Melbourne North Station, Victoria Police Cyberstalking Investigation (Earl de Blonville, alleged victim)
Two complaints filed with Victoria Police and two FOI requests with Victoria Police
IBAC Complaint Filed by Kent Madin, #T173413562939(7) December 8, 2017
Synopsis: In 2013, I, Kent Madin of Bozeman, Montana, USA, took an interest in the professional career of Earl de Blonville, who declares himself “Australia’s pre-eminent Arctic Explorer”. My interest was part of research for a story I was writing about modern day “explorers” who build narratives about themselves through the internet in order to make themselves commercially viable. Mr. de Blonville was one of several explorers with common links on the internet that piqued my interest. Mr. de Blonville initially engaged with me by email but refused to answer any questions about discrepancies in his professional claims. He later asked me not to contact him (which I complied with) and in April, 2014 embarked on a campaign claiming I was a cyberstalker and he was my hapless victim. Here is confirmation of Mr. de Blonville’s ownership of kentmadincyberstaker.com. My inquiries to Earl’s past colleagues, sponsors, collaborators and others, made with full transparency as to my purpose and in my own name, all became illegal actions in Earl’s mind. The website, earldeblonville.net is the digital version of a newspaper ad or other publicly visible announcement making my interest in Mr. de Blonville’s career known to the public and a repository for information gathered. The website has been very effective establishing contacts with people knowledgable about de Blonville. After years of claiming, online and in correspondence, that Australian police were investigating me and my arrest was imminent, Earl finally persuaded a Constable in Melbourne into opening an investigation in November, 2016. This is to document the events that have proceeded from that intial investigation.
The website at the center of the cyberstalking allegation is http://www.earldeblonville.net
November 17, 2016 Constable Louise Colban takes a complaint from Earl de Blonville at the Melbourne North Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) alleging that I, Kent Madin, am a cyberstalker and opens an investigation for cyberstalking. It appears that Mr. de Blonville failed to inform the Constable that two previous investigations on the same subject, by the Bozeman, Montana police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (US) had both concluded there was no evidence of criminal behavior.
November 28, 2016 Ten days later, Constable Colban formally requests that my hosting company remove a website of mine, earldeblonville.net, which is a compilation of research done on de Blonville’s professional claims and career. Constable Colban characterizes the website as “defamatory” and a: that it is using private information without permission, specifically, Earl de Blonville’s CV and b: that de Blonville has previously contacted the hosting company making the same takedown request. None of those characterizations are true, as Constable Colban’s Supervisor Senior Sergeant Rhonda Brown later admits.
November 28, 2016 I learn that I am being investigated for a major crime in Australia when my hosting company, following their standard policy, sends me a copy of Constable Colban’s request complete with official addresses and phone numbers of Victoria Police. The hosting company informs me that they only respond to a court order and suggest I deal directly with the person making the complaint.
November 28, 2016: Concerned about whether the request is genuine, and moreover, whether Constable Colban is genuine, I call Constable Colban at her station, identify myself as the target of her investigation and offer to answer any questions she might have. She says she has none and claims she has the authority to request removal of my private property.
November 28 and Dec. 2, 2016: I send Constable Colban a couple of emails giving her some context to my involvement with Earl de Blonville and addressing her request to remove my website. I also point out that each point Colban used to justify her request to remove the site is either a: outside Police responsibility (defamation) or factually false.(see link below)
On December 5, 2016 this complaint was filed with Google. Then this complaint, from January 2018, confirms that Victoria Police complained to Google. Victoria Police acted without informing me, without legal orders and before finishing their investigation. Subsequently, this website, earldeblonville.net was blocked from appearing in Google searches, but ONLY in Australia. The Victoria police are simply stonewalling on the question of whether Constable Colban ALSO made a request for the Google block. According to Google, there are two ways avenues to blocking a site: 1. a court order (which I would have to know about 2. or a request from a police agency through the LERS system.
December 1, 2016, FIRST COMPLAINT FILED:. Having no response from Constable Colban, I attempt to file a complaint with the Victoria Police through their online form. After it fails to go through twice, I file the complaint directly through the email address. The complaint asks for clarification of Constable Colban’s authority to request removal of private property.
January 6, 2017. I contact the Media Unit of the Victoria Police. My initial request is a hypothetical question about whether police can request the removal of private property. Leonie at the Media Unit says she cannot respond to a hypothetical. I then resend the question based on the details of Constable Colban’s actions. Leonie refers me to the division that deals with books and films and that’s the last I hear from anyone in the Media Unit. (see link below)
About January 6, 2017: I speak on the phone with someone in the Police Conduct Unit who advises me that I hadn’t received a response to my December 1, 2016 complaint because the complaint had been forwarded to the detective sergeant in charge at Melbourne North. The woman apologized that I hadn’t been notified.
Approximately January 17, 2017: I hear from Sergeant Rhonda Brown, Constable Colban’s supervisor. We exchanged email about my concerns. We agree to a phone call which takes place a couple of days later and lasts about 45 minutes. I am pleased to hear from Sergeant Brown that [a]: I am not in their jurisdiction so they wouldn’t pursue me anyhow and [b]: they have closed the case and there will be no further action taken. I note that no one ever even interviewed me, the alleged criminal. Sgt. Brown allows that they do that when the “facts” indicate. I am assured by Sgt. Brown that the case is closed and over, the investigative file will not be forwarded to either the prosecution division or Interpol. Quoting Sgt. Brown’s email: “The investigation by D/S/C Colban is now completed and no further action will be pursued by Victoria Police.” Sgt. Brown describes the investigation as a “fact-finding effort”. I question what facts would have been discovered by requesting the destruction of my property.
I press Sergeant Brown to confirm that Colban’s actions were consistent with proper police procedure. She dodges that request for confirmation and attempts to portray the request to remove the website as just a suggestion, something that is up to the hosting company to decide. This portrayal flies in the face of the actual words, in black and white, in the request. I agree to strongly disagree with Sgt. Brown’s characterization of Colban’s effort to have my private property confiscated. (see links below)
February 1, 2017: I file an FOI request with the Victoria Police for a copy of the investigation file. I make it clear that I am not trying to damage Sgt. Brown or Constable Colban, but am determined to get an answer to the question of whether the request to confiscate my property was proper police conduct. I point out to the FOI Manager, Robin Davey, that evidence of police misconduct is one of the areas that cannot be exempted from an FOI request, per Australian law.
Around March, 2017: My request is turned down.
Around April, 2017: I request a review. The original denial is reviewed and then denied again. Both denials make the point that the police contact has characterized the case as “unsolved” when “no further police action” and “no offense detected” were all options for characterizing the case and would have been consistent with Sgt. Brown’s characterization. The “unsolved” characterization is what causes Davey to deny any part of the file because it might jeopardize further investigation.
Early August, 2017: I have a telephone conversation with staff at IBAC. I explain the situation and they recommend that I file a second complaint specific to the issue of how the file was characterized as “unsolved” before filing a complaint with IBAC.
August 2, 2017: I file a SECOND complaint with Victoria Police specifically regarding the characterization of the investigation where I was the target as “unsolved”. I receive an automated email receipt.
September 7, 2017: I request an update from Victoria Police about my SECOND complaint. I receive an automated email receipt.
December 6, 2017. I request, yet again, some response or update from the Victoria Police about my second complaint. I receive a response from Nick Konstantinidis saying that no action will be taken. In the text of his response, it is clear he is referring to the FIRST complaint. I respond pointing out that difference. I receive an automated email receipt.
December 7, 2017: I file a complaint with the IBAC emphasizing my concern about a: police misconduct in regards to Colban’s effort to have my property taken down and b: dimissal of that issue by Sgt. Brown and c: characterization of the investigation as “unsolved” which effectivly blocks the FOI request.
December 28, 2017: IBAC responds that they have chosen not to investigate or refer the complaint since they are very busy.
March 14, 2018: At the suggestion of the FOI Commissoner’s office, I file a second FOI request, for both the investigative file and the documentation created by my first FOI request. I am informed that I should hear back on my request no later than April 28, 2018. On May 1, 2018 I ask when I might get my response. I am informed the decision is on the manager’s desk for signature. On May 7th I write again. No response.
May 24, 2018: Unlike my previous request, where I was responded to via email, I receive a notice of decision by snail mail. The decision is signed April 5, 2018. The decision arrives 50 days after the decision was signed. I am told that in order to receive a portion of the material I asked for, I need to pay $22.10. Had I been advised on April 5 that I would owe $22.10, I could have arranged for that payment immediately. Nevertheless, I make arrangements to have the fee paid. I request that the FOI office send me the documents I paid for via email. The FOI office responds by saying they will send the document snail mail.
August 1, 2018: I recieve from VicPol FOI office redacted log of exchanges between the FOI office and VicPol. They indicate that the officer who characterized the investigative file as “unsolved”, thus blocking it from release, is none other than Constable Colban, the very person who I am claiming abused her authority during the investigation. I do NOT receive a copy of the investigative file.
The question at the heart of this complaint is simple: Can a police officer use her official status to request the removal of private property absent any court order or absent any obvious, immediate threat of physical danger or threat to public safety?
If that is acceptable police policy, Sgt. Brown could have confirmed as much, in writing, which I urged her to do. Instead Sgt. Brown’s explanation flies in the face of the clear facts and Colban’s own words in the request.
I filed an FOI request in the belief that the unusual aspects of this case (cyberstalking, alleged criminal outside the country, botched investigative procedures, investigation dropped without any interview of “criminal”) would be reflected in the documents that make up the investigative file and shed light on the question.
When, as a police officer, you get a phone call from the supposed criminal who knows about your investigation because you unwittingly revealed it and the “criminal” wants to know if you are acting within the bounds of police procedure, there’s a very good chance that the investigative file will reflect discussion between yourself and your supervisor for guidance. If those discussions involved any element of sweeping the issue under the table that would be police misconduct. Evidence of police misconduct cannot be withheld from an FOI request. The file will also contain the emails that I, the “criminal” sent to Constable Colban giving her context. Those emails would presumably have been shared and commented upon within the department.
Another reason why I suspect poor judgement at the minimum and police misconduct at the worst, is that Constable Colban began the investigation on November 17, 2016. At the heart of the complaint was the website I own, earldeblonville.net. One of the first facts conveyed in the allegation would be that I am a citizen and resident of the United States. The information on that website can be fact-checked by anyone with a computer, more so if you are a police person. Yet 10 days later, more than enough time to spot check the supposedly “defamatory” claims on the website and more than enough time to arrange to interview me, a suspect living outside Victoria Police jurisdiction, Constable Colban makes an effort to remove that site, without notifying me or requesting that I remove it. It appears that she had no idea I would find out about her request.
Constable Colban had to know, as a trained policewoman, that defamation is not a criminal matter.
In addition to not fact-checking the website, she failed to fact check the allegations made by Earl de Blonville : 1. That the CV in questions was taken from his private page. This is factually false and could have been clarified by contacting me. Earl de Blonville uploaded his CV to Academia.edu and it is crystal clear from that site’s Terms that anything uploaded is for public review. Furthermore, there is a specific button which encourages downloading items like the CV.. 2. That de Blonville had previously requested to the same company, that the site be taken down. This assertion is also factually false since de Blonville contacted the URL registrar, not the hosting company. Sergeant Brown dismissed these issues by saying, in effect, the Constable was just repeating what de Blonville had alleged. The police just parrot, without fact checking, “facts” presented for destroying private property?
It is disconcerting to think that a Victoria Police constable would attempt to confiscate private property with no due process and based on unverified “facts” and inappropriate characterizations.
Regarding the actions of Sgt. Brown:
Both in writing and on the phone Sgt. Brown emphasized that the investigation was complete, over, done, no further action would be taken. She gave two reasons for ending the investigation without interviewing me, the alleged criminal. First, that I was out of the jurisdiction of the Victoria Police. While factual, that statement is disingenous given that an investigation was begun with the full knowledge that I was out of their jurisdiction. Being familiar with how these things are supposed to work, I pressed the Sgt. about whether she was forwarding the investigative file to any prosecutorial arm of the Victoria government or to Interpol. She made it clear on the phone and in email that it was not being forwarded. Had Sgt. Brown found evidence to support the cyberstalking allegation, passing the file to Interpol for action would have been the proper response. So saying that I am out of jurisdiction is just a way of saying “we found nothing criminal”.
The second reason given was that “if the evidence doesn’t support interviewing the alleged criminal, then we don’t interview them”. Again, a simple “we found no evidence of a crime” would have been a more accurate answer.
Here’s a quote from Sgt. Brown’s email of January 17, 2017: “The investigation by D/S/C Colban is now completed and no further action will be pursued by Victoria Police.” (My emphasis in color)
Yet, in response to my FOI request for access to the investigation file, Mr. Davey says his hands are tied because the Melbourne North Police station characterizes the investigation as “unsolved”. As I understand it from Mr. Davey, had the investigation been characterized by one of the other choices (“no further police action” and “no offense detected”) Mr. Davey could have proceeded with processing the request. Clearly, “no further police action” and “no offense detected” are all more consistent with the finding “and no further action will be pursued by Victoria Police” than “unsolved”.
Another particularly vexing aspect of this affair is that there is now, permanently, a file that links my name to cyberstalking. This, in spite of the fact that no proof of any threat was ever provided (one of the defining elements of cyberstalking is a credible and purposeful threat of physical or emotional injury). And this in spite of the fact that the police closed the investigation without even contacting me. All that speaks to it having been a baseless allegation in the first place.
Constable Colban’s request for removal of my website, earldeblonville.net:
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To whom it may concern
My name is Louise COLBAN and I am a Senior Constable of Police from
Melbourne North Criminal Investigation Unit which is part of Victoria
Police in Australia. I have carriage of a cyberstalking investigation where
Earl DE BLONVILLE is listed as the victim. I am requesting the removal of a
website which you are currently hosting, https://earldeblonville.net.
The website is one facet of the investigation. The website itself is
defamatory (libel) in nature and utilises material from DE BLONVILLE’s own
website without his permission, specifically his curriculum vitae.
Earl DE BLONVILLE has previously contacted you himself however you were
unable to assist. He has also sent a ‘cease to desist’ request to Kent
MADIN to have the site removed however this was not complied with.
I request that this website be removed.
Louise COLBAN | Senior Constable 37341 – North Melbourne CIU|
email: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> |
web address: www.police.vic.gov.au<http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=2>
phone: (03) 8379 0886| fax: (03) 8379 0887 | dx: 211387
address: 36 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne 3051
Further examination of Constable Colban’s request to Nearly Free Speech:
“The website itself is defamatory (libel) in nature” Defamation is a civil matter as Sgt. Brown has agreed. By what authority does Constable Colban make what is, in and of itself, a statement defaming my property? Defamation is a matter for the civil courts an avenue that Mr. de Blonville has chosen not to pursue.
and utilises material from DE BLONVILLE’s own
website without his permission, specifically his curriculum vitae. I downloaded the CV in question from Academia.edu. All material on that site is public information, as the terms of service at Academia.edu make clear. This screen print shows that Mr. de Blonville had the CV uploaded and available to ANYONE who visited his Academia.edu page.
Earl DE BLONVILLE has previously contacted you himself however you were
unable to assist. This is factually false and something that Colban should have confirmed before repeating it. Earl contacted Tucows, the company that registers the URL, an entirely different company and NOT the web hosting company, Nearly Free Speech. This is the email exchange with Tucows.
He has also sent a ‘cease to desist’ request to Kent
MADIN to have the site removed however this was not complied with. Earl’s cease and desist letter has no legal weight. It was responded to here. A cease and desist letter is generally sent as a precursor to filing a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit for defamation has been an option available to Mr. de Blonville for 5 years and something he has repeatedly insisted he was about to do.
I request that this website be removed.” Sgt. Brown says Colban “requested through the website host to remove the material if it was found to be in breach of their policy or legislation relevant to their jurisdiction. This is a matter for the host website to assess the request and make a decision regarding compliance of the material.” In fact, no such language can be found in Colban’s request. Colban builds her case for removal in several steps. She asserts, falsely, that a prior effort had been made to have the site removed. With her authority as a police constable she declares that the site is defamatory and contains stolen material. Then she requests the site be removed. This is obviously an effort using Colban’s official status to accomplish what Colban herself claims de Blonville failed to do. Why would Colban or Brown assume that de Blonville’s claimed request for removal hadn’t triggered the web host to examine the material for “breach of their policy”? And if that happened already and the site is still up, why would Colban feel it appropriate to influence the web hosting company with her police authority over an issue the hosting company has already addressed with de Blonville’s request?
Colban is piling on in support of de Blonville’s allegation without ever having contacted the owner of the property. The request is an egregious abuse of her position and authority and needs to be recognized as such.
These three, multi-page .pdfs tell the story of expeditions that never happened.
Click at the bottom of each page for additional pages.
If Earl de Blonville is true to form he will attempt to claim copyright infringement in regards to these .pdf files. This is tantamount to when Donald Trump fights to keep from releasing his tax records to the public. The documents were produced by Earl, they make a variety of claims which, when read in light of the rest of Earl’s various claims, paints a picture of Earl intentionally crafting his professional narrative and raises reasonable questions about how honestly he portrays himself and his experience.
This then, is the element of “transformation” of an image or a document that underlies the copyright doctrine of “fair use”.
This one has the 2011 price of 98,000.00 AUD per person.Arctic2011-Brochure-arcticexplorer.com-earl-de-blonvillle-price
A shorter version of the above. George Pappas is listed as one of Earl’s illustrious “adventurous friends”. Here’s Mr. Pappas’ comment on seeing the flyer: “First, I have to tell you that this is the first that I have heard of the event. I was unaware that my name had been used in the publicity for it. I have never met Earl de Bonville nor had ever heard of him until I read the attachment to your email. And as you might conclude I did not participate in the event at all.”Arctic2011-Invitation-WEB
In 2016 de Blonville tried again to resurrect this zombie program.ARCTIC-EXPLORER-executive-2016-never-happened
History of allegations of cyberstalking, investigations and results of those investigations.
Earl and several other faux explorers have made this allegation to THREE competent police departments (Bozeman, Victoria, Melbourne North) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) who have heard every bit of “evidence” Earl could muster. I cooperated completely with all three departments. All three found the allegations to be without merit. Earl’s reaction to being asked to substantiate his professional claims is analogous to a driver who, upon being asked to show his driver’s license, screams “police brutality”.
In fact, Earl’s creation of kentmadincyberstalker.com is a textbook example of cyberstalking; an anonymous site, filled with defamatory, unsupported wild allegations, threatening police action, intended to embarass and punish. Simple public searches of URL purchase records show that Earl bought kentmadinstalker.com, kentmadinstalker.net, kentmadin.info, kentmadincyberstaker.com.
In other words, while proclaiming himself a victim of cyberstalking, Earl was creating a website that is the definition of cyberstalking.
Here’s another version of his video sales pitch… wherein he claims to have lost nearly a million dollars to cyberstalking…
Here are some choice quotes from Earl: “I am generally regarded as a global leadership expert.” “Cyberstalking is a global phenomenon. It’s big, it’s heading our way, it’s incredibly dangerous.. because nobody realizes how threatening it is”. “Anyone who employs people needs to hear what I’ve got to say”. “I can save you millions of dollars”. “Cyberstalking is on the rise here in Australia”.
Cyberstalking is a serious problem rife with elements like obsession, sex, revenge, cruelty, threat of physical harm or lasting emotional suffering. For the victim, it can be like a personal horror story, scared and helpless to do anything to discover and stop a relentless torturer. It’s a serious and often misunderstood problem. Using this serious issue as an epithet, as Earl continues to do, in an effort to discredit legitimate inquiry and to cynically distract attention from scrutiny of his failed professional schemes does grave disservice to those who are genuine victims. Sadly, the big lie cyberstalker tactic wasn’t even an original idea of Earl’s. He borrowed it from discredited “explorer” Ripley Davenport who himself borrowed the “cyberstalker smear” tactic from a guy named Nigel Gifford who was trying to stop the release of a humliating video about his failed expedition. But, I digress.
Earl remains willfully ignorant of the basic definition of cyberstalking when accusing me of same, to wit: I am not anonymous, I have never threatened anyone, I have not posted sexual or suggestive material, when Earl asked to end our email communications, I complied. I have been transparent and consistent about the purpose of my research (journalism) from my first email to Earl. I have politely contacted various people and organizations, with transparency about my purpose, that I believed would have information about Earl’s professional claims. This is what journalists do. They seek sources and communicate with them. I created this website as a 21st century version of a newspaper ad or face on a milk carton. All the information I have gathered is either from Earl’s own words, publications, website, interviews, news articles, emails or from consenting interviews with other sources. If Earl disputes the information and representation of his activities found in this website, he has many avenues through which to respond.
It was Earl’s decision to stonewall all questions about irregularities in his professional claims and particularly in his CV, which is rife with falsehoods, exaggerations and misleading, disingenuous claims.
If you chose to build your career on smoke and bluster don’t blame others when the smoke clears.
Recently, Earl has gotten himself (and his girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley) appointed as Adjunct Professors at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia. Earl has zero academic credentials, not even a high school diploma. Jennifer’s field is not related to the School of Environment, Science and Engineering, where both are assigned. To put these adjunct appointments in perspective, of 60 Adjunct Professors listed at SCU’s website, every single one has significant academic credentials, B.A., MS, Ph.d or other post high school certification. Earl is the outlier. Two extraordinary, unusual appointments like Earl’s and Jennifer’s would seem to be something to be proud of, yet Earl has vigorously enforced his “privacy rights” to block SCU from releasing even the most basic information about what role and responsibilities Earl will have relative to SCU operations. SCU administration refused to discuss Earl’s role and will not release any information about Earl’s role without filing a GIPA (Freedom of Information) request, a process that takes months!
The Adjunct appointment is another chapter in Earl’s lengthy history of trying to gain a patina of academic credibility. Earl is currently spruiking this scheme, Oceanic Research Institute. “ORI” appears to be an effort to find gainful employment for the “white elephant” sailboat that Earl convinced his girlfriend Jennifer to buy in 2011. More detail on ORI can be found here and here (Ori Story).
Amongst other complaints made to the FBI in Bozeman, Montana, Earl demanded I be investigated for threatening his life because I posted this video on my Twitter feed. The video link had been passed to me by one of Earl’s former girlfriends. It’s a funny video and a catchy tune.
Here is the conclusion of Special Agent Shiloh Allen of the FBI in his report to the US Attorney for Montana regarding the investigation of me for cyberstalking.
“In reading the various email exchanges provided by Madin or the complainants, I have found nothing that would support the allegation that he has been abusive, harassing, threatening, or intimidating. As far as I can tell, he has merely asked questions, and has reasonably respected people’s request that he not contact them anymore. There are instances where he has sent follow up emails, but these have only been in response to recontact from them or allegations made against him online or in other public forums. It does not appear that he has engaged in repeated contact with the intent to harass or annoy anyone. His journalistic efforts resulted in the publication of a news article about Ripley Davenport in Politiken, a major Danish newspaper, in August 2013. It appears his efforts have genuinely been in the pursuit of protected free speech and press related activity.”
All the material in these pages is from public sources or from consenting interviews.
If you are considering a relationship with Earl de Blonville, do yourself a favor and read through the material on these pages.
Forewarned is Forearmed.
Click the cartoon for Earl de Blonville, Viscount of Saxmundham’s CV which he submitted with his application to the School of Graduate Research (SGR) at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and posted on Academia.edu.
I’m an amateur investigative journalist. In researching for an article about self-made explorers I have gathered considerable background material regarding Earl de Blonville’s career. Based on the information I have gathered from Earl, from public records and from voluntary interviews with friends, associates, family, employees, co-workers, clients, sponsors, employers, educational institutions, etc. (and in the absence of clarification of many questions by Earl) I can only conclude that Earl is at best a modern Walter Mitty and at worst a grifter and con man, potentially guilty of fraud (RMIT). If you would like access to the full material click here.
Why this website? Websites are cheap and powerful platforms for communication. Earl de Blonville and several other “explorers” all have exploited those qualities to promote themselves professionally. When that promotional effort includes fraud and intentional embellishment the same cheap and powerful website platform, like this one, is one way to present facts and point out the deceptions.
If you have factual information about Earl’s professional activities or personal experience with Earl, feel free to contact me, Kent Madin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earl de Blonville, victim of “Cyberstalking”:
From Earl’s own website, writing about himself in the third person: : “Earl de Blonville has faced death many times on Arctic expeditions, but nothing could have prepared him for the psychological stress and sense of vulnerability that Cyberstalking unexpectedly inflicted on him.”
I, Kent Madin, am Earl’s alleged “cyberstalker”. His stress and sense of vulnerabilty results from the fact that I asked him to explain the background of an endorsement of Ripley Davenport he published on LinkedIn. At the time Earl made the endorsement, Davenport was already well documented as a fraud and “faux” explorer. As it turns out, the endorsement was based on no direct knowledge of Davenport, but rather on Earl’s infatuation with his own prose. Rather than answer and set the record straight, Earl began a series of bizarre responses, a jumble of indignation, psychobabble, school yard name calling and threats of civil and criminal punishment. It’s all very clearly documented in the email record and I am happy to speak with anyone who has questions on this subject. Earl’s claim to being a victim of cyberstalking has been reviewed and definitively rejected by three different police authorities; the Bozeman, Montana police, the Melbourne, Victoria police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
Earl doesn’t seem to understand what cyberstalking is and why his claiming to be a victim of same is preposterous. The elements that are necessary to constitute cyberstalking are electronic communications and credible threat of physical or emotional harm. In fact, the vast majority of cyberstalking also includes anonymity on the part of the stalker. And the vast majority are men stalking women with sexual and violent overtones. My research on Earl’s career, reaching out first to him and then to those who know him, has always been transparently in my own name, declared as journalistic inquiry, has never contained any threat physical or otherwise and has never had any element of sex or violence.
Oddly, Earl’s death-defying adventures don’t translate into having the backbone to respond to requests for clarification of his many professional claims. Earl is an accomplished self-promoter, one would think he would be proud to elaborate upon his experience. Ironically, he has declared himself both a victim of cyberstalking and an instant expert on the subject. Earl even briefly tried to hire himself out to speak on the subject as this page shows. The page is from 2014 and flatly states that the cyberstalker was “brought to justice”! You can enjoy Earl’s video pitch for speaking jobs yourself (large file!). While watching, keep in mind that Earl has never answered a single question relative to his professional claims or offered any clarification of glaring discrepancies in his CV.
May 20, 2016 UPDATE: Earl is now blogging on the subject of cyberstalking, veering into hyperbolic hysterics and away from any semblance of factual basis for his assertions. . (Note: this blog comes and goes, alternately erased, then resurrected, then “locked”. If you find the blog “locked” contact me for archival copies.) Many readers who have personal experience with Earl will recognize the eerie similarity between the traits of a narcissistic cyberstalker and Earl himself. Earl’s blog can be characterized as “shouting insults at a mirror”.
June 25, 2016 UPDATE: On June 24, Earl posted an entry called “AK’s vs Popguns”. The post included a youtube video from my account (without permission) in which I described for a friend, the nature of a “spud gun”, a homemade cannon firing chunks of potato propelled by hairspray. Apparently, the purpose of the post was to cleverly mock me as someone who wasn’t allowed to buy a real gun (AK) and therefore had to build my own (Popgun). Go figure. So I annotated the video and less than 24 hours later, all of Earl’s ramblings on the subject of cyberstalking, including the Ak post, were gone. Perhaps he’s had a change of heart. Click on the AK’s link to read the original post, click HERE to see the annotated video.
July 25, 2016 UPDATE: Earl has now created a second blog with special focus on his obsession with cyberstalkers: https://cyberstalkingsite.wordpress.com/ .
This is very odd since Earl is the primary author and owner of Kentmadincyberstalker.com, (and mirror site Kentmadin.info) a text book example of cyberstalking: anonymous, full of lurid, unsubstantiated libelous statements. Earl shares authorship of this content of the website with Ripley and Laura Davenport and Cuchullaine and Basha O’Reilly. But the design and the venom are all Earl’s. (As of May 20, 2015 the host of Kentmadincyberstalker.com has suspended the site but clicking above will take you to an archived version.) You can click this link to see the WHOIS listing naming Earl de Blonville as the owner of Kentmadincyberstalking.com (although a basic WHOIS search shows the ownership anonymized). Both URL’s are now for sale, but I invite anyone with access to a domaintools account to check for themselves. Search the Whois history for the URL’s above and, in Domain History, you will see for yourself that the first purchase of these URLs was on Jan 12, 2014 by Earl de Blonville. The record shows that minutes later, Earl “anonymized” the record. This was an incredibly ham-handed effort to hide his ownership of the site. Both the Bozeman Police and the FBI office in Bozeman have reviewed the evidence of Earl’s ownership of kentmadincyberstalker.com.
In addition to Kentmadincyberstalker.com Earl purchased kentmadinstalker.com and kentmadinstalker.net in July of 2013, six months prior to purchasing (and deploying) Kentmadincyberstalker.com and Kentmadin.info. See for yourself: here and here.
Perhaps this article explains Earl’s condition: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/11/health/gang-stalking-targeted-individuals.html
Earl de Blonville’s FAILED SCHEMES:
Arcticexplorer.net. “Teenage Climate Saviors to Greenland”. Proposed in 2005 (when the URL was purchased) and never did anything but create a website and look for money. Has been “temporarily suspended” for a decade. Interviews with various people identified as “staff” indicate that nothing ever happened.
Arcticexplorer.com This site used to be “Wealthy Captains of Industry in Need of Leadership Training to Greenland”. This program has been renamed “Expedition Desperation Island” (and the irony of the title seems lost on Earl) It purports to be a scientific expedition focusing on climate change. No further information available since the entire website is a single image. Period. But, apparently the plan is that someone will give Earl lots of money and he will refit the two aging wooden sailboats he and his girlfriend own and turn them into arctic exploration vessels.
9Sails.com This was a program using one of the above referenced aging sailboats. Earl convinced his girlfriend, who had little or no experience with sailing, to purchase the ‘Tarnan’ for use as a floating leadership training center featuring a diet of French cuisine and Earl’s pearls of Postformal Leadership wisdom. The project was based on Earl’s keen insight into the critical dearth of leadership training programs aimed at people who were already successful, wealthy captains of industry. Earl realized their critical and unserved need to listen to pseudo-academic gobbelydegook on the high seas from someone like Earl, drawing from his own extensive experience as a commercial and academic failure. Much like the programs referenced above, Earl took the liberty of annointing, on his websites, a number of prominent personalities as staff, scientific staff and adjunct faculty without their permission or in some cases knowledge. Here is a copy of the “crew” page from 9sails.com with comments on Earl’s character from the professional sailors he hired, then stiffed.
Renovation of Tallship Carola: In January of 2013, Earl de Blonville “obtained” an 80 year old sailboat named Carola. The ship belonged to a youth sailing organization which taught traditional sailing techniques in Germany. I say “obtained” because the seller, a Mr. Matthias at Verein Jugendsegeln declines to discuss the terms of the sale. Other sources indicate that the ship was purchased for a very nominal amount, perhaps a single Euro, based on a: the rising cost of maintenance for the youth group of a very old wooden ship and b: Earl’s assurances that he would completely refit and modernize the ship, thereby “saving” it as a treasured bit of sailing history. In the past four years Earl’s “full restoration” of the Carola amounted to little more than renaming the vessel as Courage, while it sat, dismasted in harbor (rather than following the old advice of ‘always sail a ship for a year before making changes’) Earl has a propensity for renaming old sailboats which already have perfectly good, venerable names. Also in 2013, Earl talked his girlfriend into buying an even older, bigger sailboat, the Tarnan and renaming it “La Boheme”. It is also for sale. The Grand de Blonville Fleet is yet another failed Grand Scheme. Click on the link at the beginning of the paragraph to see the sales pitch for Carola. Earl’s asking price is ten thousand Euros.
The above Grand Schemes span the last decade. They are all failures, proven by the market for both investment and the market for ideas. Flat out, full stop. Failures. What is the consistent element that those failures all share? Earl de Blonville, the man himself. His vision, his entrepreneurial “chops”, his inability to see that the greatest impediment to his realization of these schemes is his own inflated sense of his self-importance. In a nutshell, Earl believes his own bloviation.
UPDATE: After about six months of investigation into allegations of cyberstalking brought before the Bozeman Police Department by Laura Davenport and Basha O’Reilly, with the covert (and frankly, cowardly) support of Earl de Blonville, the City Attorney, Mr. Greg Sullivan (email@example.com) finds that the allegations are baseless. (June 2015 Update) The local office of the FBI has now interviewed me and come to the same conclusion.
This January 2016 appeal of a gag-order for alleged “cyberstalking” is instructive. These were well funded, heavyweights in the entertainment business and after the best efforts of both sides lawyers, the gag-order was rescinded and for clear, logical reasons: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/gag-order-hologram-usa-founder-852688
Although Earl carefully kept his name out of the specific allegations, he coordinated closely with Laura Davenport and the O’Reilly’s, providing some of the most lurid and distasteful elements of the smear campaign. These included veiled allusions to sexual deviance and bestiality plus pseudo-scientific assertions that I am a psychopath. Earl also contributed over 45 of the 120 names on the “Master List” of victims of my cyberstalking. The vast majority of the people on the list had no idea they were being included. Sadly for the “legions of international victims” their efforts to have me arrested were categorically rejected by the authorities.
He won the hearts and minds of the Bozeman authorities with his suggestion the corrupt “old boy” network of Bozeman was protecting me.
This is the CV that Earl de Blonville prepared (June, 2011) for his application to the School of Graduate Research (SGR) at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Earl is unhappy that this CV is here and annotated, but his objections only confirm that this is, in fact, his CV. The annotations reflect publicly available facts and interviews with third parties with direct knowledge of the claims. Earl has repeatedly been invited to comment on details of this CV or annotations that are inaccurate or incomplete and has declined to do so. This CV was downloaded from Earl’s public page at Academia.edu in compliance with that site’s terms and conditions. Earl posted this CV voluntarily, for public scrutiny. You can download the CV and read the full annotations in a .pdf reader here.
Earl was, in his own words, “kicked out“ of the Ph.d program at RMIT after questions were raised about the accuracy of this CV. Several important facts are conspicuously missing or incompletely portrayed, facts that would be found in an honest CV.
- Earl claims 4 years in High School but only attended for 1.5 years and did not graduate from Ballarat School.
- Several programs that are listed as examples of professional accomplishments are actually schemes that never went beyond a website.
- There is no mention of Earl’s previous enrollment, several years before, in a Ph.d program at an online diploma mill called Rushmore University. The theme of his study at Rushmore and RMIT are the same. Earl completed his “studies” but declined to pay his tuition so he did not graduate.
- One of Earl’s faculty advisers confirmed that Earl’s admission to the program, with no formal education credentials, was largely on the strength of his book, ‘Seventh Journey’. Earl does not mention that the publisher, Bear Books, is actually just Earl himself. Bear Books is just a name behind which Earl self-published Seventh Journey.
- Earl’s claim to having been President of “Devon Gaffers Association” is simply false. He was a regular member, never an officer.
These are a few of the remarkable endorsements Earl has written for fellow LinkedIn connections.
Ripley Davenport (since removed).
Why would Earl(e) de Blonville put the original “e” he was born with back on his first name two decades after he deleted it?
Born Earle Robert Bloomfield, Earl changed his name in about 2000 to Earl de Blonville because he believes he is descended from one of William the Conqueror’s knights. He also believes he is the Viscount de Blonville of Saxmundham and made the calling cards to prove it. Earl operated with that name until 2018 when he put the original “e” he was born with back on his first name.
On the legal registration records of Oceanic Research Institute his name is spelled Earl, not Earle. On the registration as a non-profit, his name is spelled Earl, not Earle. Given that these documents have legal consequences it is reasonable to assume that they REQUIRE the applicants LEGAL name.
His credential for an ocean science meeting in the South Pacific has his name as “Earl” without an “e” just like his twitter name. This begs the question of whether Earl(e) actually legally changed his name back to the +e spelling or is just using it while his legal name (passport, bank accounts, drivers license, etc.) remains Earl. Which further begs the question, why?
This may be the answer.
Earl’s original website, started in 2010, is earldeblonville.com (let’s call it -e). In 2013 Earl purchased earledeblonville.com (+e) although he doesn’t appear to have “deployed” it, made it visible on the internet, until 2018. Sometime between August 8 and November 12, 2018 Earl switched his “official” content to the “+e” site. But here’s the rub, if you google the original URL (-e) you are automatically redirected to the new (+e) website. If you then go to the wayback machine (archive.org) and enter the “+e” URL, it seems Earl’s website only begins in 2017. If, after searching on the “+e” site within wayback machine, you then search for the “-e” site, you are automatically redirected to the +e” site. In other words if you were someone searching Earl for the first time, you would conclude that his web history (and archive of his many professional claims) starts in 2018.
Only if your FIRST search on the archive.org page is for earldeblonville.com “-e” do you find the full archive of Earl’s website. And the thing is, there is nothing in the original website archive that speaks to Earl’s current scheme, Oceanic Research Institute. No mention of marine science research, oceanic research, etc. Instead the page touts Earl as a famous author, speaker, leadership guru, C-Suite Business Coach, etc. etc. The archived pages include evidence of false and overblown claims.
Here’s the Wayback Archive for “+e”, Earl’s current website:
And the wayback archive for “-e”, Earl’s original website:
Earl de Blonville was born Earle Robert Bloomfield. He changed his name to Earl de Blonville sometime in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s because he believes he is descended from French nobility. It appears that Earl, with one e, is still his legal name notwithstanding the fact that since 2016 or so he goes, again, by Earle. His website, email, etc. all have the added e. On legal documents related to Oceanic Research Institute, he is Earl. On his nametag in the image below and his registration for this conference, he is Earl. To have changed his name, legally, back to Earle would involve a lot of paperwork, new passport, drivers license, etc. Go figure.
Earl de Blonville has recently and proactively erased his professional history from the internet.
Websites that Earl created to commercially promote himself and his various schemes over the last dozen years had previously been archived in the Wayback Machine (archive.org), providing insight into Earl’s professional evolution and the variety of professional activities he has pursued. The archived records included many claims about his status that were either disingenuous or flat false. Enter any of these website into archive.org and you will see them marked “excluded”. This is the term that indicates they were removed at the REQUEST OF THE OWNER. Only the legal owner of a site can request it be excluded. These websites: earldeblonville.com, arcticexplorer.com, arcticexplorer.net, 9sails.com, tallshipcarola.com, ursus.com.au are all gone/excluded.
Earl’s current personal website, earledeblonville.com (extra e) contains only two paragraphs of professional history condensed down from dozens of pages and six websites.
The obvious question is “why”? If the information in those sites was accurate (and provided more granular detail about Earl’s endeavors) why would you go to the trouble of erasing it all from public view?
One possible answer is that now Earl can reconstruct his professional history with no pesky factual history to contradict him. He can make up anything he likes about his past endeavors.
Archived copies of all the websites are available on request, just not on the Wayback Machine anymore.
According to the administration at Rushmore, Earl completed all his requirements but was not awarded his diploma for failure to pay the balance of his tuition. A Ph.d at Rushmore costs roughly $15,000 USD. In spite of not receiving his degree, de Blonville represented himself as Dr. de Blonville on several sites including his own website.
Then in 2011 Earl tried RMIT where he was accepted (in spite of having zero academic history or credentials) on the strength of his book, Seventh Journey. (His new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley was also on the RMIT faculty). No one at RMIT apparently realized Seventh Journey was self-published. Earl also received a two-year, tax-payer-funded stipend for 50k AUD. Earl left RMIT without a degree after, in his words, being “kicked out”. If you choose to read the entire proposal, be prepared for a “word salad” of epic proportions. It’s 17 pages long. Click on the lower-left corner of the page to read on.Earl_de_Blonville_PhD_Proposal-RMIT-annotated
In my opinion, there is a scandal being covered up by RMIT regarding Earl de Blonville’s 2011 acceptance into the School of Graduate Research and his subsequent receipt of an Australian Postgraduate Award ($50k). This is the synopsis of events and documentation supporting that opinion. Neither RMIT or Earl de Blonville will respond to any of the questions raised below.
In 2011 Earl applied to the School of Graduate Research at RMIT where his girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley, was an adjunct faculty. The CV that Earl submitted to RMIT School of Graduate Research admissions in 2010 with his application is rife with falsehoods, misrepresentations, embellishment, and fabrication and can be read, with annotations, here. Earl had uploaded his CV to the public site, Academia.edu.
Earl has never earned an undergraduate or MA degree.
The subject of the thesis was the same as his uncompleted Rushmore PH.d, “Seventh Journey”.
In addition to the embellishments, the CV has three issues which apparently did not concern the admissions committee at RMIT:
1: The CV does not mention Earl’s tenure at Rushmore University, three years earlier, seeking a Ph.d for the same subject as his RMIT Ph.d.
2: The CV does not mention that Earl self-published his book, Seventh Journey, ostensibly dealing with his own leadership evolution, in just a few hundred copies. The publisher, “Bear Books, a division of Bear Clan Pty Limited” published just one book and is owned by Earl de Blonville. Bear Books no longer exists. The book chronicled an expedition to Greenland that Earl led in 1986. None of the other participants on that expedition had any input on the book and none, as of this writing, have read the book. Several expedition members strongly dispute the premise that Earl was an effective leader. Correspondence with Earl’s RMIT advisor suggests that it was primarily on the strength of this self-published book that Earl was admitted in spite of having no traditional credentials. That same correspondence with Earl’s RMIT faculty advisors suggests they were unaware that the book was self-published.
3: Two of the multi-year programs which Earl lists as recent achievements, Arctic Climate Leadership Challenge and ArcticExplorer simply never happened. They are literally just a couple of websites which intended to raise funds and failed. Generally speaking a professional CV does not include all the big ideas you had which never came to fruition. If a CV does include a failed program, it is customary to note that it was an attempt that failed. Earl’s CV makes no effort to clarify that the two Arctic programs never really happened.
In spite of all this, Earl was admitted to the doctoral program at RMIT as an exception to all the normal requirements for a doctoral student.
To recap: no high school graduation, no undergraduate or graduate degrees, CV rife with falsehoods and embellishments, self-published story supporting his leadership abilities, girlfriend in the department.
RMIT also awarded Earl a publicly funded stipend, an APA, of approximately 50,000 USD. These awards are meant to “Provide financial support to postgraduate students of exceptional research promise”.
Earl continues to claim RMIT as his educational background on his LinkedIn page. It is unknown whether Earl is still registered as a student at RMIT. It is not known whether Earl’s acceptance into the program at RMIT meant another more traditionally qualified candidate was turned away.
I have submitted these facts to the Academic Registrar’s office at RMIT.
RMIT has refused to discuss the issue, citing student privacy laws. When asked for statisical information (frequency with which people are admitted to doctoral programs when lacking the standard requirements) RMIT simply stopped responding.
Documents obtained through the FOI process indicate that faculty were concerned about the evidence provided to RMIT, that investigation was suggested, that the Privacy Officer and RMIT legal offices were consulted. There were expressions of concern about safety on the campus.
RMIT does not respond to inquiries asking for confirmation of Earl’s current student status.
A complaint to the Victoria State Ombudsman was kicked over to another arm of the Victorian government, the Anti-Corruption Commission to determine if I, the complaintant, should be given “whistleblower” status and attendant anonymity, something I never asked for or wanted. After a month languising with that department it was determinined that no right to anonymity was appropriate so it is now back with the Victoria State Ombudsman.
The complaint makes two points: That RMIT (a publicly funded institution) is a self-investigating organzation with the privacy law shield which would allow them to cover up embarrassing things like being fooled by a conman with bogus academic credentials. Second, Earl de Blonville received an APA government (taxpayer) funded stipend based on his acceptance to RMIT. Misrepresentation on the application for that stipend is both civilly and criminally punishable. Therefore, the complaint asks how the public can trust institutions like RMIT to self police and how the public can expect transparency in the matter of disbursing public funds for APAs. For instance, neither RMIT or APA administration will even confirm who has received tax payer funded stipends.
The Victoria Ombudsman provided the results of their response to my complaint in mid November, 2014. That response and my follow up email are here.
Earl de Blonville’s career is characterized by grandiose embellishment of his own achievements. In the last two decades, his career has been characterized by fanciful, grand schemes that have come to nothing.
arcticexplorer.com is one of Earl’s longstanding projects which morphs from year to year into variations on the theme of Earl, guru-like, leading various people to Greenland to save the world from climate change.
Here’s the description of the most recent version: https://web.archive.org/web/20140819213855/http://arcticexplorer.com/expeditions.html
Nobody went to Greenland or even got close.
A sparkly new version is underway at the current website arcticexplorer.com where there is just a single dramatic front page, no content.
But we can find a sneak preview of the content here: https://earldeblonville.net/Earl%20de%20Blonville%20Dec%202015%20greenland%20science%20_%20LinkedIn.pdf
Earl’s grandiosity is evident in the first line of his LinkedIn description of “Desperation Island”: “Australia is launching its first scientific expedition to the Arctic”. No, Australia isn’t doing any such thing. Earl has no government support, no apparent means of support at all for the project. He conflates himself, a single individual, with an entire nation.
As to the “relative obscurity” of the region Earl proposes to visit, a Google search shows that commercially guided sea kayak trips have been offered in the region for some time: http://www.anotherworldadventures.com/adventures/kayak-hike-east-greenland/, http://www.kayakingreenland.com/trips/
Earl declares: “Our expedition’s core mission will be to support climate scientists worldwide through the collection of data”. No mention of who, on this project, will have actual scientific credentials. And Earl has been here before, claiming to have run previous sailing/leadership/scientific research trips to Greenland two decades ago. There is no evidence of any scientific data collected on those trips (if they even happened), no record of who participated, no written post expedition summary.
Finally, Earl has proposed using not only his girlfriend’s 100 year old wooden sailboat but another boat, the Carola, which Earl conned a youth sailing organization into giving him for, essentially, nothing. (Earl promised he had investors who would restore the ship). The cost of refitting both of these aging wooden ships to bring them to standards of safety and suitability for the Arctic is unknown but must be considerable. Not to mention paying competent crew to operate the ships.
It is hard to imagine, with Earl’s uninspiring track record over the last two decades (and his complete inability, over the course of several years, to fund arcticexplorer.net) that Earl is going to convince anyone to entrust him with enough cash to make this “Desperation Island” project fly.
But, when you are channeling Walter Mitty, anything is possible.
ORI is based in Ballina, NSW, Australia
ORI’s claim that “we operate as a transparent, ethical organisation, governed by strong principles and values” (ORI website) is challenged by these four facts: 1. Neither “research vessel” is currently seaworthy, in Australia or has ever functioned as a research vessel, 2: both sailboats, for which donations are sought are the private property of the ORI directors, 3: images of the sailboats used to garner donations are disingenuous and misrepresent the ACTUAL condition and location of the sailboats (scroll down) and 4: the Approved Research Institute, tax-exempt status requires all donations to be used for research, not improving private property or travel expenses to conferences where ORI staff are marketing their aspirations, not presenting a research paper.
From Linkedin: “Oceanic Research Institute (ORI) is the world’s first independent, fully sustainable oceanic research organisation, using traditional wooden sailing vessels with 100% renewable energy generated on board with zero carbon and acoustic emissions. Zero acoustic emissions is a vital scientific innovation for safe research with whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, vulnerable to acoustic trauma.”
While it is technically feasible to have a fully electric sailboat, both of ORI’s sailboats have diesel motors and generators and would need extensive and expensive conversion to electric. Solar panels would be unreliable for charging anything other than house demand (lights, comms). Recharging while under sail, using the prop as a turbine, is also feasible but the bottom line is that if your batteries drain, you and your schedule of research are subordinate to recharging, whatever that takes.
ORI claims electric propulsion is critical to avoid “acoustic trauma” to marine mammals. Multiple authorities on marine mammal acoustic research confirm that the sound of a diesel engine does not come anywhere close to causing “acoustic trauma”. The real premise (and marketing strategy) of ORI is environmental “purity”, not practical or efficient use of funds to do research. Given the ORI claims of “zero carbon and acoustic emissions” one presumes that the Directors of ORI travel exclusively on bicycles, eschew air travel and consume only food grown in Australia and distributed by horse cart. However attractively “green” the idea of electric sailboats may be, donors should ask themselves if this is a case of “making a silk purse from a sow’s ear”.
So when ORI seeks donations because “Our research vessels will need some more maintainence next year” they are being deceptive on two levels. First, the vessels are not now and have never been operated as “research vessels”. This claim is pure marketing hyperbole and intention. They will become “research vessels” only if the Directors can convince others to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for upgrading their personal property. If ORI continues to use donations for non-research related expenses, they should publicly clarify why that is not a conflict of interest and illegal. And let there be no doubt, I am not a “climate denier”. I grew up with marine biologist and a geologist brothers and, at 69, have been aware of the dangers of both climate change and major earthquakes for my adult life.
There are plenty of genuine, established research projects which can use your donations. Do your research before donating.
ORI ABANDONS OZ?
UPDATE January 2020: With Australian bushfires focusing the country’s attention on the challenge of climate change, you might think that ORI’s pleas for donations to combat climate change would be productive. But ORI has been unsuccessful convincing Aussie government, business and public to donate funds to “upgrade” and refit their private sailboats so that ORI can “save the ocean”. ORI wonders if they are “wasting” their time in Australia and asks the public’s opinion whether they should abandon Oz for Europe because, unlike Aussies, Europeans will be supportive.
ORI’s purpose is nothing less than to save the ocean (and by extension, the planet) through the topical application of aging wooden sailboats.
Earl de Blonville is listed as the “CEO” and skipper of both of the ships discussed below. He allows no one to forget that he is an “FRGS” (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society). To be an FRGS you need a: an expressed interest in Geography b: a pulse and c: 110 GBP per year dues.
In the documents submitted to Southern Cross University in support of his application for adjunct professor Earl claims that his FRGS is the equivalent, in the British Education system, of a Masters Degree. He made the same claim on ORI’s application to CSIRO to be an Approved Research Institute. The administration at Royal Geographical Society says that is entirely false.
Jennifer Gidley is listed as “Director of Research” in spite of having no academic background or apparent experience in “Oceanic Research”. Gidley’s Ph.d is in “Future Studies“.
ORI is posited on the claim that decades old traditional wooden sailboats are more “sustainable” and appropriate to marine research than modern vessels.
By happy concidence (!?), Gidley and de Blonville own two such aging sailboats but lack the funds to make them seaworthy and move them from Denmark to Australia. Research cannot take place on boats that are not seaworthy.
In September 2017 Earl de Blonville and Jennifer Gidley were appointed Adjunct Full Professors at Southern Cross University (SCU) in Lismore NSW. Adjunct Professor requires, according to SCU public policy, credentials equal to an accredited Ph.d. By August 2, 2018, and after questions were raised about the veracity of his credentials, Earl de Blonville was demoted to Adjunct Professional Fellow, the lowest rank, with no explanation beyond that it was “more appropriate”. The appointments were directly linked to a business relationship between SCU and ORI.
ORI, as a charity, has been approved for Designated Grant Recipient (DGR) and Approved Research Institute (ARI) status by the Australian Tax Office. The ARI status more narrowly defines how donated funds must be used. A Research Committee of academics must approve how donated funds are spent and they must be spent for research. So far, ORI’s largest publicly aknowledged donation (from a brewery for $5000) appears to have been spent sending de Blonville and Gidley to a conference in Noumea and is otherwise intended for repair work on the sailboats. ORI’s current public funds appeals all talk about needing to fix the two privately owned sailboats. No research.
To recap: ORI is owned and operated by two people with no credentials typically associated with oceanic research. The directors claim ORI has existed for 6 years though it has only been registered as a company for two years. In a recent LinkedIn entry, de Blonville made this claim: “While ORI is an advancement of an earlier project (Arctic Climate Leadership Challenge), preparations for ORI began in earnest in 2013 with purchase and work on our tow (sic) research vessels.”
Arctic Climate Leadership Challenge (ACLC) never did anything except create a website and fail to attract funding. ORI has not done anything but attempt (and so far) fail to attract funding.
It has rented a store front at the Ballina Ramada Hotel and tried to sell books written by the two owners. The books do not deal with oceanic research. ORI’s two “research vessels” are La Boheme and Courage, both docked and moldering in Denmark without moving since 2013. Both are in fair to terrible condition. Courage is unseaworthy, dismasted and in danger of being hauled ashore and destroyed so as not to become a hazard to navigation.
ORI has not done ANY oceanic research, ever, period.
What Gidley and de Blonville HAVE done is create a blizzard of retweets and a few original tweets to gain visibility in the ocean climate science community and drive efforts to get donated funds. Oceanic Research Institute created a twitter account (@researchoceanic) in October, 2018 and has, as of April 25, 2019,”tweeted” 794 times. Of that number, 635 are “retweets” of other people’s comments or news about climate change and oceanography.
Since the two ships, La Boheme and Carola are core to the operations of ORI, let’s examine their history and current status.
UPDATE: As of 2/15/2020 references to and images of Carola/COURAGE have been removed from ORI’s website and LinkedIn page. Reliable sources in Rudkobing, where Carola has sat since 2013 indicate she is still in the harbor but resting on the bottom.
UPDATE: As of 3/10/2020 Courage is no longer part of the ORI “fleet”, ostensibly because she is too small for research (a condition that ORI directors failed to notice the entire time they were spruiking her as a research vessel). Seven years ago she might have been salvaged and repaired, but now is a wreck, resting on the bottom.
Carola/Courage: as she was originally represented in ORI materials and on ORI’s Linkedin page:
and the ORI website:
These two pictures (above) used for fundraising by ORI were taken long before Earl de Blonville owned the Carola.
These pictures, below, taken January 2019 in Rudkobing, Denmark are Carola/Courage as she actually is. Note the damaged bow.
That damage is why Earl de Blonville could buy the Carola for one euro.
This ship has had a number of names. It was Carola when owned by the Reith family for 25 years who then sold it to a German Youth Sailing Organization in 1996. Carola suffered significant damage in a collision in 2012 and the sailing organization opted to take the insurance money to use for their other ship. So Carola was purchased for one Euro by Earl de Blonville in 2013 with the promise he would repair it. Mr. de Blonville now calls it the Courage, (except for when he was trying to sell it in December of 2016 as a fixer-upper). The ORI page gives the impression that she is in serviceable condition. According to Phillip Reith Carola is a “wreck” and de Blonville a “total crook”. Mr. de Blonville tried to sell the boat back to Reith for far more than one Euro. Rebuffed, he appealed to Reith to give him money to restore the ship, based on the family history. Reith instead offered to fund a dignified destruction of a ship beyond repair. Mr. de Blonville’s reaction was to lash out at Mr. Reith on this web page (which tells some of the history about the Carola and her condition).
If Carola is ever to sail again she will need major renovation (Mr. de Blonville has publicly claimed he will invest 3 million dollars!). de Blonville claims that Danish authorities stole 100,000.00 dollars of his possessions from the boat including her rigging, electronics, etc. This begs the question of why, if components of the ship were that valuable, the sailing organization didn’t “part her out” and use the money to maintain their other ship the “Zuversicht”. Mr. de Blonville blames every one besides himself for the current condition of Carola (the harbormaster, the Danish Government and Mr. Reith). None of this explains what happened to the restoration funds Mr. de Blonville claimed to have when he bought the boat. And all this makes this quote by de Blonville particularly ironic. “Of course, we can never really own a great classic boat: we can only enjoy being the caretakers of maritime history. And in doing so, we become a part of that history, a privilege that ensures the vessel is kept alive with all it’s stories and significance for future generations”. Earl de Blonville
Given that “Courage” has been unmaintained for 5 years, one wonders where the $3 million will come from. One also wonders how many used sailboats in great working condition could be purchased for 3 million dollars.
Here’s Tarnan/La Boheme in Summer 2014, repaired after nearly sinking under Mr. de Blonville’s command.
La Boheme as she ACTUALLY IS as of today, January 21, 2020, bowsprit broken:
The next three images taken September, 2019. The first image is of the starboard side of La Boheme. “Oceanic Research Institute” clearly is not printed on the side.
Here’s a the promotional picture of Tarnan (from before Gidley purchased it and renamed it) on the ORI twitter page.
“Oceanic Research Institute”, “La Boheme”, “Jersey” and a Jersey Red Ensign have been photoshopped onto the picture. Click the picture for another version.
Earl de Blonville has claimed that the appearance of this image here is a copyright infringement. I contend that is false. First, there is no commercial benefit gained from reproducing the image here and it’s appearance is consistent with investigative journalism. Second, “The Copyright Act expressly identifies “news reporting” as a purpose for which use of a copyrighted work is not an infringement of copyright. It may therefore come as a surprise that including a photograph in a news report is not always protected as fair use. Whether such use is considered fair depends largely on whether it is “transformative,” in that it adds some new expression or meaning to the original photograph. Recent court rulings have emphasized that, in order to be considered transformative under the fair use doctrine, a news article that includes a photograph must contain either a significant amount of information about the subject of the photo that cannot be gleaned from the photo itself, or some commentary or criticism on the photo.
The image on the ORI websites indisputably gives a false impression of the condition of La Boheme. This website provides “a significant amount of information about the subject of the photo that cannot be gleaned from the photo itself, or some commentary or criticism on the photo.”
Here is a link to de Blonville’s claim of copyright infringement and it begs some questions. First, why is Earl making this complaint if the image is property of Jennifer Gidley? Google is just supposed to take his word that he is authorized to speak on her behalf? Second, saying “Kent Madin, Bozeman Montana, known to Police in five countries” is clearly an effort to suggest that I am a bad guy, when the fact is I am known to police because they have fully investigated Earl’s specious allegations and found them, officially, baseless. I am known to police who have determined that I am not a criminal. Third, if the information contained on these pages is false, Earl can provide proof (he’s not being held hostage in the Ballina Ramada Inn). But he could not provide proof to the aforementioned police. As to damaging ORI’s reputation… ORI has no reputation to damage. It has done nothing other than create a deceptive web presence and look for funding and fail. The image in question of the La Boheme is the definition of “fake news”..intentionally created to fool people.
Jennifer Gidley, Earl de Blonville’s girlfriend, with no prior experience in sailing or boat ownership (especially on large, old traditional sailboats) purchased the Tarnan in 2011 from the Warnholtz family of Gothenberg, Sweden. She saw the boat for sale in a magazine and, inspired, bought it. Earl de Blonville, on the other hand, claims great competence as a “skipper” and experienced traditional boat sailor. Gidley and de Blonville took possession of Tarnan in May of 2011 planning to move her to a shipyard in Denmark for refurbishing for their new program 9sails.com. According to others on board during the ill-fated crossing to Denmark, Earl was clearly in charge of all things nautical and Ms. Gidley just a passenger. Hours after leaving Gothenberg Tarnan had to be was rescued by the Danish Navy. The passenger who took this video describes the ship as “sinking”. de Blonville himself has confided “we nearly lost her”. The ship was the core of the 9sails program, a business for teaching already wealthy businessmen how to be better leaders. No programs were ever run but they had already purchased logoed rainwear. Three of the most prominent “adjunct faculty” listed on the website claim no knowledge of the program. By January of 2014 the ship, now renamed La Boheme, was on the market (confirmed by multiple potential buyers). Unsuccessful at selling the La Boheme, the “flagship” of ORI has sat in Svendborg harbor in Denmark since 2013. Moving it from Denmark to Australia will require a competent crew and considerable expense. The two professional crew that de Blonville recruited for 9sails.com were an experienced German sailmaster and the former commandant of the Norwegian Naval Academy who characterized de Blonville as a “megalomaniac” whose lack of leadership skills would have precluded his consideration as a Norwegian naval officer.
Here is the rationale for renaming the Tarnan: “But to Dr Gidley, there was just one small issue to resolve: the name. As many old sailors will attest, some boats have powerful souls: you can sense it a mile off and feel it as soon as you step aboard. Dr Gidley felt that Tärnan’s name belonged to Pelle’s heart (deceased previous owner) and that it should remain with him. To her, the vessel’s feminine lines and flirtatious sailing spirit called for a suitable new name: one that appealed to European romantic sensibilities and reflected her worldly essence. And so she became La Bohème, ‘The Bohemian’ (unconventional, artistic, creative, free of old restrictions), an inspired choice for a new life which all have since applauded.”
(I have been unable to locate any of the “all” who have “applauded” and would love to hear from an “old sailors” who can substantiate this rationale for renaming.)
For perspective, Ms. Gidley had spent barely 24 hours aboard her purchase and in that time she experienced near sinking, Danish Navy rescue, collision with another ship entering harbor, deep acrimony between Gidley/de Blonville and most of the other people on board including professional crew and the epiphany that she would be spending many thousands more Euros to make Tarnan seaworthy. Little wonder then, that she intuited the ship’s “flirtatious” spirit and renamed her La Boheme.
Multiple Schemes in the last 18 years:
Earl de Blonville has a history of spruiking grand schemes involving sailing ships and leadership, all with himself as the guru and central figure. None of those previous schemes ever proceeded past a nice website and unsuccessful efforts to raise funds. Arcticexplorer.com (listed as beginning in 2010) was an Arctic version of 9sails.com, where wealthy businessmen would learn “leadership” from de Blonville at 100k dollars per person. Arcticexplorer.net (listed as existing for 6 years) was a program to take high school students on expedition to Greenland and train them to be future climate change policy “influencers”. These are audacious programs with de Blonville as the creative force. None of them happened. That did not stop de Blonville from representing them on his CV as if they were ongoing, multi-year programs. Then there was 9sails.com offered in 2013. The program purported to teach already successful businessmen how to be “leaders” in the style of Earl de Blonville, himself, arguably a failed businessman. De Blonville’s self-published book, Seventh Journey is estimated to have sold fewer than 1000 copies, de Blonville claims to have been cheated out of a playground company he started in Britain in the 2000’s. Here’s an example of the “word salad” gibberish Earl used to promote 9sails.com. That’s three distinct programs all following the same model and all came to naught. ORI is de Blonville’s fourth such program whose story is just unfolding.
NOTE: Until late 2019, the websites of arcticexplorer.com, arcticexplorer.net, 9sails.com, earldeblonville.com (Earl de Blonville’s ORIGINAL website) were all archived over the span of roughly ten years at archive.org (Wayback Machine). de Blonville has now gone to the considerable trouble of demanding that those archives be destroyed. He has intentionally obliterated the online records of his own professional history, a history he, alone, authored.
Earl de Blonville and Southern Cross University:
In addition to the multiple failed schemes described above, Earl de Blonville has been trying, since 2008, to gain academic credibility for himself and his concept of “Postformal Leadership”. “Postformal Leadership” is a term that de Blonville just made up with little or no presence in the literature, other than circular references back to de Blonville. In other words, de Blonville has declared himself an authority on an obscure field of study he invented. Earl did not graduate from his high school, Ballarat School, and has no traditional academic credentials beyond second year of high school. No college time, no BA, no MA. He is, apparently, a certified practitioner of a scientifically dubious discipline called Neurolinguistic Programming. Here’s a second, more positive spin on NLP from the people who promote NLP. In 2008 Earl enrolled in Rushmore University, an unaccredited online university commonly understood to be a “diploma mill” and sought a Ph.d on the subject “Seventh Journey”. This is also the title of his self-published book about leadership. According to Rushmore, de Blonville completed his assignments (such as they were) and would have received his degree if he had paid the tuition he owed. Three years later in 2011, Earl applied to a Ph.d program at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where his new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley, was on the faculty. de Blonville was accepted in spite of his lack of traditional credentials and his thesis was on “Postformal Leadership”. No mention of his previous tenure at Rushmore was on his CV. After questions were raised about the vetting process and the veracity of de Blonville’s CV, he left RMIT without a degree and under murky circumstances. In RMIT documents obtained through the FOIA process de Blonville himself refers to being “kicked out”.
In 2017 de Blonville and Gidley moved to Lismore, NSW and convinced the administration of Southern Cross University to grant them both adjunct Full Professorships. Jennifer Gidley was previously on the faculty of SCU from 1995-2002. It is clear from internal documents obtained through a GIPA (FOIA) request that those appointments were integrally linked to the creation of Oceanic Research Institute with acknowledgment by SCU that they have entered into a business relationship with ORI. In plain language the appointments and the business connection to SCU are a package deal. Again, given that Earl has no discernible credentials in “oceanic research” this all begs the question of what kind of vetting process convinced SCU to make the appointments. Jennifer Gidley does have a Ph.d but in a field (Future Studies) that has no apparent link to “oceanic research”. That did not stop SCU Vice-Chancellor Nancarrow from recommending de Blonville to other staff as “very high profile in oceanic research” (GIPA document). Not long after questions were raised by multiple individuals about the process and propriety of de Blonville’s adjunct Professor appointment, Nancarrow changed de Blonville to “Professional Fellow” without explanation. Of the five levels of adjunct appointment, Professor has the highest level of requriement and Professional Fellow the lowest. This in and of itself begs for some explanation of how the original vetting of someone with no traditional qualifications could be so off the mark.
Invoking privacy laws, SCU administration refused to explain anything about what the roles and responsibilities of Gidley and de Blonville would be and required this author to file a GIPA request to try and ascertain the answer to that question. Several months after filing, partial results were released, heavily redacted including the most obviously germane document, Earl de Blonville’s CV, which presumably makes the case for him being “very high profile in oceanic research”. Other GIPA release documents suggest that there were doubts raised about the CV. Here’s what John Jenkins, the other Vice-Chancellor signing off on the appointment had to say 30 minutes after getting Nancarrow’s email about “very high profile”. “The CV indicates he has an extraordinary professional CV as well as written, audio, and other published works though not much I can see that is truly scientific.” Not much time to do any actual checking of the CV before passing judgement! Both Nancarrow and Jenkins have now left SCU.
This is de Blonville’s CV from 2011 and the annotations speak for themselves. There is nothing in the 2011 CV that speaks to “oceanic research”. Mr de Blonville has made no effort to explain or refute the annotations and the various examples of embellishment, inflation, falsehood and disingenuous claims. Between when he was “kicked out” of RMIT and his arrival in Lismore, Mr. de Blonville has accomplished the following; 1. talked his girlfriend into buying the Tarnan/La Boheme, 2. tried and failed to launch 9sails.com, 3. tried and failed to sell the Tarnan/La Boheme and 4. purchased a second damaged sailboat (Carola) and made no repairs. And somewhere in there he became “very high profile in oceanic research”. Anyone Googling “Earl de Blonville” would have come across the 2011 CV and could have compared it to the CV that he submitted to SCU. BUT it is now clear that months before approaching SCU about the appointments, Mr. de Blonville had succeeded in his fraudulent efforts to have this website blocked from Google searches IN AUSTRALIA only. So any vetting of Mr. de Blonville using Google search would only have shown results of his own website and self-serving interviews. SCU administration has been fully informed of this gap in their vetting and has chosen not to respond.
Multiple sources describe de Blonville as smart, well spoken, charismatic, charming and a prolific name dropper. Just like the adminstration at RMIT, SCU Vice-Chancellors seem to have just taken de Blonville’s CV at face value. And this for qualifications that must, according to SCU’s own guidelines, be the equivalent of a genuine Ph.d.
If SCU’s Marine Studies program wanted to enter into a business relationship with a dive boat owner in order to regularly use his boat for research or student training, that would be entirely reasonable. But you would not expect that agreement to include making the dive boat captain an adjunct Professor! So it appears that the “deal” very much intends to link SCU’s prestige with ORI’s fund raising efforts by creating the impression the two institutions are joined at the hip. Without the adjunct appointments, de Blonville and Gidley’s chances of obtaining funds to run ORI would be significantly reduced.
If, in fact, SCU failed to properly vet de Blonville and Gidley, vesting them with the prestige associated with adjunct status and thereby boosting their business credibility, that could be an institutional embarrassment. And it can’t be discounted that invoking the privacy laws over a question as basic as “what will this guy be doing for SCU?” could be explained as an effort to cover that embarrassment.
All of the above is not to say that it is impossible that de Blonville will raise the millions of dollars needed to refurbish the Carola, that he will successfully move the Tarnan to Australia and start eavesdropping on cetaceans with SCU students handling the hydrophones. It could happen but pigs may also fly. Perhaps ORI and SCU are eyeing the basket of dollars to be dispensed by The Great Barrier Reef Project? Based on de Blonville’s record over the last 20 years the real question is what liability does SCU or any other organization potentially face from partnering with ORI?
Arcticexplorer.com, Arcticexplorer.net, 9sails.com were three websites as much as a decade old which were projects of Earl de Blonville’s which never happened.
When you click on those links above, you’ll be directed to a page from archive.org that says the site has been “excluded”. The site WAS archived but now has been “excluded”. If the page existed but had not been archived, you would be asked if you want to archive the page now. If the page contained HTML text designed to tell the Wayback Machine NOT to archive an existing page, that brings up a different message. Only the confirmed owner of the page can request the page be excluded and the archived data removed.
Prior to October 9, 2019, you would have found archived versions of the websites back to when they were first posted, some as much as 12 years ago. You could have seen for yourself the various claims of experience, expertise, accomplishment that Mr. de Blonville posted and could have followed the evolution of those claims. Here, for instance, is the now erased index of archives of arcticexplorer.net (the student program to Greenland).
Mr. de Blonville has now caused the links and his professional history which they document to be erased from the Wayback machine.
Let that sink in.
Mr. de Blonville is actively obliterating the record of his previous business endeavors, claims of experience and expertise, etc. on his own websites. He is erasing his own reputation. However, separately archived pages of those websites exist and will be posted shortly. In addition to hiding his past, Mr. de Blonville also created a new personal website with a subtly different URL, earledeblonville.net.
It will take a little while to replace links to “excluded” with copies archived elsewhere. Feel free to contact me for access to those archives.
20 years ago Earle Robert Bloomfield changed his name to Earl de Blonville because he believes he is descended from French knights who invaded England under William the Conqueror in 1006. Between March and September of 2017 Earl began adding back the “e” to his first name and gave himself a new website using that name Earle de Blonville. This is also the time period when Earl pitched Southern Cross University about appointing him an adjunct professor. This name change obscures his original website which contains little information that would support the notion that Earl is “very high profile in oceanic research”. ( There is strong evidence that Earl is still his legal name, so I will continue to use it here for consistency). His new website has a brand new front page, but after that, is the same content as the old website, except that a lot of extra “e”‘s have been tacked on to Earl.
Obviously, this labor intensive minor name change, creation of a new website and destruction of historial records of his previous websites and schemes begs some questions.
Oceanic Research Institute:
There was a link to an archived copy of ORI’s linkedin page from November 10, 2018. I’ve checked with Linkedin on their policy about copying and reposting and while their answer is somewhat ambiguous, I’ll err on the side of caution and not post a link. If you would like to see a copy of the 2018 version, which clearly suggests that ORI is a fully functioning entity, drop me an email. The purpose in archiving was to be able to track changes in the page over time. Archiving of web pages is one of the important tools for tracking changes in web content and can paint a picture of both honest evolution or efforts to alter or disguise previous content.
Earl de Blonville and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
On July 4, 2019, Earl de Blonville, tried to blackmail WHOI into doing something that was entirely outside of their power to do.
Click here to read for yourself.
Earl de Blonville and the Australian Government.
Mr. de Blonville wonders why the Australian Government isn’t funding ORI. Here are some thoughts.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me, Kent Madin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-406-595-2310 (text or call)
This is one of the photographs of Courage (when named Carola) which de Blonville uses to solicit donations. It was taken long before Earl de Blonville purchased the vessel in 2013 and before the major accident and damage.
This is what Courage looks like today, Feb 28, 2020:
Earl de Blonville claims that the Courage was planned to be part of ORI since 2013, but that didn’t stop him from trying to sell her for 9,999.00 Euros more than he paid.Tall-Ship-Carola-Courage
Trouble on the High Seas, as Earl de Blonville nearly sinks boat.