Monthly Archives: May 2014

WALCOT HALL — “Shropshire matriarch dies”


WALCOT HALL, Lydbury North, Shropshire. SY7 8AZ

There are many interesting stories about Walcot Hall, and its owners past and present. The Hall near Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire has, for example, a curious link to Emperor Haile Selassie, King of the Ethiopians.

WALCOT GUEST:  His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God

NEGUS GUEST AT WALCOT: His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, King of Kings of Ethiopia

Selassie (1892-1975) and his family were guests at Walcot shortly before WWII; living there in exile after the 1936 Abyssinia Crisis, fleeing Africa when Mussolini’s forces conquered the lands of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.

Decades later and Emperor Selassie was re-born as the new messiah of Rastafarianism;  a modern-day religious cult dominated by marijuana-smoking and the hypnotic reggae beats of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

Perversely, however, the true roots of Rastafarianism are found not in Addis Ababa, nor even in Kingston, Jamaica, but at the Tavistock Institute in London.

King Rastafari  was a product of the mind-benders in the Tavistock Network; manufactured posthumously into a counter-culture figurehead, to steer the impressionable youths of the Ganja Generation.

EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE: Messiah of the Tavistock's drug cult Rastfarianiasm

EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE: Messiah of the Tavistock’s drug cult “Rastafarianism”

The social psychiatrists of the Network, taking their instructions from Dope Incorporated (the Drug Trade), used Rastafarianism and reggae music to promote the popular use of cannabis to our youth. Initially targetting 2nd and 3rd generation British-West Indians – hence the reggae link. The manufactured drug counter-culture soon absorbed indigenous white British youngsters, too. Kerr-ching!

Perhaps later we can explore that largely undiscovered nugget of Shropshire history – Walcot’s links to Selassie, one of the spiritual kingpins from that foggy-minded era of “turn-on, tune-in and drop-out”.


BOOTS THE CHEMISTToday’s owners of Walcot Hall are Clement (Robin) Woodbine Parish and family.

Reportedly, Robin Parish, a fund manager (more on him later), is descended on his mother’s side from Jesse Boot, founder of Boots the Chemist, the high street chain of dispensaries; now in private equity hands. [1]

Robin Parish‘s mother, Elizabeth Campbell Parish (née Boot), apparently died a few days ago at the age of 87.    The Shropshire Star dutifully ran an obit, describing her as the “Shropshire Matriarch” of the stately home, Walcot Hall. [2]

As is often the case with the Star, the photographs (if that’s what they are) are more illuminating than the article itself. Pictured below is The Hon. Mrs Elizabeth Campbell Parish with her husband Major Michael Woodbine Parish. [3]

Since Michael Parish reportedly died in August 1994, nearly 20 years ago, the image (if genuine) would have to be film, rather than digital.

No comment, then, on the idiosyncratic white banding along the chin-line of the late Mrs Parish. Nor indeed that out-of-place 8×8 block artefact in the JPEG, between Mr & Mrs Parish.








DUNNE WATCH — ‘Shopping in Kuala Lumpur?

Flights from London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur take a gruelling 13 hours and cover a staggering 3,597 miles.  Our intrepid MP Philip Dunne knows that only too well.

Reportedly back in April, the globe-trotting minister jetted off to Malaysia, for a cuppa and a chat with the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.    There’s even a photo to prove it.   A photo.  Singular.  Just the one. Which Mr Dunne proudly tweeted out to his fanbois.   Here it is below;  Prime Minister Razak to the left, and War Minister Dunne, of course, to the right:

TEA FOR TWO: Malaysian PM Najib Razak and Philip Dunne MP

Folks, take a good look at that “photo”.   Study the furniture – the settees, that little table – the china on it,  and the window and cityscape beyond.

Now compare with a very similar picture.   This time, showing the Malaysian PM with Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gota Rajapaksa:

FAMILIAR SCENE?: Malaysian PM Razak with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary

Now let’s overlay those two images, to see what we find:

TEA FOR TWO: Malaysian PM with Brit & Sri Lankan war ministers

Obvious anomalies:

  • skyscrapers grow taller in Mr Dunne’s presence (don’t we all?!)
  • red skirting board jumps up (for joy?!)
  • cups and saucers are unmoved (re-used?!)
  • table shrinks in height (Alice in Wonderland!)

Yup, it’s another Photoshop Fail!   Or is it?!


EDIT:  It has been suggested that the rising/falling skyline is explained by the cameraman (if there was one) taking a different position in the two images.    An expert at agrees that this is a theoretical possibility; but he wasn’t going to be drawn – “it’s just not clearly evident one way or the other (to me).

In Mr Dunne’s favour, three more “photos” have surfaced, purportedly showing him somewhere in Malaysia, where he’d reportedly travelled to attend the Defence Services Asia 2014 Forum in Putrajaya.  That’s not to say Mr Dunne wasn’t in Putrajaya for that Arms Fair;  suspicions here are limited to the first “photograph” above, apparently showing him with the Malaysian PM.    And do believe,  there is form for photo-shoppery!

The narrative in its entirety is dubious.  According to Jane’s Defence Weekly  (the in-house magazine at the M.O.D.),  Mr Dunne has been milking the alleged disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370, a few weeks earlier. Using it to promote British-developed equipment for tracking and surveillance of commercial airliners.  [1]     Indeed, Inmarsat of Old Street London announced just this week that, in light of the mysterious vanishing of MH370, they will be offering ‘free’  “satellite” tracking to all long-haul carriers. [2]

The MH370 story is in itself highly dubious. See here [3]. And for the skeptical star-gazers among us, the idea of tracking airborne vehicles using telecommunication “satellites” seems even more far-fetched.  See here.  [4]   Nevertheless, there’s a lot of money at stake.

Back to the imagery of Dunne though.   What strikes as especially odd is that we can find just two images in this particular setting.  Shouldn’t we expect to find many similar photos? Especially as there were reportedly countless other foreign dignitaries in Malaysia for that Arms Fair?  Wouldn’t it have been rather rude for the Malaysian PM to invite just the British and Sri Lankan defence ministers into his office, for formal photos?   What of all the other defence chiefs left out in the cold?  Not exactly diplomatic; it could have started a war!  Perhaps that was the idea?!  Kerr-ching!

Seriously, though, why don’t we have dozens of virtually identical pictures showing umpteen foreign (and domestic) dignitaries in the exact same setting with the Malaysian PM?  Looking out from his office onto that impressive vista of the Putra Bridge and downtown Putrajaya?   Or why didn’t the Malaysia PM meet all the visiting defence chiefs at the Arms Fair, held in the Putra World Trade Center?  A lot simpler, surely?

A bit more background on the two “photos” above. They were supposedly taken from the central semi-circular window of the Perdana Putra, the magnificent building below.

The Perdana Putra – the Office of Malaysian Prime Minister in Putrajaya

Malaysian Prime Minister in his office window of the Perdana Putra (apparently)

It’s perhaps prudent  to exercise caution here, and file this one under “suspicious”, rather than under the heading of “glaring fake”, as was the earlier case with the “faux-tograph” of Dunne and NA$A ass-tro-not Buzz Aldrin!  (google it!)





LORD HILL’S COLUMN — cracks in the truth?

They often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But some piccies can be priceless. Take, for example, Lord Hill’s Column, and the close-up “photos” of it. How much are they worth? Millions of pounds in the years to come? Ridiculous? Read on!

Standing 133 feet 6 inches tall, the statue of Lord Hill towers over Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, where he casts his all-seeing eye on the shenanigans in nearby Shirehall.

PRICELESS “PHOTO”? Lord Rowland Hill

Lord Rowland Hill was famous for commanding the troops at Waterloo; the decisive battle in the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1819, with pint-sized Emperor Napoleon safely banished by the English to the island of Saint Helena, county Freemasons erected a monument to their war hero Lord Hill, and, voilà, here he is:

Nearly two centuries later, though, and Lord Rowlie ain’t looking so good. At least, that’s what the “photos” of him seem to be telling us. [1]

Shown riddled with deep cracks in his facade, heavy chunks of render breaking free, Hill, we’re told, is structurally unsound, a hazard to passers-by. In need of urgent and costly remedial work, stresses Shropshire Council.    With regular maintenance required every few years in perpetuity.   Ouch!

And guess who’s to pay for all this? Yup, that’s right: us!    We – the cash-strapped county taxpayers!

That’s the narrative, folks, but before we tease open our wallets to bankroll those bumper repair bills, hadn’t we better check the damage for ourselves?

Since Hill has his head high in the clouds, and is enshrouded (fortuitously) of late in scaffold, we must rely on others’ imagery of his supposed damage.   Here’s the clearest close-up picture of Lord Hill. It was published 30 April in the Shropshire Star. [2]

The BBC attributes the “photo” to Taylor Pearce Restoration Services Ltd of Lewisham, the conservation specialists who were commissioned 2013 by Shropshire Council to inspect and repair the lofty monument. [3]

 So let’s give their image the forensic once-over, folks!   What can we deduce about it? —-

ANOMALIES:  Lord Hill's Column


Well, the “photo” bears those tell-tale signs of a composite fake; a composition of several images bodged together! Fancy that!

Note, firstly, the extraordinary depth-of-field to the image focus. Lord Hill is just a few metres from the camera, and in clear focus. And yet Shirehall and houses many hundreds of metres beyond are ALSO in clear focus! Some camera lens! An incredible optical anomaly? Or our first clue yet of composite fraud? A photo fake in which a war-torn Hill is pasted digitally onto a separate background? [4]

Now note the SHARP focus to the houses on the LEFT, and then note the BLURRED houses and cars to the RIGHT. Those two areas are about the same distance from the camera and should have the same clarity of focus. But they don’t. That’s another hallmark of a Composite Fake. Could two or more images have been cobbled together to form the background? More proof of a cut-and-shut scam?

Now note the semi-transparent wavy lines, quirky compression artefacts, that run parallel to the “cracks” on Hill. Evidence again of Photoshop skullduggery? We shall see.

The image is a JPEG. That’s an image standard which uses lossy digital compression to reduce file size. Every time a JPEG image is saved, compression is applied uniformly. When a genuine photograph is stored as a JPEG, all areas of the image should remain at a similar compression level.

ERROR LEVEL ANALYSIS: Lord Rowlie reveals all

ERROR LEVEL ANALYSIS: Lord Rowlie reveals all

One technique in Image Forensic Analysis is to shift the image entropy back to the frequency domain, to visually identify any compression abnormalities. Using an online tool called, that’s what we’ll do. It highlights the variations (errors) in the compression levels of an image. The technique is called Error Level Analysis. [5]

This is what Error Level Analysis shows us: [6]

As mentioned above, those two areas of background – left and right of Lord Hill – are now obvious as composites. The left area is at a lower compression level (finer detail) than the area to the right. It looks like a fake, guys!

And the “cracks” on Rowlie are at a much lower compression level than Rowlie himself. Indicating that the “cracks” are artificial digital additions. The cracks too are fabrications?! Cooked up with image manipulation software (eg Adobe Photoshop) for maximum visual effect?!

COUNCIL LEADER KEITH BARROW: just another contract!

Why fake it though?    Maybe because head-honcho at Shirehall, Keith Barrow, is on the brink of signing a multi-million pound contract for the repair and maintenance, or even the entire replacement of this ghastly effigy!

And, as my late Aunt Olga from the Upper Volga used to say:

следовать за деньгами!”   (Follow The Money!)

She’s right! The worse condition the statue appears to be in, the bigger the repair bill!