It's taken a while, but British tabloids are finally reporting on Harrison Funk's claims that the Neverland train station was built before a planning permit was issued.
In a February 2019 podcast, Harrison Funk confidently claims that Jackson explicitly told him not to take any photographs of the train station not once but twice, because it hadn't received its planning permit. Funk even claims that Jackson didn't want to tell him over the phone, in case anybody, including the local authorities were listening in.
His exact words are: "I was up there for three days, photographing the statues in situ and also the train station and I called him and he said ‘don’t photograph the train station’.
"I said why and he said ‘just don’t photograph the train station and then he called me back and he said ‘I need to talk to you but I can’t on this line as I don’t know who is listening’.
"Apparently he didn’t want the train station photographed as he had put it up without permission initially and was fighting with the county about it being there."
"Of course they let it be there, whatever he had to do to make it stay, he made it stay."
Watch the entire podcast at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmMR59CoAyA&feature=youtu.be&t=8160
James Safechuck states in the Leaving Neverland documentary that Jackson sexually abused him from the ages of 10 to 14 in many Neverland locations, including the train station. However, if we believe Mike Smallcombe, a Jackson biographer, this train station didn't receive planning permission until September 1993 and didn't open until early 94, over a year after James said the abuse stopped.
With Mike Smallcombe working for the Mirror Online, The Mail Online, The Express, The Metro and other tabloids, it's been no surprise that this sensational story that James couldn't have been abused at the train station, made headlines.
Despite Harrison Funk's claims, he hasn't unsurprisingly rushed to the defence of James Safechuck by claiming that train station did exist before September 93. Instead, accused the Leaving Neverland director, Dan Reed of twisting his words.
After his comments had been uncovered, Reed tweeted: "The train station - one of many #neverland locations where #jamessafechuck was abused - was already complete before the 1993 construction permit was approved, says #MichaelJackson personal photographer @harrisonfunk in an engagingly candid Jan 2019 podcast."
Funk responded by saying: "You may try to twist public opinion of someone’s character who is no longer here to defend himself but you will not twist my words in defense of my friend. Remove your lies Dan."
Not stopping there, Funk even rants: "It’s very easy to convince people of bs when you only tell one side of an issue...or is it? This was not a doc it was a mockumentary created to make money for Reed and Oprah. Again I ask, who funded this mess in the first place?".
Funk then claims: "The photo shoot that I was referring to happened in JUNE, 1994, definitely NOT BEFORE. I refuse to engage with the people attempting to twist my words to fit their agenda."
There are a number of things wrong with Harrison Funk's tweets. First and foremost, Dan Reed did not twist his words in any way. He simply quoted what Funk said himself.
Mike Smallcombe is 100% positive that the Neverland train station received its permit in early September, 1993. He even posted a screenshot of the plans themselves.
Harrison Funk in his podcast makes no mention of the train station being incomplete, or looking like a building site. He was, after all, taking photographs of statues directly in front of the train station.
If this entire photo shoot was in June 1994, then why did Jackson, telephone him and explicitly tell him not to photograph it, because there was no permit. This is 8-9 months after the permit was issued, and the station was fully completed and even operational with a second, larger train. There was absolutely nothing to hide, if this was June 1994.
The Chippewa Herald Telegram published a photograph of the train station on Tuesday, December 14, 1993, showing the train station nearing completion. Its unknown who or when the photograph was taken, but proves it was public knowledge by mid-December 1993.
A video from Hard Copy featuring Diane Diamond confirms that Jackson allowed guests and children into his Neverland Ranch on 15 January 1994 to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, where he for the first time showed off his new steam engine train.
If camera crews were allowed into Neverland on that date, then again, why would Jackson explicitly tell him not to photograph the train station in June 1994, when a camera crew and guests would have seen it 5 to 6 months earlier?
On the 9th of August, 2019, I pointed out these facts to Harrison Funk, where he yet again refused to offer a plausible explanation as to why he wasn't allowed to photograph it in June 94.
I tweeted: "TV crews were invited into Jacko's ranch on the 15th of January 1994 to film his new steam train. Chippewa Herald Telegram published a picture of the train station in Dec 93. But Harrison Funk wasn't allowed to photograph it 6 months later?"
Harrison Funk tweeted: "The photo in the 12/13/93 Chippewa Herald Telegram shows a construction site. You need to stop harassing me with your lies. Pick another scapegoat for your crap. 12/93 too late to fit the JS BS narrative."
I tweeted: "It shows a fully erected train station nearing completion. I'm not making you a scapegoat, I'm just highlighting the fact that you're not being honest after you inadvertently revealed Jackson built the main train station before the September permit."
Harrison Funk tweeted: "I guess you know NOTHING about construction. The photo reveals a skeleton of a building with some unfinished wood exterior. It would not have a c of o at that point. Stop grasping at straws, I didn’t inadvertently “reveal” anything. I stated a fact from 1994."
I tweeted: "But, you're implying that the entire structure was a secret, and couldn't be photographed under any circumstances. You confidently claim that Jackson built it without a permit, initially. That permit was in September 93."
After pointing out to another Twitter user, @SkepticOnSite, that the video from Diane Dimond is clearly from the 15th of January 1994, he sends the following tweet: "Don’t jump the gun Who...there is no train station shown in the video...not even a shadow. The train, I believe, was delivered in Dec, 1993. None of this correlates to JS’ allegation of abuse that ended in 1992. Walk away..."
I tweeted: "Oh, come on Harrison, we were just talking about a newspaper article that was published in December 1993, which clearly shows the massive structure of the train station. I think that would cast a shadow, yes?"
Harrison Funk then starts making ridiculous conspiracy tweets: "All of this twisting and double talk makes me wonder if Who is actually Dan Reed or one of his Amos people. Seems the same M.O.."
I tweeted: "Again, Harrison, you dodged the question. How is it that you weren't allowed to take photographs in June 94, despite 2 TV crews filming the steam train just metres away from the station in Jan 94, and a newspaper publishing at least one pic in 93? I'm not a gullible Jacko Stan."
As you can see, Harrison Funk will not under any circumstances offer a plausible explanation as to why he wasn't allowed to take any photographs of the train station, if it was June 1994. He even starts going down the wild conspiracy route, and even implies that the Chippewa Herald Telegram photograph published in December 93, wouldn't/couldn't be recognised by the council as it was just a "skeleton" building, even though it's nearly complete, and has a 1 mile long concrete foundation for the track.
Is Harrison Funk a Bullshitter, or Has He Vindicating James Safechuck, yet Doesn't Want to Admit It?
I've made a lengthy post about the Neverland train station, and my findings. Read at the following link: https://mjnotinnocent.blogspot.com/2019/04/mike-smallcombe-claims-hes-found-discrepancies-in-leaving-neverland.html
Decide for yourself whether you believe the train station exist before September 1993, or not.
Instead of sending angry, and contradictory tweets, Harrison Funk could have easily clarified the issue. If it was June 1994, as he claims, then he could just say that Michael Jackson got his wires crossed, or he simply made the entire thing up to sound like a big shot during his podcast interview.
From the research I have done of Harrison Funk, he does sound like one of these guys who has a million stories to tell, most of which are completely exaggerated or blatantly false.
Either way, Harrison Funk has directly contradicted Mike Smallcombe finds, though neither of them will admit it.
This is, yet again, a prime example of the type of people Jackson had within his inner circle. They won't engage in a civilised, or factual conversation, instead accuse other people of being "haters" or twisting their words, even when their words are being directly quoted.
MJfacts.com, has a good article on some of Jackson's former employees, who enable his questionable behaviour, and turned a blind eye when it went sour. Harrison Funk is firmly in the same mould.