The news article that Sharon drew to our attention the other day, about a plan to ‘upgrade’ the Police Killing Ground at Stringybark Creek, says that ‘the Police and other stakeholders’ were consulted, and as a result a plan for a new walkway and new ‘signage’ was developed for activation later this year.
‘‘The project includes the construction of a new walking trail in the locality of where the fourth member of the police party, Constable McIntyre, escaped and Sgt Kennedy was later killed,’’ DELWP Goulburn District manager Lucas Russell said.
‘‘This is an extremely important site from both a historical perspective and for the families of the policemen who were killed,’’ Mr Russell said.
Now everyone who knows anything about Stringybark Creek knows that for many years the Signage was wrong. It identified a place that Ian Jones nominated as the actual site of the murders, but now everyone accepts he was wrong, and so it needs to be upgraded. However, where exactly should the signage be pointing to?
Two groups of amateur researchers have narrowed the debate down to two nominated alternative sites a few hundred meters apart. One is known as the Two Huts site and the other as the CSI site. There have been many fierce debates between the CSI group, and former member of that team Bill Denheld, who discovered the Two Huts site in 2009. On this Blog last year I critically reviewed both sets of claims and there is no doubt in my mind, and the minds of many others that Bill Denheld is right. Thats why I called my Blog post about the Two Huts site “Bill is right about Stringybark Creek” I labelled the Report of the CSI team “Pseudoscience” for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who reads it or my critique of it HERE.
Where the CSI Team is winning however, is in the political battle to get Heritage Victoria to recognise THEIR site as THE site. I have no doubt that the new Signage mentioned in this newspaper article will be directing Tourists not to the wrong site once promoted by Ian Jones, but to the wrong site now promoted by the CSI Team, who I believe now have the blessing of Ian Jones, the powerfully influential Kelly go-to man of yesteryear.
On reading this news article I was immediately reminded of an email conversation I had at the very beginning of the year, with Kelvyn Gill, one of the authors of the CSI@SBC Report. He told me that “In the latter half of 2017 it will become quite clear as to the site that merits endorsement as the most likely site for the police camp as there is work already commenced by independent organisation(s) and which will verify the claims of the respective champions of particular locations.”
I asked him for more detail but he said that it would all be made public later this year, and as he was only one member of the CSI group he didnt have authority to divulge anything else about this investigation. I then decided to email Bill Denheld directly to get more , as I assumed he would have been one of the ‘respective champions’ referred to by Kelvyn but Bill replied saying he knew nothing about such an investigation.
The newspaper article says that Police and other stakeholders were consulted in formulating their plans for the new look SBC. This is exactly what Kelvyn Gill said earlier in the year, and both are saying the results will be made later this year. However, though its clear from what Kelvyn told me, and by what “Anonymous” posted to this Blog in the last 48 hours, that the CSI people are” in the know” about whats going on, and someone in the Police is also in the know, it’s also very clear that one of the most important ‘stakeholders’ or “champions” in the SBC debate, Bill Denheld has been deliberately excluded. Nothing more loudly speaks to whats going on with Heritage Victoria and the DELWP as being a swindle, as this fact, that a widely acknowledged SBC expert and obvious major stakeholder has been deliberately excluded. This is a scandal! And we have, as usual, an anonymous poster to the Blog announcing yesterday that we need to ‘prepare to be blasted by a SBC revelation’ in a couple of months. This Anonymous appears to have insider information so must be one of the CSI team or supporters who are in the secret loop of insider knowledge, part of the sneaky and unscientific team who have so little confidence in their Site they wont allow it be subjected to open scrutiny or go one-to-one with the Two Huts site.
The Public are being told “stakeholders” have been consulted, and Kelvyn told me that ‘independant organistion/s’ have been conducting an evaluation ‘of the claims of the respective champions” , implying that something unbiased and even handed is taking place to resolve the arguments, but in fact, by excluding Bill Denheld and the Two Huts site from consideration, the ‘evaluation’ is really just a charade engaged in for Public benefit, but behind closed doors. It is a disgraceful pretence at fairness when all along, the CSI team, now with Ian Jones backing appears to have has simply pulled the wool over the eyes of Heritage Victoria and convinced them with pseudoscience, and the illegitimate authority of Ian Jones that the CSI site is where the Signage should be.
Their Report is a joke. It really is Pseudoscience , and Heritage Victoria will be rightly subject to public abuse anger and derision if once again their Signage directs the Public to yet another Kelly historical blunder under the authority of Ian Jones, a person whose public record of wrong endorsements of Kelly related phenomena is well known. The important problem with the CSI report is that it claims to be and sort of looks like “science”, but it isn’t. The arguments in it could be bad science, but the critical reason their report is NOT science is because the CSI team won’t engage in open discussion with other interested people about their findings, which is a vital hallmark of actual science. Actual science involves placing your theory and argument in the public space and engaging in debate and argument with like minded people about it. Instead it’s a report you have to buy if you want to see it, whereas Bill Denhelds every thought, every idea and calculation, photo, diagram and reconstruction is freely available for public scrutiny on his WebSite – the amount of detailed information at times is overwhelming. So whilst most people can at least try to understand Bills arguments, most cannot even read the CSI case let alone engage in debate about it. Petty arguments about whether a creek is a spring, which is the sort of argument they engaged in on a Forum I once created, is not genuine open debate. Notably that forum was destroyed by a CSI supporter. Their approach is completely unscientific – no openness, no willingness to engage and defend, a readiness to stifle and wreck alternative arguments, to cheat and to do political deals to advance their case illegitimately.
On my Blog last year, when I posted the only comprehensive independent point by point critique of the CSI report ever published , the CSI team pretended they never saw it, and made no attempt to answer the many important questions raised in it.
When the Public begin to ask Heritage Victoria why they’ve changed the place they identify as the site of the Ambush to the CSI site they will be forced to direct them to the CSI Report and then the fun will start! Burls on trees? Piles of rocks? “Near” meaning 100 yards away? A photographer at the scene within a few days of the murders got it COMPLETELY wrong but the CSI pseudo scientists didn’t?? Heritage Victoria will become a laughing stock about a site that is almost sacred ground, a site they’ve allowed themselves to be tricked into yet again misidentifying because they’ve accepted pseudoscience and the authority of Ian Jones rather than consider the evidence, the logic and the genius of Bill Denheld. I suspect Bill will have been dismissed by Heritage Viuctoria and DEWLP on the say-so of Ian Jones, just as Ian MacFarlane was dismissed by Ian Jones when he was advising Peter Fitzsimons, telling him just to ignore the book. And why did Ian advise Peter thus? – because, according to Peter, Ian Jones “hated it”. And why did he hate it? – because it challenged pet theories of his, which is exactly what Bill is doing too.And so Bill is getting exactly the same treatment; dare I call it ‘un-Australian’?
People will be aghast to think Heritage Victoria and DELWP accepted an absurd argument based on trees in old photos, and unprovable assumptions about huts drawn on maps, and that their claimed consultation with “stakeholders” was a pretence, that a little guy like Bill who challenged the powerful Mr Jones was swept aside because he upset their cosy monopoly of the Kelly story.
This is not a pro or anti-Kelly subject. It is about the pure facts of geography and history, about historical accuracy and giving the utmost respect to slain police. It has also become a story about one man battling the authorities and a powerfully connected lobby group doing their best to silence and sideline him, because they want to be defeat his argument by every means possible, by hook or by crook, by fair means or foul if need be. By excluding Bill Denhelds findings for reasons of personal pride and ego, the CSI team may well pull off some sort of “win” if the new signage doesn’t point to the Two Huts site.However the win will be illegitimate, it will have been achieved by cheating, by unfairly excluding the only possible competition, and will be dishonourable to fallen police, because further generations of people will be paying their respects to them at the wrong place, yet again.
- I call upon Heritage Victoria and DELWP to step back from the brink, and to genuinely include the Two Huts site and its “champion” It will NOT be good enough to say we considered the Two Huts site but didn’t involve Bill, especially as it’s clear that you considered the CSI site and DID include the CSI team. They’re in the know but Bill isn’t, which is a disgrace. He hasnt been given a fair go.
- I would urge all involved to read my Critique of the CSI Report and my other exposition of the Two Huts site.
- I also call on the CSI team to stop trying to gain legitimacy for your site by engaging in secret political subterfuge and the non-scientific tactic of freezing out opposition. If you were truly confident in the rightness of your argument you wouldn’t hesitate to defend them publicly, and to answer the many important obstacles that I raised in my Critique last year. Hiding from them suggests you’re afraid they don’t stand up to scrutiny.
I would also encourage readers to protest to Heritage Victoria, and to DELWP Goulburn District Manager Mr Lucas Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org ), to send him and to anyone else who is interested in historical truth when it comes to Victoria and the Kellys printed copies of my Critiques. What we are asking for is not that Bills site be recognised in preference to the other one, but that Bill be given an EQUAL opportunity to make his case and that all investigations and evaluations be made openly, publicly and in a way that is fair to ALL “stakeholders” .That is the Australian way.
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