Should you believe the statements found in the majority of Thunderbolt publications? Perhaps you haven’t heard the adage “history doesn’t repeat itself, historians repeat each other”. The laziest historians are those who repeat others – and somehow end up repeating other lazy historians who themselves hadn’t bothered doing any real research. And the incorrect claims seem to spread faster than the correct ones, no doubt because the odds of randomly picking the incorrect information from, say, four contenders (three incorrect and one correct) are much larger than picking the correct information. That’s the way many Thunderbolt writers seem to have approached the task of “researching” this famous bushranger so you can imagine the disastrous results!
Should you believe the lone voice? Sometime the lone voice is indeed the source of truth. On the other hand the lone voice can be a crackpot with a personal agenda.
Should you believe the person who shouts the loudest? These people are often the most passionate, but passion does not imply accuracy – indeed, quite the opposite in many instances. Passion tends to reflect an agenda, and agenda-driven research can blind the researcher to the truth. The more dispassionate the researcher, the more likely the result will be accurate.
So let’s ignore all the claims and counter-claims, all the passions and beliefs and myths and fancies, and explore the actual evidence. Because the historical detective does not listen to the claims of others, but instead assesses the available evidence to determine the truth.