The KTG case is that things that can be seen in the Burman photos from 1878 can be seen at Stringybark Creek in 2019. But when it comes to the tree they’ve called the Starburst tree, or PC4, they are seeing things in the photos that nobody else can see. Thats why in the two images they post of it in their Report, they have had to colour it in so you can see what they’re talking about. On page 2 of their report PC4 is beige (reproduced above, with the same view without markings beside it for comparison) and on page 10 its red, ( shown below with two white text boxes added by me). Remarkably – given the fuzzy nature of the images – they have identified the genus and species as Eucalyptus viminalis and in both images they’ve drawn a trunk extending straight up from ground level past the first major branch which projects towards the right. They say that the canopy of this tree ‘bends back towards the west and opens up creating a starburst effect’ but the trunk, lower down is ‘obscured by pixelated shrubbery’ or in other words cannot be seen. So, instead of drawing what is actually seen in the photo, which is glimpses of a possible PC4 trunk much higher up – which would be consistent with the usual understanding of this scene, that there is a slope there, and PC4 is a tree that emerges near the top of the slope – they’ve drawn it going right down because they think the slope is a bush. This is really poor practise, and bad science, to draw into a photo the evidence that you want it to show:
The tree that the KTG have picked out at SBC is surprisingly different to the tree they’ve drawn in red and beige on the Burman photos. I think they must have picked it because it fitted in where they needed a tree to be, and it was old enough. But it doesnt seem to qualify in any other way. In the photo above Ive drawn attention to the fact that the KTG have drawn the trunk that starts on the ground close to the man, continuing straight up past the first branch. However, the actual tree at SBC , the Starburst tree the KTG say is the same tree, doesnt continue on straight up after the first branch but has an extreme bend at that level. This is Jim Fogarty’s photo of it , taken from the same direction as the Burman photo:
According to Jim Fogarty the radical bend must have been the result of damage ‘in its formative years, possibly by strong winds’. But according to Jim this tree was almost 100 years old in 1878 – is a 100 year old tree still in its formative years? yet according to Jim it was after this that the trunk was bent sideways – does that even happen? Can strong wind bend the trunk many meters above ground? Snap the trunk in two maybe but bend it?
The point is that the Starburst tree looks nothing like the tree they’ve drawn on the Burman photos so I wonder how they can be so sure that the 1878 PC4 and the 2019 Starburst tree are the same tree? They are not at all alike.
But there is another claim they make about PC4 which is equally hard to understand : the KTG believe that PC4 is not standing there right beside PC1 as it appears in the photos and in their own diagram, but is over SEVENTY yards away to the south. If you look at the next photo (below) , notice that branches they say belong to PC4 in the canopy above the man are of almost identical calibre to branches of an adjacent tree , the one with the whitest trunk on the left which is clearly only a few yards from the man. How on earth have they managed to convince themselves that in a photo of two trees 70 yards apart, the branches just happen to be the same size?
Now lets look at the ‘fences’ and the area that the KTG say isn’t a slope but a photographic illusion they’ve called a ‘pixelated buffer’ made of Cassinia aculeata. Here again in close up is the unaltered region of that photo:
Have a good look at another close-up image of that area (below) this time taken from the other Burman photo: its the same area that PC4 is supposed to be, but viewed from a slightly different angle. Again, no trunk visible anywhere – perhaps the KTG can draw it in for us ?
IN fact this close up doesn’t only confirm the absence of a trunk of PC4 descending in front of the ‘post-and-rail’ fences, it also very clearly shows the slope, and exposes the true nature of what have been misinterpreted as post-and-rail fences.. Trees of various sizes are seen receding up the slope, their trunks decreasing in size the further back up the slope they are. Also clearly seen are the scattered bits and pieces of bush debris that litter the slope, and the so-called post-and-rail fences are seen to be random saplings that have fallen sideways onto the slope, with what appeared to be the posts of the fence in fact being upright saplings that extend well up above the ‘rails’. Ive taken a leaf – pardon the pun – out of the KTG book and coloured-in this same image to show what I mean : the green coloured elements are the vertical trunks of trees and saplings, that appear higher and higher up the slope the further back they are, and the yellow elements are the fallen branches, saplings and general forest debris lying on the slope. Toggle back and forth between these two images to see if you agree:
SUMMMARY : The case for the Starburst tree is just like the case for the Teapot tree : deeply flawed. The KTG claim there is a tree trunk in the Burman photos which nobody else can see, and they have nominated a tree that doesnt look anything like their own drawing of how they think it looked in 1878. The baffling suggestion that this tree is over 70 yards away from the site doesnt accord with what is seen in the photographs, which show the foliage they say belongs to PC4 is indistinguishable from foliage of other trees which are clearly right beside the camp.This analysis of the site adjacent to PC4 also suggests that what appear to some eyes to be fences, are in fact fallen saplings intersected by innumerable vertical trunks of slender trees and saplings, and confirms the reasons why for decades people have believed that immediately behind the police campsite there is a steep slope, rather than a massive shrub.
CONCLUSION : The idea that the Starburst tree is seen in the Burman photos has very little if anything going for it. There IS a slope, and there are no post-and-rail fences.