15 April 2020

A few Bella Blips on the Internet Radar

The waters of the Bella mystery seemed to have calmed quite a bit in the last few months. Obviously, with Covid19 ravaging the world, many things have taken a back seat to the virus. Still... the most recent news on the Bella case was Alex Merrill's second book on the Bella case, which came out last October/November. But it didn't seem to make as big a splash as the first book and... we are left with a dearth of Bella material.

I did a bit of snooping online and came up with a few things... most not worth the paper they are not written on. Sigh.

British News Paper Archives
I did come across a link to the British Newspaper Archives which published a blog about the Bella case on 4 April 2019. The blog article is based primarily on newspaper reports from the archives, so is a bit limited.

Spoiler Country Podcast
There was also a post about a month ago (25 February 2020) on the Spoiler Country Podcast site. There doesn't actually seem to be a podcast on the Bella episode, just a blog. The blog gives the usual summary, very brief, and does mention the book written by Andrew Sparke, but fails to mention Alex Merrill's first book with the facial reconstruction. This article is by no means a thorough review of the Bella case.

Saturday Morning Serial
Then we have the Saturday Morning Serial (SMS 105.1 Mix Morning Fix) podcast which published a Halloween-inspired episode about Bella on 5 October 2019. This is an American program (Utah) and while the podcast is 35 minutes long, one has to sit through several interminable prelude minutes (8 of them) where the three hosts engage in banter. This banter is perhaps hilarious for them but supremely boring for the listener...

Google Earth - Wychbury Hill - no town there...
Google Earth - Wychbury Hill - no town on the hill...
So if you want to get to the heart of the podcast, skip ahead to the 8 minute mark... maybe even the 9 minute mark...

Right off the bat we have this glaring error - "Wychbury Hill is the local town" where the boys lived. Sigh... I don't know that there is a town on Wychbury Hill unless it's Lilliputian.

Apparently the hand had "been sawed off at the wrist". That's news to me...

Oh, and there clothing was buried next to the tree... again, news to me.

Then we have this doozie - During the war, "there were... sleeper cell Nazis all over the UK... the police... were... overrun with missing persons cases because the Nazis were just abducting people." Wow. Surprising that not a single book has been written about the Nazi abductions of Britons during the war... [note sarcasm]

Mossop was confined to a "Stanford mental hospital"... I think they mean Stafford...

There are also numerous other errors... too many to list. While touching on the PI Punt episode, the hosts focus on the Margaret Murray connection and the idea of the Hand of Glory. Because the show is a preamble to Halloween after all they end with the witch connection.

Ranker
I also came across this post from the Ranker website, published in December 2019. It gives the usual summary with the usual errors and even adds some new material to muddy the waters. The article includes a dental image which is from the US War Office and has absolutely nothing to do with the Bella case. The unobservant might ,however, miss the photo caption.

As well, one of the subheadings reads:
Gestapo Agent Josef Jakobs Claimed Bella Was Really Cabaret Singer Clara Bauerle 
Good grief.

First up, Josef Jakobs was NOT a Gestapo officer or agent. He had zero affiliation with the Gestapo.

Second - Josef never, ever, claimed that Bella was Clara Bauerle. Josef was captured in 1941. Bella was discovered in 1943. Do the math.

Clara Bauerle pic from the Ranker site
Clara Bauerle pic from the Ranker site
Third - Josef never claimed that Clara Bauerle was sent to England. He said it was a possibility but that he didn't think it would happen as the Abwehr had not heard from him.

On top of that, the Ranker site published this photograph of Clara Bauerle. The caption attributes the photo to the HD Paranormal site which is rubbish. It is from the National Archives at Kew.

At least the article did give a link to my blog in which I showed that Clara Bauerle had died in 1942. Small consolation given the other problems with the article.

Takeaway
This is what happens when you have sites that publish stories based on secondary, tertiary and even quaternary sources. Things get every muddy...

According to his website, the American author of the Ranker article provides "professional writing and editing" services which is great. The author is also into Marketing and SEO Content, etc. which basically translates as writing articles that grab clicks and visits. Wonderful. Except... good writing depends upon good research.

I could probably use help with marketing and SEO content but... for now, I'll focus on research first.

No comments: