Wynter Benton Myth

Wynter Benton (wynter_benton) a.k.a. Amber Reeves of Virginia was the name of an online alias who appeared during 2011 on the Yahoo Finance Message Boards, promoting many popular silver misinformation memes. Wynter appeared in two primary rounds, with the end of each appearance distinguished by huge waterfall slides in the price of silver. Despite having some lucky price calls, Wynter promised many things in the silver market with specific time-frames which did not come to pass, resulting in destroyed credibility. Similar to many other market commentators, Wynter purported to have 'insider information' which at first gained much interest, and the claims were bold enough to command attention. In our opinion, the Benton claims are complete rubbish and for our own part we wish we had never wasted so much time looking into it. We hope this permanent record page will help others avoid the same mistake.

Screwtape Files was initially involved because the first posters left some riddles (a stock name), which was solved by Louis Cypher. The initial interest eventually became a deeper investigation - particularly as the silver claims became more unbalanced as time progressed. The Wynter Benton story was a defining moment for this blog - at first we were believers of the message and built up the largest known body of Wynter Benton-related material available on the internet (refer full list of our articles at the bottom of this page). Their progress in calling prices (and claims) was called to account in our 'Report Card' articles:

Wynter Benton Report Card
Wynter Benton Report Card Semester 2

At the end of round 2, it became reasonably clear that the fraudsters were relying on a Greece default and the announcement of QE3 to create the price movement they were trying to paint as their own doing, with the floating of the (2011) Benton Guarantee: 'Silver will trade higher than $45 before November 30 - no caveats, no excuses'. When neither event came about in the expected time frame, they quickly gave an excuse and disappeared, destroying most of the credibility they had built up (ref. 'Dancing on Wynter Benton's Grave').

Inspired by the 'Amber Reeves' persona, Screwtape Files created the first Wynter Benton imagery. This particular poster was a 2012 parody.

Given the attention received in the metals community, Wynter Benton could be considered one of the most successful silver pumpers of 2011. It is unknown why the alias returned for a second round only to end up debunking themselves by painting their price calls into a corner. Suggestions that the entity was part of a specific campaign was first proposed in speculative form by "Trinity Blue", a provocative occasional commenter at TF Metals Report and on Screwtape, as early as May 2011.  - reworked and republished here: The mundane machinations of a mania: the story of Wynter Benton. (Jan 2012).

A number of additional 'rehash' attempts (starring "1st Whistle-blower of Many") were also found on the internet after Wynter Benton disappeared at the end of round 2, written about in our 'Attack of the Clones' article. Prior to this, the Wynter Benton premium claim stories were also 'frothed' by another series of individuals on the Yahoo Message boards, later shown to be a fraud due to the login names being under the control of the same individual (described in this March 2011 article).

In late 2012, a third round of Wynter Benton started, on the Yahoo Message boards again (as the primary medium) this time heavily promoted by Silverdoctors. Round 3 messages focused on getting the story 'back on track', with a claim of $50 silver by December 30, 2012 - as well as a promise to call the silver price movements to demonstrate their ability to move the price. The round folded as quickly as it began, the week passing without anyone showing up to back the claim link. wynter_benton also claimed that MF Global was initiated (in Round 2) to stop them , but currently we have no data on what stopped them in Round 3.

Structure: Wynter Benton was reportedly the public spokesperson for a group of ex-JPM traders led by someone known only as 'The Leader'. Numerous attempts to identify the physical location of the posters failed, along with any theories about the traders real names. It is known that some members of the group contributed comments to Turd Ferguson's 'along the watchtower' blog (before it became tfmetalsreport.com).

Distinguishing Memes:
 - JP Morgan Silver Derivatives $36 Failure (60 consecutive trading days)
 - 80% cash premium offered for non-delivery of silver
 - Demonization of Blythe Masters

Secondary Memes:
 - Silver being purchased by a central bank as a reserve asset
 - True value of silver being suppressed
 - Back-story of previous history in JPM's trading team.

Attractive Themes: - Specific price calls on specific dates (wildly bullish, but often never obtained)
 - First appearance of a 'jingle' in silver misinformation - the 'doo-dah' song
 - Ex-JPM Traders with a secret plan for Vengeance
 - Colorful and varied technical language describing bank failures and defaults
 - Threat of 'Busting The Comex' if JPM took the price of silver below $36
 - Identity of 'Amber' who appeared (on our blog) using a blogger profile

Non Themes:
- Wynter Benton never contested the validity of the SLV inventory
- Physical/Paper separation themes were never discussed (unless you consider 80% premium a dislocation)

Original Wynter Benton Message Board Links:
Wynter Benton Messages on Yahoo (Round 1, Round 2)
Wynter Benton and Older Messages (Round 3)

Silverdoctors Promotion Articles (Round 3):

Wynter Benton Returns, Predicts Silver Will Trade Above $50 by Dec 31, 2012
Wynter Benton Group States Will Demonstrate Ability to Move Silver Beginning 10/16

Other Reading:
Pump and Dump Scam Basics
TF Metals Report | The "wynter_benton" topic (thread)
About.Ag/hall.htm - Silver Pumpers Scoring and Rating Hall of Fame

Screwtape Files Wynter Benton Article Archive (top of list is most recent understanding): By late 2011 we had figured out their true colors. We published as much material as we could to (a) help undo the damage from our own WB promotion and (b) provide a reference point for any new kids on the block (mums & dads investors who might otherwise be swayed by the stories).


For most of 2011, we were researching and testing their claims:


Early 2011 we believed them, and (to our shame) actually helped them promote:


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