Conspiracy Theories, Mysteries

“She is not my mummy.” Madeleine McCann spotted in Amsterdam

Madeleine McCann, aged 3, and how she might have looked aged 9
Madeleine McCann, aged 3, and how she might have looked aged 9

In May 2007, Madeleine McCann disappeared. A few days later, Dutch shop assistant Anna Stam had a disquieting conversation with a little English girl called “Maddie”, who came into her shop and claimed the woman she was with had snatched her…

On 3rd May 2007, the still unexplained disappearance of Madeleine McCann sparked the same kind of obsessive media coverage as Princess Diana’s death. The 3-year-old was on holiday in Portugal with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and her two younger siblings, and vanished from their apartment while the parents dined at a nearby restaurant with friends. The apartment was unlocked, but the McCanns checked on the children throughout the evening. Then Kate McCann discovered at 10pm that little Maddie was gone from her bed.

Initially the Portuguese police believed Madeleine had been abducted. However, after misinterpreting a British DNA analysis of the McCanns’ holiday apartment, they came to believe that Madeleine had died in the apartment, so suspicions fell on the parents. It was said that Madeleine had died in an accident, and Kate and Gerry McCann had covered up the incident by getting rid of the body. Even though the McCanns have now been exonerated of any involvement in Maddie’s disappearance, some conspiracy theorists continue to point the finger at the parents.

Meanwhile, the police and the media are back to believing Maddie was abducted. At 10pm that night, right when Maddie disappeared, Irish holidaymakers Martin and Mary Smith saw a mysterious man 500 yards from the McCanns’ apartment, walking towards the beach. He was carrying a little girl in his arms who was 3-4 years old, had blonde hair and was wearing light-coloured pyjamas with bare feet. The Smiths believed the man was in his 30s, “did not look like a tourist”, and thought he looked uncomfortable carrying the child. The police believe that the Smiths’ sighting was a legitimate sighting of Madeleine McCann and her kidnapper.

Just days later, a little girl came into Anna Stam’s shop in Amsterdam, along with a man and a woman and two other children. Stam said that the man only spoke Portuguese and “did not look like a nice person”. The woman spoke French and English and seemed “stressed and uncomfortable”. And the little girl spoke English—without an accent. Stam said they “didn’t seem like a real family”.

Later, while Stam was at the back of the shop, the little girl came up to her and asked, “Do you know where my mummy is?” Stam replied that her mother was on the other side of the store. The little girl said, “She is not my mummy. She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy.”

When Stam asked when she last saw her mother, the girl replied, “They took me from my holiday.” She was unable to tell Stam where her holiday was, or if she’d been on a campsite or in a hotel. And when Stam asked the girl’s name, she replied, “Maddie.”

Stam recalled that she bore a striking resemblance to Madeleine McCann, apart from her hair colour, which was dark brown. She reported her sighting to local police and gave a statement, which was then sent to the Portuguese police on June 18th 2007. It’s not actually clear what happened next. Anna Stam’s sighting was made public a year after Maddie’s disappearance in a Portuguese police file, and it’s believed that not even the McCanns knew about the sighting. The case file doesn’t reveal what the police did next.

Anna Stam, with sketches of the couple she saw
Anna Stam, with sketches of the couple she saw

I can’t seem to find any reference to Anna Stam in media reports after 2008, which suggests that her sighting didn’t lead anywhere. Annoyed that the Portuguese police had kept Stam from them, the McCanns met with her and had their own private detectives start an investigation into her claims. After that, nothing.

Mmm. Unless Anna Stam’s story is exaggerated, misremembered or straight-up baloney, it seems almost certain to me that the little girl she spoke to was Madeleine McCann. It’s just too much to be a coincidence. As regards her hair colour, the kidnappers probably dyed it in an effort to disguise her.

If, on the other hand, Stam was lying, it’s not clear what her motive would’ve been. It’s not like she went straight to the press to sell a story. She went to the police. The press didn’t even know about Anna Stam till more than a year later, when the police case file was released.

However, at the time of writing this article, Anna Stam’s sighting is not even mentioned on the Wiki page for Madeleine’s disappearance. The page has extensive detail on the different stages of the investigation and mentions the “Tanner sighting”, which police now believe was nothing to do with Maddie’s abduction.

It seems this story lacks an ending.


Here’s a wild conspiracy theory for you. Kate and Gerry McCann didn’t cover up their daughter’s death. They orchestrated her abduction. It’s that that they’re covering up. Perhaps the kidnappers that Anna Stam saw in her shop are linked in some way to the McCanns. Perhaps a shady deal was done and the McCanns agreed to hand over their daughter, and that’s why the Anna Stam lead went silent and dry—even after she met the McCanns. The McCanns are controlling the situation, making sure the investigation only goes so far. Too much investigation could lead the police to discover links between them and the kidnappers…

I’m not saying I believe any of that. But it’s worth thinking about. After all, who on Earth leaves their children in an unlocked apartment in a foreign country when they go out for dinner?

Next week: story updates and bad habits in fiction writing

10 thoughts on ““She is not my mummy.” Madeleine McCann spotted in Amsterdam”

  1. I have no doubt this is accurate. I am a psychic and this fits in perfectly with what I have been shown, which is an enormous amount of information gleaned from over twenty seperate vision dreams. Operation Grange is completely off the mark and I have told them that on several occasions. They have my information but won’t act on it. Nor will the McCanns who I have sympathy for, because the real story is every parents worst nightmare. Its been made abundantly clear to me that she will be found and there will be arrests. When? I don’t know.


  2. I would like to point out the following.

    1. A girl would never answer her name as “Maddie” especially a girl who is desperate and confused. It would be the normal process for the girl to give the full name to the stranger – worst case the girl would have said Madelline – not Maddie.

    2. My understanding is that the portuguese police bugged illegally the home where the mcanns were staying (inadmissible in court) and the details on this listening devices – meant that the police were no longer interested in searching for an abduction.

    Mr. Tony Rea comment above – i have one question for you. Based on your dreams in which you intimate an abduction

    “Do you believe this was a random abduction or was the Mcann’s under observation for a few days, and this was a planned intervention”


      1. I am sorry Tony but you are not working blindly as to much info out there that clouds any visions . Ofcoarse the McCanns will not act as they know the truth because if their little girl was really missing they would grab every lead like many families do with missing loved ones who usually will go to a psychic when everything else has come to a halt
        My gut feeling the morning the news came through as soon as I heard the parents were Dr’s & left their children with no babysitter that they were involved. I was in CZ Rep with only Fox news TV to view for a week so I was not Brainwashed.
        Now I don’t claim to have any Psychic of Mediumistic ability, but have sat in development circles, so have a good understanding how it works. I have had clear seeing & hearing but only on the odd occasion. I became a member of a forum a few years back after stumbling across on on Google when looking if any Clairvoyants had got involved. I knew nothing of this case & what I found on my search was tosh all following parents Abduction story, so I refused to watch after a few minutes as I just knew the child was dead & the Parents responsible for her dimise. I then found the full story of the case files, CSI dogs & litigations on this forum that only allowed facts to be posted, it then all made sense
        Since joining I have had songs pop into my head after or when reading on this subject so believed them connected. I used to get a lot of songs given to me from mediums & within the lyrics was a message.
        My first one told of something big happening on last day of September ( it did)
        The next was What did Della wear & with in the lyrics it tells a story of a death & how it happened. She sipped a minisota through her pretty lips , the song also can go on until all states are exhausted just like this police enquiry.
        I just wish I could get a hint of the outcome as it is so frustrating, so much so I wish I never got into this mystery.


  3. Can I also add that The McCanns said they only called her Madeleine & the child would only state her name as such. Apparently she hated Maddie. I would also ask if you suspected a strong possibility that it was the abducted child you would of held her on the premises until the police arrived..
    Looks like the McCanns met there match as Pathological liars, because the campaign poster had Maddie Spread across it in bold letters & this Dutch ladies story is made up for 15 mins of fame.


  4. Although I don’t believe the parents had anything to do with the disappearance of Madeleine, I always thought that Kate didn’t make enough fuss over her daughters disappearance, me as a parent would have been yelling at that television screen appealing and begging to whoever took her to return her unharmed. Even to this day, she still doesn’t show any real signs of heartache on the TV, this surely would help. Also, Gerry, he doesn’t look like he has been yearning and suffering the loss of his little beautiful daughter, I find this very strange, I would expect both of them to look haggard, worn out, exasperated by ten years of agonising. I wish the authorities would take a polygraph test just to reassure the general public that their conscience is clear of any involvement.


  5. the McCanns quoted that they would never leave Portugal until their Daughter was found but hot footed it out of there the second they could. they also stated that they would both take polygraph tests to prove their innocence yet when confronted with polygraph they both refused. Why have they never been charged with willful neglect.


  6. I believe strongly there’more to this story the parents are both dodgy! I personally think they have set the abduction up that’s why maddie was never found !it’ll catch up with them . I feel so sorry for that young child


  7. Give me a break. You are all so cruel. I would have expected this lead, and the one in Dunedin NZ to have been more professionally handled. Can we still donate? None of you should judge a parent who has lost their baby girl. Keep looking for her instead of writing nasty things online. It’s never too late. I just wish they had never had to suffer this. Poor darlings.


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