Sharon Sergeant has released the preliminary case study provided to her
research team on January 5, 2008 leading to the February exposure of
Misha Defonseca's true identity and confession in Belgium.
"For more than a decade, historians had focussed on the implausibility
of the Defonseca popular allegory. We took a page from Pulitizer Prize
historian David Hackett Fischer's early work 'Historians' Fallacies' for
the process of Inquiry, Explanation and Argument and applied it to the
entire body of work created as a result of Defonseca's storytelling: her
public appearances and interviews, various book versions and the many
We found many problems with previous inquiries. Question framing,
factual verification and significance were definitely lacking.
Explanations were generalized and narrations were all tainted by the
basic inquiry. Cause and effect, motivations, composition of the
information and analogies were all over the board.
Highly charged emotional issues were given undue proportion, distracting
the inquiries from actually testing theories against the facts.
We were thus able to frame the inquiry in the search for the factual
evidence trail by asking "What is wrong with this picture?"
I presented these findings to my team on January 5, 2008.
Sergeant will also present how her team used this preliminary analysis
to find the proof trail for Misha Defonseca's true identity at the
Massachusetts Genealogical Seminar on April 26th at Bentley College in