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Tags Lockerbie bombing

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Old 2nd June 2010, 07:46 PM   #161
SnidelyW
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Has the possible re-arrangement of luggage at K-16 (Heathrow) been investigated? The reason I mention this is because;

"The container was put aside and later Bedford drove the container to a site known as K-16 where luggage from flight PA103A could fill up the container. Bedford finished work at five p.m thirty minutes before flight PA103A touched down. Luggage had been loaded loose and was unloaded onto a “rocket” and approximately 39 further bags were placed in container AVE4041."1

So, let's say for the purposes of this paragraph the Bedford bags were not bomb carrying. What is to say a maroon hard shell Samsonite was introduced at Frankfurt, and placed into position LATER in the process, to ensure certainty of position. After all, why go through the steps to perfectly place the bomb bag in the interline area, only to have baggage rearranged at the last second at K-16? Why would things be left to chance at this last, most crucial stage- namely- the introduction of the bags from Frankfurt at K-16? Why wouldn't bags already in AVE4041 be moved during this process?
Now, I've never been a baggage loader, but, if I'm loading bags in a hurry, I might be inclined to shove those at the front deeper into the container as I load to avoid climbing over bags when I don't have to. That would require further effort, and would hardly be efficient use of loading time.

So, the order of events could support introduction of the bag at Frankfurt, with a co-opted Heathrow Pan-Am baggage handler on a specific look-out for the bomb bag off of 103A, to place it perfectly at the last stage of the baggage loading process- namely the loading of the packed AVE4041. Bedford had gone home, and the co-opted Pan-Am baggage handler is never even investigated.

Unless there was some detailed investigation of all baggage handlers on duty at Heathrow that evening. I'm wondering, if AVE4041 was being loaded, a baggage handler approached the container with the bomb bag in hand, who had grabbed it as it came off of 103A and said "this fell off the conveyor" or something similar, and placed it at the very last second in the preferred spot. Why not?

So, could the case be made to have the introduction of the bag in Frankfurt, with management for location in AVE4041 at Heathrow?

1. http://e-zeecon.blogspot.com/2008/11...-evidence.html
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Old 2nd June 2010, 08:22 PM   #162
SnidelyW
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
kenspeckled - I want to use that word so bad I don't even care what it means.

Rolfe, interesting rundown of the wrong plane possibilities. Clearly side-notes, but interesting. (I do like to play with those sometimes)

Snidely, thanks for being like fiber and making slowed threads move again. I'm simply kenspeckled about it!

....snip.

But suddenly it's hitting me that I don't fully believe Bedford's story after all. I think he knows of these bags but there's an outside chance he concocted the "Camjob did it" story to cover for something else a little after that, perhaps in collusion with Peter Walker.

...snip.
I haven't yet read the trial transcripts, relying on Clare Connelly and her LTBU daily synopsis, but, Walker was the Pan-Am baggage supervisor. Was he on duty the night 103 took off? The reason I ask is that what standard operating guidelines are followed when things need to be done 10 minutes ago? He could sit in court and testify that's how things were supposed to be done, but were they done the way he believes they were that exact evening?

I can well understand your desire to use 'kenspeckled' in any sentence. I think I'd like to see you nominated for the pith, just to see the word again, and have everyone crinkle up their nose when they read it.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 01:48 AM   #163
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Point of information. "Kenspeckled" isn't a word. "Kenspeckle" is an adjective meaning standing out from the crowd, easily recognisable, eccentric.

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 02:12 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
Anyone here ever heard of a James Shaughnessy? He is (or was) an Americam lawyer, and a partner of the Manhattan law firm Windels, Marx, Davies and Ives at that time.

The reason I bring up his name is that back in 2000, he was involved in certain claims which are directly involved in this thread.

Can anyone tell me what is known about him?

I thought his involvement was way before that, I didn't realise he'd surfaced in this context since about 1994.

He was Pan Am's lawyer in their defence of the civil action for damages which they lost in 1993 or 1994. Coleman has a lot to say about this aspect of the affair, principally that Shaughnessy was subjected to quite appalling pressure not to support his client in this case. I found this in chapter 14 of Trail of the Octopus.

Now I think Lester Coleman has seriously got the wrong end of the stick in a number of respects. I think he's wrong about Jafaar, which almost certainly means that his entire conspiracy theory about him being persecuted because he "knows the truth about Lockerbie" is wrong. However, he's studied the case in a lot of detail and most of the facts he presents seem to be accurate. He's an especially useful resource since he's writing in the early 1990s, at the time of the Pan Am hearings, so he has a lot of detail about these. Nowadays, we're all so fixated on what happened at Camp Zeist in 2000, and the SCCRC findings, that we tend to forget all the earlier evidence - which included witness testimony not heard at Camp Zeist.

The other stuff I've found on the internet about the Pan Am hearings tends to corroborate Coleman's account, so it has to be taken seriously. Some of what he describes is absolutely breathtaking attempts to intimidate and silence Shaughnessy.

Quote:
More specifically, the government sought to punish Shaughnessy for:
(1) Pan Am's initial subpoenas to the intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies which were based upon the false allegations in the Aviv Report;
(2) the filing of the third-party complaint which was based upon those same false allegations and the equally false allegations directed against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA);
(3) the opposition to the motion of the United States to dismiss the third-party complaint which was based upon further false representations that the Pan Am litigants possessed a basis for the claims in the third-party complaint;
(4) the post-filing discovery requests directed at the intelligence, military and law-enforcement agencies for classified and privileged information which is completely protected by statute and under existing precedent, as to which no legitimate argument for change could reasonably be made;
(5) the submission of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to various agencies which were identical to Pan Am's civil discovery requests, and
(6) the continuous opposition to all reasonable attempts to terminate the litigation activity against the United States which was based upon the false allegations which were repeatedly reasserted without any evidence to support them.
Taken at face value, the motion seemed to argue that nobody, not even in his own defence in a court of law, was entitled to question the government's good faith, its conduct, the truth of its assertions or its judgment in deciding matters of fact. It also seemed to insist that its files were sacrosanct, that they were not open to inspection even in matters as grave as determining who was responsible for the mass murder of 270 innocent people. Even the use of FOIA requests in this context was deemed an underhanded and therefore sanctionable act.

I don't know of any other case where a government has attempted to indict a lawyer or a law firm for putting his client's case, or for attempting to secure evidence in support of that case.

I didn't know Shaughnessy had surfaced in relation to Lockerbie after Pan Am went bankrupt though. Can you point me at the citation?

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 03:53 AM   #165
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
Has the possible re-arrangement of luggage at K-16 (Heathrow) been investigated? The reason I mention this is because;

"The container was put aside and later Bedford drove the container to a site known as K-16 where luggage from flight PA103A could fill up the container. Bedford finished work at five p.m thirty minutes before flight PA103A touched down. Luggage had been loaded loose and was unloaded onto a “rocket” and approximately 39 further bags were placed in container AVE4041."1

So, let's say for the purposes of this paragraph the Bedford bags were not bomb carrying. What is to say a maroon hard shell Samsonite was introduced at Frankfurt, and placed into position LATER in the process, to ensure certainty of position. After all, why go through the steps to perfectly place the bomb bag in the interline area, only to have baggage rearranged at the last second at K-16? Why would things be left to chance at this last, most crucial stage- namely- the introduction of the bags from Frankfurt at K-16? Why wouldn't bags already in AVE4041 be moved during this process?
Now, I've never been a baggage loader, but, if I'm loading bags in a hurry, I might be inclined to shove those at the front deeper into the container as I load to avoid climbing over bags when I don't have to. That would require further effort, and would hardly be efficient use of loading time.

So, the order of events could support introduction of the bag at Frankfurt, with a co-opted Heathrow Pan-Am baggage handler on a specific look-out for the bomb bag off of 103A, to place it perfectly at the last stage of the baggage loading process- namely the loading of the packed AVE4041. Bedford had gone home, and the co-opted Pan-Am baggage handler is never even investigated.

Unless there was some detailed investigation of all baggage handlers on duty at Heathrow that evening. I'm wondering, if AVE4041 was being loaded, a baggage handler approached the container with the bomb bag in hand, who had grabbed it as it came off of 103A and said "this fell off the conveyor" or something similar, and placed it at the very last second in the preferred spot. Why not?

So, could the case be made to have the introduction of the bag in Frankfurt, with management for location in AVE4041 at Heathrow?

1. http://e-zeecon.blogspot.com/2008/11...-evidence.html

Mmmm, Baz. By the standards of some of the people who post regularly on Robert Black's blog (Charles, Patrick, Edwin Bollier), he's in the "less mad" category. He's still not in my top ten of reilable commentators though. I've read that page a number of times and not got a great deal out of it. (Though I may have made a new connection, we'll see.) It's mainly just a standard presentation of the Bedford suitcase theory. (Baz thinks it was brought into England by surface transport, on the Stockholm ferry. He's also convinced Francovich is a deliberate liar/hoaxer, and I've heard him declare that Gannon wasn't actually on the plane.)

Regarding the bag placement, there's a question the explosives experts never answered, and which I think is central to figuring out the nature of the plot. If we assume the amount of Semtex was about 400 to 600g, how crucial was the positioning, really?

We accept that the bag was indeed in the worst possible place. However, how important was it that it must be in precisely that place? The baggage containers are all close to the skin of the aircraft, and they're not that big. None of the bags is an especially long way away. If the bag had been a bit less optimally placed, what are the chances it might have caused the disaster anyway?

This is important, because it has a bearing on how much effort the terrorists would have needed to put into positioning the bag. If there was a fair chance that anywhere in the container would still have blown out the skin of the plane, maybe it really was just chance that the bag ended up in the worst possible place. On the other hand, if an explosion further into the container would most probably not have fatally damaged the aircraft, and assuming the terrorists realised this, then we can reasonably assume some contingency plan to get the positioning right.

If the positioning was absolutely crucial, then you're right, the last place where the bags could be positioned was out on the tarmac while the Frankfurt luggage was being transferred. I've thought about this one quite a lot, and while I can imagine one of the tarmac loaders being able to make sure the Bedford suitcase stayed in its critical position or very close to it, being able to position something coming off PA103A seems to me to be a lot more problematic.

Think about it. The bag can't be placed at the very last second, because the critical place is near the bottom of the stack. If it wasn't on the floor of the container, it was the second layer up. If it wasn't one of the bags already in the container when it was wheeled out on to the tarmac, it must have been among the first few to have come off the "rocket" conveyor. So how are you going to arrange this? Is your agent with the container on the tarmac, ready to position the bag in the right place? If so, what does he do if it's one of the last ones to come off? He can hardly burrow down seven or eight layers of suitcases to put it near the bottom. Or is your agent on the Frankfurt plane, loading the bags on to the rocket? He might be able to grab the right one and make sure it goes off early - but then what? He can't influence where it's placed, unless you're going to postulate two terrorist agents in this one work crew.

I think these people were investigated, but I wouldn't like to say how closely. I just think the logistics don't work. This would be one hell of a conspiracy, not just to have got the bag on board at Frankfurt, circumventing Maier and his x-ray machine, but to have a team of at least two Heathrow baggage handlers who can be certain of positioning themselves in exactly the right places to get that case in position in AVE4041. To me, it just doesn't fly.

However, there's something been niggling me for a while about what Baz says in that article.

Quote:
Bedford placed four or five suitcases, upright on their spines to the back of the luggage container then left the area to speak with his supervisor [for a tea break? - R]. When he returned he found that somebody had placed two further suitcases flat in front of this row of suitcases. The one on the left was a brown or maroon hard-sided Samsonite. [....]

The Larnaca Interline passengers included four US Government officials. Three, CIA officer Matthew Gannon, Army Major Charles “Tiny” McKee and Ron LaRiviere a Security Official, had travelled from the Lebanon, and the fourth, Daniel O’Connor, was a State Department official posted to the US Embassy in Nicosia.

The luggage of these four men was recovered. There was evidence that one of McKee’s suitcases had been tampered with. None had a bronze or maroon hardsided Samsonite (McKee’s had two grey suitcases one a Samsonite, Gannon’s Samsonite was blue and soft-sided.) Curiously O’Connor’s two bags were never loaded onto PA103 but after the bombing was found in a baggage room at Heathrow.

It sounds from this as if most if not all of the bags Bedford placed himself belonged to the CIA operatives who flew in from Larnaca. McKee, two cases. Gannon, one case. LaRiviere, Baz doesn't say. That's conceivably "four or five cases".

Then there's O'Connor's luggage, which should have been there but was left behind. Two cases. Never made it, went into a baggage store. Instead, the two mysterious "Bedford suitcases" appeared in the container. Never discovered who these belonged to or what happened to them.

It's odd that two suitcases that should have been in that container, weren't, and two suspect cases with no known provenance, were. Could there have been some sort of substitution of O'Connor's luggage? I'd dearly love to know whether the proper PA103 tags were still on O'Connor's cases when they were found in that baggage store....

Assuming Baz is right about these details, that is. I don't know where he got them from.

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 09:08 AM   #166
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I've spent some time reading through Day 43 of the Zeist transcripts, and a number of notable points was gleaned.

Mr Walker, supervisor of the Baggage Build-Up shed of Heathrow's terminal 3, and dealing with specifically the baggage for 103, was who Bedford went to see during his break of about 20mins at about 3pm on the afternoon of the 21st.

Bedford, being the supervisor for the Interline Baggage shed, and this being a permanant position (unlike some other Pan Am baggage workers who could be moved from position to position as required) was well known and had worked in this capacity for 'many years'.

Bedford is due to finish at 5pm on that day. He actually finishes at approx 5.15, before 103A lands from Frankfurt, but had supervised the loading of the container 4041 at the interline shed during that day.

Now, curiously, Walker gave a statement to the police on the 10th Jan '89, stating that Bedford had, as stated, came into the baggage build-up shed at 3pm for a tea break, but on Bedford finishing his shift, did notmention, or bring, container AVE4041 to the build-up shed to be filled with the bags from Frankfurt that were tagged for 103.

However, at the FAA, Walker told the inquiry that Bedford had indeed brought container 4041 from the interline shed where he and Kamboj (the x-rayer) had loaded it with 5-8 bags approx.

This raised a problem as Walker revealed that if a container were brought to the baggage build-up area from the interline shed, it would not be brought actually inside the shed, but left, unattended, on the build up ramp outside the shed. Of greater concern, the container whilst on the ramp, would not be in view of those working in the build up area.

The baggage build-up ramp was situated adjacent to a works access road which was often used by many workers and staff "taking a short-cut" back to landside. Is this part of the same "short-cut" that Manly refers to in his statement about the security doors that were breached?

At Zeist, Walker's story reverts back to his initial statement that he can not recall Bedford, on finishing his shift, requesting or bringing AVE4041 from the interline shed to the baggage build up area due to the space still available in the conatiner for bags coming from 103A.

He is otherwise inferring that the container was taken directly from the Interline shed straight to 103a where its containers where unloaded and the known 'tin' opened and 4041 loaded with the appropriate luggage. It's then taken the short distance across to 103 and placed into its position.

The bags anticipated on the 103A flight, joining 103 to New York, were also expected to be contained in one specific baggage container so as to presumably allow a speedy and straightforward swap from one aircraft to the other given that 103A was Pan Am's main feeder for the transatlantic flight.

103A parked up at Gate 16 at 17.37, with 103 parked at gate 14 and pushing off at about 18.02.


Testimony of Alan Berwick at Camp Zeist, Manager of corporate security for Pan Am along with Mike Jones.

1 MR. TURNBULL: Witness number 878, please,

2 My Lords, Alan Berwick.

3 THE MACER: Number 878 on the Crown roll,

4 Your Lordship, Alan James Berwick.

5 WITNESS: ALAN JAMES BERWICK, sworn

6 LORD SUTHERLAND: Advocate Depute.

7 EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. TURNBULL:

8 Q Are you Alan James Berwick?

9 A I am indeed so, yes.

10 Q And where do you live, Mr. Berwick?

11 A xxxxxx x xxxxx, Hampshire.

12 Q What age are you, please?

13 A 64.

14 Q Do you presently work with the Defence

15 Evaluation and Research Agency?

16 A No, sir. I retired from that employment

17 on the 22nd of December last.

18 Q At the date of your retirement, were you

19 a security adviser with that agency?

20 A I was, sir, yes.

21 Q In December of 1988, did you work for

22 Pan Am?

23 A I did, sir.

24 Q What position did you hold at that time?

25 A 1988, I was manager, corporate security.



6319

1 Q What was your geographical area of

2 responsibility?

3 A Basically Middle East, India, Pakistan,

4 and occasionally to the U.S. And reporting to New York

5 headquarters.

6 Q Where were you based?

7 A At Heathrow, London.

8 Q I see. And did Heathrow Airport come

9 within your responsibility?

10 A It was within my area, yes, sir.

11 Q And we understand, of course, that

12 Pan Am had stations, as they were called, in other

13 areas of Europe; in particular of interest is

14 Frankfurt. Did Frankfurt come within the area of your

15 responsibility?

16 A It did so, yes.

17 Q Did you have a colleague who worked in

18 Frankfurt called Martin Huebner?

19 A Yes, sir.

20 Q And did he report to you?

21 A Reported to me on a local basis, but

22 also was on occasions kind of dealing with headquarters

23 direct, depending on their needs.

24 Q I see. In the hierarchy, was he a

25 colleague who was your subordinate, or your superior?


6320

1 A In actual grade, I was the senior one.

2 Q Thank you.


<<<<SNIP>>>>

6334

5 Q Yes. And did you consider at that time

6 that training was not as good as it might be for such

7 employees?

8 A No, the training was fine. It was

9 probably at that particular time more a question of

10 turnover of personnel.

11 Q So does that mean that the employees

12 tended to be of short duration?

13 A There was a fairly high turnover at that

14 time.

15 Q Was that in relation to poor pay and

16 conditions, one factor?

17 A That would have been one of the reasons.

18 Q Was the case, though, Mr. Berwick, that

19 such training as was afforded to those employees

20 charged with operating the x-ray machine was of a

21 pretty limited nature?

22 A It depended on the individual. If the

23 person was very, very professional, they could read the

24 screen very effectively. They had good training, they

25 knew what to look for. Somebody not quite so

6335

1 experienced would not be as good.

2 Q Was this work undertaken by a company

3 called Alert Security?

4 A They -- Alert were tasked with that

5 duty, and I can't remember the specific dates when they

6 took over.

7 Q I think that was a company which was

8 effectively owned by Pan Am, but it operated that

9 aspect of the security operation; is that correct?

10 A Alert Management Services was an

11 affiliate company, yes.

12 Q And would it be fair to say that in the

13 aftermath of this disaster, certain inquiries were made

14 into the efficacy or otherwise of Alert Security?

15 A Not that I was aware of, sir. It just

16 heightened the whole of the security industry, as far

17 as passenger screening was concerned.


18 Q Were you not aware of inquiries

19 undertaken by FAA?

20 A That was -- yes, I am aware of those.

21 Q And were you not aware of their findings

22 in relation to the shortcomings applicable to Alert

23 Security?

24 A They were issued with certain

25 violations, a number of violations, that is correct.


6336

1 Q And was it not also discovered during

2 those inquiries that training of Alert employees was

3 extremely limited?

4 A That was not necessarily the case, in my

5 opinion, and in what I saw.

6 Q Was it not also discovered that most

7 employees had been employed only for a very short time,

8 indeed, prior to the date of the disaster?

9 A I cannot recall the date that Alert

10 became operative, but they had not been there that

11 long. The exact date, I cannot recall.

12 Q Would it surprise you to hear that their

13 inquiries revealed that x-ray -- training on the x-ray

14 machine initially consisted of one half-hour's

15 training?

16 A That would surprise me.

17 Q Would it surprise you to hear that it

18 was also discovered that that was supplemented by one

19 half-hour on-job training with a trained operator?

20 A I know there was on-the-job training,

21 kind of was part of the training package for a period

22 of time, but how long that went on, I can't recall.

23 Q Did you appreciate that no training was

24 provided in relation to identification of explosives?

25 A I wasn't aware of that, sir.

6337

1 Q After the disaster, do I take it that a

2 lot of changes to the security system, if I can put it

3 as broadly as that, were made?

4 A Yes, both from -- as far as the U.K. was

5 concerned, from the Department of Transport. Also from

6 the FAA there were changes.

7 Q Was positive baggage reconciliation

8 reintroduced, for one thing?

9 A I cannot recall, but I believe so.


10 Q Mr. Berwick, prior to the disaster, were

11 you aware of a warning which had been circulated which

12 became known as the Toshiba warning?

13 A I was, sir.

14 Q And did that relate to the finding of a

15 quantity of explosives apparently concealed in

16 transistor radio devices in Germany?

17 A Correct, sir, yes.

18 Q And it was considered that those devices

19 had a link to a Palestinian group; is that correct?

20 A That is correct.

21 Q And did you receive circulation of a

22 warning in relation to that discovery, particularly

23 warning those charged with civil aviation security to

24 be on the alert in case such a device was attempted to

25 be put on board an American aircraft?


6338

1 A I cannot remember the exact wording of

2 the warnings, because there were several of them issued

3 at that time.

4 Q Was --

5 A I was aware of them, sir.

6 Q Was the content of that warning, so far

7 as you are aware, Mr. Berwick, circulated to Pan Am

8 employees engaged in the loading process and the Alert

9 Security employees charged with operating the x-ray

10 machinery?

11 A It was, sir, yes.

12 Q Are you sure about that?

13 A Yeah.

14 Q If we were to hear evidence in this

15 case, Mr. Berwick, that a considerable number of those

16 employees, as of 21st December 1988, knew nothing about

17 that warning, would that surprise you?

18 A It would surprise me, sir, because there

19 had been a build-up to this. It was not just the

20 Toshiba radio; it was also some other electronic

21 equipment. I believe there was a VCR; there was even a

22 TV unit that were in the warnings that were received.

23 Q Mr. Berwick, did you become aware also

24 of a warning being circulated which became known as the

25 Helsinki warning?


6339

1 A I was, sir.

2 Q And did that relate to the perceived

3 risk of an unaccompanied Finnish female passenger

4 boarding a plane with an improvised explosive device

5 concealed, possibly in a radio?

6 A As far as I can recall, there is no

7 mention of how it would be carried. It was a female

8 passenger, Finnish female passenger would be duped into

9 carrying a device.

10 Q I'm obliged. Was the contents of that

11 warning circulated to Pan Am staff at Heathrow, those

12 involved in the loading and unloading process, and

13 those Alert employees operating the x-ray machine?

14 A To the best of my knowledge, it was,

15 sir.

16 Q Again, Mr. Berwick, if we were to hear

17 evidence in this case that many of such employees knew

18 nothing about such a warning as of 21st December '88, I

19 take it you'd also be surprised at that?

20 A I would do, yes, sir.

21 Q So far as general security was involved

22 at London Heathrow, you would, presumably, as part of

23 your job, require to know that there were a

24 considerable number of security passes, airside

25 security passes, issued at Heathrow?



6340

1 A Sorry, I missed the first part of the

2 question, sir.

3 Q So far as general security at Heathrow

4 was concerned, and so far as it affected your role,

5 Mr. Berwick, you would require to know, presumably,

6 about the issue of airside security passes to staff at

7 that airport?

8 A The issuance of the airside passes was

9 the responsibility of the British Airports Authority,

10 and they would deal with the individual airlines and

11 their requests, and either issue or not issue, as the

12 case.

13 Q You would know, presumably, though,

14 Mr. Berwick, in general terms, that there was something

15 in the order of 40,000 such passes issued?

16 A That wouldn't surprise me, sir.

17 Q That wouldn't surprise you?

18 A No.

19 Q And you would know that there were an

20 appreciable number that were unaccounted for having

21 been issued?

22 A I wasn't aware of it, but I take your

23 word, sir.

24 Q But again, that wouldn't surprise you?

25 A No. No.

6354

4 Q Now, just one final matter, if you could

5 help me with, please.

6 These dreadful events occurred on the 21st of

7 December of 1988. Do you remember as at that date how

8 many security staff were employed at Heathrow in your

9 section?

10 A Outside of Alert, there would have been

11 only Mr. Jones and myself. Mike Jones.

12 Q So how many?

13 A Two.

14 Q Two. Two security staff at Heathrow.

15 In terms of the airport generally, how many security

16 staff as at the 21st of December 1988 were employed?

17 A You are now talking about airport

18 security?

19 Q Yes.

20 A All would I say, sir, there were

21 hundreds.

22 Q We've spoken about an organisation

23 called Alert Security.

24 A Yes, sir.

25 Q Now, as I understand matters, Alert



6355

1 Security is a specific firm that correlates with Pan Am

2 flights, or did; is that right?

3 A They were an affiliate company who were

4 tasked, so far as London and Frankfurt were concerned,

5 to provide security services in relation to passenger,

6 aircraft and passenger screening and baggage screening.

7 Q I am obliged to you. And in terms of

8 numbers, how many were employed by Alert Security as at

9 the 21st of December of 1988; do you remember? I am

10 not trying to catch you out. If I put a figure to you

11 of 81, would you accept that as being an accurate

12 figure?

13 A I would have thought probably in the

14 region of 100, but if you say 81, I accept that.

15 Q Would I be right in thinking that after

16 the events of the 21st of December, the number of

17 persons employed by Alert Security rose dramatically

18 from 81 to 251?

19 A That was correct, sir.

20 Q Now, does that give us an indication,

21 then, of once a proper analysis had been done of

22 security that was required at Heathrow of the

23 additional personnel that were required in order to

24 satisfy Pan Am that matters were now secure at

25 Heathrow, whereas in the past, plainly, they were not?



6356

1 A I think most of the increase in

2 personnel for Alert, sir, was basically because of new

3 legislation, new instructions from the U.S., FAA, and

4 from the U.K. Department of Transport.

5 Q Indeed. In other words, once people

6 looked at the system that was in operation and saw its

7 failings, they gave guidance as to the new system, and

8 the personnel involved increased dramatically, from 81

9 to 251?

10 A That was correct, sir.

11 Q Yes. Mr. Berwick, thank you very much

12 for your help.

13 A Thank you.

14 LORD SUTHERLAND: Advocate Depute.

15 MR. TURNBULL: I have no re-examination.

16 Thank you, My Lord.

17 LORD SUTHERLAND: Mr. Berwick, I wonder if

18 you can help us on one matter.

19 As far as originating passengers were

20 concerned at Heathrow Airport, if a passenger had

21 checked in, and had checked in, let us say, two

22 suitcases, and then did not show at the departure gate,

23 what would the proper procedure be as far as baggage

24 reconciliation was concerned?

25 A The system I believe that was in place




6357

1 at that time was that you would have to literally get

2 the complete record of that particular passenger, find

3 out where he was -- if you could find out what

4 nationality, all the criteria. Obviously try and trace

5 the bags, and then offload the bags. But there was a

6 certain amount of tolerance, that if there was a good

7 reason, that this passenger was bona fide, no problems

8 at all in their assessment, then the bags on some

9 situations would be allowed to remain on board and go.

10 But the basic procedure was: Get the bags, offload

11 them. And that was it.

12 LORD SUTHERLAND: Yes. Could you look at

13 Production 201, please, page 1.

14 You see there passenger number 9, Basuta, J.

15 A I do, sir.

16 LORD SUTHERLAND: From your knowledge of

17 these documents, would he be an originating passenger

18 at London?

19 A He would have been, sir, yes.

20 LORD SUTHERLAND: Yes. And it would appear

21 also that he had checked in two bags?

22 A Correct, sir.

23 LORD SUTHERLAND: Now, we've been told that

24 he did not show for this flight, being subsequently

25 discovered in a bar, I think, after the flight had


6358

1 taken off, but that his bags travelled on this flight.

2 Are you able to explain how that would come about?

3 A I wasn't there, but the story that my

4 colleague Mike Jones, who was at the gate, gave me that

5 evening was that Mr. Basuta was in actual -- located,

6 although they actually had closed the aircraft and were

7 about to push back. Mr. Basuta was en route to the

8 gate. They then checked out to find out what

9 nationality the gentleman was, and as a consequence,

10 the flight was allowed to depart with the bags on. He

11 was a U.S. citizen, and other questions had been asked,

12 and they were of the opinion that although he was a

13 gate no-show, they had resolved any queries about that

14 particular passenger.

15 LORD SUTHERLAND: I see.

16 Thank you, Mr. Berwick. That's all.

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Old 3rd June 2010, 09:27 AM   #167
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Cool. We're humming along here, with a lot of great analysis!

Regarding Shaughnessy, here is what caught my attention.

"Shaughnessy's affidavit also reveals details of polygraph (lie detector) tests on two former PanAm employees, which he believes show they switched the bag in Frankfurt containing the bomb."1

I just wanted to learn a bit more about Shaughnessy before assessing his credibility to say anything regarding bomb placement issues.



1. http://www.newsmakingnews.com/locker...o_ransom_b.htm

2. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1
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Old 3rd June 2010, 09:33 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Testimony of Alan Berwick at Camp Zeist, Manager of corporate security for Pan Am along with Mike Jones.

Well, Basuta was obviously originally suspected of having a hand in this, but turned out to be completely innocent, just spent too long in the bar. Or long enough in the bar I suppose as it saved his life. He was still in the airport when the plane went down, I imagine trying to get a seat on another flight. The cops found him there and took him into custody. He got the shock of his life, apparently.

He was a Heathrow check-in, and his luggage wasn't in AVE4041.

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Old 3rd June 2010, 09:36 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
Cool. We're humming along here, with a lot of great analysis!

Regarding Shaughnessy, here is what caught my attention.

"Shaughnessy's affidavit also reveals details of polygraph (lie detector) tests on two former PanAm employees, which he believes show they switched the bag in Frankfurt containing the bomb."1

I just wanted to learn a bit more about Shaughnessy before assessing his credibility to say anything regarding bomb placement issues.

1. http://www.newsmakingnews.com/locker...o_ransom_b.htm

2. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1

Oh, that's an integral part of the Trail of the Octopus thesis. Coleman goes into it at great length. Polygraphs are complete woo anyway, so it doesn't really mean anything one way or another.

I think the resistance and hostility Shaughnessy encountered are more telling than the Jafaar drug-switch theory, which I think was what he was mainly pursuing, having talked to Coleman quite a lot.

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 10:19 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
snip...
Regarding the bag placement, there's a question the explosives experts never answered, and which I think is central to figuring out the nature of the plot. If we assume the amount of Semtex was about 400 to 600g, how crucial was the positioning, really?

I am not an explosives expert, but I would think there is a lot of energy absorbtion potential in packed clothing, so why chance it? If I stand to collect $10 million, I am going to ensure the device has every possible chance of success, even if it costs me a few thousand to ensure privacy to get the bag exactly where it has to be.
I recall, of the other aircraft which had bombs explode in them, some landed and some did not, so prior experience might neccessitate much more careful placing to ensure the integrity of the aircraft skin was breached. That might give the best odds of bringing the aircraft down. One would think that each successful bomb blast on an aircraft would increase security after each event, so one would have to maximize aircraft damage lest increased security prevent another try.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 10:28 AM   #171
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One key element in all this appears to be- was the person who placed the bomb bag in AVE4041 a co-opted airport or airline worker, or a terrorist posing as a worker? If the former, there is a lot of chance involved, as the co-opted worker wouldn't understand or care if the bag was placed properly or not. Who's to know if the bag was placed in the front row or the back row, top, middle, or bottom?

So, it seems imperative one must have one of ones own people finish the job to ensure perfect reliability in bag placement. If one relies on any other method, it seems more a roll of the dice whether the bag is moved or even ends up in the right spot after movement.

If the terrorists didn't much care where the bomb ended up in AVE4041, then one could just check it in at Frankfurt and forget about it.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 12:20 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
I am not an explosives expert, but I would think there is a lot of energy absorbtion potential in packed clothing, so why chance it? If I stand to collect $10 million, I am going to ensure the device has every possible chance of success, even if it costs me a few thousand to ensure privacy to get the bag exactly where it has to be.
I recall, of the other aircraft which had bombs explode in them, some landed and some did not, so prior experience might neccessitate much more careful placing to ensure the integrity of the aircraft skin was breached. That might give the best odds of bringing the aircraft down. One would think that each successful bomb blast on an aircraft would increase security after each event, so one would have to maximize aircraft damage lest increased security prevent another try.

By and large, I agree with you. I'd have thought they would have learned from their earlier efforts, and be doing whatever was necessary. I'm just not certain that the amount of explosive wasn't sufficient so that, for example, maybe 80% of the possible placements in the container would have done the job. In that case, it wouldn't have been especially important to ride point on the thing after it was placed in the container among the first few bags. (The worse positions from the point of view of the terrorists would be nearer the top, so it would be very unlikely any of the bags Bedford saw would fetch up there.) Even if they thought that was the case, it would be enough. It's not an exact science.

Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
One key element in all this appears to be- was the person who placed the bomb bag in AVE4041 a co-opted airport or airline worker, or a terrorist posing as a worker? If the former, there is a lot of chance involved, as the co-opted worker wouldn't understand or care if the bag was placed properly or not. Who's to know if the bag was placed in the front row or the back row, top, middle, or bottom?

So, it seems imperative one must have one of ones own people finish the job to ensure perfect reliability in bag placement. If one relies on any other method, it seems more a roll of the dice whether the bag is moved or even ends up in the right spot after movement.

If the terrorists didn't much care where the bomb ended up in AVE4041, then one could just check it in at Frankfurt and forget about it.

Yes, indeed, that's all quite true. However, I don't think you could just "check it in" at Frankfurt. The Frankfurt x-ray people were all on the alert for electronics devices in luggage, and Maier confirms he would have pulled out any case that had a radio in it. You also couldn't rely on the plane taking off at Heathrow if the passenger attached to that bag didn't make the connection. That's exactly the sort of simple manoeuvre airport security was designed to foil in the 1980s.

This of course is the basis of the "Frankfurt bag switch" theory, which was necessary to circumvent Frankfurt security. It's generally agreed that if the bomb was to be introduced at Frankfurt it really had to be done after the x-ray stage. The Toshiba was a decent camouflage, but it couldn't be relied on after the Autumn Leaves events in October.

And maybe, if it wasn't for Bedford, I'd be pretty keen on this idea, and a member of the Aviv/Coleman/Francovich fan club. The disappearance of all the Frankfurt evidence makes it a bit difficult to test it out one way or another. We only know there was no reliable evidence presented of a rogue bag introduced at Frankfurt. On the other hand, Bedford saw a brown Samsonite very close to the right place in the container, where it was unlikely to be moved very far.

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Old 3rd June 2010, 08:31 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
By and large, I agree with you. I'd have thought they would have learned from their earlier efforts, and be doing whatever was necessary. I'm just not certain that the amount of explosive wasn't sufficient so that, for example, maybe 80% of the possible placements in the container would have done the job. In that case, it wouldn't have been especially important to ride point on the thing after it was placed in the container among the first few bags. (The worse positions from the point of view of the terrorists would be nearer the top, so it would be very unlikely any of the bags Bedford saw would fetch up there.) Even if they thought that was the case, it would be enough. It's not an exact science.

snip...

Yes, indeed, that's all quite true. However, I don't think you could just "check it in" at Frankfurt. The Frankfurt x-ray people were all on the alert for electronics devices in luggage, and Maier confirms he would have pulled out any case that had a radio in it. You also couldn't rely on the plane taking off at Heathrow if the passenger attached to that bag didn't make the connection. That's exactly the sort of simple manoeuvre airport security was designed to foil in the 1980s.

snip...

Rolfe.
But, Abu Elias WAS the airport security expert, and he would- or should have known that passenger reconciliation with luggage was NOT (according to Berwick's testimony) followed.

"6337

1 Q After the disaster, do I take it that a

2 lot of changes to the security system, if I can put it

3 as broadly as that, were made?

4 A Yes, both from -- as far as the U.K. was

5 concerned, from the Department of Transport. Also from

6 the FAA there were changes.

7 Q Was positive baggage reconciliation

8 reintroduced, for one thing?

9 A I cannot recall, but I believe so."

So, it would seem an unaccompanied bag could have been introduced at Frankfurt, and not been reconciled with its owner, and placed aboard PA103.

Regarding the bomb, I agree it's quite plausible that the quantity of Semtex used may have given the terrorists for hire the smug feeling that placement anywhere in AVE4041 would be sufficient to blast a hole in the skin of the aircraft. An idea of the blast force of Semtex;
"Three pounds of Semtex plastique packs enough punch to raze a two-story building"1

I cannot imagine they didn't have the entire operation under surveilance in some fashion, though.
With 10 million dollars at stake, I would.

1. citation available upon request.
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Old 4th June 2010, 01:50 AM   #174
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Well, I was mainly thinking about the x-ray part. Pretty much everyone looking seriously at the Frankfurt operation believes that a Frankfurt introduction would have had to circumvent Maier, because Maier would have spotted the radio. (Kamboj, on the other hand....)

Also, there was some reconciliation at Heathrow, we know. They knew Basuta had missed the plane, but decided to take off anyway, because all the circumstances suggested he wasn't a threat.

[Makes me wonder what would have happened if they'd delayed for him. If they'd actually stopped to get his luggage off they could well still have been on the tarmac at 7 o'clock. Would there have been an explosion, or not, I wonder? More probably, though, they'd simply have reopened the plane and let him board, because it would have been quicker. There would still have been a delay though. So where would the explosion have happened? At 7.03pm, or 38 minutes after take-off? This nicely demonstrates the insanity of a timer-triggered explosion set for 7pm - this sort of delay happens all the time.]

Anyway, they knew Basuta was missing, and I'd bet they would have known if a PA103A transfer passenger hadn't made the connection too. Whether they would have done anything about it is another matter, but they might have, especially if the passenger had completely vanished, and had a middle-eastern (or Irish) name or passport.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but this scenario has been looked at very closely by everyone from Aviv to Coleman to Francovich, and nothing very concrete has emerged.

Rolfe.
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Old 4th June 2010, 02:27 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
However, there's something been niggling me for a while about what Baz says in that article.

It sounds from this as if most if not all of the bags Bedford placed himself belonged to the CIA operatives who flew in from Larnaca. McKee, two cases. Gannon, one case. LaRiviere, Baz doesn't say. That's conceivably "four or five cases".

Then there's O'Connor's luggage, which should have been there but was left behind. Two cases. Never made it, went into a baggage store. Instead, the two mysterious "Bedford suitcases" appeared in the container. Never discovered who these belonged to or what happened to them.

It's odd that two suitcases that should have been in that container, weren't, and two suspect cases with no known provenance, were. Could there have been some sort of substitution of O'Connor's luggage? I'd dearly love to know whether the proper PA103 tags were still on O'Connor's cases when they were found in that baggage store....

Assuming Baz is right about these details, that is. I don't know where he got them from.

What do you guys think about this? I've added a comment to Baz's article asking him about it.

Looking at it in more detail, I see Baz mentions several flights bringing interline passengers to PA103 - Vienna and Brussels as well as Cyprus. So we can't just assume that it was the Cyprus interline baggage that was in AVE4041 before the Bedford suitcases got there.

The number of cases suggests a single flight, and it's right for the number of cases known to be carried by the CIA personnel who flew interline from Cyprus. And if that were the case, it does raise the very interesting possibility that the Bedford suitcases were in fact bag-switches for O'Connor's luggage.

Which brings the CIA presence right back into the heart of the story.

Of course, even if this is what happened, there's no real reason it couldn't simply have been a random pick by the terrorist. He just needed to lose two suitably-tagged suitases and substitute his own. But it's an interesting thought. And if that's what happened, and the authorities had some suspicion of that, they might not have been at all keen on the details getting out. So again, let's all focus on the Frankfurt baggage....

Rolfe.
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Old 4th June 2010, 03:25 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
So, it would seem an unaccompanied bag could have been introduced at Frankfurt, and not been reconciled with its owner, and placed aboard PA103.
In fact, if I'm not mistake, there over a dozen such items with no people on board 103A. That's in Octopus I believe, again one of the more trustworthy sections. I'm not sure the status of these - some were maybe airline employee luggagebeing forwarded. ??

Sorry I'm not as much help lately. Luckily I don't seem to be needed so much.

On the current discussion, terrorists will sometimes have to leave things to chance, dpending on their resources. I wouldn't go the extreme the SCOTBOM people did and presume they'd let multiple baggage handling crews at three airports rearramge, inspect, misoute, or delay my bomb. But I might be willing to get in in the right spot once and walk away hoping it isn't moved much. It's been suggested by Rolfe that it could be double-checked just before the feeder is to be loaded.

In fact, a loader on that crew would be the best accomplice, to slide them in place and lock them buried in place. But I agree having two people co-ordinating like that gets unbelievable.
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Old 4th June 2010, 03:30 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
I've spent some time reading through Day 43 of the Zeist transcripts, and a number of notable points was gleaned.

Mr Walker, supervisor of the Baggage Build-Up shed of Heathrow's terminal 3, and dealing with specifically the baggage for 103, was who Bedford went to see during his break of about 20mins at about 3pm on the afternoon of the 21st.
Bedford puts his return from break at 4:40. Hmm... "A I don't remember offhand. Maybe 3.30, something like that." Alright, close enough, maybe. It was for a cup of tea. He doesn't remember what they talked about.

Interesting he didn't recall the container for the police. These are fairly big details you have in your mind all day, and when that plane blows up within a couple hours, you'd have to be a guppy to forget that last container for 103.

Q -- you told the tribunal then that Mr. Bedford had brought bags in a container round from the interline shed and had left them in the baggage build-up area not far from your office?
A Yes.
Q Can you explain why you told that information to the Fatal Accident Inquiry, but you told something different to the police, when the police initially took statements from you?
A No, I can't explain that.
Q You are not able to explain that at all?
A No, I can't.
Q Because there is quite --
A I find it very hard to understand, but if you say so, that's how it is.



Excellent summation. I'll need to look at Walker's statements like I did Bedford's and Kamboj's. For now I'll rely on what you've got here. Cool.

Quote:
This raised a problem as Walker revealed that if a container were brought to the baggage build-up area from the interline shed, it would not be brought actually inside the shed, but left, unattended, on the build up ramp outside the shed. Of greater concern, the container whilst on the ramp, would not be in view of those working in the build up area.
Ah, that's the "45 min unattended time" sometimes cited, not Bedford's break. Indeed, great opportunity to verify the previous arrangement.


Quote:
The bags anticipated on the 103A flight, joining 103 to New York, were also expected to be contained in one specific baggage container so as to presumably allow a speedy and straightforward swap from one aircraft to the other given that 103A was Pan Am's main feeder for the transatlantic flight.
Small point, but I believe 103a was loaded open, with no containers. And I heaar 4041 was filled with a few bags left that wouldn't fit.

On the Berwick spoiler,

1 When you see a spoiler, you're

2 conditioned to expect a snarky

3 punchline. Instead, it's the

4 lines...
tl;dr. (will later)
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Old 4th June 2010, 03:33 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What do you guys think about this? I've added a comment to Baz's article asking him about it.

Looking at it in more detail, I see Baz mentions several flights bringing interline passengers to PA103 - Vienna and Brussels as well as Cyprus. So we can't just assume that it was the Cyprus interline baggage that was in AVE4041 before the Bedford suitcases got there.

The number of cases suggests a single flight, and it's right for the number of cases known to be carried by the CIA personnel who flew interline from Cyprus. And if that were the case, it does raise the very interesting possibility that the Bedford suitcases were in fact bag-switches for O'Connor's luggage.

Which brings the CIA presence right back into the heart of the story.

Of course, even if this is what happened, there's no real reason it couldn't simply have been a random pick by the terrorist. He just needed to lose two suitably-tagged suitases and substitute his own. But it's an interesting thought. And if that's what happened, and the authorities had some suspicion of that, they might not have been at all keen on the details getting out. So again, let's all focus on the Frankfurt baggage....

Rolfe.
I'm not getting chills but maybe should be. That's an interesting hypothesis.

So far I've been seeing a simple addition of two at the container. Where and how would a swap happen?
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Old 4th June 2010, 04:09 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I'm not getting chills but maybe should be. That's an interesting hypothesis.

So far I've been seeing a simple addition of two at the container. Where and how would a swap happen?

I don't know. I'm brainstorming.

The idea of a baggage swap rather than a simple addition is at the heart of the Frankfurt theories. I suppose the main driving force behind this is the idea that an arrangement existed for the drug-smuggling bags to be smuggled past the x-ray operatives (who would spot any significant quantity of drugs as well as explosives). This was then subverted, and the bomb bag swithced for the drugs bag. There's so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin, but there it was. The bag-switch theory.

I can't see why extra cases couldn't simply have been put on AVE4041, and maybe that's exactly what did happen. However, when I then hear about two case that apparently ought to have been on AVE4041 and inexplicably weren't, I start to wonder. And then, these cases belonged to one of the CIA officers?

Could be something as simple as needing the tags. Instead of printing fake tags, why not snag a legitimately-tagged bag or two, and switch them? It would be easy to do a quick and dirty job on that, with scissors or a knife, and sellotape or glue or a sticky paper label. It wouldn't stand close inspection, but it probably wouldn't have to.

Or maybe there really is some deep significance to the fact this was CIA bags it happened to. I don't know. It may be nothing. the Larnaca luggage could have been in a completely different container for all I know, and O'Connor's bags simply left behind by accident. It's just an angle I'd like to explore, see if it leads anywhere.

Rolfe.
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Old 4th June 2010, 04:20 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
In fact, if I'm not mistake, there over a dozen such items with no people on board 103A. That's in Octopus I believe, again one of the more trustworthy sections. I'm not sure the status of these - some were maybe airline employee luggagebeing forwarded. ??

Coleman reports legitimate unaccompanied luggage on board - that's the "rush tags" thing, either airline employee property being sent on (Hubbard's bag, in particular), or previously mislaid items being returned to their owners.

He also reports some accidental items, things tagged for completely different flights that got on PA103 by mistake. Or one such item, anyway. It happens.

That's rather different from the disappearing passenger situation. You could introduce a bag with the right tags and no passenger, and it would get through unless the x-ray operator spotted something suspicious. But if a passenger who was known to have checked luggage in did a runner, that would trigger some action. We know that because of Basuta. There was a positive decision taken not to act on that because the guy had a US passport and was observed actually running for the plane. But they did know about him.

I don't think a bag switch is necessary. A bag could easily be added, if you had the right tags. However, a bag switch is still possible, either because of complications we're not aware of, or simply as a means of getting the tags.

Rolfe.
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Old 4th June 2010, 04:49 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What do you guys think about this? I've added a comment to Baz's article asking him about it.

Looking at it in more detail, I see Baz mentions several flights bringing interline passengers to PA103 - Vienna and Brussels as well as Cyprus. So we can't just assume that it was the Cyprus interline baggage that was in AVE4041 before the Bedford suitcases got there.

The number of cases suggests a single flight, and it's right for the number of cases known to be carried by the CIA personnel who flew interline from Cyprus. And if that were the case, it does raise the very interesting possibility that the Bedford suitcases were in fact bag-switches for O'Connor's luggage.

Which brings the CIA presence right back into the heart of the story.

Of course, even if this is what happened, there's no real reason it couldn't simply have been a random pick by the terrorist. He just needed to lose two suitably-tagged suitases and substitute his own. But it's an interesting thought. And if that's what happened, and the authorities had some suspicion of that, they might not have been at all keen on the details getting out. So again, let's all focus on the Frankfurt baggage....

Rolfe.
Again, this snippet of detail about that day is yet another aspect I've came across before but not looked at in detail.

I'm not certain where I 'd noticed this mention of O'Connor's luggage - possibly De Braeckeleer articles on 103. Although, on checking back the article which raised the issue was written for OhmyNews by Barry Walker (Stalker) for the same publication as De Braeckeleer, and the same chain of articles on the subject.

Originally Posted by OhmyNews
The Larnaca Interline passengers included four US Government officials. Three, CIA officer Matthew Gannon, Army Major Charles "Tiny" McKee and Ron LaRiviere had travelled from the Lebanon and the fourth Daniel O'Connor was a State Department official posted to the US Embassy in Nicosia.

The luggage of these four men was recovered. None had a bronze or maroon hardsided Samsonite (McKee's had two grey suitcases one a Samsonite, Gannon's Samsonite was blue and soft-sided.) Curiously O'Connor's two bags were never loaded onto PA103 but after the bombing was found in a baggage room at Heathrow.
OhmyNews Article

The source for these details are credited as coming from a Lockerbie Incident control Centre memo 28th March 1989 ,which is quoted from Leppard's book.(p100)

It is indeed very curious that O'Connors two bags were omitted from a container it would be expected to be loaded into, while two unaccounted for and extraneous suitcases were said by Bedford to be introduced into 4041 - the very same container.

It does immediately strike me if this would this be a reason why, if we accept that the break-in at the doors on Terminal 3 as reported by Manly (Manly Article) was to introduce the device and suitcase(s), there was an 18hr wait before the bag was loaded into AVE4041?

Would the 'airport worker', being familiar with the airport and loading procedures, have prior knowledge of a number of significant intelligence agents are joining the later, and last of the day, Pan Am flight to the US, thus presenting a better opportunity of introducing the bag(s)?

Did O'Connor''s luggage still have the appropriate tags on them on discovery after the crash?

Would a piece of luggage assigned to a CIA operative be subjected to less suspicion, therefore less scrutiny while being examined by any baggage x-rayer or loader?

Would luggage tagged with the appropriate labels for 103 while indicating that they belong to the party of CIA officers, some of who's baggage is already loaded into 4041 by Bedford, convince Kamboj to perhaps be less meticulous in his examination..

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Old 4th June 2010, 10:34 PM   #182
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Quote:
The source for these details are credited as coming from a Lockerbie Incident control Centre memo 28th March 1989 ,which is quoted from Leppard's book.(p100)
Must be a mix-up. Thememo on p 100 doesn'tmention that, and actually the article doesn't cite that source. My copy of Leppard's book has that info on pp 116-117. And there, FWIW, it says the manifest of his Larnaca to london flight "showed that he had only checked in one item of baggage, a brown American Tourister suitcase. After the crash, O'Connor's bag was mysteriously found in the baggage room at Heathrow airport."

So that adds - or removes - a wrinkle. Still, I can imagine a good way to wind up in the luggage room is to be found without a tag. A second case may also have been pilfered, and then boom.

From Mr. Walker's (Baz) OMNI article:
Quote:
Curiously O'Connor's two bags were never loaded onto PA103 but after the bombing was found in a baggage room at Heathrow.
He's mixing forms, plural and singular. Wonder if he noticed that. He also has John Bedford's first name as David. Otherwise, AFAIK it's a good enough piece. It was one of the first concrete articles that started me digging.

Quote:
Would a piece of luggage assigned to a CIA operative be subjected to less suspicion, therefore less scrutiny while being examined by any baggage x-rayer or loader?
That's another key question here. I would suspect CIA type-status alone wouldn't help. Only if that job allowed access to some shady system like that alleged at Frankfurt.

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Old 5th June 2010, 07:26 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't know. I'm brainstorming.

The idea of a baggage swap rather than a simple addition is at the heart of the Frankfurt theories. I suppose the main driving force behind this is the idea that an arrangement existed for the drug-smuggling bags to be smuggled past the x-ray operatives (who would spot any significant quantity of drugs as well as explosives). This was then subverted, and the bomb bag swithced for the drugs bag. There's so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin, but there it was. The bag-switch theory.

I can't see why extra cases couldn't simply have been put on AVE4041, and maybe that's exactly what did happen. However, when I then hear about two case that apparently ought to have been on AVE4041 and inexplicably weren't, I start to wonder. And then, these cases belonged to one of the CIA officers?

Could be something as simple as needing the tags. Instead of printing fake tags, why not snag a legitimately-tagged bag or two, and switch them? It would be easy to do a quick and dirty job on that, with scissors or a knife, and sellotape or glue or a sticky paper label. It wouldn't stand close inspection, but it probably wouldn't have to.

Or maybe there really is some deep significance to the fact this was CIA bags it happened to. I don't know. It may be nothing. the Larnaca luggage could have been in a completely different container for all I know, and O'Connor's bags simply left behind by accident. It's just an angle I'd like to explore, see if it leads anywhere.

Rolfe.
Further to your brainstorming, I'm now going to inject a little idea in here.

Has anyone given any credence to a theory put forward, I believe in 2007, but resurrected last fall, of the chance that Semtex was not the explosive used? I refer to the report prepared by John Parkes, the bomb blast mitigation expert. My wish is not to derail the thread, only to point out that if Semtex was not used, then placement of the bomb bag is somewhat less important.
We do know the AAIB report concluded there was an outward flare to the aircraft skin at the blast opening area. Pathology of some of the victims detail injuries which appear somewhat inconsistent with a breakup scenario. In fact, " Of the 270 victims, 253 were positively identified. Of these, 209 were identified with the aid of odontology."1

AFAIK, Semtex was just accepted as the cause of the hole in the fuselage and subsequent 'mach stem' breakup.

Can anyone verify this with a quote from the trial transcripts where Semtex was verified as the explosive agent?


1. Identification in the Lockerbie Air Disaster (The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, March 1994, Vol. 15, Issue 1) Moody, Gregory Howard Ph.D., F.D.S.R.C.S. Ed., M.R.C. Path., D.F.M.; Busuttil, Anthony M.D., F.R.C.P.E., F.R.C. Path., D.M.J.
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Old 5th June 2010, 08:36 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Again, this snippet of detail about that day is yet another aspect I've came across before but not looked at in detail.

I'm not certain where I 'd noticed this mention of O'Connor's luggage - possibly De Braeckeleer articles on 103. Although, on checking back the article which raised the issue was written for OhmyNews by Barry Walker (Stalker) for the same publication as De Braeckeleer, and the same chain of articles on the subject.



OhmyNews Article

The source for these details are credited as coming from a Lockerbie Incident control Centre memo 28th March 1989 ,which is quoted from Leppard's book.(p100)

It is indeed very curious that O'Connors two bags were omitted from a container it would be expected to be loaded into, while two unaccounted for and extraneous suitcases were said by Bedford to be introduced into 4041 - the very same container.

It does immediately strike me if this would this be a reason why, if we accept that the break-in at the doors on Terminal 3 as reported by Manly (Manly Article) was to introduce the device and suitcase(s), there was an 18hr wait before the bag was loaded into AVE4041?

Would the 'airport worker', being familiar with the airport and loading procedures, have prior knowledge of a number of significant intelligence agents are joining the later, and last of the day, Pan Am flight to the US, thus presenting a better opportunity of introducing the bag(s)?

Did O'Connor''s luggage still have the appropriate tags on them on discovery after the crash?

Would a piece of luggage assigned to a CIA operative be subjected to less suspicion, therefore less scrutiny while being examined by any baggage x-rayer or loader?

Would luggage tagged with the appropriate labels for 103 while indicating that they belong to the party of CIA officers, some of who's baggage is already loaded into 4041 by Bedford, convince Kamboj to perhaps be less meticulous in his examination..
Well, we know there wereat least 8 CIA personnel on 103 including Major Chuck McKee, Matthew Gannon, Daniel Emmett O’Connor, and others I cannot recall the names of. There was BCCI bank exec Robert Fortune. Khalid Nazir Jafaar the official drugs mule (CIA / DEA approved) also perished on 103.

In addition, there is also this to consider;

"Mesbahi alleged that parts of the bomb were put on a plane at Frankfurt airport, later assembled in London and finally loaded onto Pan Am 103. Many readers, including Dr. Swire and former FBI Special Agent Marquise, have interpreted that statement as the bomb being planted on the feeder flight, Pan Am 103A. This may or may not be what Mesbahi alleged. For instance, Gholam Reza Amouzadeh told me that Iran had two private airports in the Frankfurt area at that time."1

This would tend to support a Heathrow introduction of the bomb bag. but, again, it brings me back to a question I asked a few posts back- if the bomb was 'escorted' all the way to AVE 4041, why would it have to be in a form to pass scrutiny?

1. http://www.thetorah.tv/misc/Former%2...0Lockerbie.htm (De Braeckeleer)
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Old 6th June 2010, 01:58 AM   #185
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Hey Snidely Whiplash.

I don't mean to dig in much, just offer some quick thoughts FWIW.

I have to say I'm not confident myself what explosive was used. Wouldn't be able to make much of the science, not trusting RARDE. There are in fact I believe some point where evidence of different explosives did appeal, got confused and sidelined. I'm also not convinced of the radio debris. and open that it might be some other kind of bomb not in a radio or what have you.

I'm still inclined to suspect a Khreesat-ish bomb via Abu Elias, which means already built and so on. Don't much trust Mebashi. But if there was something else to support it I'd be all ears.
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Old 6th June 2010, 06:10 AM   #186
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It was just a thought about O'Connor's luggage - I'm really interested in the whole matter of the interline bags at Heathrow.

Bedford says he put four or five such bags into AVE4041, and then the two mystery bags showed up which were either related to the bombing or more interline bags, or possibly both. Baz mentions connecting flights from Larnaca, Vienna and Brussels, but this is Heathrow - I'd have thought there would be others, including other British airports even.

I haven't seen any reference to how many passengers interlined into Heathrow for that flight, or how many flights were in that category. And yet this group of passengers seems vital to any understanding of what was going on with AVE4041.

I don't understand the very early insistence that the bomb wasn't introduced at Heathrow. The localisation of the explosion to AVE4041 might reasonably show that it wasn't checked in at Heathrow, but these seven bags open up the possibility that it could have been interlined into Heathrow in just the same way as it was alleged to have been interlined into Frankfurt. And yet we don't even have the equivalent of Bogomira's printout to show us what was circulating in Heathrow.

I very much doubt that these seven bags were the totality of the interline baggage coming into that flight. Might have been one flight's worth, or a collection of odds and ends from several flights. The CIA officers' luggage was part of this category, but I suppose we have no confirmation that the bags of AVE4041 were theirs as opposed to passengers from any other flight.

I can't see that any analysis of the debris to suggest that one of the Frankfurt bags was below the bomb bag can rule out these seven bags completely. This is bits of sopping rubbish being picked up off the rough grazing fields in Dumfriesshire. It can't be that exact a science. And even if it was, there's no real reason why the luggage can't have been rearranged a little while PA103A was being unloaded to leave some of the Frankfurt bags below the interline bags. Even if that does mean the bombers were a bit lucky that the positioning remained optimal.

It seems as if this possibility was simply airbrushed out in order not to have Heathrow security taking the blame.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th June 2010, 09:35 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
"Mesbahi alleged that parts of the bomb were put on a plane at Frankfurt airport, later assembled in London and finally loaded onto Pan Am 103. Many readers, including Dr. Swire and former FBI Special Agent Marquise, have interpreted that statement as the bomb being planted on the feeder flight, Pan Am 103A. This may or may not be what Mesbahi alleged. For instance, Gholam Reza Amouzadeh told me that Iran had two private airports in the Frankfurt area at that time."

This would tend to support a Heathrow introduction of the bomb bag. but, again, it brings me back to a question I asked a few posts back- if the bomb was 'escorted' all the way to AVE 4041, why would it have to be in a form to pass scrutiny?

I don't think there was any chance at all of any manipulation being carried out on the bomb between PA103A and PA103.

If it was Jibril's group that carried out the bombing, then the bomb probably originated in the Frankfurt area. Somehow, it got on PA103. The Official version, when they were still pursuing that angle, was that it was smuggled to Malta (where presumably it was easier to get it on board in a small holiday airport ), to be routed back through Frankfurt. However crazy that sounds. Paul Foot said quite a lot about it.

Quote:
The bomb made by Khreesat was "concealed in a Toshiba radio cassette . It was smuggled to Malta by a known PFLP-GC terrorist called Ramzi Diab, and handed over to a Palestinian cell there. Dalkamoni and "another Palestinian terrorist" called Abu Talb then went to Malta and "instructed the cell to plant the bomb on an Air Malta flight bound for Frankfurt". [....]

The detail of the story was shifting all the time, probably because of new information available to Leppard’s security sources. For instance, the original story said the bomb suitcase went on at Malta unaccompanied. Two weeks later it was "carried aboard a plane to Frankfurt by an innocent passenger duped by the terrorist gang". [....]

One final fling at the PFLP-GC and their connections before the bombing with Malta was made on Granada Television in November in the run-up to the second anniversary of the disaster. The programme focused on a bakery in Malta and a Palestinian cell based there. The programme made the same connection as the Sunday Times had done a year earlier – between the fact that the clothes in the bomb suitcase were bought in Malta and the less certain fact that an unaccompanied bag from Malta was loaded onto a Pan Am feeder flight from Frankfurt to London and thence to Pan Am 103.

It really does seem as if, even after the Erac printout suggested a possible Malta origin, the PFLP-GC were still the main suspects. Malta was simply woven into the narrative of how they did it. Gauci was being invited to identify Abu Talb as the mystery shopper. It does suggest the enquiry didn't at that time know about Megrahi's presence at Luqa that morning. Or if they did, they didn't think it was significant.

It seems to me this may be why the PFLP-GC investigation ran into the sand. The investigators were convinced the bomb went on at Luqa. They couldn't find any evidence of the PFLP-GC doing that. They don't seem to have looked at all at any other way of getting the bomb to Heathrow.

Then Thurman finally identified the MST-13 fragment in 1990, and it was all about Libya. By February 1991 they'd switched to trying to persuade Gauci to identify Megrahi. Unlike the PFLP-GC, he was actually at Luqa at the crucial moment. Which is a remarkable coincidence, if it is a coincidence. Again, I'd like to know when it was realised that he was there - surely that was the real Eureka! moment, no?

But there are many possible ways of getting that bomb from Frankfurt to Heathrow, other than on PA103A. Earlier flights. Road, rail or sea. Even a private plane, as someone suggested. The focus on PA103A and then on Luqa seems very narrow-minded.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th June 2010, 03:52 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
Further to your brainstorming, I'm now going to inject a little idea in here.

Has anyone given any credence to a theory put forward, I believe in 2007, but resurrected last fall, of the chance that Semtex was not the explosive used? I refer to the report prepared by John Parkes, the bomb blast mitigation expert. My wish is not to derail the thread, only to point out that if Semtex was not used, then placement of the bomb bag is somewhat less important.

I recall some discussion to the effect that the identification of the explosion as Semtex by RARDE's chemical tests was open to question. And then we know all about RARDE and the identification of explosives (playing cards, anyone?).

However, Semtex is a very high-density explosive as far as I know. If the thesis about the bomb being a rigged radio-cassette player is correct, then I don't know what else you could get into that space that would provide a bigger bang.

Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
We do know the AAIB report concluded there was an outward flare to the aircraft skin at the blast opening area. Pathology of some of the victims detail injuries which appear somewhat inconsistent with a breakup scenario. In fact, " Of the 270 victims, 253 were positively identified. Of these, 209 were identified with the aid of odontology."1

1. Identification in the Lockerbie Air Disaster (The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, March 1994, Vol. 15, Issue 1) Moody, Gregory Howard Ph.D., F.D.S.R.C.S. Ed., M.R.C. Path., D.F.M.; Busuttil, Anthony M.D., F.R.C.P.E., F.R.C. Path., D.M.J.

Unfortunately I don't seem to have journal access for the full text on that one. However, are you suggesting that because they used dental records a lot, that most of the victims were unrecognisable? That simply isn't the case.

All accounts of the disaster scene feature many descriptions of essentially intact bodies. Many had hit the ground so hard that they then bounced out of the depression in the soft ground caused by the impact, and the bodies were found several feet from the depressions. This gave rise to a number of tales about passengers getting up and walking a few steps after hitting the ground, before collapsing and dying. You don't get stories like that about unrecognisable bodies.

Some were impaled on fences and hedges and trees. The residents of Sherwood Crescent were obliterated. I don't know how many passengers came down with the wing section into Sherwood Crescent, but I think some did and that accounts for the non-identified category. Anything in that crater was simply vapourised.

However, most of the bodies were essentially intact. They could be identified by relatives. Jim Swire has told of seeing Flora's body, though he apparently had to pull a bit of rank to do it (I'm a doctor!).

The paper refers to the identification requirements of Scots law. Whether relatives' visual identification wasn't sufficient, or whether it wasn't practical when so many of the dead were American, I don't know. But they appear to have used dental records and fingerprints a lot. That doesn't mean the bodies were unrecognisable. On the contrary, every account of the scenes on the ground seems to be compatible with a break-up.

I don't know if you've seen the "flechettes" story, which postulates an accidental detonation (triggered by the radio signal from ATC Shandwick) of illegally-carried ordnance as the cause of the explosion. The theory seems to have virtually no support.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th June 2010, 06:53 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Hey Snidely Whiplash.

I don't mean to dig in much, just offer some quick thoughts FWIW.

I have to say I'm not confident myself what explosive was used. Wouldn't be able to make much of the science, not trusting RARDE. There are in fact I believe some point where evidence of different explosives did appeal, got confused and sidelined. I'm also not convinced of the radio debris. and open that it might be some other kind of bomb not in a radio or what have you.

I'm still inclined to suspect a Khreesat-ish bomb via Abu Elias, which means already built and so on. Don't much trust Mebashi. But if there was something else to support it I'd be all ears.
I won't derail this thread regarding a discussion of the explosive, but I'm researching all the available documentation regarding when and where the word 'Semtex' was first used in the investigation, and the evidence used to support that claim.

Stay tuned.
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Old 7th June 2010, 09:07 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I recall some discussion to the effect that the identification of the explosion as Semtex by RARDE's chemical tests was open to question. And then we know all about RARDE and the identification of explosives (playing cards, anyone?).

However, Semtex is a very high-density explosive as far as I know. If the thesis about the bomb being a rigged radio-cassette player is correct, then I don't know what else you could get into that space that would provide a bigger bang.




Unfortunately I don't seem to have journal access for the full text on that one. However, are you suggesting that because they used dental records a lot, that most of the victims were unrecognisable? That simply isn't the case.

All accounts of the disaster scene feature many descriptions of essentially intact bodies. Many had hit the ground so hard that they then bounced out of the depression in the soft ground caused by the impact, and the bodies were found several feet from the depressions. This gave rise to a number of tales about passengers getting up and walking a few steps after hitting the ground, before collapsing and dying. You don't get stories like that about unrecognisable bodies.

Some were impaled on fences and hedges and trees. The residents of Sherwood Crescent were obliterated. I don't know how many passengers came down with the wing section into Sherwood Crescent, but I think some did and that accounts for the non-identified category. Anything in that crater was simply vapourised.

However, most of the bodies were essentially intact. They could be identified by relatives. Jim Swire has told of seeing Flora's body, though he apparently had to pull a bit of rank to do it (I'm a doctor!).

The paper refers to the identification requirements of Scots law. Whether relatives' visual identification wasn't sufficient, or whether it wasn't practical when so many of the dead were American, I don't know. But they appear to have used dental records and fingerprints a lot. That doesn't mean the bodies were unrecognisable. On the contrary, every account of the scenes on the ground seems to be compatible with a break-up.

I don't know if you've seen the "flechettes" story, which postulates an accidental detonation (triggered by the radio signal from ATC Shandwick) of illegally-carried ordnance as the cause of the explosion. The theory seems to have virtually no support.

Rolfe.
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I recall some discussion to the effect that the identification of the explosion as Semtex by RARDE's chemical tests was open to question. And then we know all about RARDE and the identification of explosives (playing cards, anyone?).

However, Semtex is a very high-density explosive as far as I know. If the thesis about the bomb being a rigged radio-cassette player is correct, then I don't know what else you could get into that space that would provide a bigger bang.




Unfortunately I don't seem to have journal access for the full text on that one. However, are you suggesting that because they used dental records a lot, that most of the victims were unrecognisable? That simply isn't the case.

All accounts of the disaster scene feature many descriptions of essentially intact bodies. Many had hit the ground so hard that they then bounced out of the depression in the soft ground caused by the impact, and the bodies were found several feet from the depressions. This gave rise to a number of tales about passengers getting up and walking a few steps after hitting the ground, before collapsing and dying. You don't get stories like that about unrecognisable bodies.

Some were impaled on fences and hedges and trees. The residents of Sherwood Crescent were obliterated. I don't know how many passengers came down with the wing section into Sherwood Crescent, but I think some did and that accounts for the non-identified category. Anything in that crater was simply vapourised.

However, most of the bodies were essentially intact. They could be identified by relatives. Jim Swire has told of seeing Flora's body, though he apparently had to pull a bit of rank to do it (I'm a doctor!).

The paper refers to the identification requirements of Scots law. Whether relatives' visual identification wasn't sufficient, or whether it wasn't practical when so many of the dead were American, I don't know. But they appear to have used dental records and fingerprints a lot. That doesn't mean the bodies were unrecognisable. On the contrary, every account of the scenes on the ground seems to be compatible with a break-up.

I don't know if you've seen the "flechettes" story, which postulates an accidental detonation (triggered by the radio signal from ATC Shandwick) of illegally-carried ordnance as the cause of the explosion. The theory seems to have virtually no support.

Rolfe.
Some of the pathology reported bodies in an unusual state of trauma which led some to speculate explosive action had created some of these effects.
The AAIB report stated no injuries were caused as a result of the blast, but other statements by pathologists allegedly contradict this.

I have read several accounts of the bomb being tied to a radio frequency marker beacon, and the account of 'sewing machine needles' turning up by the thousands in the wreckage, where the 'flechette' theory seems to gain its notoreity.

I'll also interject here that this aircraft, N739PA, #19646 differed from other 747's in that it had "received CRAF (Civil Reserve Air Fleet) modifications. This enabled it to carry special freight containers in the rear in place of passenger seating. CRAF modification involved changing the flooring along with the addition of a rear cargo hatch and heavy duty floor beams with a more substantial cross section that that of a standard 747-121."1 These mods made N739PA stronger than the average Boeing 747.

The explosive damage pattern;

"The region of petalling was bounded (approximately) by frames 680 and 740, and extended from just below the window belt down nearly to the keel of the aircraft. the resulting aperture measured approximately 17 feet by 5 feet."2


1. Air Accidents Investigation Branch- Air Accident Report 2/90 pp 7, 10
2. ibid.p 25 and Figure B-26 (Appendices)
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Old 8th June 2010, 02:41 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
Some of the pathology reported bodies in an unusual state of trauma which led some to speculate explosive action had created some of these effects.
The AAIB report stated no injuries were caused as a result of the blast, but other statements by pathologists allegedly contradict this.

I'm not at all sure about statements by actual pathologists that contradict this. This is an engineer called Parkes who claims to have been present at the post mortem of a young girl, and the "contradiction" appears to be his, with the pathology report being uncontroversial.

I can't now find the original presentation of this theory by Parkes himself, only much more recent pages posted by the few other people who have taken up his story. (Like Robbie the Pict, our very own FOTL.)

Here's Parkes' own version, posted on a compilation page, and dated July 2000 - while the trial was ongoing. (This is just the first of four posts, for the flavour.)

Quote:
My name is John Parkes. I am an explosives engineer of 36 years standing and I assisted at Lockerbie on the night of the disater and over the christmas break. I was the first explosives qualified person to categorically state to the head Patholojist that a young girls body had been impacted with explosivekly driven fragments. She was 9 or 10 years old and had been seated in the STARBOARD side of the aircraft! I walked away 11 years ago but like naive explorer I have returned to that time and place and found ther truth. For the protection of my family I have forwarded my report to many. It is unwelcome!! For Mr Cohens information I am not a nutcase but unlike so many of the pundits and would be experts I was there - apart from that while serving in the British military I personally destroyed 2 large aircraft with controlled explosives so I know the effects of explosives against aircraft structures. I have also sent my report to the trial judges and the crown prosecution service includuing Jim Swires. The British PM is aware alonf with several other prominant UK Politicians. If I am to be accused of telling lies then I challlenge the court to charge me with contempt of court. It appears that as long as there is someone in the dock for this crime that will do and it matters not what the truth is. I seek no reward for my information other than seeing the truth being told and to protect my family. John Parkes Explosives Engineer.

I'm afraid this does read like classic nutcase to me.

Here's the cleaned-up version.

Quote:
Parkes was asked to examine the bodies of three victims in the improvised mortuary at Lockerbie Ice Rink prior to post mortem. The first victim Parkes examined was a child, perhaps nine years of age. The rear of her body showed fragmentation strikes, pieces of metal penetrating her skin. Their distribution, the blast shadowing caused by her seat, and in particular, minute holing in her socks which revealed a chemical propellant, all confirmed a specific blast signature. It revealed the type of explosive and where it was situated in relation to the girl. The holing and fragmentation in particular are not characteristic of Semtex or similar explosives, he says, and rule out a Semtex blast as the cause of the wounding.

Nor did he believe the wounds were caused by the disintegration of the plane on its descent. The fragments were propelled at high velocity; explosively driven. Pathologist Anthony Busutil, who examined the same body, concluded that what Parkes witnessed was caused by “scraping” as the body impacted the gravel of Dumfriesshire after her five-mile freefall.

Also discussed here.

Note that the pathologist himself didn't think the wounds Parkes noted were anything unusual. I'm not even sure he was asked to look at the body - my memory of his report is that he just happened to see it.

Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
I have read several accounts of the bomb being tied to a radio frequency marker beacon, and the account of 'sewing machine needles' turning up by the thousands in the wreckage, where the 'flechette' theory seems to gain its notoreity.

I'll also interject here that this aircraft, N739PA, #19646 differed from other 747's in that it had "received CRAF (Civil Reserve Air Fleet) modifications. This enabled it to carry special freight containers in the rear in place of passenger seating. CRAF modification involved changing the flooring along with the addition of a rear cargo hatch and heavy duty floor beams with a more substantial cross section that that of a standard 747-121."1 These mods made N739PA stronger than the average Boeing 747.

As far as I can see, the "flechette" interpretation of the sewing machine needles, and the special modification of the aeroplane, and the relationship with the ATC radio signal, all originate with Parkes, whose writing suggests he's a bit deranged. I thought this had all been quite well debunked, actually. However, it might be worth a new thread if you think there's anything in it.

Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
The explosive damage pattern;

"The region of petalling was bounded (approximately) by frames 680 and 740, and extended from just below the window belt down nearly to the keel of the aircraft. the resulting aperture measured approximately 17 feet by 5 feet."2

1. Air Accidents Investigation Branch- Air Accident Report 2/90 pp 7, 10
2. ibid.p 25 and Figure B-26 (Appendices)

If the AAIB thought that was done by Semtex in a suitcase bomb, I'm not in a position to argue. However, I agree the identification of Semtex isn't something I've seen conclusively supported.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th June 2010, 01:30 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
In addition, there is also this to consider;

"Mesbahi alleged that parts of the bomb were put on a plane at Frankfurt airport, later assembled in London and finally loaded onto Pan Am 103. Many readers, including Dr. Swire and former FBI Special Agent Marquise, have interpreted that statement as the bomb being planted on the feeder flight, Pan Am 103A. This may or may not be what Mesbahi alleged. For instance, Gholam Reza Amouzadeh told me that Iran had two private airports in the Frankfurt area at that time."

This would tend to support a Heathrow introduction of the bomb bag. but, again, it brings me back to a question I asked a few posts back- if the bomb was 'escorted' all the way to AVE 4041, why would it have to be in a form to pass scrutiny?

Paul Foot (supporter par excellence of the Heathrow introduction) mentions the Mesbahi story with a bit more detail.

Originally Posted by Private Eye
In August 1997, the German magazine Der Spiegel published a long article about Lockerbie that was completely ignored in the British Press. It cited “a new witness who has been making detailed statements to the German police and prosecutors”. The man was named as Abolghasem Mesbahi and was described as “a credible witness”. What he was saying contradicted “the Anglo-American thesis of the sole involvement of Libya”.

Mesbahi’s story was as follows: “The bomb had been loaded in single pieces at Frankfurt airport into an aeroplane to London. The head of Iran Air at Frankfurt at that time, a secret service man, had smuggled them past the airport controls. They had then been assembled in London and put on the Pan Am clipper.” Der Spiegel commented wryly that “if Mesbahi’s statements were proved to be correct, then the theory held up to now that Libya was the sole perpetrator, is out.”

Despite Der Spiegel’s evidence for the credibility of Mesbahi, and his numerous high-level contacts in Iranian intelligence, this story was quickly and effectively buried.

This has nothing to do with PA103A. It doesn't even imply the same day. The components could have been "escorted" right out of the airport - this seems quite likely, because where would you find a quiet corner in Heathrow to assemble a bomb in peace and quiet? Then brought back in through the broken padlock?

I still think that with Kamboj in the vicinity, having the bomb disguised in such a way that it could fool an x-ray would have been virtually essential. Kamboj might well actually have x-rayed these bags, for all we can be sure about.

This is the one really concrete claim of a route into Heathrow we've seen. I'm not necessarily saying it's gospel truth, but it's interesting. The investigators apparently couldn't find any evidence to implicate the PFLP-GC - presumably in the act of putting the bomb on the plane, because they had plenty evidence for pretty much all the rest of it. Of course, if they were intent on looking exclusively at Malta, that might explain that.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th June 2010, 04:10 PM   #193
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I collected Peter Walker's statements in one post.
Yet Another red Flag from Heathrow
Indeed, some serious evasiveness. Why would he deny knowledge of that container? Did he know something, or just suspect? Like, the bomb going in while he ignored the container? His denials of discussing anything about the outgoing luggage with Bedford, why?

There's a puzzle here I'm mulling over. If we suspend belief of Bedford's story, is there another explanation that makes sense? If the matching brown hardshell Samsonites didn't go in at interline under Kamboj, then when? And how did Bedford know about them at all? Did he really just drop the tin off unannounced and jet home as Walker first implied? It's possible.

It seems there's got to be something else going on here.
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Old 8th June 2010, 04:47 PM   #194
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I think you're reading too much into this. When you do the same thing every day, one day becomes much like another. It can be very hard to be sure exactly what happened on one particular day, even fairly recently. I think that's all these witness statements are demonstrating.

If Bedford was up to anything peculiar, all he had to do was say nothing at all about strange suitcases appearing in luggage containers.

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Old 8th June 2010, 07:38 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think you're reading too much into this. When you do the same thing every day, one day becomes much like another. It can be very hard to be sure exactly what happened on one particular day, even fairly recently. I think that's all these witness statements are demonstrating.

If Bedford was up to anything peculiar, all he had to do was say nothing at all about strange suitcases appearing in luggage containers.

Rolfe.
I think your statement above is true for an everyday, ordinary day. However, this day was nothing close to ordinary, and given, if you're Peter Walker, that your ordinary day has turned into a plane crash, blown up in mid-air, all of a sudden what everyone under your supervision did that day becomes very important, regardless whether you thought you were directly involved in causative events or not- you were undeniably part of the event.

So, what might you do that night or the next day? Might you jot down on a notepad your specific involvement with that flight? You just might. Your routine day has now some definite reason for recalling, in crystal clarity, the events you were directly involved in.

Think about degrees of culpability, and effects on behaviour. I'm having an extremely difficult time reconciling Walker's change in memory of a day that I feel should be seared into his brain for all eternity. Or, at least important enough, that when his memory is jogged, it all comes back with crystal clarity.

As an example, in my country many years ago, my aunt, assisting in the office of my uncles' well drilling business, sold several sticks of dynamite to an individual who later used that same stuff to attempt to blow up our Parliament buildings. She could recall selling the dynamite to that man, that day, in excruciating detail many, many years after the fact, as its significance was so great.

Why can't Peter Walker do the same thing, given Pan Am 103 was the worst air disaster the United Kingdom had ever seen?
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Old 8th June 2010, 09:13 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Paul Foot (supporter par excellence of the Heathrow introduction) mentions the Mesbahi story with a bit more detail.




This has nothing to do with PA103A. It doesn't even imply the same day. The components could have been "escorted" right out of the airport - this seems quite likely, because where would you find a quiet corner in Heathrow to assemble a bomb in peace and quiet? Then brought back in through the broken padlock?

I still think that with Kamboj in the vicinity, having the bomb disguised in such a way that it could fool an x-ray would have been virtually essential. Kamboj might well actually have x-rayed these bags, for all we can be sure about.

This is the one really concrete claim of a route into Heathrow we've seen. I'm not necessarily saying it's gospel truth, but it's interesting. The investigators apparently couldn't find any evidence to implicate the PFLP-GC - presumably in the act of putting the bomb on the plane, because they had plenty evidence for pretty much all the rest of it. Of course, if they were intent on looking exclusively at Malta, that might explain that.

Rolfe.
The problem with this is, IMO, that the logic seems faulty. Either the bomb is camouflaged or its not. If its in the form of the cassette player/radio, why not just fly it in, even weeks before? It's designed to avoid detection, right? Why the need to ship it to London in parts?
Where lies the requirement to 'assemble' the bomb, and why? Perhaps JUST the radio/cassette player was brought to Heathrow prior to the date, with the luggage coming in from Malta or Frankfurt containing the clothing, and the bomb armed and inserted into the luggage there.

What do you think?
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Old 9th June 2010, 02:09 AM   #197
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I am reading in, as usual, and sometimes that leads to wrong conclusions. But I'm with what Snidley says. There are only a few flights a day one deals with, and the 103 is the last trans-Atlantic flight of the day. You wouldn't obsess over every detail but you'd have an idea when it was coming, what was destined for it, and where that was and when. AVE4041 was the last container for that flight, it would be filling up at Interline under bedford's watch, except that Bedford left early, which puts it... (think, Peter, think!)

On an ordinary day, you might be able to recall such details the next day or even later, but it will quickly fade from memory if no significance is attached. But as SW says, this wasn't an ordinary day. At 5:00 he gets this near-empty tin dropped off, and it was under his control til - what, 5:30-6:00 (I actually can't find 103A's arrival time). At 6:25 the 103 leaves with that load and a half hour later blows up. That's a two-hour span where he should have been aware that he was helping load Flight 103 and then it blows up. Would his memory be fresh enough when he hears the news? Still on shift or at home? Same night or next morning?

Whichever way, I suspect he had a sinking feeling at even the possibility he'd let that bomb through. You want to not be there, to not know or not have seen. Even without anything suspicious, that alone could warp one's testimony or their actual recall. Kamboj totally didn't remember any such suitcases. Walker doesn't remember being in charge of a container Later at the FAI did he just pretended to remember, or state what he was told as fact?

Fact is, baggage build-up seems to me a better place to seed a bomb than interline. At one you have to circumvent Kamboj (at least). Outside Peter Walker's office, sounds like there was no one. You could even keep your bribe money.

So, perhaps <speculative mode>: Walker steps out as the guys come to fetch the tine as the 103A is landing. He seems the six bags Bedford told him of, plus two new Samsonites... gulp. Oh well, best not to make noise... They take it away, he gets the news, calls Bedford. Within 24 hours anyway the suddenly-closer friends concoct the Camjob did it story, over a light dinner (both just nibble) at a steak and salad place on the upper west side (nice place, pretty quiet - excellent service but they expect good tips. No problem that evening). One of them (doesn't matter which) has a minor accident driving home too tipsy, breaks down crying, then recomposes and drives on.

Perhaps I'm carrying that too far, but I learned one thing about witness testimony that never changes: ultimately, it's all just words. Often true, usually true, but never necessarily true.
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Old 9th June 2010, 02:29 PM   #198
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I realize there are probably holes in that version as well. (I mean the basic notion, not the novel adaptation there). I'm just tossing it out there, with some added weight just to check if there's a box we should be thinking outside of.

Another thing about interline, if someone thought it out, is it tends to rule out a Khreesat-style bomb, by tending to indicate luggage that already has flown.

But that's a bit far out (depending), and as you say, the easiest way to let the whole thing blow over was professed ignorance, with no mention of the suitcases at all. Short of waterboarding, they couldn't get these clues at all and the way would be even easier to push attention east and south as they did.

Anyone else? Does Walker give us something worth questioning Bedford's story over? A support? Anything interesting?
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Old 9th June 2010, 04:23 PM   #199
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CL, I know you've dealt pretty comprehensively with Bedford and Kamboj on the Divide, so forgive me if I appear to be simply echoing much of what you've already noted – I'm just rambling away with some thoughts in the feint hope we might just pick anything else out. Maybe even an odd seemingly irrelevant comment or detail that's been missed.

I found Walkers testimony and varying statements in the subsequent years very peculiar. I appreciate Rolfe's contention that, despite what we may perceive as notable instances, such as the matters of which are being discussing, are simply part of the mundane day-to-day practices that these baggage workers become all to accustomed to.

However, it would appear to someone like me who has zero experience of airport working methods, that at the very least we have Bedford, Kamboj and Walker not disputing some central facts about AVE4041:

that Bedford had initiated the loading of 4041; that the container was only partially loaded by Bedford with somewhere between 5-8 pieces of luggage; that container 4041 was assigned to meet 103a on it's arrival; that Bedford visited Walker during a break; and that Bedford left before 103A's arrival from Frankfurt.

(CL, you asked above about 103A's precise arrival time. The Frankfurt flight arrived at Heathrow's gate 16 at approx 1737)

Kamboj doesn't deny putting the 2 additional bags into container 4041, as Bedford claimed he had said on his return from his break, he states simply “he can't remember”. He also wouldn't say that Bedford's assertion was “wrong” about his claim, simply he says again, “couldn't remember”.

It also seems to me that the SOP to the baggage loaders, supervisors and examiners at Heathrow were, at best, lax and careless. One crucial piece I noticed while reading through Kamboj's testimony was that the loading belt for baggage to go to the Interline Shed, was actually outside the perimeter of the shed itself, was not guarded by security or indeed anyone to check the luggage that was being loaded onto the belt, and by whom this baggage was placed onto the belt by.

However, even allowing for the lack of experience or scrutiny applied by Kamboj in his x-raying of the luggage going into 4041, with which he himself concedes “if the radio looked normal, I would let it go”, the manager of Pan Am security at Heathrow (jointly with Mike Jones from Maltese Double Cross) is absolutely adamant that the various Toshiba and bomb warnings received in the weeks preceding the 21st were widely known and circulated within the Heathrow Pan Am loaders and examiners;

Originally Posted by Camp Zeist Transcript, Day 43, p6337
10 Q Mr. Berwick, prior to the disaster, were

11 you aware of a warning which had been circulated which

12 became known as the Toshiba warning?

13 A I was, sir.

14 Q And did that relate to the finding of a

15 quantity of explosives apparently concealed in

16 transistor radio devices in Germany?

17 A Correct, sir, yes.

18 Q And it was considered that those devices

19 had a link to a Palestinian group; is that correct?

20 A That is correct.

21 Q And did you receive circulation of a

22 warning in relation to that discovery, particularly

23 warning those charged with civil aviation security to

24 be on the alert in case such a device was attempted to

25 be put on board an American aircraft?


6338

1 A I cannot remember the exact wording of

2 the warnings, because there were several of them issued

3 at that time.

4 Q Was --

5 A I was aware of them, sir.

6 Q Was the content of that warning, so far
7 as you are aware, Mr. Berwick, circulated to Pan Am

8 employees engaged in the loading process and the Alert

9 Security employees charged with operating the x-ray

10 machinery?

11 A It was, sir, yes.

12 Q Are you sure about that?

13 A Yeah.

14 Q If we were to hear evidence in this

15 case, Mr. Berwick, that a considerable number of those

16 employees, as of 21st December 1988, knew nothing about

17 that warning, would that surprise you?

18 A It would surprise me, sir, because there

19 had been a build-up to this. It was not just the

20 Toshiba radio; it was also some other electronic

21 equipment. I believe there was a VCR; there was even a

22 TV unit that were in the warnings that were received.

23 Q Mr. Berwick, did you become aware also

24 of a warning being circulated which became known as the

25 Helsinki warning?


6339

1 A I was, sir.

2 Q And did that relate to the perceived

3 risk of an unaccompanied Finnish female passenger

4 boarding a plane with an improvised explosive device

5 concealed, possibly in a radio?

6 A As far as I can recall, there is no

7 mention of how it would be carried. It was a female

8 passenger, Finnish female passenger would be duped into

9 carrying a device.

10 Q I'm obliged. Was the contents of that

11 warning circulated to Pan Am staff at Heathrow, those

12 involved in the loading and unloading process, and

13 those Alert employees operating the x-ray machine?

14 A To the best of my knowledge, it was,

15 sir.

16 Q Again, Mr. Berwick, if we were to hear

17 evidence in this case that many of such employees knew

18 nothing about such a warning as of 21st December '88, I

19 take it you'd also be surprised at that?

20 A I would do, yes, sir.
I am somewhat surprised that there is no definitive trail kept as to the exact movements and responsibility taken with respect to AVE4041. Each piece of baggage logged as to which container it had been loaded into, who precisely had loaded each specific item in the container, and the exact movements of the container once loading had commenced.

Kamboj admits first that there is no secure or known method (aside from the fact that your already airside and therefore must have been cleared for such access) of knowing who exactly has put bags on the belt bringing them into the Interline Shed, and goes further to say that he is not aware of the Interline Shed being guarded or secured at any time, day or night.

Originally Posted by Zeist Transcript, Day44,p6428
18

Q If you look, please, at the page that

19 should still be open in front of you, 2164, about

20 halfway down, opposite the letter "D" more or less, the

21 questioner says: You have said on previous occasions I

22 think that you thought that the bin contained about

23 five cases when Mr. Bedford drove it away.
Drove it away” implying surely that Bedford was taking the container elsewhere when he finished. The Buildup Shed??

Now if, as clearly undisputed by any of the Heathrow staff, container 4041 was only partially loaded, and if normal procedure would be the Interline Supervisor (Bedford) would take the container from the Interline Shed out to the tarmac to meet the arriving aircraft (103A), and fill the rest of the container with the appropriate luggage, then what would be the standard procedure if that Interline Supervisor was not on duty on the arrival of the incoming flight or not available on the departure of the outgoing flight?

As was the case on the 21st.

It does appear (although I'm speculating from a host of contradictory evidence) that it was not unusual for a container not fully loaded, to be left unattended at the Interline Shed and wouldn't be picked-up until the arrival of the incoming flight by the baggage drivers/loaders.

Would the container be left unattended at the Interline shed, and if so, who would therefore be assigned to supervise the container's movement once designated to be either taken to the arriving aircraft, or, if no additional baggage was to be added, straight to the departing flight? An educated guess would surely dictate that surely someone would have responsibility, but it seems only if the container was left outside the Buildup Shed that it would be this Shed's supervisor, Mr Walker.

Who would supervise this container and it's movements once Bedford had finished? Presumably if left unattended at the Interline Shed once Bedford had finished, it would be again the responsibility of Walker, who was the only Pan Am supervisor now on duty at Terminal 3 awaiting the arrival of 103A and the last departing transatlantic Pan Am flight at 1800.

Although would the baggage build-up supervisor also have unrestricted access to the Interline Shed or indeed anyone given access to this area, once Bedford had finished his duties?

So, this scenario would certainly dictate that, once Bedford had placed the first checked luggage into 4041, whilst aware that additional luggage could be included on the arrival of 103a, but realising that the arrival would occur outside his particular shift, would raise the issue with Walker - as seems was done during the tea-break taken by Bedford - and arrange that this container, still available for the baggage known to be coming via Frankfurt, should not be left around the unattended Interline Shed, but will be left with Walker at the Build-up Area during the (relatively) short time until 103a touched down.

Peter Jenkin, Heathrow ramp coordinator for Pam Am;
Originally Posted by Camp Zeist Transcripts Day 43, p6233
*

2* Normally, as a rule, the bags were separated, New York
*
********* 3* bags would be in one compartment on the inbound
*
********* 4* aeroplane, London bags would be another;
Sadly, his testimony doesn't clear-up any confusion over where exactly 4041 was collected from on the arrival of 103A from Frankfurt, but he clearly indicates that the luggage on this flight that was destined for the New York leg would separated at Frankfurt ready for unloading at Heathrow and the quick turnaround onto 103.

I'm going over some more of the days that the baggage employees where on the stand and see if I can pull any of this information out.

Last edited by Buncrana; 9th June 2010 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 9th June 2010, 04:38 PM   #200
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I'm relying on the descriptions given at Zesit, but this photo does appear to show 2 particular areas that have Baggage containers located around the buildings. I'm therefore assuming, and perhaps if it helps visualise them, this is the Interline Shed (circled at the top) and the Baggage Build up Shed (circled at the bottom) at Heathrow's Terminal 3 -

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