Saturday 9 July 2016

The Ned Kelly Photo Gallery

Ned Kelly aged 16 : Harry Power, Ah Fook and McCormick incidents already behind him
Like everyone interested in the Kelly story, I am looking forward to seeing the photo that is being prepared for public display at the Ned Kelly Vault in Beechworth. The Vault have been talking up this photo for several months now, beginning in April with an invitation to Facebook readers to guess what it was they had just been offered for exclusive display at the Vault, something they were claiming was the most important Kelly find in the last 50 years.  People whose interest was aroused, including me made various suggestions but in the end the Vault didn’t reveal anything; instead they removed that entire thread from their Facebook page and left everyone in suspenseful ignorance. Next they released a short tantalizing Video suggesting they had acquired a previously unseen image of Ned Kelly. Eventually after more teasing and frustrating provocation they gradually let it be known that yes indeed the mystery object was a previously unseen photo of two people, one of whom they believe to be Ned Kelly. This long  marketing campaign has successfully raised the profile of the Vault, generating several newspaper and radio articles that are now describing this photo as the Kelly find of the century, and created a level of excitement about the photo that’s approaching hysteria among the Vaults Facebook followers. There’s no consideration given amongst all this hype and hoopla that the photo, if of  Ned Kelly, is a picture of a psychopath and police multiple murderer – instead the overwhelming mood is of celebration of a hero, and the image of the Vault on Facebook is being subtly transformed into less of a museum about the ‘hero-or-villain’ and more of a shrine to the memory of a hero. Its unbalanced and nauseating, and I would suggest offensive to the families and descendants of Ned Kellys victims. I cant imagine Victoria Police or Leo Kennedy sharing in the excitement.

If this image is indeed of Ned Kelly, as the Vault is hoping to prove, then it will be only the sixth known photo of him. The other ones are the two taken in 1880 at Neds request in Melbourne Gaol the day before he was hanged, the “Boxing Ned” photo taken in 1874, and two mugshots, one from 1874 when he was at Pentridge and the earliest photo of him, taken at Beechworth gaol in 1871, shown at the top of this post.

Surely the most famous photo of Ned Kelly

The other 1880 prison photo

Ned in 1874, Pentridge Mugshot
Boxing Ned, August 1874

There are other photos that are said to be of Ned Kelly, one of which sold at Auction earlier this year for $16000. This one has Steve Hart and Dan Kelly in it as well but theres great skepticism in the Kelly community about its authenticity:

Sold for $16,000 in 2016 as Steve, Ned and Dan but who believes it apart from the buyer?
Theres also the photo of three men on horseback, a commercially produced Postcard labeled as the Kelly Gang, but again there is doubt about its authenticity. In any case, the detail is so poor, the riders could be any three men:

Lastly there is the infamous “Gentleman Ned” photo, sold at Auction in 2002 for $19,000 with the backing of no less a Kelly expert than Ian Jones himself with the support of Keith McMenomy. The photo apparently was passed down from Tom Lloyd, who had kept it in his wallet with photos of Joe Byrne and Steve Hart.  Jones was reported at the time to have said that he was unimpressed by people "...jumping up and down saying it is not Ned Kelly". He was convinced saying, "Everything checks...even in amazing detail like the belt he is wearing." Eventually Christies gave the buyer his money back because it was proven not to be Ned Kelly at all. This ought to be a cautionary tale for the Ned Kelly Vault and the photo it is so vigorously promoting, but so far theres little sign of that on the Facebook page at least.

“Gentleman Ned”
- the buyer at Christies in 2002 got a refund of $19,000
According to the detail so far released, the Vaults photo has been in the possession of ‘the Kelly family’ for generations and they say it once belonged to Neds mother. The Vault aren’t saying exactly which ‘Kelly family’ it was who had possession of this photo, but they have refused permission for the image to be made widely available, and according to Matt Shore steps are going to be taken to make it impossible for the public to take pictures of it themselves when it finally goes on public display. These restrictions are hard to understand except perhaps in the context of the commercial value of the photo, which if proven to be genuine could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It would be interesting to know what value was placed on it for insurance purposes.

The photo is said to be an image of Ned Kelly and another person taken in 1874 when Ned was supposed to have been ‘going straight’ working in the bush. He had only recently been released from Beechworth gaol where he had served time for feloniously receiving a horse, a fact pointed out in the ABC interview about the photo  by Mr John Suta, the ‘kelly tragic’ who owns the Sydney Nolan painting of Ned that’s already on display in the Vault.  Unsurprisingly for a Kelly ‘tragic’ Suta repeated the usual Kelly lies about Ned being unfairly persecuted by the Police and being given twice the sentence for receiving the horse than the horse thief himself got. Mr Suta, like most of the Kelly sycophants, needs to update his knowledge of Kelly history by reading Morrisseys recent book “Ned Kelly A Lawless Life” because in that book Morrissey points out that Ned knew the horse was not stolen but ‘borrowed’ and that he tried to sell it:

“Wright had borrowed the Postmasters horse on previous occasions and returned it, knocked up and the worse for wear. The Postmaster, knowing Wrights character did not report it, but after several weeks without a horse he did report the latest “borrowing” to the Police”

and later

“The crucial distinction to be made here is between Borrowing without permission – “Illegally Using” -  and “receiving" which legally implied theft. It’s the difference in modern terms between joy riding for fun and car stealing for profit”

A few months after his release from Gaol, the “Boxing Ned’ photo was taken as Kelly engaged in a famous fist-fight with Wild Wright, apparently settling scores related to the stolen horse. Going by the state of his facial hair, the Vault are guessing their photo was taken a few months before this.

I hope when they eventually reveal the image at the Vault – or perhaps we should be referring to it as the Kelly Shrine now - there will be more than just veneration of the image, and homage to Ned Kelly. It would be a perfect opportunity to make an interesting display of the history of pictures of Ned Kelly and the Gang, to recount their chequered history, the methods used to verify the provenance and the identity of photographic records, and the salutary lessons that can be learned.

It will of course be the second object on display at the vault which they have claimed to be the greatest Kelly discovery in 50 years, the other being a piece of iron plate about which they deceptively state “...beyond doubt this piece of unremarkable metal is in fact an offcut from Joe Byrnes breastplate  In fact  scientific tests have proven that it is NOT an offcut from Joe Byrnes armour but just a rusty old piece of scrap metal. I warned the Vault months ago that by continuing to make these claims about disproven  ‘kellyana’ their credibility as a museum will be undermined, (read my post on this here ) but it has remained in the exhibition, and as far as I am aware the claims about it remain the same.  Now, with this latest Kelly photo about to go on display, the chickens are going to come home to roost – the first object they claimed to be the greatest Kelly find in 50 years is a fake, so why would anyone believe the second one isn’t a fake too? If they’re going to stake their claim that the Photo is Ned on the results of scientific assessments, why have they rejected the scientific asessments on the rusty iron? They need to commit to believing the Science whatever it does to their fond hopes, because if they just pick out the opinions that suit their narrative their credibility as a Museum is shredded and they will be recognised as the shrine they are trying not to be.

But lets not forget that if  the photo is accepted as genuine, it’s not a photo of  Australias greatest hero, a person anyone should look up to or want to emulate, but of a young criminal psychopath, a notorious liar who became a multiple police murderer and the mastermind of a terror plot as brutal and as merciless as any that we read about in the daily press. The photo, if its Ned, is a photo of a villain. Try not to get overexcited about it people!


  1. You are the Bloody Grinch that stole Xmas Dee!!!! Stop ragging on the Vault. (Is it jealousy?) They do a great job. It continues to be a museum, rather than a shrine. Why don't you discuss this opinion with Patrick Watt of the Burke Museum and see how you fare?

    And they have not definitively stated it is Kelly. I have seen it in some detail however and I see Edward Kelly. And as you know, I am no stranger to him. If I am wrong, then I'm wrong. And that will be that. But the first look was exhilarating and unsettling. To me, there is no mistaking that face, eyes, cheeks. The provenance is sound. the details in photo are of the period. The technology existed. The death mask fits like a glove. Why don't you just wait and see it before making snide remarks? Honestly, give everyone a break. This new image that has come to light is a good thing. And if you want it labelled correctly as per the gospel according to Dee, then yes, it is a pic of a psychopathic future murderer. We get the message. Either way, these are exciting times!! Stop the negativity. Honestly, you and your negative Neddy harem are starting to grate at bit. You will see it soon enough. Meanwhile, BE HAPPY.... This is a great time to be interested in the Kelly Outbreak. Whatever bloody side you are on.

  2. Everything Ive read about the photo, including your opinion Mark, suggests to me the Photo really IS Ned Kelly. Why else would Ellen have kept it? And as I said at the very beginning I am looking forward to seeing it, I DO see it as an intriguing development, and I CAN see why the Vault is so excited about it. However I wrote what I think needed to be said by someone in the midst of all that hype and all that unnecessary cloak and dagger stuff, a word of caution, a little bit of history to put this photo in context, a reminder about past embarrassments, a correction to the record about Neds time in Beechworth prison and a warning about consistency when it comes to scientifically establishing somethings authenticity. What I am pointing out is that the story here can continue to be interesting even if it was concluded the Photos' subject was someone else. I guessed - obviously correctly, but it wasn’t a difficult one - that my thoughts would not be welcome but I think they add a whole lot of context and balance to the story that so far has been missing.

    1. Of course your thoughts are welcome but you don't need to be such a dour dee. Everyone has the Gentleman Ned issue in the back of their minds. And proven wrong or not, I am quite excite.

  3. I'm just curious as to why there is such a beat-up going on about the photo. If they have it, why don't they just put it on display and tell all and sundry about that on their FB page?

  4. That’s a pretty good reply Mark.
    The problem with photos is proof of authenticity!
    I'm sure the horse back Kelly gang photo is the gang on the probability that the photographer at the time, would not want to be seen compromising his reputation as it would be shot to pieces if it was not the gang. In the case of the threesome photo (sixth from the top) is dubious on the basis it being of such a poor reproduction quality, it’s a dud. I was contacted by the vendor at the time as to my thoughts, and the fact that written script - the names overlapping the oval photo mount told me something was wrong. But, and, why would a photo studio in Tassie make available the poorest quality photo of the three amigos all with pipes in their mouths as a joke, and unless he knew the original group was in fact the Kellys? Mr Tom Tomlinson who sent me email with photo for my comment, -the question I had was, ' if it was not an original photo, and of such poor detail that no one could overlay other known photos of Ned, why would anyone want to try sell such an ambiguities photo ?

    As far as the next photo of Ned, it all seems to be a ploy promotion to get you to 'The Ned Vault' and pay a gold coin to see the photo.

    The next time I am in Beechworth I would certainly throw in my coin to the Vault not only to see the photo, but to see if any mention is made about the true site of the shooting at StringyBark Creek. I have asked Matt this question in the past but I think this remains OFF limits as the Guru still maintains he is right and my findings are wrong.

    Interestingly, when I knew a museum was to be set up in Beechworth I offered the objects of my archaeological findings of the Two Huts site that I identified at SBC, ( the first in the presence with Gary Dean Sept 2002 and the second hut site by myself) We both knew my findings very significant, but since that time Gary found them not so important and favouring a dubious Kelly tree site without fireplaces of huts. ???

    So Mark, we can all see there is an awful amount of 'jealousy' out there that continues to mask a great amount of truth.

    I for one wishes that the latest photo is Ned , and that the threesome photos is also Dan Ned and Steve - or whoever- but we should not be led astray by commercial interests by some at the expense of truth.

    1. Bill, I have spent a considerable amount of time in recent weeks studying the evidence related to SBC and can fully understand why your finding are not more widely accepted. NML

    2. Are you saying its the jealousies and petty political squabbling that is preventing wider acceptance of Bills findings, or something about his findings thats the problem? Its interesting that you should raise this topic because in the last week or two Ive decided I cant ignore Bills work any longer on this Blog and I plan to write a Post on it in the near future. Ive hesitated in the past because its a subject that has previously resulted in bitter divisions in the Kelly world, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to look at it again. I hope you’ll contribute your own ideas on the topic then NML.

    3. Bill's findings do not match McIntyre's descriptions, his diagram or his orientations. For example: It would seem that the man seated on the log in the photographs (M3 on McIntyre's diagram) is facing south not north. As McIntyre had his back towards Kennedy as he came up, (slipped over the log) and addressed him when he was about 6 -7 yards away. Ref. McIntyre’s statement before W.Foster. P.M. 11th August 1880. Please also read pages 23 & 24 of McIntyre's Narrative. (M2 on diagram) The sun sank on his and Ned's left (west) when he stood looking down the creek talking with Ned prior to being told to sit on the log (M3)

    4. Can we please defer further discussion on this subject for now? As I explained I have been planning a Post focussing on this controversy, and will do it quite soon. It would be better to discuss the Photos in this thread and save the discussion about SBC for the relevant Post in the next week or two.

    5. Yes. That would be best. I did not intend to disrupt this thread. NML

  5. It would be nice if eventually the photo could be shown on the internet for those who may not get to make a trip to Beechworth or maybe it could be published in a widely available (reasonably priced) book and/or sold as postcards or magnets. It would be unseemly to have it held back from the far-flung faithful forever! I am wondering what steps or technology they will use to stop people from taking photos of it? Maybe a guy standing there with a shillelagh? :) I remember some tv show I saw as a kid where a spy with a glass eye took it out and replaced it with one with a mini-camera built in it so he could photograph top secret files! Maybe no one will have go that far? ;)
    The Vault is doing a great job of stirring interest in the photo and I am sure they will reap the benefit of many curious additional visitors. I am not sure what they have planned - and all will be revealed in the fullness of time - but if it were me, I would attempt to off-set any "accusations" of greed or money-grubbing by having a percentage of all entrance fees for maybe the first six months (or longer) of the photo being shown to be donated to a worthy charity. I would say a Police widows & orphan fund (if they would even accept the money!) which might go a long way to appease the Kelly haters, but that might be too controversial for some of the hardcore sympathisers and would cause too much debate. Rather, I would suggest something that nearly everyone could get behind like the RSPCA or other animal welfare agencies. I have read about some terrific non-profit animal charities that have helped out the animal victims of Victorian wildfires. Maybe there are some local Beechworth area no-kill shelters that need help? Again, just my 2 cents worth and what I would do!

    Don't even let me get started on the whole jealousy thing in the Kelly world where everyone wants to be "King of the Mountain" and will do anything and everything to push others off. No worries, because water always finds it's own level and Truth always prevails (eventually). ;)

  6. Hi, I would like to say something that I get the feeling a lot of people are thinking but not saying… there are NOT only a hand-full of people that have researched Ned Kelly for the last 30 + years, so I feel that after watching Facebook for the last few weeks, I can throw this your way… Mark, Matt A, Matt Shore, and everyone else that has seen this photo… the Vault is not a museum… IT’S A VIP CLUB!! Maybe a man-cave? Why the hell have you had the privilege of seeing this photo but we (the people outside the “in” group) haven’t?! And you throw it at Dee for speaking up about the vault? You “Sir(s)” have had no problem rubbing it in that you have got to see this photo. What makes your opinion on whether or not it’s Ned Kelly worth more than ours if we have also put in the same amount of time to research?

    Matt Shore, maybe you should show this photo to Dee? Why not get her opinion? Is it worth less then Marks? Or Matt A? why not show Bill, what’s his opinion too you? In fact, if you read this…and I bet you do… Why is it one day you have people asking you “where do I see this?” and the next you have a photo of Matt A sitting there looking at it? And people have commented asking to see it. So we get told it won’t be shown on Facebook, because the family have once again decided to control it like a vice… Yet isn’t it funny: if it wasn’t for the public you wouldn’t even have your Vault, the Family wouldn’t have their “traveling talks” and NK Centre’s? and without all the followers the photo would be worth or mean very little. But I guess it doesn’t matter because we aren’t in your little inner circle right?

    The attitude is just like “the others” from a decade ago…if you weren’t in their group or related… you are simply A NOBODY and your opinion doesn’t matter! It’s all getting very old! It doesn’t surprise me at all Mark that you jump in and “defend” the Vault, maybe it’s in the club code? you all have a very funny idea of what is required for business that is held up by public support!

    Simply put, the vault has just confirmed to me it’s a VIP club, and we aren’t invited so…um, we’re out? We don’t matter and neither does our opinion on whether or not its Ned before it goes into the Vault. Well done guys! Throw up another photo or comment on Facebook showing us how much we don’t matter. Rant over.

    1. Dear Anonymous. I appreciate your feedback and expected it sooner to be honest. I don't agree with you though. I am not part of any VIP club. The vault is not a "man cave". In fact, I am not even on the "Good Ned" side of the fence. If you have kept track of what I have written prior, I am the bloke that sees many shades of grey. And no, Matt did not give me a viewing of the image. Obviously, there is a need to tread carefully due to past experiences. I was of the opinion that bringing the image to the Ned fans attention sooner rather than later was a good thing? So we could all see the progression and look forward to the ultimate presentation of image? Perhaps not. I don't wanna see anyone bitter. This is a great time to be a student of the Kelly story. I didn't expect it to leave a sour taste to be honest.

    2. Ok so Matt wasn't the one that showed you the photo...but you have seen it and your all sorts of grey, great! Isn't Dee? So where's her chance of an opinion? Why is your opinion worth more to this "person"? Does she not put in a heap of work and effort? Or Bill why isn't his opinion worth a look? Or any of the randoms on Facebook...not good enough?

      For years this story has been "controlled" by a heap of "faceless" people... Where's the chance for people that aren't in the VIP CLUB wether that be the vault, in acknowledgements in a book, on forums, or related?. You, Matt A and the small group that have seen the photo seem to fall into a category that is shown on Facebook and other places to be above the rest of us, yet there is the same amount of effort going into research by others...

      All I'm saying is, you shouldn't have to be buddies with the IN crowd to have an opinion on this photo, otherwise all you show by rubbing it in is that, our opinions or worthless cause... What WE ARENT FRIENDS?? it's a sad example of a pecking order that shouldn't be at all.

    3. I wasn't bloody rubbing it in. I stated fact that I had seen it. Wouldn't you? And yes, Dee has put in a huge amount of work and effort. Sadly though, she has alienated lots of people. (and no, she doesn't really have shades of grey. She is pretty much Anti Kelly.) Surely you appreciate that the optimum display method is probably being worked on? So we can all see image at it's best? Of course a group of people have seen it. And I bet you its those involved in how to display it. And please know this. I am not buddys with the "in" crowd. I like and talk to anyone on the Kelly story that will listen.

    4. For what its worth, I am perfectly content to wait till it goes on display. The Vault has had to agree to certain conditions in order to get access to it and so they are respecting those conditions and I am sure doing their best to get it out there ASAP but as Mark says, being mindful of the need to tread carefully, given past experiences. I just wished they had simply announced their excitement at having been given a photo they think is a previously unseen photo of Ned Kelly, were taking the necessary steps to verify it as far as its possible to do so and in accordance with the owners conditions, it wouldn’t be seen on the Net but would be displayed at the Vault in due course. Instead I think we all feel a bit jerked around by all the flim-flam which seems designed to flog this thing for all its worth. If the thing is inherently exciting,it will speak for itself and there shouldn’t be any need for all the cheer-leader noise and purple prose.

    5. Sorry Dee, I get that I am using names here, it's just to prove a point really. Interestingly though Mark I can get a 19 comment conversation that proves you were rubbing it in. I'm not the one who actually said this to you or Matt A

      comments like

      "Um, so can we see it?"
      "Why don't you guys rub it in"
      "Show us then?"

      All made by three different people that are probably wondering why they aren't as special as you hey?

      Maybe... Since you seem to be in contact with these faceless people you could encourage them to speak up for once in their lives, to the public that is the only thing makes them anything special?

      Maybe the "big boys" should stop treating the people that sign the petitions, pay the money, buy the books and continue to keep this story going for the benefit of them making money to stop treating us all like crap!

      Mark, I sense anger so please don't take this as a personal attack. Of the people listed and "faceless" people you at least have the decency to respond and I appreciate that.

    6. I am looking forward to seeing the photo also. Any hints on who the other person in the photo might be? Did the photo come from the Kelly family or associates of the Kelly family? I think I have a pretty good idea of the source.

  7. While it certainly would be interesting to see a possible new image of Ned Kelly, it is not like we have NEVER seen a photograph of him at all. I could understand all the bouncing off the walls and swinging from the chandeliers in anticipation of seeing it (ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit about the excitement) if we previously only had illustrations or oral/written descriptions of the man and this would be our first real look at him, but it won't be, so we all best just wait and see how this whole thing plays out. Would I like to see it? Of course, but the earth won't spin off it's axis if I don't get a chance to.

  8. Obviously/ not so obvious? I'm simply trying to expose the pecking order that exists behind closed doors and in private forums, chats, and groups that somehow think they are above everyone else because of "their knowledge" (otherwise known as the contacts!)

    As I have said this started decades ago, and it's just sad that it is clearly still around today.
    There is no reason why people should be treated like they aren't good enough to be involved when they put in the same amount of effort and time.

    I think it's about time they are called out and asked to answer some serious questions, but for years they have shown that they are to worried about what the hangers on will think of them!

    If the Facebook followers only knew what really goes on, for how long, and why, they would see they are seen by these people as nothing but "hangers on" that don't push the profile of Ned Kelly but the popularity of "big boys" that battle amongst themselves to be the biggest and the best.

    If the followers actually looked at it for what it is they would see they are being pushed aside when it comes to things that really matter. Why?

    They don't give a crap about your opinion on Ned Kelly! They only care who's side your on! If your not liking their Facebook page and agreeing with what they think YOU ARE WORTHLESS.

    I would ask anyone that reads this to ask the Facebook page's to have a look at the photo... When your told that it's because of family etc and you get a big fat NO ask why your opinion isn't worth it? (I'm failing to see a good reason) if you have spent years on research. While your at it, ask about all the other things that don't get shared around unless you have the right contacts!

    Sorry but the Vault has just shown you have to be in the group, same as it's always been! At least the others weren't stupid enough to make it so obvious! But I'm glad they have, have good look (all those people to scared to show themselves, me included yep - happy to explain about the bulling and treats you get if they know who you are, maybe Dee gets it too? THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE!!) you are being played!

  9. Come on people. A major piece is about to be shared with the world via the Vault. No doubt they have strict conditions to adhere to in putting it on display. Cut them some slack. It isn't about elitism or the pic wouldn't be going on show surely. Nobody knows what is going on behind the scenes. It's only been a few weeks since the news got out. Would you all honestly expect the SLV to run something like this past you all before they display it? COME ON!!

    'Anonymous' your claims are unfounded. If it wasn't for the Vault so much stuff would NOT be available to see and enjoy including this photo. If you are so upset why don't you contact the Vault and discuss your concerns? Get in contact and get involved. Matt is a reasonable and kind person.

    Anonymous there are many many people who have struck up friendships with the Vault. You could join them. Please consider it.

    Please everybody let's celebrate something good and enjoy it rather than tear each other apart. For once.

    Let's not go down the IO/NKF road. Please. Please. Please.


    1. SLV staff are mostly expert and qualified. The Vault staff aren't.

      Hams get it right occasionally, but not often.

      The Vault is a regurgitation of the Kelly Myth. which Dee has spent nearly all this blog exposing. She will be ecstatic if the photo is actually of Ned and new. So will I.

      I don't share your high opinion of Matt unfortunately. Sorry.

    2. 'Anonymous' I agree they would have strict conditions to follow when it comes to putting it on display. That’s not what I’m questioning at all. What I want to know is WHY there have been people allowed to view the photo before it goes on display and why is their opinion worth more? Is it because they are in the inner circle? (pecking order, mates?)

      I don’t expect that the SLV would run it past everyone NO! But why have they clearly run it past a small group of people and allowed them to then go to Facebook and brag about it? Does it not clearly show that there is a VIP club you must be part of for your opinion to matter? When you look at the people that have been allowed to see it, it’s very obvious I’m right… must be mates…must have the contacts…

      Why should I contact the Vault and discuss my concerns? Why can’t a rep from the vault clear this up here, or Facebook (why do I have to identify myself first?)…IF there is a perfectly good reason behind the ‘superior’ group of people being allowed to see this photo, explain yourselves? That’s reasonable right? I’d have a guess that the problem is I have a point! And they have no answers now…

      But I do enjoy these little luring comments you all seem to make…contact them…be friends with them, (join the club!) it’s the biggest cop out! … all done so they can find out who I am! What happens then? BTW Dee are you going to take the vault up on the offer to go in (therefore giving away your identity which you have stated you don’t ever want to do) to blog about the photo?... interesting that the offer was only made only a few hours after my original post on your blog…hmm anyways…

      As far as I can see you have done nothing but reinforce my point that you (or your friends) have nothing to say about the superior VIP’s that get a look in OR more to the point why?...I never said everyone should get a look… but you obviously can’t explain why the few have!?

      Since you brought up IO/NKF I have no doubt you understand completely the problems I have with what has been made so obvious on social media and other places. All they need to do is answer the question Anonymous…it’s really not hard is it?

      Sorry Dee, I feel as though I’m just repeating myself here, and clearly they have nothing to say.

    3. Where has the Vault offered me a private viewing? I don’t think we should take any notice of what individual impressions of the Photo are, but wait for the forensic analyses and be guided by that. I say this because in the past personal opinions of Kelly experts have been wrong, as I recount on the Post, above. So my opinion is of no real value but once I have seen it I will offer it anyway!

    4. Comment to you by the vault July 11 9:25pm

      Hello again Dee. Thankyou for your continued interest in the upcoming exhibition of the 'Alleged Ned' photograph. We are more than happy to show you the image in an exclusive presentation with Ned Kelly Vault staff If you would like to write the first official review of the image for your internet blog. If you are interested you are welcome to contact the Ned Kelly Vault on 03 5728 8067 during office hours. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the photograph.

    5. Thanks for the generous Invitation to write the first official review of the Image for the Blog but I am not in Victoria so it would be a costly trip to see a Photo that might be of Ned Kelly. Certainly if I lived locally it would be different, but I imagine by the time I do finally get back to the Vault to see it, everyone else will have.

      How do you feel about the fact that one of the most famous and widely acknowledged current Kelly experts, Sharon Hollingsworth will never see this image unless she comes to Australia from America? Many of us are hoping you will explain why it is that the ‘Kelly family’ refuse to allow wider distribution of this image.

    6. Hi Dee, if the custodians at the Vault were willing to allow it, then I'd be pleased to go and view it and write something as a review for this Blog. I appreciate though that there may be limitations on what can be written or shown given the photo has been made available exclusively to the Vault and subject to conditions.

    7. Great idea Peter Newman. Thanks for the offer...I look forward to the Vaults response....

    8. Ok I seem to have caused confusion, the comment I posted from the vault was actually on Facebook, it's on the Ned Kelly Central page.

      It's in the reply's on the post with a picture of Mrs Kelly. Sorry if I confused everyone

  10. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about to be honest. It's either a picture of Ned or it isn't. I don't think it's going to take the Kelly story anywhere that it hasn't gone already. Sure, it will be interesting if it is Ned but to call it the find of the century is way over the top. I would say the work of Morrissey and MacFarlane in the last few years is far more important.

  11. I may contact the vault number, identify myself as Dee and get an expressed preview.

    1. So you can Facebook the Vault from my account can you? I am sure the Vault wouldn’t be so naive as to swallow that trick Greg Devlin! But nice try!

  12. Replies
    1. OK! Seems my paranoia is getting out of there will be a queue of people turning up saying they're Dee...

    2. Ha, but they will need a blue baseball cap.

  13. With them trying to lure you out of the bushes and into the open with the generous offer of a personal and private in-person viewing tells me that they really must be about to bust a gut wanting to find out who you really are, Dee. You are too smart to fall for that and give them the satisfaction, though. The immortal words of Star Wars' Admiral Ackbar comes to mind - "It's a trap!" :)

    1. Actually now that Ive been moderating all posts, speculation about my identity has more or less stopped but I suppose there are a few for whom it’s still an issue. I don’t get the impression the Vault are too concerned, and rather than a lure to get me to reveal myself I take their offer as an acknowledgement that they see the Blog as having become a legitimate part of the Kelly scene - which it IS . And thats thanks to people like you and Brian, Bill, Peter, Spudee, Mark, Stuart, and the other regular and irregular my opinion the debates we have here are consistently the most interesting thing happening in the kelly world...far better than anything that ever happens on Facebook.

  14. I really don't think luring Dee out is why they (The Vault) offered a private viewing, but rather more in response to some heavy comments made online and here (agreeing to suggestions put forward). I also don't think people really care about Dee's anonymity, and choose to take onboard whatever they want (about Kelly history) from any site, and not always just here. Like anything published on the Internet, a small percentage is actually accurate or relevant. Even a lot of comments within this blog could be considered bickering, and not always productive. That said however, I do admire Dee's dedication to research, and ability to create opinion. It can bring for some interesting reading at times. Facebook can also reveal some good information from time to time to. The Ned Kelly Central (FB) interview posted yesterday was also interesting, and has given some direction for how the anonymous Kelly family photo is planned at The Vault. I for one want to see more historical records, and wish for less banter about who's getting the better deal all the time. History needs to be preserved (without bitching), and respect needs to be given to whomever plays a part in the sharing. We need more passion out there, fair debate and less online unproductive ranting.

  15. I am forever grateful that you finally started moderating all comments, it was long overdue. The anonymous abusers were about to sink the whole operation for a while there. Now, everyone can feel welcome to give their opinion without getting bullied. I also want to offer thanks to all the participants you have named for helping the blog to grow in scope and popularity and I want to encourage others out there to come on in and do some commenting. We are not a tight clique or a "small men's club." We are more like the Island of Misfit Toys because some of us just don't fit in anywhere else! Some of us here love Ned, some hate him, but we can still meet in the middle and have civil discussions. You know, I like it when I start posting somewhere and it very soon becomes (with the input of everyone) the happening place to be!

    Dee, trust me, there is still quite intense interest and discussion behind the scenes in some quarters as to who you are. ;)

  16. With all this talk of a new photograph of Ned Kelly, it would be a big ask to have it in the Vault as an attraction without releasing it online anywhere. It raises the whole authenticity issue. The original would still be a big attraction for those that are into such things, so I don’t think they would lose many visits over it. And for the authenticity debate, put a clear picture of the back of the photo up too. Whoever has it should want to make it available so that a proper debate can be held over its being Ned or not (if that is an issue), and if so, whether it adds anything new to the historical story. Who is the other person said to be in the photo, for example? What year was it taken? What is the posture or background scene? It strikes me as just plain stupid to play games about some new-found photo instead of getting on with contributing to discussion with evidence. If the anonymous person who commented above is actually from the Kelly Vault, all I can say is stop being childish and put it up for discussion. It will still be a drawcard there as many people will want to see the "real thing" when they can. And why are so many people being self-important and anonymous at the same time? You can give yourself a moniker or something so at least comments are consistent, if you don't want to name yourselves for some reason.

  17. I entirely agree with Mike Jones {13 July 2016 at 15:01} that the Morrissey and MacFarlane books are by far the most important new works about Ned. Both authors researched at Public Record Office Victoria. MacFarlane worked there. PROV is where nearly all the Kelly Gang records are.

    Earlier pro-Kelly authors had access to some or all these records but were extremely selective about the records they presented in their books. Were they dumb enough to believe they would never be found out?

    Ned's popular image has been irreparably damaged.

  18. I wish Shorey had better academic credentials to underline his pictorial pronouncements.

  19. Dee I have just posted a picture that could be Ned on

    It is a high contrast image of the central figure of the trio photo above in your thread opening.

    I have asked some of the 2646 people that likes the NK Central Facebook page to give their opinion as to whether this central figure is Ned Kelly. Much similar discussion will proceed from the latest NEW photo of NK.

    Perhaps readers here can cast a vote of the figure central.

    All votes here will be interesting also.


    1. I have to assume you are being flippant Bill.

    2. Hi Spudee, what do you think ?

  20. Regarding Photos.

    As we don't seem able to have pictures on these Blog pages anymore I want to try a few things to see if they work.

    I try post a cropped picture of the central figure of the group (high contrast)

    I will add code in front [IMG] and at end [/IMG]
    Lets see if this makes a picture or a live link? below-

  21. Looks like 'Google Blogger' have lost the plot.
    A participant reply comment cannot even post a picture from an independent picture URL ?

    I have checked Google for the problem and there seems no answer.
    There are thousands of other users on message boards with the same problem. I don't know how this can be fixed Dee?

    My prediction is, Google wants all pictures to be hosted by Google and not other picture hosts, or even my own web server.

    This means Google Blogs like this are limited only to text or webpage links.
    It also means the majority of participants cannot share pictures with text unless they have their own webpage servers.

    Personally Dee, I would suggest contacting Google here in Australia if they have an office? And tell them its not good enough.

  22. Thanks to Capt Jack Hoyle, the photo is most certainly Dan, Ned, and Wild Wright.
    Well done Capt'n

    See the fading faces in Kelly photo

    1. That was $16,000 well spent then. What an investment. I bet the seller is gnashing his teeth now. If indeed it is Ned then he actually he looks his age for a change (i.e. quite young) whereas in all the other photos of him he appears older than his years.

    2. Hi Bill, I wonder if you and Jack would be willing to put more "tests" into this? Could a photo of Tom Lloyd and Joe Ryan be applied in the same way? ( fading) I don't see that it's Ned straight away. When you compare facial features I think Tom and Joe match better and I wonder if this could be tested?

    3. A massive claim to make Bill. Are you really prepared to stand by such a statement? Not even Gary Dean thinks it's the Kelly Gang but you are positive it is? Really?

      My heart just sunk for you ol' mate. Again.

    4. Thanks for putting up the link to the fading faces Bill, its an ingenious way to compare faces, but I share the cautions expressed by the two Anonymous above.Presumably what Capt Jack does is shrink one photo till the eyes match in both and then look at how closely other features match like ears and nose and chin.I would ask Capt Jack Hoyle, whom you say was the person who did this to do a similar manipulation with a dozen other faces and see how many fit. Apparently Heath Ledger was a good fit to the death mask. If its really hard to find other faces that fit then that would support the usefulness of this technique as a way of identifying faces, but if its not that hard then one wold have to be pretty careful about using it positively ID someone. I am hoping the Vault will spell out the techniques they are using to try to match their photo to Ned

    5. Not convinced. Was Wild Wright not taller and overall heavier than Ned? The bloke in this photo doesn't have those attributes. Proceed carefully can I suggest Bill?

    6. Greetings Dee and felicitations to all. Take no offence, but I could not let the photo outrage that I have fashioned go without explanation. 'Twas only by chatting (tapping?) with Bill that I mentioned I had produced aforesaid animation of the Kelly kind for my own curiosity. Having no row to hoe (sic), nor book to publish, I made the montage of the head from the three figures and plonked it on top of a scan of the full length prison last day photo. All other photos of Kelly were looking away from the camera. I could have used the nasty stubbly photo, but i choose the one used as it was closer in pose. Besides I didn't spend much time with it, there was no manipulation of the head, no distorting or skewing in photoshop, just 2 scans put one on top of each other. The fact that when aligned the 2 photos had the same shoulders and tilt of the head is not my fault! Fading from one photo to the other manually was spooky, so i made the animation. With no full face photos of Dan Kelly being available there was really no way of comparing the Dan faces. The Steve Hart figure could not be he ( sic) as police descriptions describe him as shorter than Dan! Tom Lloyds face did not fit , then I found the similar prison mug shot of the Wild one. I was not gong to publish them, I had sent them to a few friends some weeks ago. Bill was most enthusiastic about them and asked if he could show them to a few of his friends (on Facebook). Dearest Dee, I shall try to put a few animations together using other faces, but I do try to have a life, and can't spend time trying to convince you who it is or who it isn't. But if i can I will!!And I do not say it is Ned or Wild, nor is it a holy shroud. But I think its Ned, and I think its Dan and I think it's Wild Wright

      Farewell to all, proceed with extreme promptitude and have a merry life!

      Humbly yours,
      Captain Jack Hoyle ( retired )

    7. Many thanks for the explanation Captain Jack, I think everyone who looks at your clever creation has an eerie experience that is very persuasive in its effect, and certainly my own view of the trio is now open, whereas before I was most sceptical. Any further results of your studies would be most welcome, but having a life is much more important !!! I am hoping that the vault will describe the techniques they use to establish the identity of their photo, then we can all become experts in the field.

    8. When googling about this photograph I have come across commentary about the police of the day having suppressed a photo (perhaps this one?). Does anyone know if there is any basis to this? I suspect someone has just said this to improve the sale prospects of the photo and/or to spruik a story. Once these things get committed to print, they can take on a life of their own.

      It is interesting to see references to other photographs of Ned that people have seen but which are reportedly tightly held by family. Photography wasn't that common back then and I suspect not many of that time would have had their photographs taken. The Greta Mob seem to have been an exception and its probably due to their seeing themselves as flash and different. It will be interesting to see what other photographs come to light.

    9. Hell Peter, there is a delightful story in the 1963 book 'The Bushrangers' by William Joy and Tom Prior in which the authors talk of approaching a man identified as a 'farmer' in Glenrowan and asking if he had a photograph of Ned Kelly with his horse.And I quote:"The farmer was too busy to discuss either the photo or the Kellys. Yes, he had the picture, he admitted, but he had work to do. When would he have time to show us the picture? "When you're back in Sydney" he said flatly." Carted'Visite photos were very popular at the time and Barnes in Benalla and Bray in Beechworth had lucrative businesses. The photos were the same size as today's business cards (55mm x 90mm ) and were popular as a means of recording important events and as momentos for friends and families. As the name suggests, people could purchase multiple copies and send them or gift them. So it was not only flash larakins and vainglorious ne'er-do-wells (sic) who had sat for their portrait.
      And if that farmer, who was most probably a relative, had given the photo to the authors it would probably be on stubby holders and worse by now.

      Warm regards to all,

      Captain Jack Hoyle ( retired)

    10. If the Vault people were smart, they would enlist the help of that measurements expert at Melbourne Uni who disproved the Christie's 'Gentleman Ned' photo. If he approved Ned, then the rest of the photo would be authenticated.

  23. That was meant to be Hello - not hell Peter! I blame my inexorable typing. Many apologies.

    Yours cheerily,
    Captain Jack Hoyle (embarrassed)

  24. Replies
    1. Thank you Dee, you are correct! That was my spelling thingy correcting me when I left out an e (for I be a terrible typist) I should have checked it. And thank you for the name check and I hope we can strive to show respect and love for all, as a wise man once said: "Go forth in all your beliefs, and prove to me I am not mistaken in mine' (Google it)

      All the best,
      Captain Jack Hoyle (checking his spelling)

    2. William Hartnell. The Doctor

  25. The Ned Kelly Vault people have shown two partial images of their new Ned photo on their FB site. Neither are very convincing. More importantly, they have confirmed the demise of the Ned Kelly Weekend. Kelly well-wishers and Kelly goons are miffed.

    Ned has left the building, Folks!

    Bout time too!


1. Moderation is back on. I haven’t got time to be constantly monitoring what comments are made and deleting the mindless rubbish that Kelly sympathisers have been posting lately. Please post polite sensible comments, avoid personal abuse and please use the same name whenever you Post, even if its a made-up name.