There have been a great many reported sightings of Madeleine McCann since her disappearance in 2007, but the claim by a young woman that she is probably Madeleine is getting enormous media coverage worldwide and prompting yet more bizarre speculation.
The latest claim could be proven in the coming days or weeks, though it seems more likely it will be dismissed as a load of nonsense.
Julia Faustyna, also known as Julia Wendell or Wandelt, has reportedly submitted three different DNA samples for forensic examination in the United States where she is being looked after within the family of a woman called Dr Fia Johansson.
Having lived with parents in Poland for most if not all of her life, Julia is said to be very happy to have left because of internet death threats and parents who took insufficient care of her.
Several key questions come to mind while we await the outcome of the DNA tests:
Is Julia of sound mind?
Who is Dr Johansson?
What is known about Julia’s Polish parents?
What do Kate and Gerry McCann think of all this?
Julia believes she could be Madeleine largely because of a rare misshaped pupil in her right eye. Madeleine had a similar marking. Eye specialists say only one in 10,000 people have this coloboma condition. The chances of someone having exactly the same disorder are said to be only seven in one million. While Julia took to the internet to make her claim, it is obvious she was seeking attention. This she certainly got and her internet messages and images went viral.
Facial recognition software has apparently given Julia’s internet images a “90% verdict” against her claim. And if Julia is 21-years of age, as her Polish parents and tabloids across the world are reporting, she is not Madeleine McCann. Madeleine would now be 19. A recent doubt is whether Julia has long to live. There are fears she may have life-threatening leukemia.
The woman who took Julia to the United States is being described as a private investigator and a self-confessed psychic medium. Many people with mental or physical problems seek help from psychics as a last resort if normal treatment is not healing them.
On the other hand, rational people reject physics as illogical proponents of the supernatural who dispatch delusions or deliberate untruths. Like Julia, Dr Johansson has gained a vast amount of fame and critics suggest that this may be her main objective in looking after Julia.
Dr Johansson has advised police in California of the death threats and the bounty placed on Julia’s head, possibly by sex traffickers. The police are apparently now examining these vile messages sent to Julia via Instagram.
The parents of Julia in Poland are in a hopeless situation. Julia has said that neither they nor her siblings treated her properly. While being accused of receiving Julia from sex traffickers, the Polish couple are said to have refused to supply any DNA evidence to prove otherwise. So when was Julia born and to whom? Surely it would be possible to at least find a birth certificate or obtain some sort of official documentation to show the facts about her early life? Dr Johansson has been quoted as saying she tried but was unable to find any records of Julia’s first five years.
Kate and Gerry McCann have understandable remained silent on all this. They have always been adamant that Madeleine was abducted from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. They are thought to remain quietly in contact with the London Metropolitan Police who have been investigating the abduction theory for many years.
A number of independent researchers, as well as many members of the general public, particularly in Portugal, still believe that circumstantial evidence strongly suggests a cover-up and that Kate and Gerry McCann know how and when she died.
But if Madeleine really was abducted and she is now Julia, her real parents in the UK will no doubt be desperately looking forward to being reunited with her as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, as an indication of the grotesque depths this mystery has sunk to, an “exclusive” report in the Daily Star in the UK has said that a living Nostradamus fears “black magic” was at play in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
A completely different angle to the overall Madeleine story appeared in a recent edition of a much more reliable newspaper, The Guardian, in which Ben Leyland revealed the mental problems of his mother, Brenda, who committed suicide in 2014, two days after the airing of a Sky News report about the abusive tweets she had directed at Kate and Gerry McCann.
For now, the very strange and very sad Madeleine McCann saga continues.
Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old girl from Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve on 3 May 2007, a case still unsolved and still the subject of intense interest among the public and press.
Len Port is a journalist and author. Born in Ireland, his first written pieces were published while he was working in the Natural History Museum, London. Since then he has worked as a news reporter, mainly in Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Portugal.
In addition to reporting hard news for some of the world’s leading news organizations, he has produced countless feature articles on all sorts of subjects for a range of publications. Now living in southern Portugal, his books include travel guides and children’s stories. His ebooks – People in a Place Apart and The Fátima Phenomenon – Divine Grace, Delusion or Pious Fraud? are available from Amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. His blog posts can be viewed at algarvenewswatch.blogspot.com