Anorak | Ben Needham, Madeleine McCann but not Charlene Downes: sensation points to alien abduction

Ben Needham, Madeleine McCann but not Charlene Downes: sensation points to alien abduction

by | 24th, May 2012

YESTERDAY saw the relaunch of the pan-European 116000 missing children hotline at a Downing Street reception hosted by Home Secretary Theresa May. Tomorrow, it’s International Missing Children’s Day. Furthermore,, the country’s official website for news on missing children, has been updated. A pre-summer holiday push is going on.

Which leads news hounds to Kate McCann, who was there. Which, in turn, leads to a story in the Daily Express :


There is no new lifeline. This was a relaunch. Kate McCann did not hog the limelight. But the Express sees only one story.

‘Mrs McCann, 44, whose daughter disappeared in Portugal in 2007 aged three, said the missing children hotline phone number – 116000 – was a “lifeline” for families like hers.’

She says:

“In the last few years there’s been greater awareness and certainly there’s been a greater political will. We just need to keep spreading the message. It is a big problem and we do need the Government’s backing.”

If there is one missing child the Government backed it is Madeleine McCann, her story having been helped by successive prime ministers. Minds turn to missing Blackpool teenagers Paige Chivers, who is on the Missing People site, and Charlene Downes , the missing Blackpool teen who was not chopped up and made into kebabs. She’s not on the site. Prime Ministers have not helped with either hunt.

Our Maddie is the big story. The Express quotes Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of Missing People:

‘Disappearances such as Madeleine McCann’s tragically demonstrated the need for co-ordination across the world when a child goes missing.’

One other child with a rising profile is Ben Needham. He’s the subject of a ‘MISSING CHILD SENSATION’ on the Mirror’s front page, which asks:


Can we stop looking for Ben Needham, then? And if the tabloids are going to theorise about missing children being dead, can we stop looking for Madeleine McCann, too? Paige Chivers? And Charlene Downes? Well, we’ve already stopped looking for Downes.

The Mirror’s story begins:

‘Is lost Ben buried under rubble? Police suspect missing toddler died in tragic accident on building site. Investigators suggest Ben, who was aged just 21 months, may have been buried by accident after wandering to the nearby site.’

Suggest . May . Lovely stuff. Ben Needham went missing on the Greek island of Kos. He was 21 months old. He vanished 21 years ago. He’s in the news because a “source” points to a mound and says Ben could be beneath it. The Greeks can’t dig it up, for reasons

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Posted: 24th, May 2012 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink