Bunker bunkum day 151

Beverley panorama, approx. 1964

Hmmm, only a 4Byoot day so far, grey and cool (15C). Only a little rain so far. There’s a bird pecking at one of my ground level windows, covered in reflective film so they see another bird.

I found a dead willy wagtail on the back lawn yesterday. A pity, but birds do die of natural causes. Another one still visits me.

Despite some quite wet weather this month and last, we’re still way below the average. Western Australia has dried out incredibly over the past 45 years and our rainfall is still declining. I remember well when it started, 1977. We’d just finished a summer where we went three months without rain when I went on a trip to the UK and Germany. I remember commenting to people I got talking to about our extremely dry summer. And the graphs show that’s when the big dry started.

See the step down from the green line to the brown line, around 1975-77.

It’s lucky we have the two desalination plants, initiated by Labor governments.

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My time is now being eaten up by photo restorations. I did a folder of shots from Beverley in the 1960s and ’70s yesterday, about 90 images, and it took me around three hours. But the MyHeritage website renames all the fixed files to Enhanced_image.jpg, discarding the original file name! That means my Downloads folder fills up with Enhanced_image(1).jpg …. to Enhanced_image(126).jpg or whatever. These have to be moved back to the original folder, then the original image has to be found for each, the file name copied and pasted to the Enhanced_image(x).jpg, with an added “e” or some small change so they don’t clash. This takes time! I’ll have to complain to them — “Don’t change my filenames, please!”

As well, they place two small symbols on the bottom left of the image. No thank you. They’re not too intrusive, but I don’t want them on my photos.

Anyway, I continue to be amazed at the results, so much that it’s given me new impetus to produce more books. These are history and should be preserved for show, not stored away on hard drives. In fact, I’d better take extra care to back up as these are valuable history.

The other point is that each restoration and colourisation (colouration?) roughly doubles the size of the file. Therefore a folder of say 25 images and 300MB becomes 50 images at about 600MB. I’m currently using a 2TB drive, about half full and I’m going to have to buy a new hard drive, probably a 5TB. Criminy!

Anyway, some more examples:

You can see a slight pattern on the left part. It’s because I photographed a photo. Good result!
There’s something odd about the shape of Mum’s lips here. It’s not a good likeness.
Same here – the top lip is wrong. But it’s passable, this is an enlargement.
Same here – Grandma Croft looks a little odd.
Beverley, Xmas 1965
Beverley, 1964 I think. All these were B/W originals. The colourisation is remarkable.
Beverley 1964. That EH Holden was pale blue, not grey.
Again, this was a B/W original.

Here’s something funny. Here’s the original:

And the software found another face in this picture:
Scary monsters hiding in the flowers!

This tells me that the AI software is looking for face shapes and then substitutes face parts from its stored parts. Same for the distorted lips and mouths in the comparisons above. But you only see the distortions at high magnifications, the normal sizes look good:

Grandma would have been flattered – wrinkles, gone.

So, I plug on. As I said, at least 2,467 and I’ve only done about 200 so far. Months of work ahead. I love doing it so that’s fine.

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I’m not sure if I mentioned – my current book is Presumed Guilty by Bret Christian. He’s a local, Perth author. It’s all about the WA police and the awful miscarriages of justice that have been visited on at least five innocent men in WA since around 1964. Make no mistake, it’s improved somewhat now but you did not get a fair trial in WA in years past.

The main problem is the police approach to crime solving of seeing a small piece of evidence or seeing a possible link to someone they know and focussing entirely on that evidence to the exclusion of everything else. It’s called confirmation bias, the process of seeing every new bit of evidence as confirmation of your original theory. It’s also called copper’s instinct, which can also be described as blind pig-headedness.

One of the worst in this regard was former detective, later Commissioner of Police Owen Leitch. He was notorious (now) for his blind faith in his own instincts, his gut feeling about a crime, so that he fitted the evidence to the suspect, not the crime. Once he had a suspect, his mind became fixated and he disregarded any evidence that didn’t fit that suspect.

The falsification of confessions was also a specialty of the WA police. They would dictate a confession and use verbal and physical abuse on a suspect until he (it was almost always a male) would sign anything just to be relieved of the police abuse. Often it was on false promises of “Just sign this and you can go home.”

The book goes into incredible detail about the miscarriages of justice against these men. The corollary is that the real guilty person is not found and gets away with the crime. In my opinion, the Corrinne Rayney murder is just another of these cases. The police picked the husband, Lloyd Rayney as their “prime and only suspect” in the first few months of the case and pursued him exclusively. He was tried and found not guilty, the judge heavily criticising the police, but the real killer has gone free all these past ten years or more. I’m sure the police are still working on it but there’s no evidence of any progress.

The other awful thing the book reveals is how one-eyed and blind the courts and judges can be. The judge in the cases of Darryl Beamish and John Button was Justice Sir Albert Wolf. The prosecutor was Ronald Wilson. In both cases, they were so determined to accept the police evidence, especially Owen Leitch, that they sneered at anything that didn’t fit with that evidence and disregarded the confession of Eric Edgar Cooke, the rwal killer who went to the gallows swearing he committed the crimes that these two innocents were convicted of. Luckily the Labor government of the time abolished capital punishment (despite the Liberal Party wanting it retained, which many Liberals do to this day). Otherwise these two, Beamish and Button would have been executed for murders they didn’t commit.

I said this before, be very afraid if you fall into the hands of the WA police and courts. Things have improved, but you still stand a good chance of being “verballed”, “fitted up”, made to sign false confessions and being subjected to physical abuse. NEVER sign a confession, no matter how badly you want to get out.

This is a great book. Presumed Guilty, Bret Christian. Quite tense and scary in many parts.

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