A new development is reported today as seeing yet more funding ploughed into the €15 million hunt for Madeleine McCann.
Described as a “last throw of the dice” by Metropolitan Police, the development centres on an “important new lead” suggesting the three-year-old was snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz by a “gang of European traffickers” who had been “taking photographs of her”.
Mainstream sources’ breaking the story are customarily vague. There is indication of nationalities or people involved in the alleged gang, no figure on the new funding being made available, no time-frame for this last throw of the dice – in fact very little information at all, other than the fact that the ‘latest lead is so important that Whitehall sources are being “kept in the loop” every step of the way.
A source speaking to the Daily Mail has said that the new inquiry line “could provide an explanation on whether Madeleine was abducted and transported away”.
The source adds that it “raises hope that she could still be alive”.
What adds to the intrigue is that a story along these lines – but with a great deal more circumstantial detail – has been circulating over the Internet for weeks.
It involves Wikileaks ‘revelations’ and two high-profile American brothers who run a lobbying and public affairs firm based in Washington D.C.
One of the brothers, John Podesta, was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in the recent US presidential elections.
Stories querying whether John Podesta and his brother Tony could be linked to “the child abduction case of Madeleine McCann” started gathering online momentum early in November.
Various blogs and websites have been presenting “mounting circumstantial evidence” based on analysis of Metropolitan Police e-fits, released in 2013.
At the time of the efits’ release, the Guardian newspaper explained they were thought to be “descriptions of the same man who is now being sought as a priority by the British detectives leading the new McCann inquiry. He was seen in the vicinity of the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal at the time that the three year old went missing. Despite numerous appeal for information over the years, the man has not come forward to talk to investigators in Portugal or Britain”.
Last month however, Living Resistance website focused on the efits in what it called “a factual analysis” to answer the question “Are Clinton Insiders Involved in Child Abduction?”
The website claim the efits correspond “precisely” to facial features of the Podesta brothers: “even the mole above Tony Podesta’s eyebrows is captured”, says the site – adding that the pictures “match so precisely that they capture the small depressions on the ridge of John Podesta’s nose that would be caused by wearing glasses for long periods of time”.
Another anomaly centres on the fact that John Podesta’s first email on Wikileaks is dated May 4, 2007 – the day the Algarve woke up to Madeleine’s disappearance.
Says the site: “John Podesta’s emails were wiped or are missing from the Wikileaks release leading up to the date that McCann was missing. This cannot be disputed and is verifiable by Google authenticated email leaks released by Wikileaks”.
Living Resistance then goes on to give lurid details of Podesta’s choice in art and friends – stressing its text is based on facts that are “all available on public record and cannot be disputed”.
What therefore comes as a surprise is the assertion that “UK police have issued a public statement according to which they now ‘know who took McCann’ but they have been blocked from making an arrest due to international laws”.
The assertion was discussed on American Insider Fox News television in 2014, but there is no corroborating news story in British mainstream media, nor does there appear to be any Metropolitan Police statement to this effect.
Other US websites go even further, saying they have confirmation from an FBI insider that the Podesta brothers were staying in Praia da Luz at the time Madeleine went missing – even giving a location: the villa of outed British pedophile Clement Freud.
But what today’s stories in the Daily Mail, Sun, Mirror and others suggest is that the previously polar-opposite routes of mainstream and alternative sources suddenly look like they might be converging on a common line that could explain what happened almost a decade ago to the modern world’s most famous missing person.