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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing , Pan Am 103

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:08 PM   #161
McHrozni
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In fact, the usually inadmissable intelligence was named Giaka. We don't have a dedicated thread for him, and I doubt you'd read it. He first mentioned both accused, the suitcase at the airport, JSO reports on bombing planes, TNT in a desk drawer, and other greats that originally formed the whole skeleton of the case. He was admitted as evidence after all, and the judges dismissed almost all of it as probably fabricated for money. They were right, of course. Hope that helps.
Yes, I have red about that, and is not what I was referring to. I was referring to the hypothetical bits and pieces (and possibly very solid pieces) of evidence that were sensitive or questionable enough not to make into the public domain.
This could be something as nefarious as an illegal MI-6 wiretap to something as mundane as hearsay of Megrahi discussing a bombing of an airplane two weeks before it took place.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Did Megrahi buy the clothes? Yes, no, ignorance?
That's where the whole thing comes down to, doesn't it?
If he bought the clothes he is guilty. If he didn't buy the clothes, he might still be guilty, but the evidence in favor of his guilt becomes flimsy indeed.

I'll go forward and say he probably was the shopper. Gaucis' memory is fuzzy no matter how you look at it, and he could easily be misremembering things, but too many points agree with that story to dismiss his testimony based on that.
Note that I don't think his testimony was good enough for a court of law, but there are lesser and still adequate standards where such evidence is still relevant.

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:20 PM   #162
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That's where the whole thing comes down to, doesn't it?
If he bought the clothes he is guilty. If he didn't buy the clothes, he might still be guilty, but the evidence in favor of his guilt becomes flimsy indeed.

I'll go forward and say he probably was the shopper. Gaucis' memory is fuzzy no matter how you look at it, and he could easily be misremembering things, but too many points agree with that story to dismiss his testimony based on that.
Note that I don't think his testimony was good enough for a court of law, but there are lesser and still adequate standards where such evidence is still relevant.
It's what this thread comes down to, not the whole case. The case is maybe 1/3 this (once we dismiss Giaka's cavalcade of clues against his former boss he hated).

Thanks for the fairly clear answer, mate.
Now, that done, you should go back and skim the thread. Be sure to at least notice the clues about the date (Nov 23 or Dec 7), given within "Gauci quotes," his own words, or read the article I linked to, and see about answering that again after you know more. If you can't be bothered looking at the primary evidence on a specific point you've even got an opinion on, you're not worth talking to anymore, in my book.

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:27 PM   #163
McHrozni
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Now, that done, you should go back and skim the thread. Be sure to at least notice the clues about the date (Nov 23 or Dec 7), given within "Gauci quotes," his own words, or read the article I linked to, and see about answering that again after you know more. If you can't be bothered looking at the primary evidence on a specific point you've even got an opinion on, you're not worth talking to anymore, in my book.

-Adam
I saw that, yes. What are you trying to say anyway? I did say his memory is weak and his testimony is unreliable. That doesn't mean it's unreliable in just the identification of the shopper, but also about the Christmas lights, the rain and the date of the purchase. I said several times that testimony has very low evidence value and is questionable.

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:35 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I saw that, yes. What are you trying to say anyway? I did say his memory is weak and his testimony is unreliable. That doesn't mean it's unreliable in just the identification of the shopper, but also about the Christmas lights, the rain and the date of the purchase. I said several times that testimony has very low evidence value and is questionable.

McHrozni
Bingo. You got there.

The Gauci testimony is total crap, and yet it's the only evidence identifying Megrahi as the mystery shopper.
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Old 13th March 2010, 02:40 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
You misunderstood. I do think the doubt over his testimony is legitimate, here:
I don't regard [the testimony] as reliable, no one sensible [regards the testimony] as reliable, but that's where the debate ends.

The testimony, however, is just one part of evidence, and is in agreement with other parts. As such, it's damaged credibility is somewhat restored.

OK, I seem to misunderstand you quite often, but I think we're on the same page here.

You're falling into the circular reasoning trap, or something worse. If the other parts of the evidence you're referring to are no more credible than the Gauci testimony, then they can't be used to support each other. You can't say, I lean to believing Gauci, because we know the suitcase went on the plane at Malta, and at the same time decide that the suitcase must have gone on the plane at Malta because the man who bought the clothes was at Malta at the right time.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Yes, I have red about that, and is not what I was referring to. I was referring to the hypothetical bits and pieces (and possibly very solid pieces) of evidence that were sensitive or questionable enough not to make into the public domain.
This could be something as nefarious as an illegal MI-6 wiretap to something as mundane as hearsay of Megrahi discussing a bombing of an airplane two weeks before it took place.

Oh for goodness sake! You've decided that the credibility of the case rests on "bits and pieces" you have no knowledge of, and that seem to be entirely imaginary. If I were to speculate about imaginary evidence I needed to support my theories like that, you'd crucify me, and rightly so.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
That's where the whole thing comes down to, doesn't it?
If he bought the clothes he is guilty. If he didn't buy the clothes, he might still be guilty, but the evidence in favor of his guilt becomes flimsy indeed.

That's about the size of it. If he didn't buy the clothes, you have to rely on other evidence. If that evidence is strong, then it doesn't matter if he bought the clothes or not.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I'll go forward and say he probably was the shopper. Gaucis' memory is fuzzy no matter how you look at it, and he could easily be misremembering things, but too many points agree with that story to dismiss his testimony based on that.
Note that I don't think his testimony was good enough for a court of law, but there are lesser and still adequate standards where such evidence is still relevant.

This sounds very much like special pleading. The evidence points extremely strongly to the date of purchase having been 23rd November. The only problem with that is that Megrahi was undoubtedly not on the island of Malta on that day. You have to torture the evidence to snapping point to try to place the purchase on a different day, to make out Megrahi was the purchaser.

So why do you think he was the purchaser?

Gauci's original description of the mystery shopper was of a man over 50 years old, over 6 feet tall, and heavily built. Megrahi was 36 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and not heavily built. The rest of that exercise in training the witness can be followed elsewhere. Even at the end of it all, the best he could manage was that Megrahi was "like" the purchaser.

So why do you think he was the purchaser?

It seems you're basing that opinion on something other than Gauci's evidence, which doesn't seem very logical to me.

Rolfe.
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Old 13th March 2010, 02:42 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I saw that, yes. What are you trying to say anyway? I did say his memory is weak and his testimony is unreliable. That doesn't mean it's unreliable in just the identification of the shopper, but also about the Christmas lights, the rain and the date of the purchase. I said several times that testimony has very low evidence value and is questionable.

Bingo. That purchaser, if he even existed, could have been Abdul the Bul-Bul Amir for all we know.

We agree.

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:45 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Bingo. You got there.

The Gauci testimony is total crap, and yet it's the only evidence identifying Megrahi as the mystery shopper.
I was "there" the whole time. But there is a major difference between something being evidence that could stand in court and something being evidence that still indicates what happened. He remembers Megrahi as the person who purchased the clothes that went in the suitcase with the bomb.

True, his story is inconsistent enough as to be doubtful, for example he could well be right about the time the purchase took place and misremembered the face, but there is other evidence that implicates Libyan agents in general and Megrahi in particular. That's why I choose to believe he was also the shopper, questionable testimony or not.
I better say this again: I wouldn't dare to claim this has been proven to the satisfaction of a court, nor would I do the same if anything depended on it, as my opinion could be wrong. But, again, I do this because I'm not burdened by any meaningful consequence. Can you understand the sentiment?

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:47 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bingo. That purchaser, if he even existed, could have been Abdul the Bul-Bul Amir for all we know.
Was he in Malta around the time discussed?

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Old 13th March 2010, 02:59 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I was "there" the whole time. But there is a major difference between something being evidence that could stand in court and something being evidence that still indicates what happened. He remembers Megrahi as the person who purchased the clothes that went in the suitcase with the bomb.

True, his story is inconsistent enough as to be doubtful, for example he could well be right about the time the purchase took place and misremembered the face, but there is other evidence that implicates Libyan agents in general and Megrahi in particular. That's why I choose to believe he was also the shopper, questionable testimony or not.
I better say this again: I wouldn't dare to claim this has been proven to the satisfaction of a court, nor would I do the same if anything depended on it, as my opinion could be wrong. But, again, I do this because I'm not burdened by any meaningful consequence. Can you understand the sentiment?

I can understand it as a sentiment, sure. Or is this a language thing again?

You've just agreed that Gauci's testimony is so confused as to be essentially worthless. I entirely agree. However, you then decide on no rational grounds that Megrahi bought the clothes anyway. Because of a "sentiment". THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that Gauci "remembers Megrahi as the person who purchased the clothes". You already agreed that. You can't agree the evidence is confused and meaningless, and then calmly announce it says what you want it to say anyway!

Even if Megrahi really did put the bomb on the plane, there's no necessity for him to have also bought the clothes. It's not necessary. Either the rest of the evidence is strong enough to implicate him, in which case it doesn't matter a tuppenny damn what either of us thinks about the clothes purchase, or it isn't. And if it isn't, you can't use your "sentiment" that he bought the clothes to support the case against him.

So we could possibly leave this particular part of the evidence here.

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Old 13th March 2010, 03:13 PM   #170
McHrozni
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I can understand it as a sentiment, sure. Or is this a language thing again?

You've just agreed that Gauci's testimony is so confused as to be essentially worthless. I entirely agree. However, you then decide on no rational grounds that Megrahi bought the clothes anyway. Because of a "sentiment". THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that Gauci "remembers Megrahi as the person who purchased the clothes". You already agreed that. You can't agree the evidence is confused and meaningless, and then calmly announce it says what you want it to say anyway!
Please point out where I said the testimony meaningless. I believe I said several times the testimony is suspect, unsound for a court, but still potentially useful.

Secondly, yes I can say that a particular bit of evidence is confused and unreliable, but since it agrees with the other bits of the puzzle, it is probably still accurate. No, it's not something I'd go to court with, but since I'm not going to court with it, this fact is meaningless.

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Old 13th March 2010, 04:24 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Please point out where I said the testimony meaningless. I believe I said several times the testimony is suspect, unsound for a court, but still potentially useful.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I did say his memory is weak and his testimony is unreliable. That doesn't mean it's unreliable in just the identification of the shopper, but also about the Christmas lights, the rain and the date of the purchase. I said several times that testimony has very low evidence value and is questionable.

How much closer to "meaningless" can it get?

It seems to me you have two choices here. Either you want to maintain that Megrahi bought these clothes, so you have to explain why any particular word Tony Gauci said deserves to be taken any more seriously than the rest of it, or you accept that we have no idea who bought the clothes.

At present, you seem to be agreeing that the testimony is at the very least extremely questionable, to be unwilling to examine the specifics, and yet still to claim "Megrahi bought these clothes" as meaningful evidence.

This is ridiculous. If a 9/11 twoofer was making an argument like that, you'd shred him.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Secondly, yes I can say that a particular bit of evidence is confused and unreliable, but since it agrees with the other bits of the puzzle, it is probably still accurate.

No, you don't get to do that. You have to show that the evidence supporting the other bits of the puzzle is reliable. Right now, that's an assumption you haven't yet addressed.

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Old 13th March 2010, 10:56 PM   #172
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From the other thread:

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic
Will you please bring that up in the proper thread and illustrate how you know this?
I thought we're working on an assumption the evidence presented in the case is correct?

McHrozni
In fact, after looking RIGHT AT Gauci's BEST evidence, I don't question it - Nov. 23 is the only super-clear detail. Anyone who thinks Megrahi did the buying must presume Gauci was wrong, confused, etc.

I'll save you some time, McHrozni, by giving you the direct quotes from Gauci's earliest statements with minimal notes. Tony says it was a Wednesday, about 6:50 pm, late November/early December, and he was alone in the shop because his brother Paul was home watching a football match. Wednesday matches at that time match two Rome-Dresden games on Nov. 23 and Dec. 7. As Rolfe said above, if you absorbed that, December 7 means Megrahi COULD be the buyer, Nov 23 means he couldn't have been.

19 Sept. 1989: “At Christmas time we put up the decorations about 15 days before Christmas. The Christmas decorations were not up when the man bought the clothes.”
10 Sept. 1990: "I’ve been asked to try again and pinpoint the day and date I sold the man the clothing. I can only say it was a weekday; there were no Christmas decorations up, as I have already said, and I believe it was at the end of November.”
trial precognition, 2000: “I wouldn’t know exactly, but I have never really noticed these things, but I remember, yes, there were Christmas lights. They were on already. I’m sure. I can’t say exactly.”

On December 6 the lights were put up in that neighborhood (SCCRC cited local records, 2007), leaving it still dark at night, as in Gauci's story, on Nov. 23. Is it coincidence his story changed before trial?

Then, there was no rainfall island-wide all afternoon and evening of December 7, when Gauci's recall was of enough rain to warrant an umbrella purchase. It rained lightly in Silema on the evening of November 23.
1 September 1989: “I even showed him a “Black coloured (umbrella?) and he bought it. … The man said he had other shops to visit and he picked up the “umbrella” and he said he would come back shortly … [and] walked out of the shop with the “Umbrella” which he opened as it was raining.”
And then at trial in 2000:
”Q Do you remember what the weather was like when the man came to the shop?
A When he came by the first time, it wasn't raining, but then it started dripping. Not very -- it was not raining heavily. It was simply -- it was simply dripping, but as a matter of fact he did take an umbrella, didn't he? He bought an umbrella.” [Day 31, P 4741]
...
“Q … on the 1st of September of 1989 your memory was that the man purchased the umbrella, he didn't leave it for you to bundle up with the other things he had bought in the shop, but he left with the umbrella and put it up outside the door of the shop because it was raining?
A Exactly.” [p 4815]
...
"A It wasn't raining. It wasn't raining. It was just drizzling.
Q We'll come to --
A I can't remember the dates. I don't want to say -- I don't want to give out dates if I am not that sure, sir.
Q Indeed. What I am endeavouring to do, Mr. Gauci, with your help, is to illustrate --
A I always thank you, sir. I am here to help you, sir." [p 4816]
...
"A I don't want to cause confusion. I don't know dates." [p 4820]

And then the football match, less clearly - Paul was absent around 6:50 for a game ending either at 2:53 (if Dec 7) or 6:44 (if Nov 23). You pick. Paul Gauci himself was asked, and said:
19 October 1989: “I was shown a list of European football matches I know as UEFA. I checked all the games and dates. I am of the opinion that the game I watched on TV was on 23 November, 1988 [...] I would say that the 23rd November 1988 was the date in question.”

The Scottish officer in charge of the Malta Probe, DI Harry Bell, told the SCCRC that all of this (the football matches mostly) was very "confusing" (is it really?) and admitted that:
"Ultimately it was the applicant's [Megrahi’s] presence on the island on 7th December 1988 that persuaded me that the purchase took place on that date."

This is the guy heading up the actual unvestigation. If anyone should know what the witnesses said, what whether records said, etc. it would be Bell. Yet he lets himself get "confused" and decides Megrahi was the buyer since he was there on the day of the purchase, which is decided because Megrahi was there that day. General JREF forum standards request that your reasoning be better than that, McHrozni. So what is it that persuaded you that Megrahi was even possibly the purchaser?

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Old 14th March 2010, 05:02 AM   #173
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Bingo. You got there.

The Gauci testimony is total crap, and yet it's the only evidence identifying Megrahi as the mystery shopper.
Welcome back to the suddenly lively discussion, B. Indeed, or to be clear, his testimony is questionable, but clear on a part exonerating Megrahi. His brother too. The reading of it, the false emphasis on identifications, is total crap. When he pointed at the man in photo or life, he was only saying 'within this lineup, that person most resembles the buyer.' It's like a 1 in 13 shot, barring selective lineup arrangements, which seem likely in fact. Putting any weight on that is crap.

And McHrozni passes up a chance to simply say "whoa, you're right, I didn't realize how clear it is Megrahi was not the buyer. I still think..." Instead, he announces to Rolfe at the other thread:
Quote:
You made your mind, I made mine, and there is very little that is publicly available that will sway either of us. It's possible I'm wrong, and it is possible you're wrong. There is nothing to do here but to accept that as a fact.


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Old 14th March 2010, 03:54 PM   #174
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Well, I'm sorry he had so little of substance to contribute. Without anyone defending the Official Story, it's always possible we're missing something. I'd hoped he might be prepared to give it a serious shot, but no dice.

I'm certainly prepared to cut him a bit of slack if English isn't his first language - I certainly couldn't conduct this discussion in French, for example, not on a bet. Nevertheless, the deficiencies in logic, reasoning and the assessment of evidence aren't linguistic.

It seems to boil down to, well the evidence is crap but I believe it anyway, because they wouldn't have prosecuted him if they hadn't had some killer sooper-sekrit intelligence we're not allowed to know about.



Then we go on to, well Gauci was confused and his memory was terrible, so he could be all wrong about the Christmas lights and the football game and the rain - so I think it was Megrahi all along!



I wonder how many shopkeepers could identify any customer they only saw once (we think) nine months before they're first asked to recall the purchase? And it was even longer before they showed him Megrahi's picture. Given what we know about memory, with the memories constantly being re-recorded when they're recalled, I'd have said it was close to impossible.

I know I have an unusually bad memory for faces, so it's possible I'm underestimating what's possible here, but a whole summer season had come and gone before Gauci was even approached about clothes sales the previous November/December. If it had been me, I know I'd have had to tell the cops that I wouldn't be able to give a reliable identification of the purchaser. Of course that wouldn't have netted me £2 million.

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Old 14th March 2010, 04:16 PM   #175
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So could we get back on track, do you think? I'm still mightily intrigued by this purchase. It seems to me there are four possibilities.
  1. It was one of the terrorist gang buying clothes to pack round the bomb.
  2. It was an innocent visitor buying Christmas presents, and these ended up in a suitcase right next to the bomb bag on PA103.
  3. It was someone deliberately trying to be remembered so that the purchase could later be traced from the remains of the clothes at the crash site.
  4. It was an entirely unrelated purchase remembered by Gauci when the Maltese police came to him asking questions, and he managed to "remember" the right items (more or less) by some sort of Clever Hans effect.
As I said, I actually find 1 and 3 the least likely, in terms of rational behaviour. As far as 1 goes, there were so many ways to acquire clothes for that purpose where tracing them would have been pretty much impossible. Why choose such a conspicious way of getting hold of them?

But 3 doesn't work either. That plane could have gone down in the sea. Even if it hadn't, the clothes could have been untraceable. (The "Made in Malta" label is just one of the features of this case which is too convenient by far, mind you.) Even once the clothes had been traced, the chances of Gauci remembering the purchaser surely couldn't have been high. It doesn't sound like a rational strategy to me, whatever the purpose.

Even the suggestion that the clothes were planted after the crash isn't sensible. If that was the plan, again, how could anyone have known the plane wouldn't go down over water? This CT just seems too preposterous to live, on so many levels.

2 and 4 seem relatively rational. I'm still trying to get my head round whether they're at all supported by the evidence.

(OK, I'm doing a Charles here - constructing the theory first and looking at the evidence second - but I'm not declaring this is true until proven otherwise, I'm really just brainstorming.)

Rolfe.
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Old 17th March 2010, 01:11 PM   #176
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I noticed something slightly interesting when I was looking again at Prof. Valentine's report on Gauci's evidence. It's at paragraph 8.10. The pdf seems to have copying blocked, but it's easy to find.

Gauci reported having seen the purchaser again, on 25th September 1989, when he came in and bought four child's dresses. There are some problems with this story too, this being Tony, but Prof. Valentine thinks the recollection is genuine. It's the only positive identification he ever made.

Once again, Megrahi wasn't on the island that day, so we have some shenanigans trying to claim it happened on the previous week, when he was(!). However, leaving that aside, supposing this was the same man, does it help any?

If rather argues against the purchaser being an innocent present-buyer whose luggage ended up beside the bomb bag. Unless he was shopping for someone else, he'd be dead. And if he was shopping for someone else, it's a bit odd he's never come forward in all this time, given the huge publicity the case has had on Malta.

But then again, if it was one of the terrorists, by then he'd have known that the plane disintegrated over land and a lot of stuff was recovered. Why would he go near Tony Gauci again? Was he completely suicidal?

Any thoughts?

Rolfe.
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Old 18th March 2010, 01:59 AM   #177
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Truly sorry for not popping back in. I was supposed to have more chat time with my computer down and projects unavailable. But I'm keeping pretty busy with the site after all. (the computer problem was minor, will have it back soon with more RAM for an affordable charge)

On what you said, hmmm...
Quote:
1 It was one of the terrorist gang buying clothes to pack round the bomb.

2 It was an innocent visitor buying Christmas presents, and these ended up in a suitcase right next to the bomb bag on PA103.

3 It was someone deliberately trying to be remembered so that the purchase could later be traced from the remains of the clothes at the crash site.

4 It was an entirely unrelated purchase remembered by Gauci when the Maltese police came to him asking questions, and he managed to "remember" the right items (more or less) by some sort of Clever Hans effect.
I'll ad a fifth, that he only remembered a particular day in the right time frame and imagined the buyer from whole cloth, and otherwise agreed on the sale contents as described in 4. Then I'd bet my $100 split, with $30 on 4, $20 on 5, $35 on 2, and $15 on ... 1 and 3 seem to just merge together, but 1 is the safer spot to rest that last bit.

Quote:
(OK, I'm doing a Charles here - constructing the theory first and looking at the evidence second - but I'm not declaring this is true until proven otherwise, I'm really just brainstorming.)
Just so long as you REALIZE what you're doing, go for it.

And the last, hmmm... that the clothes buyer died on PA103... Not sure why but that doesn't seem right. Gauci saw him again, huh? But limited, to be sure, Just once, or maybe twice... I'd suspect first a gimmick there to keep himself valuable. He just might get a photo next time, or report his whereabouts and have the buyer arrested, or something else worth American dollars.

Who knows? We're talking about a witless witness with geopolitical and financial pressures squeezing his psyche on many levels for a long period. Weird things can start to come out of that to be sure. You can't make reliable sense of it treating it like a surveillance camera and VCR record as so many try.
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Old 18th March 2010, 03:38 AM   #178
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I've always wondered what were the full components of the suitcase/s and radio devices snapped up by the German's in the "Autumn Leaves" operation. It has always sounded as though a number of the devices, that is the radio's containing the explosives and timers on their own were discovered, but also at least one Samonsite suitcase containing the primed radio. Was this suitcase ready and about to be passed to whoever had been instructed to insert it into an airlines baggage system?

Given it was set with a barometric timer device, together with it's place in the suitcase, certainly bears all the intention of an aircraft attack - as oppose to Jibril's claims of Israeli mountain-top military bases as the true target of Khreesat's bomb bags. And most importantly, in relation to this thread, what were the other contents of that suitcase? Obviously clothing of some sort, but would there be any possibility that this clothing may also originate from Malta? Talb had apparently picked up a raft of Maltese clothing later discovered at his home in Stockholm when arrested for a separate attack.

Obviously this is nothing more than speculation, as the true and full details of what the Autumn Leaves operation discovered will probably never be known.

Back to Tony and that sale, if indeed it was a sale.

Reading through Tony's statements, it simply appears he was just rattling off some vague memories and claims about the buyer whilst the initial reaction and subsequent attitude by those interviewing would tell Tony whether this 'recollection' of his was acceptable and satisfied the investigators. Clearly, on reading the Tony's wild and varied claims of the purchaser, and his reappearance in various modes, has been greatly influenced by other factors, not least those from the UK and US intelligences and security teams interviewing. As has been commented on before, the 'clever hans' effect certainly seems a good explanation. Even accepting that (some, if not all) the clothing packed around the bomb was indeed purchased from Mary's House in Malta, Tony has no idea who it really was that made this purchase, or on what date it was made. He's simply throwing statements into the ring and what's even vaguely relevant is highlighted, and further investigated (embellished) while the rest is hopefully discarded and not referred to again.

I've often thought about the key pieces that were recovered from the bomb laden suitcase that brought down 103. The fragment of timer, the remnants of Toshiba and the manual, and of course, the clothing. Obviously there are the areas of highly disputed evidence presented with respect to the survival of the timer and the identification of the model of Toshiba used to house the bomb. But similar to the page of Toshiba manual found by Mrs Horton, there is also key pieces of the clothing recovered from the debris of 103 which on their presentation at Zeist were also disputed by those who had initially collected these items.

It seems apparent that the timer and the pieces of toshiba have been probably manipulated or wholly introduced to lead the investigation away from one particular area of focus and point in another direction entirely. Not to mention the altering of the label on the fragment too. So, it that was we're seeing with the clothing too? Perhaps, the clothing was not as incontrovertible as it was presented at Zeist? Those searchers who claimed to have found the clothing commented at Zeist how the 'babygro' and 'shirt' (these two immediately spring to mind, although there may well have been other items) found at the scene were now considerably more damaged from their initial recovery state.

As Rolfe states, it is simply inconceivable that anyone with the intention of perpetrating a terror attack killing hundreds of people, they would provide such an obvious trail back to their origin and possible identification by buying a pile of clothing, all from the one shop, and to be all packed around their bomb. Could it be that there was actually only a couple of items that were actually acquired from Mary's House (made at any given period, possibly months before any proposed attack), but the debris that was found by the searchers around Lockerbie, was added to, reinforced, and manipulated in order to point the investigation in one very particular direction? That would most certainly appear to be the suggestion with regards to the two other items found to be within the suitcase, can we apply these methods and skewing to the final piece too, the clothing?

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Old 18th March 2010, 04:04 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Who knows? We're talking about a witless witness with geopolitical and financial pressures squeezing his psyche on many levels for a long period. Weird things can start to come out of that to be sure. You can't make reliable sense of it treating it like a surveillance camera and VCR record as so many try.

Mmm, I don't think he remembered the guy at all, to be honest. I'm just looking at this part because Prof. Valentine picked it out as possibly reliable.

Note that there wasn't a huge amount of pressure on Tony at that point. He was first interviewed (that we know about) on 1st September, though I think there must have been earlier interviews with the Maltese police we don't know about - at least, I've never seen a transcript of an interview where he was approached cold and asked if he'd ever sold these clothes to anyone, for the first time. Anyway, this second sighting allegedly happened only about a month or less into Tony's 12-year witness ordeal. I don't think he was psychologically squeezed at that point.

On balance, I think the sighting is spurious. The timing, so soon after the first approach by the authorities, is another weird coincidence. Also, Tony was interviewed about the case on the morning of 26th September, and he didn't mention it at all. Instead he contacted the cops in the afternoon and said, by the way, I saw the man again yesterday, and they had to come back and take another statement. However, he reports being "startled" by the man's appearance, which Prof. Valentine finds compelling, and he has quite a lot of extraneous detail which again makes Prof. Valentine think he's for real.

I think Tony was thinking about the case, then someone came in who triggered something in his memory, and he thought "that's the guy"! Then he forgot about it, and only remembered the following afternoon after the cops had gone. I'd put good money on it not being the same guy, to be honest, but Prof. Valentine is the expert and he should know, so I thought it was worth considering.

Again, it seems not to have been Megrahi, because although he'd been passing through the previous week, he left Malta at the weekend and wasn't there on the Monday. It wasn't someone who died at Lockerbie, obviously, and even Tony figures that one out. I don't see how it could have been someone who innocently bought the clothes (perhaps as presents) and handed them over to someone who was killed at Lockerbie - I can't imagine why such a person wouldn't have come forward.

If it was one of the terrorist gang who carried out the bombing, what was he thinking of? It's potentially suicidal. There must be other places in Malta you can buy some dresses for a little girl!

It could, however, fit the hypothesis of someone completely unconnected to Pan Am 103 who had bought some stuff on 23rd November, whom Tony remembered and managed somehow to connect in his mind with the questions the police were asking him. In that hypothesis, the stuff bought was never on the plane, so there would be no especial reason for the purchaser to come forward. Might not even have been a great match for the actual items.

But as I say, I'm not that wedded to the idea that it was the same man at all.

One thing that struck me, although Prof. Valentine doesn't say it, is that if that identification was actually correct, it shows that Tony could recognise the purchaser (against all my expectation, I have to say). He could recognise him well enough to be startled when he saw him again.

That makes his lack of clear identification of Megrahi look quite fishy, if it was Megrahi. Tony sees this guy - over 50, over 6 feet, heavily built, big head, too big for a 42" jacket, about a 36" waist and an 18" collar - and he recognises him well enough to be "startled" when he sees him again only a month after the police came asking questions about him.

But then, later, when he's shown Megrahi's picture as part of a photo-spread, he looks at all the pictures and simply pronounces that all the men are too young. No shock of recognition, just a later comment, when he's pretty much told he's got to pick one, that of these pictures, Megrahi's is the one most like the purchaser "if he was ten years older".

And then even later, he loses all these details about the age and the height and the build and the big head (none of which describe Megrahi), even though at the time when he was confident about these points, he was able to recognise the man....

Anyway, I don't put much stress on the dress-buyer at all, I merely note that if it was a real sighting, it fits option 4 better than all the others.

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Old 18th March 2010, 04:20 AM   #180
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Good post, B. Sorry I'm not being real specific or detailed theses days... I for one see no reason to doubt the clothes could have been planted in the evidence. They are of a larger number and more ambient than the timer and radio bits, and still withing a comfortable zone of plausible coincidence. But they happen to point to Malta, where all the best Libyan clues were pointing from day one. A little too neat.

Now if one considered planted clothes, they may as well all be from one identifiable shop, and one selectedbecause someone knows someone, but not something that'll be exposed as a CIA front.

One might think the process would have run smoother if anyone had worked out a deal with Mary's House. I don't know.

On the first point you raised, I think the bomb in the trunk was in a suitcase, but the others were sitting loose and simply left that way after a raid for concealed bomb. I think. I did just track down a quote (do you have one to help?) about Khreesat having not one but two brown hardshell Samsonites.
One source I was able to find quoted The Sunday Times as reporting:
"Khreesat [...] arrived in Neuss on October 13 with his wife and two bronze samsonite suitcases".
http://www.debatebothsides.com/showt...-monster/page2
Rolfe, is that in Foot's booklet? My PDFs are on the other machine...
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Old 18th March 2010, 04:32 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Mmm, I don't think he remembered the guy at all, to be honest. I'm just looking at this part because Prof. Valentine picked it out as possibly reliable.
In case you misunderstood, by "you can't" there I meant "one can't." It looks like you're well ahead of me on this - okay, most - aspects of Tony's evidence. I think the sudden report after another interview fits with memories he invents to keep the investigation interested. Likely on Paul's coaching.


Quote:
One thing that struck me, although Prof. Valentine doesn't say it, is that if that identification was actually correct, it shows that Tony could recognise the purchaser (against all my expectation, I have to say). He could recognise him well enough to be startled when he saw him again.

That makes his lack of clear identification of Megrahi look quite fishy, if it was Megrahi. Tony sees this guy - over 50, over 6 feet, heavily built, big head, too big for a 42" jacket, about a 36" waist and an 18" collar - and he recognises him well enough to be "startled" when he sees him again only a month after the police came asking questions about him.

But then, later, when he's shown Megrahi's picture as part of a photo-spread, he looks at all the pictures and simply pronounces that all the men are too young. No shock of recognition, just a later comment, when he's pretty much told he's got to pick one, that of these pictures, Megrahi's is the one most like the purchaser "if he was ten years older".

And then even later, he loses all these details about the age and the height and the build and the big head (none of which describe Megrahi), even though at the time when he was confident about these points, he was able to recognise the man....

Anyway, I don't put much stress on the dress-buyer at all, I merely note that if it was a real sighting, it fits option 4 better than all the others.

Rolfe.
Excellent point that. From startling to fuzzy, just as the guy's face get famous. Do you sense some possible moral tension in his evidence, with one force keeping him from saying yes for sure and another from saying no clearly enough? As if vacillating a bit before selling your soul makes it okay?
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Old 18th March 2010, 04:45 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Good post, B. Sorry I'm not being real specific or detailed theses days... I for one see no reason to doubt the clothes could have been planted in the evidence. They are of a larger number and more ambient than the timer and radio bits, and still withing a comfortable zone of plausible coincidence. But they happen to point to Malta, where all the best Libyan clues were pointing from day one. A little too neat.

Now if one considered planted clothes, they may as well all be from one identifiable shop, and one selectedbecause someone knows someone, but not something that'll be exposed as a CIA front.

One might think the process would have run smoother if anyone had worked out a deal with Mary's House. I don't know.

On the first point you raised, I think the bomb in the trunk was in a suitcase, but the others were sitting loose and simply left that way after a raid for concealed bomb. I think. I did just track down a quote (do you have one to help?) about Khreesat having not one but two brown hardshell Samsonites.
One source I was able to find quoted The Sunday Times as reporting:
"Khreesat [...] arrived in Neuss on October 13 with his wife and two bronze samsonite suitcases".
http://www.debatebothsides.com/showthread.php?62417-Lockerbie-mess-monster/page2
Rolfe, is that in Foot's booklet? My PDFs are on the other machine...

Sorry, CL, I don't have it here right now either (my printout is lying on the floor in my bedroom!). I do know that information is in Coleman's The Trail of the Octopus though.

Not saying I'm not open to the idea of the clothes being planted, but I'll leave you two to that one for the moment. I think it introduces far too many complications - it's bad enough figuring out how the timer fragment might have been planted, and that does have identifiable anomalies.

Does anyone know when the clothes recovered were first noted as being of Maltese origin? I'm becoming more and more convinced that any manipulation of the evidence that happened here began in August or September - possibly the belated handing over of the Erac printout from Frankfurt was the beginning of it. So I'm not bananas about a theory that has clothes planted in the debris in January or February.

I believe, again going by Coleman who is usually (though not always) right, that the D&G cops were sniffing around Malta trying to trace clothing as early as March. This rather draws me to the conclusion that these items were really there. Not that they couldn't have been manipluated later of course, but I think there was a truthful basis to it all.

One thing we've never heard about is an innocent victim of the crash who had Maltese connections. We know nobody came through from KM180, but nobody has even mentioned any passenger having visited Malta in the weeks before the disaster. This rather leads me to the conclusion that the "clothes from Malta in the bomb suitcase" part is probably correct.

Rolfe.
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Old 18th March 2010, 04:53 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
In case you misunderstood, by "you can't" there I meant "one can't."

Yeah, I understood you. I'm not Claus!

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
It looks like you're well ahead of me on this - okay, most - aspects of Tony's evidence. I think the sudden report after another interview fits with memories he invents to keep the investigation interested. Likely on Paul's coaching.

I think it's too early for that. I don't think these two realised what they were on to until rather later in the investigation. I think he was just dim, and something triggered his recognition circuits that afternoon.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Excellent point that. From startling to fuzzy, just as the guy's face get famous. Do you sense some possible moral tension in his evidence, with one force keeping him from saying yes for sure and another from saying no clearly enough? As if vacillating a bit before selling your soul makes it okay?

I detect Paul's influence in the vacillating. I think Paul had been coaching him like mad. All those newspaper clippings and magazine photos and so on. Paul wanted the money, and he knew he had to get little brother to make the identification to get that.

I'm not at all sure this was moral tension, I think it was performance nerves. I think Tony was trying real hard to follow Paul's instructions, but obviously he had to fly solo when it came to the hard bits, especially in the witness box at Camp Zeist, so he came over as being in two minds. The judges interpreted that as him genuinely trying to remember and make an identification, rather than coming straight out and saying "that's the guy" just for the money, but I don't think they factored Paul's influence into that.

Is this the only case where the judges have specifically said they believed the identification precisely because the witness wasn't sure?

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Old 18th March 2010, 06:29 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
I've always wondered what were the full components of the suitcase/s and radio devices snapped up by the German's in the "Autumn Leaves" operation. It has always sounded as though a number of the devices, that is the radio's containing the explosives and timers on their own were discovered, but also at least one Samonsite suitcase containing the primed radio. Was this suitcase ready and about to be passed to whoever had been instructed to insert it into an airlines baggage system?

Given it was set with a barometric timer device, together with it's place in the suitcase, certainly bears all the intention of an aircraft attack - as oppose to Jibril's claims of Israeli mountain-top military bases as the true target of Khreesat's bomb bags. And most importantly, in relation to this thread, what were the other contents of that suitcase? Obviously clothing of some sort, but would there be any possibility that this clothing may also originate from Malta? Talb had apparently picked up a raft of Maltese clothing later discovered at his home in Stockholm when arrested for a separate attack.

Obviously this is nothing more than speculation, as the true and full details of what the Autumn Leaves operation discovered will probably never be known.

I'm a bit hazy about all that myself. I have tried to pack stuff like that into a suitcase, and you do need quite a lot of clothes to stop the heavier electronics moving around. (I'm stunned I wasn't stopped. I wanted to take my hifi videorecorder and a separate NICAM tuner to Scotland for Christmas, to record a particular broadcast. I shoved both items in a suitcase and didn't pack them all that well, because I didn't need many clothes with me. I checked them in at Gatwick, and picked them up at Glasgow. Both items were sliding around inside the case and the NICAM tuner got fairly scratched because I hadn't used enough packing. And this was definitely after Lockerbie, by a few years. We would have flown over the crash site.)

But I digress. I don't think we've been told what, if any, packing was used for the Neuss bombs. I'm not even 100% sure any of them were found inside a suitcase, though I know Khreesat was said to have at least one brown or bronze Samsonite.

I'm not sure how well Abu Talb's winter collection was ruled out of all this though. I know they did some follow-up on Malta as to his acquisition of the clothes, but I have a feeling they were trying to show he'd been the purchaser at Mary's House. He could have been there on 23rd November but that was very far from proved and his wife said he wasn't. Personally, I don't think he was the mystery shopper, though it seems as if the police at first were hoping Tony would identify him. Even when Tony identified Megrahi, it seems as if he thought he was picking a photograph of Abu Talb, whom he sort of knew by then was someone the police were interested in, and whom I suspect Paul had initially been coaching him to recognise. (Maybe the shift from trying to pick out Abu Talb to trying to pick out Megrahi partly explains Tony's hesitancy?)

I don't know if it was ever shown that none of the items found on the ground could have belonged to Abu Talb, possibly acquired elsewhere than Mary's House. (If he was getting clothes to supply a proposed retail business, he'd surely have got them from the wholesalers, not from a retail outlet.) I'm strangely curious about this....

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Back to Tony and that sale, if indeed it was a sale.

Reading through Tony's statements, it simply appears he was just rattling off some vague memories and claims about the buyer whilst the initial reaction and subsequent attitude by those interviewing would tell Tony whether this 'recollection' of his was acceptable and satisfied the investigators. Clearly, on reading the Tony's wild and varied claims of the purchaser, and his reappearance in various modes, has been greatly influenced by other factors, not least those from the UK and US intelligences and security teams interviewing. As has been commented on before, the 'clever hans' effect certainly seems a good explanation. Even accepting that (some, if not all) the clothing packed around the bomb was indeed purchased from Mary's House in Malta, Tony has no idea who it really was that made this purchase, or on what date it was made. He's simply throwing statements into the ring and what's even vaguely relevant is highlighted, and further investigated (embellished) while the rest is hopefully discarded and not referred to again.

I'm deeply interested in the initial contact between the authorities (I believe the Maltese police) and Tony. I can't see how you'd even start on such an enquiry without any leading questions. "Excuse me, Mr. Shopkeeper, but can you tell me if you ever sold any clothes to anyone?" Not going to get you anywhere constructive, is it?

Obviously they had no idea who they were after at that stage, so the only information they had to give Tony to try to pinpoint the sale was the nature of the purchases. I can't see how the police could have avoided giving him at least a partial and possibly an almost complete list of the things they were interested in.

Suppose he remembered a real customer, rather than the whole thing being entirely invented. The customer was memorable, because he was buying disconnected items with apparently little thought. In late November.

I've done that. It goes, "well, that'll probably do for Aunt Bessie, and I could always give these to Christine...." and so on. If that's near the mark, it would suggest the customer wasn't a Moslem. Maybe at least one of the items this present-shopper bought was on the list, or at least something like it. Tony puts two and two together and gets six.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
I've often thought about the key pieces that were recovered from the bomb laden suitcase that brought down 103. The fragment of timer, the remnants of Toshiba and the manual, and of course, the clothing. Obviously there are the areas of highly disputed evidence presented with respect to the survival of the timer and the identification of the model of Toshiba used to house the bomb. But similar to the page of Toshiba manual found by Mrs Horton, there is also key pieces of the clothing recovered from the debris of 103 which on their presentation at Zeist were also disputed by those who had initially collected these items.

It seems apparent that the timer and the pieces of toshiba have been probably manipulated or wholly introduced to lead the investigation away from one particular area of focus and point in another direction entirely. Not to mention the altering of the label on the fragment too. So, it that was we're seeing with the clothing too? Perhaps, the clothing was not as incontrovertible as it was presented at Zeist? Those searchers who claimed to have found the clothing commented at Zeist how the 'babygro' and 'shirt' (these two immediately spring to mind, although there may well have been other items) found at the scene were now considerably more damaged from their initial recovery state.

As I said, I'm not immediately enthusiastic about the clothes having been planted, so I'll pass on that bit for now. Though I have to say, if you look at the first post I ever made about Lockerbie, I mentioned the mountain rescue team having sworn the Babygro was found intact, and wondered what that was all about.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
As Rolfe states, it is simply inconceivable that anyone with the intention of perpetrating a terror attack killing hundreds of people, they would provide such an obvious trail back to their origin and possible identification by buying a pile of clothing, all from the one shop, and to be all packed around their bomb. Could it be that there was actually only a couple of items that were actually acquired from Mary's House (made at any given period, possibly months before any proposed attack), but the debris that was found by the searchers around Lockerbie, was added to, reinforced, and manipulated in order to point the investigation in one very particular direction? That would most certainly appear to be the suggestion with regards to the two other items found to be within the suitcase, can we apply these methods and skewing to the final piece too, the clothing?

Mmm, I'm more inclined to think that the clothes were found more or less as advertised, but Tony was led by the nose to remember the right items. That would be massively facilitated by the investigators having had to give him a list of items at the get-go. The only thought is, could stuff (OK, a grey Slalom shirt) have been added because it was actually debris from the Indian Head tests that had stuff in it Hayes was supposed to "find"?

If any of these clothes were bought in Mary's House, we have to ask, who by? I don't see Abu Talb buying from a retailer, though I'd like to know a lot more about his clothes collection and where he got the stuff and when. Some of it must be available because the authorities were investigating Talb quite seriously in the first year or two of this case. The trouble is, since they never brought a case against him, we don't get to see it all.

I know I said this weeks ago and I still don't have time to do it, but we need a list of the scorched items (that's in the court judgement) with dates they became known to the investigators if possible, and a list of the items Tony said the mystery shopper did or didn't buy, again with dates. Should be in the expert witness reports.

Then we need to know as much as possible about how each item was traced, from the manufacturer to Mary's House, and how definite it was that the item found was really bought there rather than being just an example of something the Gaucis sold. And how the Maltese police managed to pinpoint Tony as the guy with the interesting story to tell.

Some of that at least should be in the court transcripts. I need to get my brain round it.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 01:15 AM   #185
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Sorry I didn't have much yet to say on this - its dauntingly complex, to consider the different rosters of item's Gauci has given, the clarity of traces to Mary's House only, etc. I still don't have all my info back together either, so I won't be of much help in the detailed parts ATM.

But I had a thought, relating to the roots of the inquiry into Gauci. Definitely how it began is highly important ant as you noted, apparently off-the-record.

Did they manage to get the recollections without leading? Did the first police (Maltese or Scottish, more likely) ask him to recall any suspicious sales of any items, to a particular person - when? Prior to that famous airliner bombing? And from there, did he independently recall just what it was, down to tallied prices, cash tendered and change given (a bit hazy only on the last). No slalom shirt. No problem, the tally changes. Doesn't it?

Or did they show him pictures, or at least describe items they'd found to trigger his memory? 'did any terrorist type come in here and buy a harris tweed coat - umbrella - etc.' Can such a useful and detailed memory have surfaced without 'priming the pump' a bit? And could that help to encourage false memories? Could we ever have credible proof that any portion of his matching shopping list is his own independent recall?

Ex: If an umbrella was mentioned, this could give a cue - 'remember a rainy day, Tony, they know dates, it has to be real ...' It turned out to be November 23 - who knows what really happened that day, but he remembered it as dark, rainy, and lonely, and a good day to recall selling an umbrella and... what were those other, oh yes, definitely...'
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Old 22nd March 2010, 03:04 AM   #186
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I think you're getting more complicated than need be. Remember, they were still trying to pin it on Abu Talb when they started talking to Tony. The first problem was though that Tony couldn't pick of Abu Talb from the photo-spreads, and the second one was that they couldn't prove that Abu Talb had gone to Malta during the period in question at all. (It's faintly possible he might have, but they absolutely couldn't prove it.) The idea that it might have been Megrahi didn't seem to enter the discussion until more than a year later, and even then, when Gauci picked out Megrahi from the photo-spread (under very dodgy conditions) it seems likely he was trying to identify Abu Talb (I think Paul originally coached him on Abu Talb pictures) and thought he'd succeeded.

So I don't think it flies at all that the investigators had dates when Megrahi was in Sliema in mind when they started talking to Tony and were pushing him in that direction. I think this was before Giaka had even mentioned Megrahi's name as a possible connection with the disaster.

I think Coleman's version is interesting, if he's right. He says that after they found the scorched clothes in January/February, the D&G police went to Malta in March to try to trace the items. They found the manufacturers, who gave information about sales to retail outlets all over Europe, and came away in despair, realising that they could never track down all these retail outlets with any hope that one of them might remember a sale to someone suspicious.

Matters remained like that until August, when the BKA finally handed over the Erac printout (which they'd had since late January) to the D&G guys, complete with their analysis that tray 4489 appeared to have come off KM180. At this point, it was decided that the clothes might well have been bought in Malta as well as manufactured there, and the D&G police went back to the Maltese police to follow up that possibility. It was then that the Maltese police identified Gauci, we don't know how, and when the D&G police went out to Malta again on 1st September they were led straight to Gauci.

I think there's something funny about all this, but I'm damned if I know what.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 01:11 PM   #187
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I didn't mean they were trying to pin Megrahi at the time or get a set date. Just if you mention an umbrella, he'll likely remember a rainy day sale. If you mention a blue lamb's-face babygro, he'll recall those being sold. This sort of bit by bit leading could explain his list matching what they found, except for the odd slalom short absence. You'd think since the Libyan timer was found in it, they'd want to be sure he remembered that too, but not 'til later. (possible tie-in with timer backdating)

As far as the second round in September and why the better luck, recall that Crawford in his book cites the Yorkie trousers being the decisive lead, just not followed until after they were thinking Malta sale. That's the only specific lead I've seen alleged yet. Page 3 here.

Anyway, is this bit-by-bit leading like what you mean with the "Clever Hans effect?" What would that entail, specifically or generally? It's some kind of leading/direction that removes the "independence" of his verification, right? And guts its value as evidence connecting ANY certain buyer to the list at Lockerbie. Right?
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Old 22nd March 2010, 03:50 PM   #188
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He was supposed to have mentioned the umbrella spontaneously. Which kind of suggests the rest of it might have been prompted. However, the severely damaged state of the umbrella in question makes the exact story being told a bit problematic.

Look up "Clever Hans" and see what the horse could do. The trainer had no idea he was giving the animal unconscious cues which allowed it to appear to be able to count.

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Old 5th July 2010, 02:20 PM   #189
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I'm bumping this because we've got back on the subject of these bloody clothes in one of the other threads, and the subject is far from resolved.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Originally Posted by The Independent
Last February, the West German federal police, the BKA, obtained a copy of a list from Frankfurt airport's handling authority showing that the suitcase now known to have contained the bomb was checked through Frankfurt from Malta and onto Pan Am flight 103 to London and Miami. The BKA did not pass on this list to the Scots until August, after the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment at Fort Halstead, in Kent, had established that various items of clothing manufactured in Malta were in the suitcase with the bomb.

I'd like to know when the Maltese provenance of these clothes was known to the investigation, as opposed to the press. According to Lester Coleman, the D&G detectives knew about it as early as March 1989, which isn't unreasonable considering the "Made in Malta" label on the babygro was preserved and legible. Coleman states that the Scottish detectives went to Malta in March to try to trace these clothes, and went to the factory, but were given a list of hundreds of retail outlets right across western Europe. Seeing this, they decided it was mission impossible, and gave up on trying to follow up so many leads in the hope that one shopkeeper might remember a particular purchase.

Again according to Coleman, it was the revelation of tray B8849 on 17th August that re-ignited the interest in the Maltese clothes, because it raised the possibility that the clothes had not only been manufactured in Malta but also purchased in Malta. This time when the detectives returned to the island they were led almost immediately to Gauci, and interviewed him on 1st September.

I'm sure all this is available somewhere, possibly in Crawford's book.

This may be Coleman trying to make a conspiracy out of nothing, but his facts are often accurate and I do wonder which sequence of events is correct. If the Scots had the Yorkie trousers of the very small manufacturing run which was only supplied to Mary's House when they visited in March, it's odd that they weren't told about that at the time. On the other hand if they only had the babygro at that stage, and that was widely supplied, then that could explain it.

The sheer luck of these Yorkie trousers is another facer as regards the evidence in this case. If it's really the case that very few were made in that pattern and all these were supplied to Mary's House, and then a recognisable piece of exactly that garment was picked up from the grass - well, wow again. This is on a par with losing all the baggage records and then discovering that Bogomira happened to keep exactly the right extract just when you need it.

Coleman highlights the different experiences of the detectives in the two visits. First time, well officers, the clothes could have been bought anywhere really, sorry, can't really narrow it down for you. Second visit, we've got a shopkeeper we'd like you to meet.

I've dug up Crawford's book and it's quite interesting.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Nh9...page&q&f=false

The trick is to decide which chapter you need to read and go straight there (the chapter headings are links). Otherwise, as they only let you read about 60 pages, you'll run out of road. I find that if you leave it for a while though, it lets you in again.

I'm reading Chapter 6, "Malta". It seems to be a new start for Crawford. The previous chapter ends with his group having decided they can't find anything to implicate the PFLP-GC, and moving on. He's then moved to the team looking at the recovered clothing, and goes to RARDE to do this. I think the clothing was all at RARDE by then.

Crawford describes an earlier visit to Malta by Brown and Graham. This seems to have been about the babygro alone. They found the manufacturer (not Yorkie) and got information on the distribution of the product. That seems to have been a lot earlier, and may be the March visit Coleman describes. Crawford describes his team getting photos of all the items of clothing and going back to Scotland with them. (I wonder if there was a collar of a Slalom shirt among that lot?)

He latches on to what he describes as a bit of brown check material (after a lot of bitching about the English having called it tartan just because if came from Scotland, when it wasn't tartan at all). This fragment has the name "Yorkie" visible on a label. Eventually somebody remembers the "Made in Malta" label on the babygro and thinks of finding out if there is a "Yorkie" in Malta. Mirabile dictu, there is, a factory close to the babygro factory.

Two other detectives (Bell and Armstrong, not Crawford) went to Malta. The manufacturer found the cloth, and discovered that it had been used to make up an order of only six pairs of trousers that had gone to Mary's House. The detectives rush round to Mary's House and find "wee Tony". Tony sold the detectives the remaining two pairs, and they high-tailed it back to Scotland.

This sounds like the first encounter with Tony, and it doesn't include Godfrey Scilcluna or any of the Maltese police force. However, we have to remember that Crawford is doing this from memory, and sometimes he conflates things, confuses things, or simply states stuff as fact which we know is disputed - for example, he says Gauci remembered the sale, and that it was a rainy day on 7th December. Which it wasn't, of course. There's no mention of the Maltese police at this point at all.

Crawford himself went to Malta on 11th September. We get a massive name-dropping roll call of everyone involved in the case on Malta (this is really a very very badly written book!), but finally someone asks the Germans why they sat on the Erac printout for so long.

Originally Posted by John Crawford
Quite why they chose to hold back was a mystery; they had either been remiss in their investigations, or were trying to protect German interests in Frankfurt. They were not about to admit that a bomb had been through Frankfurt, which they had not managed to do anything with.

I tend to think it was the second reason given above, as it was known at LICC that they had been asked repeatedly for any computer list of luggage that had been loaded onto the flight 103 at Frankfurt and had consistently put off the request. The consequences of their actions were now coming home to roost.

The two Germans knew that the questions being asked by De Marco were very hard to answer and they tried to flannel their way out of it. Another mistake. They had no response whatsoever and were left with egg on their faces. It was extremely embarrassing and Pinsdorf was not best pleased with what he (correctly?) guessed had been a set up. His sidekick Tepp was on the receiving end of some stick from his boss.

I'm going to break off now, but I present this for further consideration. Maybe I'm majoring too much on argument from incredulity, but I find these trousers, only six pairs ever made, with the label preserved (even though it was only a scrap of cloth that was recovered), which lead straight to a small shop, with a shopkeeper who remembers that precise sale.... If you wrote this in a detective novel, you'd be laughed at for being unrealistic.

Rolfe.
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Old 5th July 2010, 04:20 PM   #190
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OK, I've got to the shirt. However, it's becoming increasingly obvious that Crawford's memory is very much coloured by what came out at Camp Zeist. The book was written shortly after the trial, and he's going from memory. He remembers things that can't be so, because he's getting them confused (for example he thinks McColm found the circuit board in the data plate, not Claiden - of course McColm allegedly found the shirt collar). He also "remembers" the Official Version in a way that can't be so, for example there's no hint of the contradicitons in Gauci's various interviews - just that he remembers the whole thing (including the wet day on 7th December!) and he's confident he can recognise the purchaser, then he produces a photofit which is a dead ringer for Megrahi. Crawford also reports that Tony volunteered that he sold a shirt to the man at the very first visit, which we know was not the case.

We're now on to the Slalom shirt, or maybe we're not.

Originally Posted by John Crawford
After I had finished with Tony I was returned to the clothing enquiry. I spent a lot of time on this both on this trip and on subsequent visits to the island. While others were busy at the airport, I was left to get on with tracking the clothing down.

I was tasked with trying to identify a piece of grey cloth, possibly a piece of a shirt pocket which had the name ALAMO running down the side of the pocket (if that's what it was). A piece of an electronic timer, thought to be a part of the bomb mechanism was found blasted into this piece of cloth, which of course meant that the cloth came was close to the bomb when it went off. (sic)

The race was on to see how quickly this shirt could be identified. A major distribution company was my first port of call, on the same block as the British High Commission. Alf Mizzi and Son distributed everything possible and I rapidly established that they were responsible for distributing shirts of Alamo make. From there it waas a matter of running down the manufacturers.

As we hurried from lead to lead I spoke to one of the shirt manufacturers in Sliema who reckoned that the Alamo shirts had been made by a company operating from the Bulabel Industrial estate near Poala. I rushed over there and confirmed this, samples were obtained and word sent back to Lockerbie that the shirt had been traced and we had a sample. It appears that the staff in Scotland had been trying to identify the origins from another angle and had reached the same conclusion, but they did not have a sample!

I felt cheated of my moment of glory but all that was important was that the shirt had been identified and another piece of clothing had been placed in our simulacrum of the bomb suitcase. [....]

On speaking to the boss of the clothing factory where the shirt had been manufactured I found that the company had once been Libyan owner. A German national had recently bought it from the Libyans, just after the fall of the Labour government in Malta. The records of the shirt sales were obtained and this showed all the retail outlets that had taken delivery of the shirts. By far the biggest customer was the wholesale distributor Alf Mizzi and Sons of Valetta.

Having already established contact with Alf Mizzi and Sons I got back to them and was put onto Joe Calleja who was the sales representative dealing with that sort of product. He was extremely helpful and allowed me to interview him on a number of occasions. I used to meet with him at a warehouse in Qomi (pronounced Ormy) and I had virtual free access to his records of sales and to the warehouse - it was not long before I was on first name terms with the staff there. More importantly I recovered invoices from Joe Calleja that confirmed that Mary's House in Sliema had bought a number of the shirts. No mention had been mde of our work to Tony, the last thing we wanted to do was to give him ideas. We needed his mind as clear as possible if we ever hoped to have him identify the mystery shopper. Pat Byrne and I had got a wee break from the airport and clothing when Harry Bell took us to the shop in Sliema to see if we could recognise any further clothing, bearing in mind we had seen most of the recovereed clothing in a bomb damaged state at RARDE a mere month before.

This proved very successful. The instant we entered I saw a woollen cardigan which had the same pattern as one we had seen at RARDE - I discreetly pointed this out to Pat and he agreed at once. This Puccini cardigan was first thought to have been Italian in origin because the label had an Italian flag with the word PUCCINI overwritten on it. We found out that Eagle Knitwear, a local company, in fact made the cardigan. The one in the shop was a blue coloured one, a sort of Royal Air Force blue whereas the one recovered damaged at Lockerbie was an orange one.

When he saw the interest we had in this Tony immediately volunteered that he had sold one to the man, though the one he'd sold was an orange or brown one. The remains of the one we'd seen at RARDE were orange! Tony had identified another piece of clothing for the suitcase.

We had a good scout around the shop's dusty shelves and identified a further piece, a number of Alamo shirts of the same material as that recovered and the ones supplied by Joe Calleja. We tried to get the invoices, but Tony's brother, Paul Gauci, was in the shop and became increasingly agitated. He was a different kettle of fish from Tony altogether, a bit of a ladies' man who liked a drink. He could see that this situation might mean trouble for his family whereas Tony simply wanted to help all he could.

Paul wanted nothing more to do with us and said as much to Harry. He was adamant, exchanging angry words with Tony in Maltese. Harry took the sensible option and we left. In future no one would visit the shop except Harry and he would only do it when Paul was not around. He informed Tony of this and the genial shopkeeper seemed quite happy with this arrangement.

Well, an "Alamo" shirt. He remembers so much, but not that the shirt was a "Slalom". He also says the piece he had was from a pocket, while the piece alleged to have contained the timer fragment was the collar. And of course at that stage he couldn't have known about the timer fragment because even if it existed in the chain of evidence it still hadn't been identified as anything important.

So quite what John saw at RARDE we don't know, only that he later thought he'd seen the piece that had the timer in it. Except he thought it was a pocket, and it had the word ALAMO running down the side. We do know now that he'd been at RARDE only a month earlier though, which is mid to late August. About the time the Erac printout finally surfaced but before it allegedly occurred to Feraday to show the picture of the timer fragment to Crawford.

I don't know if any of this is reliable at all, apart from his complaints about management structures and the way the investigation was handled, which seem to be his main reason for writing the book as far as I can see.

Rolfe.
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Old 5th July 2010, 05:02 PM   #191
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I'm glad this thread was bumped, considering the developments relating to the clothes that were popping up elsewhere. I'll read that later on, but I noticed that Lepppard cited the blue babygro suit as one of the items Talb may have had... as Buncrana posted:
Quote:
As I said, it was claimed about the clothing found at Talb's apartment. Again, the somewhat contentious evidence of a "Blue Babygro" presented as evidence against Megrahi, supposedly purchased from Mary's House, was also reported that this same make (and colour I believe) of Babygro was discovered in Talb's apartment when arrested in May '89.
And because it's related:
Originally Posted by David Leppard, Sunday Times, 2007
[Abu Talb] had links with some of the PFLP-GC gang in Germany and was in Malta buying clothes in early December 1998. At one point Gauci is said to have identified him from a photograph as the buyer of the clothes. When police raided his home in Sweden, they found clothes that had been bought in Malta. Some reports suggest some of these clothes could be traced to Gauci’s shop. A police phone tap revealed that before his home was raided one of his associates was told: “Get rid of the clothes.” A calendar in his home had a ring around 21 December, 1988 – the date of the Lockerbie bombing.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2009603.ece

There is so much prtable evidence in this case. How many people reported to own a brown hardshell Samsonite? This item of clothing is similar. First, "babygro" is not a word I've ever heard used in the US, but I'm not sure what we call it. It's a full-body baby suit with booties, right? Megrahi/whoever bought the famous babygro from Gauci, we hear. Just one. Talb also had one after the bombing, we hear. And it so happens I'm working up Edwin Bollier's explanation how he bought a blue baby suit as well, at Jemoli in Zurich, and left in Libya along with a brown suitcase full of other clothes, destined for Ezzadin Hinshiri. Weird stuff. I'll report back when it's sorted out.
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Old 6th July 2010, 02:52 AM   #192
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Crawford is fearfully unreliable. He's a classic PC Plod and not very bright, and his vanity-published book is absolutely dreadful. About 50% of it seems to be either recording the names of the people he was working with and giving potted assessments of their character, or complaining about organisational features he didn't like and recommending that they not be done that way again, or going on about how the great investigative work of the Scottish coppers was bringing home the bacon. He even says things like, well, if the senior management read this book, now they know what this guy was like and why we had such difficulty over x. As if senior management is going to be the slightest bit interested in John Crawford's tedious memoirs. Or his PTSD.

However, sometimes his little reminiscences just pinpoint an interesting feature you wouldn't find elsewhere, such as his rant about McColm's cushy desk job and reluctance to go out actually searching, and his cavalier attitude to chain of custody. There are a few interesting features as regards the clothes purchase.

First, it seems that the singed clothes in general were not examined until mid to late August 1989, when Crawford went to RARDE for a couple of days to look at them, and came away with a comprehensive set of photos of the items. The only thing which seems to have been followed up before then was the babygro.

Second, Crawford is fearfully confused about the nature of the scrap that was supposed to have contained the timer fragment. He obviously has ALAMO and SLALOM mixed up (even after Camp Zeist!), which might suggest he saw a fragment with __ALOM on it. There were actually four fragments of that shirt, and one of them had a label saying "Slalom", but that wasn't the fragment with the MST-13 in it. The detectives were told to categorise the clothing fragments into three groups - singed with debris in them, singed only but obviously from the bomb bag, and singed which might have been from the bomb bag. The shirt collar would have been in group 1, but Crawford's memory is obviously unreliable. Of course he wouldn't have known in August 1989 that any of these items had contained "a fragment of an electronic timer which was suspected to be part of the bomb", so that bit has to be retrospective. However, it's clear he doesn't remember the actual collar itself.

Third, the identification of the Yorkie factory and Mary's House and Tony Gauci was, according to Crawford, an entirely Scottish effort. If the Scottish detectives liaised with the Maltese police on their first visit when they made that connection, he doesn't say so. (The details of Gauci's first witness statement, if it was taken on that occasion, might clarify this.) There is no mention of the search being prompted by the discovery of the Erac printout at that stage (though it was contemporaneous). The trigger for the late-August visit to Malta seems to have been the examination of the clothing fragments which immediately preceded the visit, and which identified the Yorkie trousers. While Crawford is clearly miffed at the BKA over the printout issue, I haven't come across the part where he relates the actual revelation of the item's existence. It seems to me that the BKA produced the printout at about the same time as the detectives were looking at the clothes at RARDE, and I still haven't figured out what prompted them to do this.

So this is yet one more entry in the rich seam of stuff which seems to have come leaping out in August, having lain dormant until then. The only item of clothing looked at before then was the babygro, and that is already the subject of accusations of tampering.

The story of the clothes is even more bizarre than I first related. Not only did the terrorists go to a small shop at a quiet time to make a rather conspicuous purchase of brand new clothes with which to pack the bomb bag, rather than just about any other way of acquiring random items of clothing which would probably have been untraceable, they just happened to buy an item which was part of a limited edition of only six, all six of which had been supplied to that particular shop, and which could be traced to there from the manufacturer. And it just so happened that the maker's label of this item was preserved after the crash, even though the garment itself was shredded and only two small rags were recovered.

This pretty much beggars belief. But at the same time, I can't see the point of planting a trail of evidence to lead straight to the "a bit simple" Tony Gauci at Mary's House.

Is this case just some sort of supernatural vortex of weird coincidences?

Rolfe.
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Old 6th July 2010, 04:32 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
This item of clothing is similar. First, "babygro" is not a word I've ever heard used in the US, but I'm not sure what we call it. It's a full-body baby suit with booties, right?

I just googled it, and it seems the word "Babygro" is a US trademark which has morphed into general use, a bit like "Hoover". Other terms I've seen are "romper suit" and "bodysuit". I don't think they always have legs or even long sleeves - most of the ones advertised online at the moment have no legs. It seems to be the covering of the entire body with the fastening between the legs that's the identifier.

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Old 6th July 2010, 02:06 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I just googled it, and it seems the word "Babygro" is a US trademark which has morphed into general use, a bit like "Hoover". Other terms I've seen are "romper suit" and "bodysuit". I don't think they always have legs or even long sleeves - most of the ones advertised online at the moment have no legs. It seems to be the covering of the entire body with the fastening between the legs that's the identifier.

Rolfe.
I didn't even bother, so thanks. I believe this one did go right down to the feet, but maybe I didn't read that somewhere. Anyway, Bollier SEEMS to have told the authorities he bought a suit just like that. It was not among the clothes inside the case he was asked to take to JSO bigwig Hinshiri. Except at one point he says it was in there already But later "we corrected that" and at trial he swore HE bought it for the Libyan driver "Ali" and his baby. He took it on the same trip and left the case, a note, and his gift to Ali in the car with Ali. He's clearly implying they were all put together later and blown up over Lockerbie.
http://lockerbiedivide.blogspot.com/...-hinshiri.html

Quote:
So this is yet one more entry in the rich seam of stuff which seems to have come leaping out in August, having lain dormant until then. The only item of clothing looked at before then was the babygro, and that is already the subject of accusations of tampering.
Tampering? how so?

Quote:
This pretty much beggars belief. But at the same time, I can't see the point of planting a trail of evidence to lead straight to the "a bit simple" Tony Gauci at Mary's House.
Well, in retrospect it worked out quite well, right? I'm not convinced one way or the other with the clothes. Could be genuine, plants, a mix, from Talb's stash, from Gauci's shop, elsewhere, a mixture... so many variables. But they do uncannily line up with all these other bogus clues (the printout, the Libyan defector, Bollier and his stories, the timer fragment, the radio debris...) in pointing to Libyans on Malta. That would be a lot of fibers to smoosh into different pieces of luggage. Maybe ALL the debris was replaced with carefully set-up replicas made in Maryland...)

That's a thought I havenn't been eager to embrace - there is room for some coincidence, but there is a logic to some of the clothing at least being. planted.
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Old 6th July 2010, 03:50 PM   #195
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Ah, the babygro. If you look at the very first post I ever made, asking if anyone knew anything about the Lockerbie incident, I mention the babygro. It's one of the things that keeps coming up in articles spraying grape-shot-like doubt about the affair.

The mountain rescue team who found it and handed it in swear it was intact when they gave it to the police. It was produced in evidence shredded, having allegedly been wrapped round the bomb (or at the very least, been right beside the bomb in the suitcase). Bits of it were allegedly found blasted into several of the other items of damaged clothing.

No, I don't really know what to make of that either. But it's a continuing meme of the commentary.

I find the whole sequence of the shreds of check cloth being found with the label "Yorkie" intact, leading to the Yorkie factory, who say only six pairs of these trousers were ever made and they were all supplied to the same small shop, and then the owner of that shop immediately remembers the entire purchase nine months previously and claims he'd be able to recognise the purchaser, entirely surreal.

On the face of it, this lot could be fabricated. Nobody seems to have looked at the bits of cloth (except Hayes, presumably) until mid-August 1989. Which is exactly the time we suspect the fabricated evidence was being introduced into the system. Certainly after the Indian Head tests which might have been important both in planning the introduction and perhaps actually fabricating some blast-damaged items.

The babygro is the only item on the list that seems genuinely to have been present in the chain of evidence earlier than that, and as I said, that's one of the big ANOMALIES the journos like to write about when they're telling us how much shenanigans is suspected to have happened at Lockerbie.

However, I cannot for the life of me see any point whatsoever in laying a false trail to lead straight to Tony Gauci, of all people. An apple short of a picnic, a bit simple, not the sort of person you'd want to sustain a charade, even if you could persuade him to do it. And why? To spend 18 months trying to get him to identify Abu Talb? Because that's what happened. (Though he did volunteer that the purchaser was Libyan right at the start.)

Bizarre, jaw-dropping and all the rest, but it's probably far more parsimonious to decide that this really is just one enormous coincidence of a probability Agatha Christie would have blushed to invent. (Just like the preservation of the Erac printout....)

And if we accept that, we're back to who did buy those clothes, and perhaps just as importantly, why? Why do something so conspicuous if you're planning mayhem and murder? Were they actually bought for the bomb bag, or were they bought for some other reason, and using them to pack the bomb bag was an afterthought? Any ideas?

You know what? If nothing else, I could always enter Mastermind with this as my specialist subject....

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Old 7th July 2010, 12:14 AM   #196
Caustic Logic
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First, is it just the babygro that turned up before August? I'd have to look around some morebefore rendering an opinion on a clothing timeline. A lot of fragments turned up in examination mostly in May and June. The Yorkies, major part,PI/221 were examined May 16 and July 4 1989.
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4&postcount=99
That's after the first forays>Wonder why they went in half-informed, rather than checking all clothing first for solid clues? Only other Mary's House contents evidenced within those bits was the babygro and umbrella. Shirts, etc. came up at some point. The"bag from Malta" idea made it all fall into place. That makes a certain narrative sense.

I had some other point and forgot it by now. But I am furrowing my brow over here about the provenant lead those pants so clearly laid out to Mary's House and some highly cooperative witnesses. That deserves some more scrutiny.
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Old 7th July 2010, 03:37 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
First, is it just the babygro that turned up before August? I'd have to look around some morebefore rendering an opinion on a clothing timeline. A lot of fragments turned up in examination mostly in May and June. The Yorkies, major part,PI/221 were examined May 16 and July 4 1989.
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4&postcount=99

Uh, yes, but that's Feraday. According to this hypothesis, Feraday was part of the conspiracy. Anything he or Hayes say they found doesn't definitely exist unless there is dated photographic evidence or until someone else sees it.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
That's after the first forays>Wonder why they went in half-informed, rather than checking all clothing first for solid clues? Only other Mary's House contents evidenced within those bits was the babygro and umbrella. Shirts, etc. came up at some point. The"bag from Malta" idea made it all fall into place. That makes a certain narrative sense.

According to Crawford, the "bag from Malta" had bugger-all to do with it. He's not reliable, but I think he's reliable where it comes to the sequence of events he himself had experience with. Particularly when it involves bad practice or obstructionism on the part of one of the other agencies involved, or even his own superiors - he has a bee in his bonnet about this. According to him, the idea of Malta was raised in respect of the trousers simply because of the babygro's Maltese provenance.

He starts dementing on about the perfidy of the Germans in concealing the printout a little later, but he gives no hint that the printout had any bearing on the decision to look in Malta for a "Yorkie" clothing manufacturer.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I had some other point and forgot it by now. But I am furrowing my brow over here about the provenant lead those pants so clearly laid out to Mary's House and some highly cooperative witnesses. That deserves some more scrutiny.

It's bizarre. Buncrana mentioned the "divine intervention" of the Erac printout. The provenance of these trousers seems even more supernatural, frankly.

However, what was the point? I just can't see it. Tony Gauci is widely accepted to be a pretty dim bulb. The idea that he could have been coached and primed with a story that would then lead to Megrahi is so far-fetched as to be risible.

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Old 7th July 2010, 04:07 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
[...]Well, in retrospect it worked out quite well, right? I'm not convinced one way or the other with the clothes. Could be genuine, plants, a mix, from Talb's stash, from Gauci's shop, elsewhere, a mixture... so many variables. But they do uncannily line up with all these other bogus clues (the printout, the Libyan defector, Bollier and his stories, the timer fragment, the radio debris...) in pointing to Libyans on Malta. That would be a lot of fibers to smoosh into different pieces of luggage. Maybe ALL the debris was replaced with carefully set-up replicas made in Maryland...)

That's a thought I havenn't been eager to embrace - there is room for some coincidence, but there is a logic to some of the clothing at least being. planted.

That's excatly the suggestion that Megrahi's defence team seemed to be implying during the SCCRC's investigation. Perhaps, it was one of the 6 reasons, two of which were not made public by the SCCRC, for referring the case back to appeal in 2007?


Originally Posted by Guardian
Lawyers acting on behalf of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi are said to have uncovered anomalies suggesting vital evidence used to convict their client came from tests conducted months after the terror attack.

[...]

Fingertip searches of the crash site found fragments of a Samsonite suitcase and parts of a Toshiba radio cassette player as well as several pieces of clothing covered in explosive residue. Investigators claimed both the suitcase and clothing were linked to Megrahi. To prove that the bomb was inside the case, investigators set off a series of explosions using an identical suitcase and contents to check how they would be damaged.

Megrahi's lawyers now believe material produced during these tests was mistakenly presented to the court as if it were the original suitcase.

[...]

In one instance a charred Babygro was produced as evidence that it had been used to wrap the bomb. However, new evidence has emerged which suggests the garment was completely undamaged when it was found. Instead, a similar Babygro used during the explosive tests was presented to the court.
Forensic mix-up casts fresh Lockerbie doubt


It also seems on the conclusion of the SCCRC's 3 year long investigation, they themselves had identified that on closer scrutiny "the evidence heard at the trial", in conjunction to the clothing, but not the radio or MST fragment, was core to their decision to determine there may well have been a "miscarriage of justice".
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Old 7th July 2010, 05:51 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
That's excatly the suggestion that Megrahi's defence team seemed to be implying during the SCCRC's investigation. Perhaps, it was one of the 6 reasons, two of which were not made public by the SCCRC, for referring the case back to appeal in 2007?

Forensic mix-up casts fresh Lockerbie doubt

It also seems on the conclusion of the SCCRC's 3 year long investigation, they themselves had identified that on closer scrutiny "the evidence heard at the trial", in conjunction to the clothing, but not the radio or MST fragment, was core to their decision to determine there may well have been a "miscarriage of justice".

Hmmm, I'd forgotten about that! I'm unclear how much of that might have been accepted by the SCCRC, but as you say, it's possible some of it was.

In some ways it's surprising that nothing stuck in respect of the timer fragment in particular, given the very dodgy provenance of Hayes' notes. However, it's an extremely serious allegation. There's nothing inadvertent about "finding" a fragment of timer circuit embedded in the collar of a shirt, and deliberately backdating the notes to make it appear to have been found months earlier. They can't really go with that one unless they have cast-iron proof, and they don't have that. All we have been able to say is that from the evidence available its perfectly possible it was done. I suspect that wasn't enough for the SCCRC to run with it.

To me, this suggests that if they really were running with any of the allegations in respect of the clothing, they must have some pretty solid evidence. Not so much, this might have come from the Indian Head tests, but this did come from the Indian Head tests.

The babygro. I was asking about the significance of this in 2007, so that article is being a bit naive presenting it as "new evidence" in 2009. However, Indian Head was April 1989. We think Brown and Graham went to Malta to trace the babygro in March. So what were they working with at that point? (I've only got that March date from Coleman, so it could be wrong. If it was May it would still fit.)

The significance of the babygro is two-fold. First, it had a legible "Made in Malta" label, which is what got everyone started on the Maltese connection. Second, bits of it were identified as having been blasted into several of the other bits of clothing. I presume this is what led to the conclusion it had been "wrapped round the bomb". At least, it must have been nearer to the bomb than these other items.

However, if the babygro that was found at Lockerbie by the mountain rescue team was intact, where did the bits that were blasted into the other items of clothing come from? Put a question mark over the babygro, and you them have to question all the other pieces as well.

"Mistakenly" my eye. These pieces of cloth were supposed to be subject to a stringent chain of custody process. It should have been absolutely impossible to get them mixed up by accident. It should have been damn difficult to mix them up on purpose, but I suspect it wasn't that hard.

This may have been the fig leaf though. Oops. We had all this stuff from Indian Head, and it got mixed up. Very sorry Mr. Megrahi. Nobody is going to believe a word of it, but if it's the official line then that's the way it will stay and nobody needs to be held publicly accountable for a deliberate frame-up.

I still don't get it though. Are we proposing that the CIA had "wee Tony" all ready and primed to remember selling this stuff to someone who looked like Megrahi, on 7th December? But then Tony got his lines mixed up and after correctly saying that the purchaser was a Libyan, he managed to get the height and the age completely wrong, and describe the day so badly that everyone was left believing it happened on 23rd November?

This is an absolutely ridiculous CT, quite honestly. There's something peculiar going on here, but that can't be it.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th July 2010, 03:37 PM   #200
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I was reviewing the thread to see what I'd missed,and I see that first, I'd forgotten about the great resource Buncrana posted, which includes the actual facsimile of Tony Gauci's first statement to the coppers.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
An absolutely essential page I've found with all kinds of great documents.

Pdf's of two of Bolliers statements.

Three of Gauci's statements.

Michael Jones diary entry.

and much much more.

http://americanradioworks.publicradi...documents.html

And second, people had been talking about the Crawford book several times, and I couldn't look because at that time I'd used up my Google Books allocation by reading the earlier chapters relating to the search in Scotland.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Okay, I was being a little slow. Crawford's "Detective's Tale" gives some details of the kind of tracing I would hope to see aside from Tony's yakkity-yak. I'm not sure this is on the level, but he says they were surprised to find a Yorkie clothing company on Malta, and that the fabric they found was not from another source, like the Yorkie candy bar company. (??) On page 127 he writes of their visit to Yorkie:

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Rolfe: have you read this book?

The Lockerbie Incident: A Detectives Tale - John Crawford.

JC is apparently one of the police minions who was involved in the case and the investigation.

I've skimmed it so far and it seems to follow the official story pretty much but it gives a good perspective on that point of view of the investigation and also gives some interesting detail about how "Mary's House" was first identified. pg 121 onwards.

Basically they found the baby gro fragment that had "Made in Malta" on the label that lead them to Malta. A while later they discovered the Yorkie trousers with Yorkie on the label and after much searching discovered "Yorkie Clothing" based in Malta, the source of said trousers. Yorkie clothing identified the batch of cloth they had used to make these, turns out it was to make 6 pairs of trousers, and all 6 had been ordered by Mary's House.

I had remembered Ambrosia reporting this, but I hadn't remembered it was from Crawford as the source. Thus, when I read Crawford, I thought it was corroborated by what Ambrosia posted.

I go back to what I noted earlier, which is that Crawford isn't reliable on things he wasn't present to witness, and he wasn't at Malta on that occassion. In these situations he tends to give simplified versions which essentially recount a clear-cut situation which agrees with the Official Version, or simply to get it wrong.

For example, Gauci's statement says Godfrey Scicluna was there, and introduced the Scottish policemen to him. Crawford makes no mention of this. The sequence of events which led to Mary's House is of course not mentioned, and again we only have Crawford's (probably sanitised) version.

However, the statement backs him up to some extent. There's nothing really suggestive of any earlier contact between Tony and the police. The three detectives are represented as coming in off the street asking about Yorkie trousers. Specifically about an order for five pairs, of three different sizes, supplied on 18th November. Tony has two of the pairs left (ten months later), but it's not clear that they are all of the same pattern/colour.

There's nothing about this being an exclusive order, and Mary's House doesn't seem like the sort of place to go in for exclusive orders. I suspect Crawford hasn't got that bit quite right, nevertheless there must have been something about the match that led the factory to give the cops details of that particular order - even if it was one of several.

It's not the trousers that are the main interest in that statement though. The story continues. Edward Gauci gets upset, and Tony calls Paul to come to the shop. Tony leaves Paul with the police to serve some customers, and when Tony pays attention again, Paul is showing the cops a pair of pyjamas "with a distinct pattern".

Then Tony says he remembered the day in winter, 6.50, ten minutes before closing, when the smartly-dressed Libyan man came into the shop. It's the pyjamas that are the trigger, not the Yorkie trousers. The man bought three pairs, large size. Then the man asks about a gents jacket, and Gauci asks his size. He says 42", which Gauci rates as "the biggest size". Gauci shows him the imitation Harris tweed one (good boy, Tony, it's imitation if the tweed wasn't woven on the Isle of Harris), and he says yes, that's fine.

The man then asks for trousers, and takes the brown (presumably checked Yorkie) ones, and another pair of lighter ones. He doesn't seem fussy about the size. Then he seems to have been looking round and seen the babygros, and asked what age they woud fit. On being told up to 2 years, he said he'd take a blue one, and you're right CL, it was the type with feet. Then the black umbrella and the large size cardigan.

This is all on the first visit - not just the Yorkie trousers, but the tweed jacket, the umbrella and some other things I think were part of the bomb-damaged items. The pyjamas? It's hard to tell how much of this might have been prompted by the police during the interview, but surely not that much.

I read that statement months ago, but I wasn't taking it in. There are too many strikes on the very first visit for this to be a Clever Hans scenario. It's either the stuff that ended up in the bomb bag being bought, or the most far-fetched set-up I ever heard of.

Whether or not the Yorkie trousers and their provenance were divine intervention, Tony remembering this lot certainly seems pretty supernatural.

Rolfe.
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