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Tags Lockerbie bombing , Pan Am 103

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Old 1st October 2009, 08:31 AM   #321
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
The last obviously sounds silly in this context, but was the accepted one in a sham fabricated context. IF the Libyans did this, they're either very stupid and our nabbing them is embarrassingly easy, or they were trying to implicate themselves for some sinister master plan we fell right into. Troubling possibilities, but nothing compared to an innocent man languishing in gaol while the real killers run around at liberty.

.
Well my slant on this whole sorry tail

Iran (or elements within) The sponsor in revenge for the airbus
PFLP (Jabril) The organisers and expertise in bomb making and collector of much needed cash from Iran
Libya with Jabril as consultant The quartermaster. Supply of explosives/timers from their hoard collected over the years from many sources Mebo,Terpil/Wilson
Gaddafi then had to seriously back pedal on this to prevent attack, sanctions etc

I am going to post a link on the Megrahi thread to a bunch of documents that are worth looking at

David
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Old 1st October 2009, 08:41 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Sorry I'm not talking about so many other aspects of this, but I've put my stuff on the cutting of the board together at my blog:

http://12-7-9-11.blogspot.com/2009/0...-graphics.html

I hear it's not displaying properly on some screens - any feedback on that is appreciated. The content is mostly already covered here I guess.
Looks good - IE8 (Win7).
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Old 1st October 2009, 08:42 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by realdon View Post
Well my slant on this whole sorry tail

Iran (or elements within) The sponsor in revenge for the airbus
PFLP (Jabril) The organisers and expertise in bomb making and collector of much needed cash from Iran
Libya with Jabril as consultant The quartermaster. Supply of explosives/timers from their hoard collected over the years from many sources Mebo,Terpil/Wilson
Gaddafi then had to seriously back pedal on this to prevent attack, sanctions etc

I am going to post a link on the Megrahi thread to a bunch of documents that are worth looking at

David
This is my guesxs as well. That way we have mixed OT and CT.
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Old 1st October 2009, 10:06 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by realdon View Post
Well my slant on this whole sorry tail

Iran (or elements within) The sponsor in revenge for the airbus
PFLP (Jabril) The organisers and expertise in bomb making and collector of much needed cash from Iran
Libya with Jabril as consultant The quartermaster. Supply of explosives/timers from their hoard collected over the years from many sources Mebo,Terpil/Wilson
Gaddafi then had to seriously back pedal on this to prevent attack, sanctions etc

I am going to post a link on the Megrahi thread to a bunch of documents that are worth looking at

That one makes a great deal of sense. It still doesn't address the incongruity of anyone with access to an MST-13 timer setting it to go off so soon into the flight though.

We know the 40-minute explosion was characteristic of Jibril's MO, but that's only because of the restrictions of the primitive timers he had access to. Once he's got a better timer, it makes no sense for him to continue with that pattern.

Looking forward to the links.

Rolfe.
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Old 1st October 2009, 04:41 PM   #325
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OK, going to bed now. However, I re-read this newspaper article dealing with the evidence presented to the SCCRC, and noticed it gives a timeline we hadn't considered for the possible planting of the fragment.

Quote:
Al-Megrahi's team claim to have proof from German police files that fragments of the bomb timer were found on the shirt in January 1990. The documents are said to contain photographs showing a piece of the shirt with most of the breast pocket undamaged. However, images of the shirt were presented to the trial in a different state, showing a deep triangle-shaped which continued into the pocket.

The shirt's manufacturers were enlisted by the defence and pointed out the shirt was a boy's size, rather than an adult s by virtue of the fact the breast pocket was 2cm narrower than on the adult-sized shirt. The report to the SCCRB is scathing about this evidence stating it is the culmination of a co-ordinated effort to mislead the court.

The report said: There has been a co-ordinated effort to mislead the court in relation to this item, amounting to a perversion of the course of justice. It will be asserted that the item (the shirt collar) could not have been examined...on 12 May 1989 and that these items of evidence were not extracted from it at the time as claimed by him in his evidence.

The defence is convinced that it was politically important for the prosecution to alter evidence in 1990. With the first gulf war, it was necessary to avoid antagonising Iran, and Libya was the perfect scapegoat.

We must bear in mind that the SCCRC didn't accept that the timer fragment had been planted, however I don't think we can rely on them as the oracle where sensitive information is concerned. The suggestion that the decision to plant the fragment came in January 1990 puts it late enough to be politically feasible for the reasons that have already been expressed often enough. It allows for both the May and the September 1989 record to be fabricated, while still allowing Williamson's trawl through the circuit board manufacturers of Europe to be genuine enough - just starting a few months later than claimed.

I'm still not sure how well this one flies, but as it's the one the defence seem to be favouring (assuming that Megrahi by then had a defence team actually working for him and not for Libya and Gadaffi), it's worth considering.

I think it's also telling that after all this time, the defence are still majoring on Jibril and the PFLP-GC. They must have been aware of the other suggestions, none of them is especially new, but they haven't chosen to go for any of them. (Though maybe the Wrong Plane one wouldn't help from their point of view if in the end the trail linking Megrahi to the bombing wasn't addressed.)

The trouble with defence documents though is that all they're trying to do is cast sufficient doubt on their client's guilt. They tend to run a defence if they think it achieves that, never mind if it's really a plausible alternative explanation.

I'd like to see these 1990 Frankfurt police photos though.

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 02:41 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, going to bed now. However, I re-read this newspaper article dealing with the evidence presented to the SCCRC, and noticed it gives a timeline we hadn't considered for the possible planting of the fragment.
I've seen this one before. This line bothers me, for obvious reasons:
Quote:
However, images of the shirt were presented to the trial in a different state, showing a deep triangle-shaped which continued into the pocket.
shaped what? Obviously tear, or something, but.. okay so a shirt has been shown as evidence in two different states, one in early 90, so this has what to do with the fragment? That shirt collar had no pockets. ??

There are still some very interesting questions and some answers still reachable. In particular the details of the fragment's handling could stand to be sorted out some more. Perhaps this pocket photo issue will help. But I for one fell outta the swing on the timer issue, and having a hard time getting back in. All I feel like sharing is a 'long story short' moment of my own.

That any fragment like this survived is acceptable to me, but the logic of its use as alleged is troubling and raises more questions than it answers. That it's of the MST-13 style does point to Libya as the clearest possibility, but not the only, IF supported by other evidence. Some dubious baggage records, some fraudulently interpreted witness statements, partially-accepted liar statements from Giaka and Bollier, this is not the best support.

So beyond how many problems there are with ALL the evidencce, there is PLENTY of unusual circumstantial clues supporting the possibility this key cypher was planted for a plan. It's impossible to prove this notion or to prove that it was genuinely put there by the explosion, and there's a limit to what can be established one way or the other.

And ultimately, we've done a great job here of pulling out and exploring these questions in full sight of the forum community. If anyone here has a reason that these suspicions and this political dynamite case should not be merged in holy matrimony, speak now or later I guess. I now pronounce these two "Myth" and "Challenged."
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Old 2nd October 2009, 03:34 AM   #327
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I happened to be reading the chapter of Trail of the Octopus which deals with the investigation at the end of 1989 (it's Chapter 9, if you want to look at it), and actually this fits in quite well.

Trail of the Octopus doesn't make anything much of the timer fragment - maybe the book was published before its importance became apparent. (But The Maltese Double Cross does have quite a lot about the fragment, and it's about the same date.) However, the book does have a lot of detail that seems to be accurate both about the progress of the investigation, and the Middle East situation at the time.

There seems to be a bit of a disconnect in what the book is saying about this period though. Early in the chapter we hear that the police know who did it (Jibril), but don't have evidence they can bring to court. There seems to be a mood of pessimism in the investigation.

However by late December David Leppard was reporting that police did have the evidence they needed to bring it to court. David Leppard is also featured in Paul Foot's account, and he takes the line that Leppard was printing what he was being fed by the establishment.

Quote:
Police now have the necessary evidence to charge suspects with the murder of 270 Lockerbie air disaster victims. After a series of exclusive disclosures over the past seven weeks, The Sunday Times understands that officers heading the investigation -- despite a cautious attitude in public -- have told their counterparts abroad that under Scottish law 'charges are now possible against certain persons ...

The revelation ... was made at a secret summit in Meckenheim, West Germany, of the heads of security services involved in the inquiry from Britain, West Germany, America, Sweden and Malta.

This all happened while (according to the Official Version) Williamson was still running round Europe trying to trace the manufacturer of the mystery fragment.

So. January to March 1989, all systems go, they're getting on very well, lots of evidence. Then in mid-March, we have the high-up instruction to soft-pedal the whole thing. Somehow, the investigation that was going so well, "just doesn't have the evidence". And according to some people (well, Peter Fraser), may not ever get enough evidence to bring charges. However, by late December, desipte the soft-pedalling, it seems there may be enough evidence after all. Insiders are telling David Leppard that charges will soon be brought. (All before anyone has even said the word MST-13.)

However, again it went quiet. Nothing was done about the evidence against the PFLP-GC. The next big development was the switch-round to blaming Libya that occurred in the autumn of 1990.

[mode=twoofer]

So how does this fly? The initial investigations were fingering Jibril, however there were serious establishment reasons for not wanting to bring Jibril's group to court. (Release of Khreesat, the CIA knowing exactly what Khreesat was doing, and not wanting to reveal this serious screw-up or even, possibly, LIHOP.) In March the US/UK agreement is to soft-pedal that, play down the evidence, and hope that the enquiry can be steered to run itself into the sand.

However, those pesky cops were too damn good at their jobs, and started to get too close again. This is worse, because fingering Jibril and the Tehran connection would seriously jeopardise hostage release negotiations, and the way things are shaping in the Middle East, it doesn't look as if we want to be ranged against Iran anyway. Somehow it's damped down again, but this can't go on. It's going to be difficult to prevent the cops from proceeding with what they've got. Maybe what's needed is a bit of misdirection - something found that actively points away from the Palestinians.

We've already got the suitcase, the clothes and the Toshiba, and all of these point neatly to Jibril as it happens. What we haven't got (not surprisingly) is any of the actual bomb, which practically speaking means the timer. We know what sort of timers Jibril was using, these primitive 30-minute ice-cube things. So what if we "find" a bit of something altogether different? Hmmm, what have we got?

Well, let's be careful here. We'd better make sure whatever we "find" doesn't itself point anywhere inconvenient. OK, look, we've got this rather mysterious timer which seems to come from a special order, which was recovered in circumstances pointing to Libyan origin. What if we "found" a bit of one of these? It would throw the hounds off the Jibril scent good and proper, and if it points anywhere, it points to a country which (in January 1990) it would be pretty expedient to blame.

So the cover-up gets into gear. The fragment is created, and associated with a piece of existing debris collected much earlier. Evidence is manipulated to show it being present (but unremarked) in May, and then to have been remarked on as interesting in September. It's given to Williamson to try to find out what it is, and he dutifully does that.

This has no effect on the situation at first, but it's there to be triggered as need be. By June, the political situation has moved on to the point where hostilities with Iran would be insane, but isolating Libya would be highly convenient. Thurman is therefore instructed to "discover" the match with the existing timer in US possession.

[/twoofer]

Reads like a spy novel. The problem is that this is a spy novel, and however unrealistic spy novels appear to us plebs, they are actually based on a reality we have no contact with and don't really relate to.

Are we getting warm?

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 06:19 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Reads like a spy novel. The problem is that this is a spy novel, and however unrealistic spy novels appear to us plebs, they are actually based on a reality we have no contact with and don't really relate to.

Are we getting warm?
Rolfe.
Sure you are ( or not)
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Old 2nd October 2009, 07:48 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
[mode=twoofer]
So how does this fly?
......snip Rolfe's first atttempt at thriller writing...
Thurman is therefore instructed to "discover" the match with the existing timer in US possession.

[/twoofer]

Reads like a spy novel. The problem is that this is a spy novel, and however unrealistic spy novels appear to us plebs, they are actually based on a reality we have no contact with and don't really relate to.

Are we getting warm?

Rolfe.
You do have some evidence for the bolded bit don't you?

Seriously, as a proposed CT I think it's pretty good, it fits in with the known evidence, has a nice clear motive and you can imagine ways of it being done.

I still don't believe it, because its weakness is the same weakness as most CTs, in order to believe it would work, whoever was doing this would need to have close control over all aspects of the investigation, and I don't think anysingle organisation did.
They would also have had to be very sure that Mebo only supplied Libya with MST-13s, which they weren't in 1990, and which turned out not to be true, so they were planting evidence which wouldn't necessarily go the way they wanted.

In my mind after reading all these threads, and a fair chunk of the linked material and discounting all the whackos (Lumpert, deBraekeleer, Bollier et al) and Internet Tough Guy Wannabees etc I still find the official evidence fairly convincing except in a couple of areas.

1) ID evidence of Megrahi by Tony Gauci. ID evidence is notoriously poor, even when the witness is absolutely 100% certain from day 1, and Gauci wasn't.
2) Suitcase was loaded in Malta. There seems to be no evidence of this, except Megrahi was in Malta on the 21st of December so the bomb must have gone on there, and the defence can't prove it didn't.

The rest of the holes are there; the odd timing of the explosion, the strange choice of buying clothes to pack round the bomb in a small shop in Malta, the dodgy stuff round the examination of the MST-13 etc, etc, but I can see these as just being mistakes that look funny when you stare at them too hard.

The 'wrong plane' theory also seems quite plausible, but doesn't shoot down any of the other evidence except giving a pointer to Frankfurt as the point of loading of the bomb.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more it seems like a standard miscarriage of justice, build up the weak evidence (we have an eyewitness who can identify the bomber!!) overstate the importance of the real evidence you have (Libya bought some of these timers, therefore the bomber was a Libyan, and a government agent!!) Have a Jury, or Judges under huge pressure of public expectation to produce a result et voila Megrahi or Barry George or whoever goes down the river. No need for men in black at all.

Now if you would all just look at this pen I'm holding for a moment, you may see a brief flash. My work is done.

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Old 2nd October 2009, 08:28 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
its weakness is the same weakness as most CTs, in order to believe it would work, whoever was doing this would need to have close control over all aspects of the investigation, and I don't think anysingle organisation did.
I don't follow that in order for there to be a plausible CT then whoever is involved in running the conspiracy must have close control over everything.

As I see it, any plausible CT must involve a small number of conspiracists, who feel that the reward for success outweighs their perceived risk of failure.

Quote:
They would also have had to be very sure that Mebo only supplied Libya with MST-13s, which they weren't in 1990, and which turned out not to be true, so they were planting evidence which wouldn't necessarily go the way they wanted.
Whats to stop them from planting further evidence down the line to reinforce the direction they want to go in? I think htat there was more circumstantial evidence that could have ben brought into the picture to reinforce the Libya MST connection. e.g. the MST timer recovered in Senegal in Feb 1988 was in the posession of 2 Libyan secret service agents found on a plane amongst bomb making materials.

Quote:
I still find the official evidence fairly convincing except in a couple of areas.

1) ID evidence of Megrahi by Tony Gauci. ID evidence is notoriously poor, even when the witness is absolutely 100% certain from day 1, and Gauci wasn't.
2) Suitcase was loaded in Malta. There seems to be no evidence of this, except Megrahi was in Malta on the 21st of December so the bomb must have gone on there, and the defence can't prove it didn't.
The defence *didn't* prove it didn't. that's not quite the same thing. Air Malta successfully sued a TV station for broadcasting a documentary that showed the bag being loaded at Malta.

If you discredit Gaucis ID evidence, and you say there is no evidence of the bag being loaded at Malta. Then there is no case against Megrahi.

Which asks the questions:

i) Who IS responsible?
ii) Why are the authorities pushing so hard with evidence they must know to be 'shaky' at best to convict Megrahi and Fhima? and by extension Libya. If you know he is involved then tell the court how you know.
iii) Why is so much evidence still being suppressed for "National Security" 20 years later?
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Old 2nd October 2009, 08:51 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
I don't follow that in order for there to be a plausible CT then whoever is involved in running the conspiracy must have close control over everything.

As I see it, any plausible CT must involve a small number of conspiracists, who feel that the reward for success outweighs their perceived risk of failure.
Because (and I can't support this with evidence) I don't really believe in the Sherlock Holmes theory of investigation, where one tiny piece of evidence inexorably leads to one fixed conclusion. Planting the piece of timer isn't very helpful unless it leads the investigation down the right path, to be sure of this you need to control the inferences drawn from the timer.



Quote:
The defence *didn't* prove it didn't. that's not quite the same thing. Air Malta successfully sued a TV station for broadcasting a documentary that showed the bag being loaded at Malta.

If you discredit Gaucis ID evidence, and you say there is no evidence of the bag being loaded at Malta. Then there is no case against Megrahi.

Which asks the questions:

i) Who IS responsible?
ii) Why are the authorities pushing so hard with evidence they must know to be 'shaky' at best to convict Megrahi and Fhima? and by extension Libya. If you know he is involved then tell the court how you know.
iii) Why is so much evidence still being suppressed for "National Security" 20 years later?
Umm.. I'm agreeing with you on this bit. There is no solid case against Megrahi, and I don't think he did it.

But answers to your questions are.

i) Someone else - same as if the timer was planted
ii) Public and internal pressure to get someone (thats why I mentioned Barry George above) and they have no evidence against anyone else.
ii) 'Cos it makes the British Authorities look like tits for pressing ahead with such a crap case, the usual reason for suppressing evidence.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 01:57 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
You do have some evidence for the bolded bit don't you?
True, and I for one appreciate your input, as a different perspective from the pro-CT flavor oddly dominating here unchallenged. But for the record, the parts you can't know, bolded.

Quote:
Seriously, as a proposed CT I think it's pretty good, it fits in with the known evidence, has a nice clear motive and you can imagine ways of it being done.

I still don't believe it, because its weakness is the same weakness as most CTs, in order to believe it would work, whoever was doing this would need to have close control over all aspects of the investigation, and I don't think anysingle organisation did.
What if the access point were key individuals in the investigation, in different areas and agencies, rather than whole agencies? Any combo Hayes, Ferraday, Williamson, Thurman, Marquise, willing to participate in something were maybe they had Longtabber's mindset and could rationalize a frame-up... But okay, it is a challenge to sneak lying evidence into a usually honest system with checks to bypass.

Quote:
They would also have had to be very sure that Mebo only supplied Libya with MST-13s, which they weren't in 1990, and which turned out not to be true, so they were planting evidence which wouldn't necessarily go the way they wanted.
If it was a fact at the time, there were people who knew it and anyone trying to frame a crime like this would get that info, IMO.

Quote:
In my mind after reading all these threads, and a fair chunk of the linked material and discounting all the whackos (Lumpert, deBraekeleer, Bollier et al) and Internet Tough Guy Wannabees etc I still find the official evidence fairly convincing except in a couple of areas.
I still get moments of doubt on occasion. It does seem to me remarkably clear that this was a frame-up, BUT I remember getting the same feeling about 9/11 being a MIHOP job, once a long time back before digging into the evidence closer. Mebo's smoking guns, for the worse, turn out just smoking crack. That IS a bad sign.

On the rest, same, intelligent thoughts from a different perspective that I'm half-tempted to laugh at in spots, but then I remember, hey, why am I so cocky here? Steady now... I'll be back and plan to start a new thread on a different aspect of the evidence in a couple days. Hint, it's one mentioned in Guybrush's post here.

Alright, ciao

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Old 2nd October 2009, 02:05 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Because (and I can't support this with evidence) I don't really believe in the Sherlock Holmes theory of investigation, where one tiny piece of evidence inexorably leads to one fixed conclusion. Planting the piece of timer isn't very helpful unless it leads the investigation down the right path, to be sure of this you need to control the inferences drawn from the timer.
Seems you went to a different school than Marquise. The FBI then seemed enamored of the Holmes model. Popular fiction anyone?
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Old 2nd October 2009, 03:23 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I still get moments of doubt on occasion. It does seem to me remarkably clear that this was a frame-up,
Just to be clear here, and I may answer other points in your post tomorrow if I get time, I think it was a frame up too, just not some Machiavelean evidence planting one.
Megrahi was blamed, by people who were so focussed on getting a result they didn't look too hard at the evidence, or who realised their own careers would be better served by getting a conviction than not and who weren't too worried about some towel head going to jail.

I have not so far been convinced that the whole bomb in a suitcase was invented, or that the timer fragment was planted.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 03:33 PM   #335
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I totally see where GT is coming from; sometimes I just look at this and say, "this is silly". But then there are so many incongruities.

Quote:
I don't really believe in the Sherlock Holmes theory of investigation, where one tiny piece of evidence inexorably leads to one fixed conclusion. Planting the piece of timer isn't very helpful unless it leads the investigation down the right path, to be sure of this you need to control the inferences drawn from the timer.

I think they actually could, in this case. Although the fragment apparently originated in the British side of the investigation, and (if it wasn't planted) was examined by (at least) Hayes, Feraday and Williamson before the US got anywhere near it, all the inferences were actually drawn by the US.

The clearest accounts of events seem to have Thurman initiate the identification of the fragment, apparently at a time of his choosing. I haven't seen any account of how Thurman knew what he was supposed to be matching up, but it would appear he was sent a photograph of the mystery fragment at some stage in the proceedings. Then, in June 1990, he matched it with the circuit board already in US possession and everything started to move.

Looking at the Official Version, it's striking how little attention was paid to this fragment initially. Remember, the Toshiba was identified by fragments of one of its circuit boards. They don't seem to have been green. And even if they were, surely it would have been the work of half an hour to establish that the mystery fragment wasn't a part of any Toshiba.

Great attention was being paid to all items showing signs of charring, because these were the ones that were yielding information about what was in the primary suitcase. This one should obviously have been a doozy from the get-go, because it had bits of the Toshiba's plastic case in it, and five little scraps of its manual. And it also had this mystery fragment.

So what the hell are we supposed to believe Hayes was thinking about in May 1989? A piece of circuit board, which isn't part of the Toshiba, but which would appear to have been in the primary suitcase. No other electonic items had been identified in that suitcase - apart from the bomb itself. So why isn't he screaming bloody blue murder at that stage? That's what he's paid for. That's why they employ people with PhDs to do that work, so that they might actually apply some brainpower to what they're finding.

So he just makes a note of the fact that the fragment was there, doesn't draw it or have it photographed, doesn't tell anyone else about it, just spends a while doing detailed drawings of the scraps of paper, then turns to the next item.

Really?

Feraday (according to the Official Version) at least notices that this thing might be important. But apart from the odd (and unnecessary) haste evidenced by not waiting to have proper 35mm pictures taken of it, there's still a certain lack of urgency. We're told that Williamson tried quite hard to find the manufacturer, but how hard did anyone really try?

Anyone with half a brain should have been able to tell this fragment was potentially absolutely key, because it could well be a part of the bomb itself, and if so, the only piece recovered. If it wasn't possible to identify it immediately, how hard do you try? I'd say very hard indeed. Hard enough, probably, that you probably wouldn't wait nine months before enlisting the help of your colleages the other side of the Atlantic, who might be able to turn up something you haven't.

The lack of frantic action between May and September is peculiar. The very leisurely progress between September and June is just ridiculous. The USA had the matching fragment in its possession all along, but it took nine months before Thurman spotted it?

This actually doesn't read a great deal more plausible than my spy-thriller version, actually.

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 04:01 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think they could, in this case. ..snip...
This actually doesn't read a great deal more plausible than my spy-thriller version,
Rolfe.
A lot of real world things don't sound plausible, and hindsight is always 20/20. I do agree this all looks fishy but look at it from the other end of the telescope.
You are working for the FBI or MI5/6, you get the nod to fit up Libya for the Lockerbie bombing, can you seriously say that the best plan your Harvard or Cambridge educated mind could come up with would be to sneak a fingernail sized piece of circuit board into the evidence months after it should have been found, then a while later get someone on the other side of the Atantic go 'Ooh I've found the matchig piece'.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 08:40 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
What if the access point were key individuals in the investigation, in different areas and agencies, rather than whole agencies? Any combo Hayes, Ferraday, Williamson, Thurman, Marquise, willing to participate in something were maybe they had Longtabber's mindset and could rationalize a frame-up... But okay, it is a challenge to sneak lying evidence into a usually honest system with checks to bypass.

If it was a fact at the time, there were people who knew it and anyone trying to frame a crime like this would get that info, IMO.
Theres another possibility depending on how many of those boards were produced for other projects.

The timer could have been there but not a part of the bomb ( thus the pieces were legitimately found) and then linked based on other factors.

It all depends on whether this was a true out and out frame or a case of manipulating the evidence to fit a desired scenario
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Old 2nd October 2009, 09:53 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
So what the hell are we supposed to believe Hayes was thinking about in May 1989? A piece of circuit board, which isn't part of the Toshiba, but which would appear to have been in the primary suitcase. No other electonic items had been identified in that suitcase - apart from the bomb itself. So why isn't he screaming bloody blue murder at that stage? That's what he's paid for. That's why they employ people with PhDs to do that work, so that they might actually apply some brainpower to what they're finding.

So he just makes a note of the fact that the fragment was there, doesn't draw it or have it photographed, doesn't tell anyone else about it, just spends a while doing, then turns to the next item.
Bam! That is good. It's almost as if the fragment didn't exist when he was doing the doodles.

But then, as GT says, the other end of the telescope - there are possible reasons he'd think the lettering on the paper would give a quicker ID, and/or being fragile evidence he wanted info off it first and come back to the circuit board once he was able to scare up someone who could tell him what it was... 13 months later.
ETA: And he might not know it wasn't from the radio, or presumed the bomb parts would be vaped so just thought this secondary, etc...

Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
You are working for the FBI or MI5/6, you get the nod to fit up Libya for the Lockerbie bombing, can you seriously say that the best plan your Harvard or Cambridge educated mind could come up with would be to sneak a fingernail sized piece of circuit board into the evidence months after it should have been found, then a while later get someone on the other side of the Atantic go 'Ooh I've found the matchig piece'.
If so, it worked fine, so far. FWIW the trans-Atlantic aspect would be very important in a jointyly-run frameup. Both side have to make an investment and show confidence in each other. It's an Anglo-American thing, not too different from how they don't let you in a gang until you've killed someone.

AND - there are enough sloppy points and WTF spots like this, and like picking such notoriously disreputable experts (Hayes, Ferraday, Thurman, all) to be the executors of this part, it looks fabricated still, but with intent to ultimately fall apart, once the spell wears off, and allow the less stupid version to re-emerge and allow a double collection on this crime.

And this would make us water-carriers, but we just got the paper cups.

Originally Posted by LONGTABBER PE View Post
Theres another possibility depending on how many of those boards were produced for other projects.

The timer could have been there but not a part of the bomb ( thus the pieces were legitimately found) and then linked based on other factors.

It all depends on whether this was a true out and out frame or a case of manipulating the evidence to fit a desired scenario
Considered that too. It's possible this was the trigger, either poorly used by Libya or someone else or well-used to implicate Libya, even maybe by Libya because Gadaffi had sniffed some glue one day. 's possible. Or that it was just there for effect, involved in the crash, partly burnt but not close enough to vaporize, a plant that far back. That's just simply a thought to me tho. I didn't even feel like typing it out when the alternative of a few politically motivated liars explains the fragment more naturally to me.

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Old 2nd October 2009, 10:16 PM   #339
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I did have at least one more thought, or a few, spurred by a video. I'm not sure if this one was covered yet, BBC Dispatches, from 98 or 99. They actually do a really good job in general, but on the timer fragment they seem to have been bowled over by Mebo's early and vigorous phase of bowling people over, before it got as obvious and tangled as now.

http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/mp4/dispatches.html

Check the expert just past the halfway point, analyzing the curve and the unaffected top edge. Does his brain normally work like that, or are those dollar signs causing some short circuits?

Anyway, my main thought is on Thurman and the chip in England/in Virginia controversy. That of course surfaced in Levy's film, in a way that seems a little convenient. It looks like a groundbreaking inconsistency. It could be a false lead. In this video, just before the 2/3 point, Thurman emphatically states he only examined the photo, which was better than the actual evidence since it was bigger. He talks about the missing edge (doesn't know, probably hacked off in England), and makes more sense than their expert.

But in 1991 he was making it SOUND as if he'd seen the actual chip under the microscope, and in Levy's video he says he had it. And what exactly did Ferraday or Williamson say about it? This could be interesting.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 10:39 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Considered that too. It's possible this was the trigger, either poorly used by Libya or someone else or well-used to implicate Libya, even maybe by Libya because Gadaffi had sniffed some glue one day. 's possible. Or that it was just there for effect, involved in the crash, partly burnt but not close enough to vaporize, a plant that far back. That's just simply a thought to me tho. I didn't even feel like typing it out when the alternative of a few politically motivated liars explains the fragment more naturally to me.
OK deductive theory # 87,963

2 key points ( 3 if you include Meg but for this theory just call him the winner of the "pin the tail on the patsy" game and leave him out)

1) the implication of Libya

2) the fragment and its role

The fragment ( as i understand what I've read so far) is the single and only link to Libya- if it wasnt there, there wouldnt be a link much less a case.

If you believe it planted ( which I do because I refuse to accept it survived in the bomb as alleged configured) then you must conclude that prior to that- there was no physical evidence pointing toward anyone, group or nation. ( this would exclude any intelligence from other areas)

So, if planted- its a no brainer it would be expected to implicate Libya and no one else.

Following that logic then the question regarding Libya's implication ( and subsequently megrai) becomes

1) did Intel or other information ( prehaps secret) implicate Libya

2) was Libya the scapegoat to steer attention away from someone else

3) was there truly nothing and it was a "Hail Mary' simply to say they caught the bomber to satisfy the public need to see it.

I discount 3 simply because it would send the message to the "real" perps that these people were stupid and I dont see any agency doing that. It would be better for them to let it remain unsolved.

That leaves 1&2- I'm kinda on the fence on that one.

I tend to steer away from 2 partly for the reasons of 3 and it would send a message of fear ( the way they would interpret it) or send the signal they had an upper hand. ( neither one of them helps )

I'm still leaning toward Libya being involved at some level for those reasons.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 08:00 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
So what the hell are we supposed to believe Hayes was thinking about in May 1989? A piece of circuit board, which isn't part of the Toshiba, but which would appear to have been in the primary suitcase.
Unless you've actually disassembled a large number of consumer products, you would probably believe that all the innards would be homogeneous. If I were examining these fragments though, my first thought would be that the green board with a large tab was part of the power supply which is often built of different material because it handles higher voltages and current and may even be a commodity part. Until the Toshiba is actually identified and the part is definitely excluded as being from the radio, it's not very important.

Is there any documentation that supports when was the identification of the radio that the fragments were part of was made?
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Old 3rd October 2009, 11:12 AM   #342
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Is there any documentation that supports when was the identification of the radio that the fragments were part of was made

The fragment of circuit board (Finger tip photo) was apparently discovered by RARDE on Feb 2nd 1989 inbedded in the frame on container AVE 4041 PA.

Because of the earlier raids on the PFLP in GE. Feraday travelled to GE to examine the Toshiba radio seized to see if the fragment could be identified. He concluded it was not from this type of Toshiba radio but contacted Toshiba who helped to identify it as being used in 7 different models

I cant find any thing that states when Feraday made this discovery
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Old 3rd October 2009, 11:21 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Dan O. View Post
Unless you've actually disassembled a large number of consumer products, you would probably believe that all the innards would be homogeneous. If I were examining these fragments though, my first thought would be that the green board with a large tab was part of the power supply which is often built of different material because it handles higher voltages and current and may even be a commodity part. Until the Toshiba is actually identified and the part is definitely excluded as being from the radio, it's not very important.

Is there any documentation that supports when was the identification of the radio that the fragments were part of was made?

I haven't seen anything definite about the timeline of when stuff was discovered. However, a piece of circuit board was found that was identified as being part of a Toshiba, while the exact model was deduced from the owner's manual. I believe this was relatively early, but I'm not entirely certain.

They had very little from the radio - just some plastic case, that fragment of circuit board, a few pieces of speaker mesh and the manual. I can't understand why the piece of green circuit board wouldn't have merited close attention in May whether or not it was initially thought to be part of the radio. If it had been part of the radio, it could have given them a more definite identification of the model.

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Old 3rd October 2009, 12:58 PM   #344
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I see Mr Bollier is following these threads !!!
Maybe you would like to make some comments Sir



MISSION LOCKERBIE:

Most informationen of James Randi forum are professional, to be recommended, congratulations !

by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland
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Old 3rd October 2009, 01:30 PM   #345
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Yeah, which zealot blew the whistle?

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Old 3rd October 2009, 03:47 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by realdon View Post
I see Mr Bollier is following these threads !!!
Maybe you would like to make some comments Sir



MISSION LOCKERBIE:

Most informationen of James Randi forum are professional, to be recommended, congratulations !

by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland
Interesting. Where did you get that from? I don't suppose I'm in the "most" category, if "informationen" are people, after calling him disinfo (effectively at least).
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Old 5th October 2009, 12:24 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Interesting. Where did you get that from? I don't suppose I'm in the "most" category, if "informationen" are people, after calling him disinfo (effectively at least).
Robert Blacks web blog. Mr Bollier has posted comments to some of the Blog entries.
Some "zealot" has mailed Robert Black informing him of the discussions on JREF

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Old 5th October 2009, 01:16 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Interesting. Where did you get that from? I don't suppose I'm in the "most" category, if "informationen" are people, after calling him disinfo (effectively at least).

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...iscussion.html

I had thought it might be you who had emailed Prof. Black. Obviously not!

I don't see Bollier as a credible witness at all. He does often mention bits of evidence I wasn't aware of, but when he starts theorising about fraudulent evidence, it seems to be pure speculation and guesswork. I can't see anything to support what he's saying about brown and green timer fragments.

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Old 5th October 2009, 03:57 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...iscussion.html

I had thought it might be you who had emailed Prof. Black. Obviously not!

I don't see Bollier as a credible witness at all. He does often mention bits of evidence I wasn't aware of, but when he starts theorising about fraudulent evidence, it seems to be pure speculation and guesswork. I can't see anything to support what he's saying about brown and green timer fragments.

Rolfe.
Wow, that's cool! I'd thought about at least starting to comment there, next to Herrs Bollier and Marquise, et al. Methinks Ambrosia did this cool thing. It is noteworthy how little debunking is happening on this, here at the JREF forum. Also, your poll should be noted there - interesting results there too.

ETA: missed realdon's post, got mixed up. duh. Good work, mate!

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Old 5th October 2009, 04:12 PM   #350
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Well, I think a lot of that poll was Yanks just voting to say they thought they knew all about it and they hated Scotland.

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Old 5th October 2009, 04:18 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, I think a lot of that poll was Yanks just voting to say they thought they knew all about it and they hated Scotland.

Rolfe.
well the top response, at 38%, was "I'm familiar with the evidence presented, and I don't believe he did it" was my point. http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=153959
But indeed those people came and talked.
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Old 6th October 2009, 04:44 PM   #352
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Just taking the opportunity to sum up for now.

At the moment I haven't convinced myself the fragment was planted, but I'm not comfortable that suspicions have been laid to rest either.

The 38-minute explosion simply doesn't fit with the presence of an MST-13 timer on any scenario we've discussed so far apart from the "wrong plane" suggestion - and even there, it's still a coincidence. Even leaving aside the huge risks involved in sending unaccompanied luggage with a bomb in it through three airports and three security systems, the risk that PA103 itself would be delayed by an hour was significant and easily circumvented by setting the thing for a later time. There's another point I didn't mention before, as well. Suppose the explosion hadn't caused the plane to break up in mid-air, but left the pilot with some control over a damaged aircraft? Would you, as a terrorist, prefer the plane to be within easy reach of three major airports (Prestwick, Abbotsinch and Turnhouse), or in the middle of the Atlantic?

The fragment seems to support pretty much the entire bloody case, the way it has been interpreted. Suddenly we have "well the PFLP-GC didn't have any MST-13 timers, so that's them out of the frame, let's go after Libya." Highly convenient.

The provenance of that particular piece of evidence is surrounded by so many anomalies
  • The alteration on the original label (cloth to debris)
  • The apparently interpolated page 51 in Hayes's notes, which is particularly weird as it appears to describe what anyone would think was a potentially crucial discovery, but then doesn't draw it, photograph it, or follow it up at all
  • The mystery polaroid photo, implying great haste when the entire proceedings were marked by their leisurely nature
However, that's when it gets difficult. There's no clear motive for the alteration of the original label; no idea what that might have achieved that was worth the risk of altering it.

The extra page 51 suggests a completely new piece of evidence being inserted into old notes, however wouldn't it have been easier just to substitute a single page? Maybe add the record of the timer fragment to a piece of evidence that hadn't been photographed originally, and just re-write the entire page? Or, instead of removing the original page 56 and re-numbering the previous five pages, just make the new page no. 56?

And yet, what's the chances Hayes just cocked up his page numbering on the very page the crucial item is described? The same item that already has the coincidence of the altered label attached to it. The item with the highly significant fragment he unaccountably does nothing at all about?

Also, it would appear that if the fragment were planted, three different organisations must have been involved. The FBI, via Thurman; RAERDE, via Hayes and Feraday; and Dumfries and Galloway police, via Williamson. How do you organise that without risking someone going to the papers? (On the other hand, we don't know Williamson isn't the Golfer, I suppose.)

And I have no idea how some faceless senior spook gets the idea of doing this, and actually puts it into practice.

So yes, it's possible that in about January 1990 some faceless spook decides that a bit of misdirection is in order here. And, knowing about the MST-13 timer in the possession of the US security services, thinks that's the thing to use. Material existed to allow a plausible fragment to be manufactured, it was infiltrated into RAERDE where Feraday and Hayes conspired to make it appear that it had been found a year previously, recorded 8 months previously, and recognised as important 4 months previously. Feraday sets Williamson off to do what cops would naturally do with that sort of evidence, and Williamson knows there's something unreal about it at some stage, because he doesn't call fake on the memo that says he first saw it in September 1989.

However, the initial motive isn't primarily to frame Libya. It's to provide misdirection away from the PFLP-GC. This is successful as far as it goes - everything goes quiet and journalists mostly stop writing about Jibril and Abu Talb. However, in June 1990 wider events make it very much more insistent that Syria and Iran should not be blamed for this, and at the same time favour pinning it on Libya to consign them to the Outer Darkness. Thurman thus chooses that moment to match up a picture of the fragment with the timer already in the FBI's possession.

It sort of works, but it doesn't have a real ring of truth about it. I wouldn't care to nail my twofer colours to the mast on that story.

Any comments on that summary?

Rolfe.
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Old 6th October 2009, 05:31 PM   #353
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So yes, I was leading up to something.

Suppose that fragment was genuine. But we could still explain the 38-minute explosion, with no "wrong plane" and no coincidences. I've got a sort of an idea. The one thing that's wrong with it is that it doesn't involve loading at Heathrow, or probably not anyway, so it leaves Messers Bedford and Manly still looking awfully lost.

Ahmed Jibril has been reported as saying "They'll never find out how I did it." (This is a bit of a contradiction to the US official's reported comment to Martin Cadman that "Your government and my government know exactly what happened but they're never going to tell," but never mind.)

The primitive timers Jibril had, had two flaws. One was that the maximum delay was about 30 minutes, which wouldn't reliably get the plane over the ocean. However, the barometer would ensure it was at least airborne, so it wasn't all bad. The other problem was thought that they had to be introduced at the final stopover before the explosion - they couldn't go on a feeder flight because they would just explode on that.

So, Jibril's little game is to rig the device so that it can be sent in on a feeder flight.

Obviously, he needs a better timer. So, who's selling them the Semtex in the first place? Who sells everyone Semtex? Libya. Who has some smart digital timers that might come in very handy? Libya. (I note that Libya as quartermaster to the world's terrorists is taken as read in The Trail of the Octopus.)

So he gets an MST-13 timer, maybe from Libya, maybe from a middle-man. How does he use it? I'll defer to the electronics experts, who might well shred this idea, but here goes.

Yes, he could simply set the thing for midnight, as I suggested, and hope it's airborne over the Atlantic at that time. Might well work. But still. Suppose the bag doesn't make the connection? It could well still be on the ground in that case. (The bag belonging to one of the CIA officers on the plane did exactly that and was later found in a luggage store at Heathrow.)

The other possibility we discussed was a combination device, with a timer set so as to nullify any low-pressure events that happen before the departure time of the target flight.

When I tried to figure out how this would work, I kept coming up against the need for two timers. And so far as I know, the MST-13 could only have one countdown period set. What you want is for the device to start counting down when low pressure is detected, after 6pm GMT on 21st December. Thus, if you get it on the feeder flight with reasonable certainty, it will explode once the transatlantic leg is underway, no matter how long the delay.

I don't think the MST-13 would do all that by itself. It would count down to 6pm, but it woudn't then count another time period before going off.

Maybe the device used was exactly as per Jibril's usual modus operandi, using the primitive timer for the last phase, but with the MST-13 incorporated to delay the start of the countdown and so allow introduction via a feeder flight.

I can see a few things wrong with this one too. It would still have been possible to get the explosion later with this arrangement, I think (just set the start for 11pm, not 6pm on the 21st). If the idea was to distance Jibril's group from the introduction of the device, sending it in from Frankfurt (the cell's base) wouln't be too bright, if that was what was done. And if the idea was to draw suspicion, it didn't really work, as all the initial suspicions focussed on Jibril.

However, I did find one surprising ally in this suggestion. The Trail of the Octopus again.

Quote:
There was a question also about the device itself. In the official view, the use of the Swiss timer pointed clearly to Libya, not only because it had been supplied to its security agency in the first place, but because the PFLP-GC favoured a barometric-pressure triggering system for its Toshiba bombs.

Thomas Hayes, however, the forensic expert responsible for identifying the tiny piece of Swiss circuit board, was not prepared to commit himself on this point. In his book, On the Trail of Terror, David Leppard wrote later that, privately, Hayes believed the Lockerbie bomb had been a dual device, triggered by a barometric switch and then running on a timer, but that not enough of it had been recovered to be sure.

The possibility that Khreesat or Abu Elias or some other PFLP-GC bombmaker had incorporated a Libyan timer as well as Libyan Semtex into the Lockerbie bomb remained open, therefore - with the balance of probability tilted towards Jibril's group rather than the Libyans in view of its previous use of Toshiba radios as bomb housings.

I'm not sure I'm convincing myself here either, but it's another reasonable possibility.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th October 2009, 12:04 AM   #354
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by realdon View Post
Is there any documentation that supports when was the identification of the radio that the fragments were part of was made

The fragment of circuit board (Finger tip photo) was apparently discovered by RARDE on Feb 2nd 1989 inbedded in the frame on container AVE 4041 PA.

Because of the earlier raids on the PFLP in GE. Feraday travelled to GE to examine the Toshiba radio seized to see if the fragment could be identified. He concluded it was not from this type of Toshiba radio but contacted Toshiba who helped to identify it as being used in 7 different models

I cant find any thing that states when Feraday made this discovery
I see no one answered you there. I don't know that yet, but finding bits all the time and will keep it in mind. So far I find questions like this are hard to answer precisely. I'm usually left inferring things from other things to get an approximate time span. Like here: http://12-7-9-11.blogspot.com/2009/1...hics-no-1.html
And then I get get tired and wonder why I'm trying to figure out things like this, do something else, and then come right back. I'll be back.
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Old 7th October 2009, 02:22 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
...snip....
Also, it would appear that if the fragment were planted, three different organisations must have been involved. The FBI, via Thurman; RAERDE, via Hayes and Feraday; and Dumfries and Galloway police, via Williamson. How do you organise that without risking someone going to the papers? (On the other hand, we don't know Williamson isn't the Golfer, I suppose.)

And I have no idea how some faceless senior spook gets the idea of doing this, and actually puts it into practice.

...snip...

Any comments on that summary?

Rolfe.
I think I'm pretty much in agreement with Rolfe on the timer fragment, with the slight difference in emphasis that, since I haven't seen the smoking gun that proves it was planted, I'm inclined to think it wasn't.

If someone produces incontrovertible evidence tomorrow that it was a plant, it's not going to destroy my world view, I'll get over it and struggle on, but until then I'll assume it's real.

The extract from Rolfe's post above really summarises why I think that. I know there are lots of slightly dodgy aspects to the history of the timer evidence, but when you get down to it, planting it would have been difficult and risky, and it wasn't a strong enough piece of evidence to do anything more than point the finger at Libya a bit, which could surely have been done more easily by 'intercepting' some 'communications' or something.

In addition, and this is a weaker and more speculative argument, it doesn't fit the modus operandi of the British Establishment. Throughout the 70s and 80s their way of getting a conviction was to find a suitable suspect, batter a confession from them then hide any exonerating evidence from the defence.
Even the Maguire case which RAERDE was involved in, didn't involve faking forensic evidence, the Crown just overstated the reliability and specificity of the Nitroglycerine swab test used.
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Old 7th October 2009, 03:40 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

The primitive timers Jibril had, had two flaws. One was that the maximum delay was about 30 minutes, which wouldn't reliably get the plane over the ocean. However, the barometer would ensure it was at least airborne, so it wasn't all bad. The other problem was thought that they had to be introduced at the final stopover before the explosion - they couldn't go on a feeder flight because they would just explode on that.

So, Jibril's little game is to rig the device so that it can be sent in on a feeder flight.

Obviously, he needs a better timer. So, who's selling them the Semtex in the first place? Who sells everyone Semtex? Libya. Who has some smart digital timers that might come in very handy? Libya. (I note that Libya as quartermaster to the world's terrorists is taken as read in The Trail of the Octopus.)

So he gets an MST-13 timer, maybe from Libya, maybe from a middle-man. How does he use it? I'll defer to the electronics experts, who might well shred this idea, but here goes.

Yes, he could simply set the thing for midnight, as I suggested, and hope it's airborne over the Atlantic at that time. Might well work. But still. Suppose the bag doesn't make the connection? It could well still be on the ground in that case. (The bag belonging to one of the CIA officers on the plane did exactly that and was later found in a luggage store at Heathrow.)

The other possibility we discussed was a combination device, with a timer set so as to nullify any low-pressure events that happen before the departure time of the target flight.

When I tried to figure out how this would work, I kept coming up against the need for two timers. And so far as I know, the MST-13 could only have one countdown period set. What you want is for the device to start counting down when low pressure is detected, after 6pm GMT on 21st December. Thus, if you get it on the feeder flight with reasonable certainty, it will explode once the transatlantic leg is underway, no matter how long the delay.

I don't think the MST-13 would do all that by itself. It would count down to 6pm, but it woudn't then count another time period before going off.

Maybe the device used was exactly as per Jibril's usual modus operandi, using the primitive timer for the last phase, but with the MST-13 incorporated to delay the start of the countdown and so allow introduction via a feeder flight.


Rolfe.
Rolfe you are correct here. Introducing the MST 13 timer into the circuit would do as you suggest. The Altimeter would not trigger the second "ice cube timer" until after a pre determined time.

But why use the altimeter at all if you have the MST timer? The MST alone means you have the ability to set a very long countdown. so why incorporate the Altimeter/ice cube?

I think the Altimeter acts as a surefire safety feature to prevent detonation on the ground. The circuit will not be armed until airbourne even if the first timer (MST) malfunctions or runs to the end of its countdown before its on the aircraft

Apparently the altimeters used by the PFLP were just standard mechanical aircraft types and my hunch is that they would only be able to get them to trigger at no more than 1000ft. Add the 30/40 mins delay and this will have the aircraft around about cruise height


David
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Old 7th October 2009, 04:28 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by realdon View Post
Rolfe you are correct here. Introducing the MST 13 timer into the circuit would do as you suggest. The Altimeter would not trigger the second "ice cube timer" until after a pre determined time.

But why use the altimeter at all if you have the MST timer? The MST alone means you have the ability to set a very long countdown. so why incorporate the Altimeter/ice cube?

I think the Altimeter acts as a surefire safety feature to prevent detonation on the ground. The circuit will not be armed until airbourne even if the first timer (MST) malfunctions or runs to the end of its countdown before its on the aircraft

Apparently the altimeters used by the PFLP were just standard mechanical aircraft types and my hunch is that they would only be able to get them to trigger at no more than 1000ft. Add the 30/40 mins delay and this will have the aircraft around about cruise height.

That's sort of what I was thinking. The MST-13 alone, one would think, would have been sufficient - but only because it could be set to detonate late in the flight. It wasn't. That flight could quite easily still have been on the ground at Heathrow at 7 o'clock. Anybody who's ever flown knows that. So what the hell was going on?

A standard-issue Jibril device introduced at Heathrow would have produced exactly the results observed. And we can get very very interested in Mr. Manly's sawn-through padlock and Mr. Bedford's extra suitcase. However, that doesn't explain that damn fragment.

My original hunch was that the fragment was planted. And I'm still not convinced it wasn't. However, I'm not getting a convincing narrative on how that was done, just a lot if disconnected anomalies. Bollier, in particular, comes over as a complete wingnut. My hunch, now, is more inclined to back the possibility that the fragment is genuine.

But the explosion happened at 7 o'clock. What was the MST-13 doing, in that case. Pace Geni, I can't imagine any terrorist just accidentally setting the timer hours earlier than he should.

In the earlier thread, we did talk about a barometric timer that could count - essentially, one that would only trigger on the second or third take-off. Ambrosia made a suggestion, but we weren't quite sure how it would work (for example, I didn't know whether the altimeter would simply re-set on returning to surface pressure). As I thought about it, this idea seemed to need two timers - one to keep the device inert on the earlier legs of the flight, and a second to do the final count-down to the detonation.

My electronics knowledge isn't good enough to work this through in detail, but I speculate that this was Jibril's big idea, "they'll never figure out how we did it". A way of getting the device to Heathrow unaccompanied (or at least without anyone having to touch the device), without exploding on an earlier leg.

I would really like some input from an electronics geek about how this might have been done, and specifically whether it was essential or at least sensible to retain the feature where it was the actual take-off at Heathrow that triggered the final countdown, rather than take the opportunity of delaying it further until the plane was more reliably over the ocean. Would you just use the MST to make sure the system was inert until 6pm (the scheduled departure time of Pan Am 103)? If so, why not just hold it till 9 or 10 o'clock? (Uncertainty about how the device would perform in those circumstances?) Or could you actually get it to count take-off and landing cycles so that it would go off on the second or the third take-off, no matter how long the delay?

Then all we have to worry about is relegating poor Mr. Bedford back to the status of absolutely incredible coincidence, and decide which feeder flight was actually used.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th October 2009, 04:37 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by realdon View Post
Apparently the altimeters used by the PFLP were just standard mechanical aircraft types and my hunch is that they would only be able to get them to trigger at no more than 1000ft. Add the 30/40 mins delay and this will have the aircraft around about cruise height

As far as I know, they would have triggered about 7 minutes after take-off under normal circumstances. That seems to be how they got the estimate of detonation time - 30 minutes on top of that.

Several sources talk about a pressure equivalent to 8,000 feet, but I think that's a reference to the pressure in the cabin when the aircraft is at cruising altitude. Obviously, the thing was triggering at a higher pressure than that, if it was going 7 minutes after take-off - that's nowhere near cruising altitude, surely?

I'm also a bit hazy about whether the baggage hold is at the same pressure as the cabin. The sources I've been reading say yes, but my own personal experience says no, the baggage hold is not as pressurised as the cabin. Do you know the answer to this?

I'd welcome a more detailed explanation of all this.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th October 2009, 04:45 PM   #359
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Also I hate to contradict actual brits here, but I was using RAERDE until I found no hits for it on GOOGLE and have since used RARDE, Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment. FYI, or FME (for my embarrassment).

All things considered I do feel this was probably a plant, but that's sort of a left-brain hunch thing I'm not going to try and explain. It's a shady case all around, and it's entirely possible to fake and sneak in a scrap, are my main considerations.

As far as not battering a confession out of the suspect, this was too sensitive for sticks on Abdelbaset's head. But look at the real suspect - Libya. Sanction = admission of responsibility + wishful thinking = admission of guilt but not quite, the bloody dodgers. So there you go.
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Old 7th October 2009, 04:59 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
In addition, and this is a weaker and more speculative argument, it doesn't fit the modus operandi of the British Establishment. Throughout the 70s and 80s their way of getting a conviction was to find a suitable suspect, batter a confession from them then hide any exonerating evidence from the defence.
Even the Maguire case which RAERDE was involved in, didn't involve faking forensic evidence, the Crown just overstated the reliability and specificity of the Nitroglycerine swab test used.

I think the "RAERDE" thing was just my mistake. I did google it earlier, but the mistake crept in.


I don't think this was a Brit-type exercise. The USA was in control of this all the way through. Bush said jump and Maggie said "how high?" And if you have no suspects in custody at the relevant time, you can hardly batter a confession from them.

Also, I think we need to stop going on about how the planting of the timer fragment was all about implicating Libya. I don't think it was really about that at the time. I think it was all about not getting any closer to Jibril. I think there was stuff attached to Jibril's gang that the US authorities really, really didn't want exposed. Possibly connected to the speedy release of Khreesat, who was supposed to be a double-agent making dummy bombs, connected to the CIA through the Jordanian secret service. Except, oh dear, his bombs weren't dummies at all. Possibly connected to a CIA-sanctioned drug-running exercise having been used to get the bomb suitcase through security (Coleman). Possibly both were tied into this - this has all been suggested by other sources.

Reading the history of what went on, it seemed as if the police kept getting very close to Jibril, and then being shut down. Maybe a little bit of evidence that wasn't immediately traceable to Jibril was just what was wanted at that point. Only later, in the autumn of 1990, did the plan of actively pinning it on Libya become the dominant feature.

See, I'm running with the hare and hunting with the hounds on this one!

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 7th October 2009 at 05:00 PM.
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