|This is Bills map of SBC :
He drew it for Peter Fitzsimons but it didn’t make it into his book.
Its the best map ever because it shows exactly where everything is at the site
In March this year I asked the question “Is there a Stringybark Creek swindle underway right now?” It had been announced that plans were underway to upgrade signage at Stringybark Creek, and the Department responsible claimed to have involved all ‘stakeholders’ but I exposed the fact that an Australian amateur researcher who probably knows more about that place than anyone else on the planet, Bill Denheld had NOT been consulted. Bills clever and patient research had identified the exact place where the Kelly gang murdered Lonigan and Scanlan, and in other research he located the likely area in the bush where Kennedy was also murdered.
The scandal arose out of the fact that the Department had developed a relationship with a group promoting an alternative site to Bills, a group (the CSI team) that opposed and were hostile to Bill and his findings, and were determined to exclude him from the conversation in the hope they could persuade the authorities to recognise their site in preference to Bills. Undoubtedly there is a keen rivalry between this group and Bill, and both are convinced they have correctly identified the actual site of the Police camp and the murders. – nothing wrong with that – but the way to resolve it is by full disclosure and free and frank discussion of the merits of the two places. That however has not been the way in which the CSI team have operated – they have refused to engage anyone anywhere in the debate about their Report ( and have restated that as their tactic in their latest version of their Report) and instead lobbied the authorities directly.
I wrote then “Nothing more loudly speaks to what’s 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!”
A year or two back, on their Members Only forum the CSI people were congratulating themselves on having persuaded DELWP to recognise their site, saying signage was already in preparation and all would be revealed in due course. They laughed among themselves at what Bills reaction would be when he discovered what they had managed to pull off. Earlier this year one of them wrote to me saying “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.” In fact at that time Bills work was not included in any sort of evaluation, and the only “champions” being considered were the CSI team. Earlier this year on their Members Only site, referring to this Blog someone wrote “A conclusion can be reached (and no doubt will be soon) without the lunatic babble demonstrated by ill-informed/ignorant anonymous contributors to site(s) which have no influence on the decision makers.”
It seemed to me at the time that it was almost a ‘fait accompli” that the CSI teams site was going to be officially recognised. Certainly, that’s what the CI team seemed to believe. So I wrote :“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 misidentifying yet again because they’ve accepted pseudoscience and the authority of Ian Jones rather than consider the evidence, the logic and the genius of Bill Denheld.”
“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”
I then urged everyone to protest to Heritage Victoria and to DELWP, and to send them copies of the Critique that I wrote of the CSI Report and urge them to reconsider.
Well, its been a huge win for Bill! And I think the CSI prediction that this site would have ‘no influence on the decision makers’ has been proven wrong! Clearly Heritage Victoria and DELWP have had a rethink. They don’t want to become a laughing stock for promoting a place promoted by the tin-foil-hat wearing brigade of pseudo-scientists whose arguments rest on claims about burls on trees and things nobody else can see in photos.
As Bill posted on this Blog last week, DELWP have acknowledged that he is indeed a major stakeholder, and he was invited to meet with the officers responsible for upgrading SBC, at the site itself. According to Bill they’ve accepted that the site promoted by Ian Jones for decades on the Eastern side of the creek is NOT where the Police camp was, and the pathway to it is being removed. Good on them.
In addition, DELWP are going to indicate roughly where the Kelly gang murdered Kennedy, a region of the bush Bill and Leo Kennedy identified several years ago. Visitors will be shocked to see how far Kennedy was chased, and they will never again even be tempted to believe Ned Kelly’s lies about the murders being ‘self defence’. Furthermore, DELWP are going to minimise any references to the Kelly gang and make the slain policemen the main focus of the site. This will be galling news for the Kelly fanatics who write things on Facebook about the police like ‘they got what they deserved’. They wont be able to visit SBC anymore and imagine Ned Kellys behaviour there was anything other than appalling, violent and murderous. Instead Lonigan, Scanlan and Kennedy will be honoured for their service to the Community, their dedication to their job and their duty to uphold peace and the law. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Importantly for Bill and everyone who can see the logic of his argument, instead of recognising the CSI ‘site’ DELWP have decided not to identify ANY particular place as the site of the Police Camp. This tells me that they have not been convinced by the pseudo-science of the CSI team – and I hope my critiques helped in that regard – but politically they are currently unable to go any further. If they ever suggested to the CSI team that their ‘site’ was probably going to get ‘the nod’ then its clear they have now backed right away from that idea. That will be a huge blow for the CSI team who for some time have believed their site was about to be recognised officially and have been somewhat smugly congratulating themselves on getting their site ‘up’. But no, they’ve been knocked back. As for recognition of the true site, the place identified by Bill, I am sure in time it WILL be accepted. Obviously the CSI pseudoscientists are being pushed away and the momentum is now with Bill, but I suspect for political reasons the time is not yet right.
What I expect will happen is that many of the visitors who go to SBC will have heard about Bills work and will want to see the place he has identified. Visitors will be perplexed that its not identified, they will complain and ask why. In time, DELWP will be forced to respond, perhaps firstly by identifying Bills site as a ‘possible’ site of the Camp, then eventually, and perhaps after a proper archaeological evaluation, it will gain the full recognition it deserves.
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