for all of us' what in reality YOU actually believe, and how about asking some new and less stale questions. We're all sick of having twisted, or part statements from other websites, or 'then if they can't or won't answer' then it must be true and everyone must be thinking the same rants, or have things decided for us based loosely on your various deleted blogs (which by the way from my screen capture of last nights statement, your wording here today, does stretch things just a little)….he/she was feeling, really?

    Who really cares how long a picture takes to be verified, tested or what ever they do, because (and I say it again), we MUST preserve our history, no matter the cost, or topic.

    Attacking The Vault is weak, because traditionally the only people who can (and do) run these places are people with extreme passion. I would even go and support a museum that plays tribute to the Police side of the Ned story if there ever was one, would you be so negative of their stories and six month decisions there?…probably not…….

  3. I really don't get why The Vault would keep this photo so shrouded. Its been out there for years. The only thing that is being discussed is, the identity of the figures. Some say its Jack and Mr Knight, some say its Dan and Ned Kelly. If it is Ned on the right, then I think the figure left is John McMonigle, for John Mc was Ned's foreman at the Saunders and rule sawmill that had a contract to supply sleepers to the Gippsland Railway company. See Sneak Preview on this blog 8 October where in I made that suggestion, and saw Peter's last comment "" I'd like to see what Professor Spring had to say about the photo given he is a Professor of Forensic Photography and I am just an amateur.""

    So if the photo was in Kelly descendants possession, the figures must be pretty close to being Ned Kelly. We can all wonder why all the secrecy and hoopla?

    One problem seems to be that Elsie Pettifer thought the two men were her father Walter Knight and brother in law Jack Kelly King. So, she must be right, its Walter Knight and Jack King. But surely there are photos in the family for comparison.

    I can only suggest the photo is John Mc and Ned because the figure right is possibly comparable to Ned boxing photo, so why would one old lady say its not Ned? We don't know who put the photo up for auction and maybe it was not theirs to sell and to spoil the provenance for the sale some false suggestions were thrown in, but I doubt Elsie would do that. Then again we know of many disagreements in this Kelly world concerning who is allowed to tell the story and certainly when it come to money.

  4. Harry Ferguson says: Reply

    Mark knows James Gray but nobody else does. Its a bit rich for James to be pontificating his strange views here. Mark's posts have been a bit odd lately too.

    Maybe that award went to his head in Adelaide?

  5. I am saddened that Anonymous has decided to leave us. I would like to ask them to please reconsider, because I will miss their good intel and most excellent wit. We need someone like them to stir things up. I actually sort of like folks with spirit and fire and conviction who tell it like it is, or as they see it. Some (like Mark) might call it being smart arsed and arrogant, but I actually enjoy reading that type of thing. (sort of how I like to read 19th Century purple prose and yellow journalism) To each his own. Don't take the spice out of this blog and make it vanilla bland. I consider this blog to be like a cyber-buffet, you take what you want and leave what you don't want. It's that simple. As far as telling folks to get along, ha! I have been saying "play the ball, not the man" for YEARS and no one has heeded that advice. So no need to keep harping on it (said with a smile and all good intentions). As far as people posting as anonymous, I guess they have good reasons as there are so many unbalanced people out there who don't respect personal boundaries. I have always posted under my own name at all Kelly feedback pages, forums, blogs, etc. I guess living in a different hemisphere insulates me from any possible in person unpleasantness, though I have caught every kind of cyber hell. My advice to everyone is to be like a duck, let it all roll off our backs and just keep on paddling.

  6. We use our real names Sharon, you and I, because we are not piss weak. We own what we say and do. It's as bloody simple as that. And that Anon who said he was at the Friday night presentation and nearly laughed out loud is a f cking liar. He wasn't there. And THAT is what shits me. The lack of intestinal fortitude. Stand up. And take it.

  7. Dear Harry. Nothing odd about what I have got to say on here. Umm… the award was a smartarse one. Did you not cotton on to that? Goodness me…

  8. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Back to the topic of Ned and the boy's drinking habits, that was running in "Dee is on holiday", , just found Ballarat Courier, 20 Feb 1879, 4 re. Jerilderie,|||anyWords|||notWords|||requestHandler|||dateFrom=1878-04-09|||dateTo=1879-12-06|||l-advtitle=232|||l-advtitle=185|||l-advtitle=346|||l-advtitle=218|||l-advtitle=555|||l-advtitle=127|||l-advtitle=326|||l-advtitle=334|||l-advtitle=189|||sortby#
    It seems that after all Ned Kelly was very considerably under the influence of drink towards the termination of his unpleasant visit, and while in that state he is much given to "blowing” and bullying. He was in Davidson's hotel not long before his final departure, and had with him nine loaded revolvers, so that he could have fired about fifty shots without reloading. These revolvers, in his bravado, he laid down, on the bar counter …

  9. Anonymous says: Reply

    Mark, why is it necessary to swear here? Is it a 'blokey' thing?

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