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

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Old 6th June 2011, 02:08 PM   #401
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
Clearly, it's possible that the FBI had two photographs of Megrahi in February 1991 and, once the Czech photo was decided on, the second was for some reason 'forgotten', in the same way that the 23rd November was 'forgotten' as a possible date for the clothes purchase. But although Bell is clear about a second photograph, he only seems to be so on February 11th. By the 15th he's saying they only have the one. And Reid is equally clear that he has four photographs of four individuals. So I can't help feeling that there's a strong possibility that Bell was mistaken about that second picture, but never admitted it explicitly.

I don't buy that, because it's not just the one mention. I'll re-post the salient passages from the appeal document.

Quote:
Extract from DCI Bell Diary (22/1/91) (HOLMES version) "They, the FBI, have supplied photocopies of photographs of Abdelbaset [....] and in the margin the summary: "Reference to Americans having photocopies of Abdelbaset's photograph.”
The Manuscript Version suggests that 2 photographs of the appellant were supplied: “… they have supplied photocopies of photographs of Abdelbaset (2)

Extract from DCI Bell Diary
(11/2/91): “Attended US Embassy with McAdam. Met with SA Reid who produced a number of photos… Two photos of Abdelbaset one with collar/tie, one with open shirt. [....]

Memo M2618 from SIO to WMFO (11/2/91): [....] It is imperative to determine which photograph of Abdelbaset is the best reproduction of how he looked in December 1988 before the photograph selection is shown to Gauci. Is it the one with the collar and tie or the one with the open neck shirt? [....]

HOLMES Statement S609BG
DC John Crawford (14/2/91): Compilation of photospread DC912 and covering portion of photographs to conceal fact that appellant’s photograph shows him wearing a tie.

Extract from DCI Bell Diary
(15/2/91): [....] Reid has been worried in case there is no identification made by the witness because [the photo] of Baset we have is too young. I explained that as we have no other and no indication that we will ever get one, then we can only proceed with what we have. If no identification is made and we later get a better photograph showing his true age and appearance in December '88, then the Lord Advocate may accept an argument for showing this to the witness.

On 22nd January it appears from the reading of Bell's diary that he is talking about two photographs, though apparently this is open to interpretation. Then on 11th February there is the explicit reference in the diary to two photos, one with a collar and tie, and one with an open-neck shirt. And also on 11th February, the memo again mentioning the collar and tie versus the open neck shirt, and that it is important to discover which is the best likeness.

It actually sounds as if he was sent photocopies of the two pictures on 22nd January, but then on 11th February he was shown the originals at the US embassy. Which would suggest he was shown the colour version of the staple picture then.

How can he possibly have been mistaken in this? Just hallucinated a second photo, that just happens to match the description of a photo they actually acquired a few months later?

But then on 15th February, the day of the Clever Hans exercise, just four days later, Bell has decided on the Czech photo without telling anyone why, and has forgotten he ever had another one. Or if he hasn't forgotten it, he doesn't bother to mention it (possibly because it shows a man who is even more obviously younger than their target than the Czech photo - just a guess).

Maybe if I read more of Marquise he will tell us where he got the photos they used in the indictment, and the wanted poster. It certainly can't have been from a file copy related to the Abdusamad passport, that's for sure.

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Old 6th June 2011, 02:54 PM   #402
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More speculation about the choice of photo for 15th February.

It appears that Bell had photocopies of the pictures the Americans had, on 22nd January. These would certainly be black-and-white, and probably looked like this.



Although I do think the left-hand one intuitively looks the better image, they are certainly different, and it might not be unreasonable to wonder which one was actually the better likeness.

However, it seems that on 11th February Bell had access to the originals. The right-hand one would be essentially the same, as it appears that all they ever had was a bad photocopy obtained from Czech immigration. But all the evidence (the wanted posters, Buncrana's version of the 1991 indictment version) indicates that they had the staple-photo in colour original.



Now what? How can anyone be in any real doubt about which one is going to represent the better likeness? Did they really go to Edwin and he said, oh for sure the blurry grey splodge is his spitting image? Edwin says not, for what it's worth. Edwin has a completely different version. Edwin makes it up as he goes along of course, but still....

What happened between 11th and 15th February for the staple-photo to vanish from the record, only to reappear a few months later as the definitive image of Megrahi?

By the way, Marquise, oddly enough, only makes reference to the Salinger interview, again November 1991, providing another image of Megrahi that could have been shown to Tony. That's the one he declines to use "for fear of tainting...." and so on.

Another conundrum. The Salinger interview was after the indictments, which would explain why no image from that was used in the US indictment. However, why not swipe stills from that for the wanted posters in 1993?

And just an aside. I see that the indictment estimates Megrahi's weight as 190 lb. That's 13 st 8 lb. And 5 ft 8 in. And "light brown" complexion. Tony volunteered that the customer was over 6 feet tall and heavily built and dark skinned. I don't think so.

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Old 7th June 2011, 03:14 AM   #403
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That image from the 1991 indictment is from the intranet system and image resource my work uses - so no linky I'm afraid. However, here is the exact text accompanying the photo: "14/11/1991 Press Association. Libyan Abdel Basset Ali Al Megrahi, wanted in connection with Boeing 747 Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie."

So on the 22 Jan, I agree, Bell infers that he has two photocopies of photographs. This would appear to be photocopies of the b&w Czech photo, and a photocopy of the Abdusamad colour passport photo - although they were apparently still unaware of the Abdusamad alias.

By 11th Feb, I think Bell's meeting at the US embassy suggests that he was shown the original of these photo's, and although the Czech photo was only ever a photocopy, the open collar passport photo was now available in colour - as represented in the factsheet stapled photo.

Quite why anyone would consider the blurry black and white Czech photocopy of a undated picture, with no immediate hope that a better copy of this photo would become available, would represent a better photo to use for identification of a man who the witness had already stated was about 20-30 years older than that of the man in this photo is unclear. Especially as they now had access to a better quality colour photo of someone who albeit still quite plainly not 50years or older, is clearly more contemporary that the Czech one.

Of course, the other suggestion has been that Gauci was infact presented with the other (Abdusamad) passport photo - although this is unknown if it was the b&w copy of the photo or the colour one - during another photo line-up, never revealed, and failed to pick out Megrahi However, as the b&w czech photo bore some weak semblance of similarity to Gauci's artists impression, then that would result in the only photo that Gauci, with some significant suggestion by the investigators, would tentatively 'identify'.

What I also find curious is how the copy of the Abdusamad coded passport photo came to be in the hands of investigators, and when they got a hold of it?.. This was a photo Megrahi had taken presumably specifically for this 'coded passport' issued to him via the government, no? How did they get a copy of that exact same photo with the passport stamp visible later?
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Old 7th June 2011, 06:36 AM   #404
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The Abdusamad passport photo is intriguing me quite a bit.

First, I think it shows Megrahi at a younger age than 35, which is the age he was when the Abdusamad passport was issued. I could be wrong, but if you put it in line between the Cardiff photo (said to show him at about 19) and the big-specs photo (when he was definitely 39), I think it's closer to the former than to the latter. I doubt if the Abdusamad photo shows him when he was more than 30, and possibly even younger.

The other point is that the description of the Megrahi "style" by the late 1980s (smart, a bit flash, likes jewellery) and his position in life by the time he was 35 (Head of Airline Security for LAA), doesn't seem to fit the young, casual look of the Abdusamad photo. It does fit with the look of the man in the big-specs photo, despite the goon escort.

This all suggests to me he didn't have that photo taken specifically for the Abdusamad passport, although that had also been my original assumption. I think he used a print of a photo taken five years or more earlier.

Why? According to him, the point of the Abdusamad passport was to allow him to carry out business without it being known that he was acting on behalf of LAA - Abdelbaset al-Megrahi being widely known to be a senior LAA man. So perhaps the younger, softer image of the old photo was appropriate. It may also have helped with the subterfuge if it wasn't too similar to his own current passport (which is an anomaly anyway, judging by the only information we have about it).

What I now think, is that that photo was used, possibly at the time it was originally taken, for a different identity document in Megrahi's own name. Let's call it the staple-photo, because I'm now talking about the version with the staples in it and no passport stamp. I think that's what the investigators had in early 1991. Given that is doesn't seem to be his then passport photo, and that there is a virtually identical photo of Fhimah too, staple and all, I speculate about an LAA security pass.

I think the investigators had that photo as well as the Czech one in 1991, and it was definitely attached to Megrahi's own name. For some reason that is not explained, they originally considered using it in the February photospread, but then didn't, used the Czech photo, and "forgot" they had the colour staple-photo at all. I have a suspicion this may have been because the Czech photo, although of diabolical quality, bore a closer resemblance to the images Tony was prone to pick out as resembling his customer.

I'd love to know more about the suggestion that they did indeed try Tony with the better likeness, and he didn't pick it out, but I suspect that's something it would be very difficult to get hard information on.

It appears that the investigators didn't see the Abdusamad passport, which Megrahi apparently brought with him voluntarily to Zeist, until after November 1999. In that month, Marquise is still uncertain whether they have definite proof that Megrahi is Abdusamad, and is trying to get fingerprints off boarding cards for that purpose. I haven't yet found his reaction to the discovery that the photo in the Abdusamad passport was actually a print of the same photo they'd been using on their wanted posters all along!

I think when Megrahi was required to get the coded Abdusamad passport, he just dug out a print of a photo he'd had taken some time earlier, perhaps even his LAA security pass photo, and let them use that. Some disguise!

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Old 7th June 2011, 08:12 AM   #405
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OK, Rolfe. I think I may have misinterpreted Marquise, owing to the way I had to prise bits out of Google books that they were unwilling to show me. I was thinking that McCulloch's trip to Libya was in November 1991, just before the indictments were issued. If it was in November 1999, then it obviously doesn't explain how they had the staple-photo in 1991. They seem to have had the colour version at the same time, as it was used on 'wanted' posters etc circulated in the Arab world in early 1992 (according to 'Plane Truth').

The FBI factsheet of 14/11/91 is so far the earliest we can be absolutely sure they had the staple-photo. But if Bell was right about there being two photos of Megrahi, then they almost certainly had it in January 1991.

Unfortunately it's very unclear what was going on there. As I've said before, Bell's the only person who says that there are two photos, but he is unequivocal on that. Reid seems equally clear that he has only one photo of each individual, and Marquise implies that they only had the Czech photo. AFAICT he never mentions the discovery of what became the iconic image of Megrahi in the press and in the FBI's own publicity. And what are we to make of this entry

Quote:
Extract from DCI Bell Diary (14/2/91): "I obtained suspect photograph from Special Agent Reid. I have thereafter recorded the following (1) Abdelbaset. Born (blank.) ...on Monday 11th February 1991 within the US Embassy I made reference to the fact that Reid produced these 2 photographs of Abdelbaset. He obviously retained them until he handed the one photograph to me on Thursday 14th February 1991."
It seems that's the last we ever hear of the second photograph. Either Bell thought another photo was a second one of Megrahi, later realised he'd been shooting his mouth off, and shut up about it, or he was right and the second photo was just quietly sidelined. Curiouser and curiouser.

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Old 7th June 2011, 08:21 AM   #406
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Ah okay, so is this where the bold Mr Giaka enters the frame again?

If, as anyone might reasonably point out, the 'staple photo' and Abdusamad passport photo was one of a set taken, hence the apparent duplication but one without a stamp marking, was originally used for his LAA pass, then that is certainly something Giaka might have an opportunity to acquire in his work with Megrahi at LAA.

I think Giaka was promoted to 'LAA station manager' at Luqa in late '88, around the same time he started offering the CIA info as part of his JSO work. And as 'station manager' that position may well allow some access to employee files.

However, it should be noted that in October '88 Giaka had already passed information regarding Fhimah and then in December '88 he brought Megrahi to the attention of the CIA as both men were apparently JSO officers. Giaka also initially supplied the information that Megrahi had passed through Malta on 7th Dec, and both men were on Malta on 20th/21st Dec.

I think therefore it fairly reasonable to assume that the CIA would have requested Giaka to provide some additional info on both men including some kind of photo id's, if at all possible, of both JSO suspects. So, here we have the CIA developing files and facts on both men, their activities and visits in and out Luqa, including photo's of the men taken from the same photo's used on their LAA security passes. All this was in progress most likely by the end of 1988.

However, it does seem somewhat amateurish to say the least of any prospective super-spy to use a picture already assigned to another pass, that being his LAA pass, as this same photo to then apply to a 'coded passport' issued by you govt for surreptitious activities. Indeed, not much of a disguise!

When the clothing was determined to have been 'Made in Malta', in late Aug early Sep '88, together with the almost simultaneous production of the Erac printout and tray B8849, and Feraday's memo to Williamson, this would have all fitted very neatly with two already known Libyan JSO undesirables at Luqa on the 20/21st December.

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Old 7th June 2011, 09:43 AM   #407
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Pete, I'm not contradicting you about the date of the visit to the passport office as I haven't read that far yet. What I did read as an excerpt was Marquise noting with exasperation in November 1999 the discovery of a single sheet of paper requesting the Abdusamad passport for Megrahi, which had been lying unnoticed in a file for some time. It could have been hoovered up in 1991 and simply filed unread.

I'm guessing about the LAA pass thing, but if it wasn't his passport photo, and it seems not to have been, then a work security pass is the next most likely source. Esoecially when there is a matching photo of Fhimah, and they worked for the same employer.

The more I look at this, the less Megrahi seems to have been concealing the Abdusamad identity - it's more like something he just needed for particular transactions, as he says, than a genuine cover identity - and the less he seems to have been hiding on 20th-21st December 1988.

Someone engaged in terrorism and mass murder should have been taking a lot more care.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th June 2011, 01:57 PM   #408
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How carefully was Megrahi hiding at the time of the bombing?
  • He was using the Abdusamad passport, but
    • That was officially and legally issued to him, with a record in the Libyan passport office to show who he really was
    • The photo in the passport was one he had earlier used in another identity document in his own name
  • He was travelling (inbound) with Fhimah, supposedly his co-conspirator who was responsible for the actual placing of the bomb on the plane - and Fhimah travelled on his own passport in his own name
  • He stayed at the Holiday Inn, where he always stayed when he was in Malta and where he was well known in person as Abdelbaset Megrahi
    • He wrote the name of the hotel openly on his landing card, when he landed as "Abdusamad"
    • He claimed a staff discount at the hotel as an employee of LAA, as he usually did
  • He returned to the airport the following morning (the day of the bombing) where he was well known by sight
    • The purpose of this exercise is completely unknown, as he didn't check in any luggage and didn't go airside
Oh, and I forgot another part.
  • When he made the other damning visit to Malta allegedly as part of the bombing plot, the visit to buy the clothes - he used his own passport in his own name.
    • And he stayed at the Holiday Inn, as usual
It's not just the ludicrous incompetence of this (and the conspicuous clothes purchase) set alongside the absolutely supernaturally-concealed presence of the bomb on Malta and its passage on KM180, it's the general innocence of the whole thing if we discount the use of the coded passport.

I had always assumed Megrahi was up to no good that day in Malta, some sort of covert mission for Gadaffi that he wasn't going to talk about - just not Lockerbie, obviously. However, about six months ago, Bunntamas linked to an article by Marcello Mega in the Sunday Mail, which I hadn't seen before. In that article, Megrahi himself says he was in Malta for absolutely mundane purposes - to buy a carpet, and to find a joiner to supply and fit a bannister rail in his house. He only picked up the Abdusamad passport because it was the one that came to hand when he was leaving.

I didn't actually believe that at first, conditioned as I am to regard anything said in an Arabic accent that starts "Believe me...." as a complete whopper (you need to know Aziz, trust me on this). But if he was on a clandestine mission using that passport, what did he do? The Lockerbie investigation dug as deeply into what he did on those days as they could, and they confirmed the visit to the joiner, and an innocent meeting with Vassallo, and came up with nothing sinister at all. I'm pretty sure they'd have told us if they had.

If he really was on some sort of deep-cover mission - how careless can you get? In fact, he was so bloody obvious it's an absolute mystery how it took the Lockerbie investigation so long to figure him out. It took the CIA to tell them, when quite honestly there seems to have been enough perfectly ordinary evidence that they should have spotted him soon after getting interested in Malta.

I'm actually beginning to believe him. Which is quite a sick-making thought, under the circumstances.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th June 2011, 02:01 AM   #409
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That's a really interesting breakdown of the Megrahi's activities and decisions Rolfe, thanks.

It certainly does appear to illustrate someone hardly moving amid the dark shadows preparing to launch a dastardly terror plot, and more likely the innocuous nature, as claimed by Megrahi, of his visit on 20/21 Dec. Fetching up at all your regular places on the island on 20/21st, where everyone would clearly know you, as you plan to bomb an airliner, is just about beyond comprehension.

Did he not think that if the clothes, he himself bought 2 weeks before, were ever discovered (assuming the success of the long and winding route this unaccompanied bag would require), his presence on the island the day he loaded the bag onto Air Malta wouldn't attract attention and, now, with literally scores of people who met him, spoke to him, and know precisely that he was on Malta the day the bag was loaded at Luqa?

Well, of course this all would be completely absurd. Only problem being, officially, that's exactly what we're supposed to believe happened.

Well, if there were any evidence that Megrahi did indeed buy those clothes, or that he loaded the bomb-laden suitcase on KM180, it certainly would appear incompetence of stratospheric proportions. However, the other problem is that there is no evidence he did either.

I suppose the confusing issue for investigators may have been the fact that Giaka was feeding them information on 'Megrahi', while the passenger manifest for the flights to/from Luqa (notably on 20 & 21st Dec) would not have any passenger 'Megrahi' booked to travel. So, I wonder, how quickly and why eventually did they catch-on that 'Abdusamad' was actually 'Megrahi'?

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Old 9th June 2011, 02:55 AM   #410
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That last is a question which I am gradually getting to grips with, mainly through Marquise's book. The answer being that the CIA had to tell them, and didn't tell them until about 10 days after the infamous Clever Hans photospread. Although, as ever, it's a little more complicated than that.

And as regards the clothes discovery, think about what would have happened if the "long and winding road" we're supposed to believe in had failed? Suppose the suitcase had been intercepted, say by Maier, and the sinister nature of the radio's contents revealed? The bomb could have been defused, and the entire boiling recovered in pristine condition. Suppose the suitcase had been misrouted, and was still in a baggage store at Frankfurt when it exploded? There would have been a lot more evidence to be picked up at everybody's leisure. Suppose PA103 had lost its slot at Heathrow - as so very nearly happened, twice? Again the explosion would have been non-lethal and confined, and all the evidence would have been there for the collecting.

None of these eventualities is in the least bit unlikely. Just how stupid is this man whom we're supposed to believe was able to get an unaccompanied bag on board KM180 without this or the means by which it was done ever being discovered, even by an intensive multi-national investigation after the event? He has magic powers of invisibility and levitation to manage that, but he didn't even have the nous to use second-hand clothes and/or cover his tracks even half-way competently?

Oh come on.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:19 AM   #411
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Quote:
He stayed at the Holiday Inn, where he always stayed when he was in Malta and where he was well known in person as Abdelbaset Megrahi
He wrote the name of the hotel openly on his landing card, when he landed as "Abdusamad"
He claimed a staff discount at the hotel as an employee of LAA, as he usually did
Interesting. According to Marquise, the investigators knew of a telephone call Abdusamad made from the hotel, implying that they had looked at the hotel's records. So Megrahi must have signed in as Abdusamad, but otherwise acted as Megrahi. Clearly, as you say, Rolfe, being completely casual about his 'alias'. Megrahi's presence on Malta as Abdusamad was made to look highly suspicious; yet the more you look at facts which were available all along, the less suspicious it looks.

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Old 9th June 2011, 12:20 PM   #412
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That's exactly what I'm gradually realising. I always thought, or rather assumed, that Megrahi was in fact on some sort of undercover mission for Gadaffi that day, something he couldn't explain. Christine (who has met him four times) always says, "he's not a clean potato of course, but you don't frame a clean potato." However, I don't really know where the evidence is for any of that. It's all just assumptions, based on believing that anyone with any official connection with the Libyan government must be a bad lot. But that's almost certainly not the case, for any national organisation of that size.

For all the bluster in the indictment, no evidence at all was produced of Megrahi having anything in his past relating to terrorist activity. The more Bunntamas tried to portray him as some sort of Musa Kusa clone, the more obvious it became that there was nothing at all to support that reading. And if my initial assumption had been correct that he was engaged on some sort of undercover mission in Malta at the time of the Lockerbie bombing, I can't help feel that the subsequent investigation would have turned up something more than a meeting with Vincent Vassallo, who was himself investigated until his pips squeaked.

His own explanation for having the Abdusamad passport is perfectly reasonable, that he needed to be able to negotiate with suppliers on a freelance basis, without being identifiable as a LAA manager. He provided evidence of deals he had negotiated in just that way. He says he just picked it up as the one that came to hand that day, and my initial reaction to that was, yeah, pull the other one! But what evidence do we have for any other explanation? None at all.

His behaviour on Malta during these two days wasn't clandestine at all. I had read that he had registered at the Holiday Inn under his own name, but as you say that can't be right. But at the same time, the staff there must have known who he was, from his other visits. And he wrote the name of the hotel on his landing card. For goodness sake! I'm coming round to the belief that he was genuinely doing nothing untoward on that trip.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th June 2011, 04:07 PM   #413
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Apologies, a little off-track here, but worth noting in relation to the whole clothes purchase. If you didn't manage to catch Lockerbie: The Pan Am Bomber on English Al Jazeera tonight, then I think it's repeated tomorrow night and is well worth watching. It's not available to watch again on the website, yet.

However, a few points from the programme while I remember.
  • Gauci's reference to "Beige" shirt crossed out on original statement and dropped entirely from typed copy of statement. The shirt was always grey.
  • Gauci recorded by reporter in 1999 claiming many more trips and inducements were made by Scottish Investigators than seemed to be revealed by SCCRC conclusion.
  • Gauci's recollection of [Slamon] shirt was for male size 42 and 16.5' neck. This remained consistent.
  • Statements taken from a Maltese shirt vendor and Slamon shirt manufacturer in Malta stated the shirt being presented as 'blast damaged' by investigators was distinctive of a childs size shirt and not adult. These statements were never disclosed.
  • On Gauci's original statement taken 01 Sep 89 it alleges that the reference to the buyer either speaking or in appearance 'Libyan' was inserted at some point and not part of original statement.


It covered much of this issues on this thread, although certainly it didn't commit a great deal to the issues of Gauci's eventual 'identification' of the Czech photo. It noted the age discrepancy in the picture picked out, and referred to the subtlely coercive conditions it was chosen. However, there was little, or no mention of the contrast not only between the Czech photo and Gauci's memory, but of the Czech photo and what Megrahi actually looked like at the time in question.

The programme revealed a number of other quite damning allegations that further undermine the 'fragment' discovery, (as if that was actually possible!) and the issues of altered labelling on evidence bags and the signatories on them.

These however, are for the other threads.

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Old 9th June 2011, 05:12 PM   #414
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Oh, I didn't realise it could be watched live online. I'll catch it at the next repeat.

I know Edwin has been going on about the size of the shirt, but I didn't know his reference for the allegation. Since Tony was originally adamant that he didn't sell that man any shirts, one wonders how come he was so adamant about the size once he had been persuaded to "remember" that. Couldn't they train him to get the size right or what?

I only just thought, this evening, to show Mega my article about the photos and point out the issues with the Czech photo. I haven't yet heard whether he thinks it's a valuable extra point.

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Old 10th June 2011, 03:28 PM   #415
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They've put it on Youtube as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oVVmt1W-6U

I still haven't watched it, but kind of excited to.
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Old 10th June 2011, 04:31 PM   #416
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I've downloaded it.

Aljazeera doth murder sleep....

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Old 11th June 2011, 01:57 AM   #417
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I've watched the show and I highly recommend it. I wish I knew to embed it here these days. Used to be a button ... It managed to completely gloss over a huge amount - I was sad they didn't even dedicate a minute to the age and height discrepancy or the date of purchase evidence.

But what it covers, it covers very well. I'd never heard of George Thompson that I noticed, but he's done some awesome stuff. The shirt pocket change is undeniable, but somehow it doesn't do a lot for me, compared to other things. I was excited at the very high-res (for Youtube) images of evidence -the blasted frame of the American Tourister (Coyle's) I recognize from reading the descriptions [see 21:28]. It is VERY blasted, as I suspected, just as bad off as the "primary suitcase," really. They seem comparable, as if both flanking the real primary case...

The three new images of AG/145 excite me - the fragments seperated but shown together, the one saying "02" and the backside of the chunk we've seen (labeled 101 and L106), both shown in situ with an intact CB. I'll be noting these somewhere, got a pile of screen caps. Hayes' exam book, the changed page numbers, that interesting recovery of the word "cloth" from the PI/995 tag, etc.

The visual aspects came through amazingly. But being the Gauci thread, it was very interesting to see him back on Malta (just earlier this year was it?), being driven around and away from journalists by the local police. Nice car, he's lost some weight - better food, time and leisure to work out and cultivate vanity, good signs of a reward likely upwards of the original $2 million. My best guess is the magical "promised" $4 million.

But where's Paul? Still in Australia or St. John's? Enjoying time away from Tweedle Dumb?

Also, John Cameron, he's new to me. Was I under a rock here? A scientist with the Church of Scotland, wrote a 4,000 report on the science of Lockerbie, done for Nelson Mandela to gauge his own doubts of the evidence? Hm!

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Old 11th June 2011, 05:31 AM   #418
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YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Rolfe, glad to be of service.
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Old 11th June 2011, 06:05 AM   #419
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Yeah, awesome. But why Aljazeera? They did a fantastic job, but it should be the BBC or at least Channel 4 doing that sort of investigative journalism, not bland apologia and leaving the real exposes to foreign stations.

I had never heard of George Thomson or John Cameron before, but they're obviously major experts. The interesting thing to me is that they were working entirely on the evidence generated by the inquiry, and didn't go beyond that. I think there is pretty good evidence from elsewhere (including the trial transcripts) that January 1990 was simply the date that Williamson went to Meckelheim to consult the BKA to see if the timer fragment matched anything they had recovered from the Autumn Leaves raid. If the Germans have pegged that as the date the fragment was "found" on, they are simply mistaken. There's no reason to suppose they are lying, or that the Scottish police are lying about having had possession of it earlier. It is indeed very similar to the claims that the Erac printout appeared in August 1989, because that was the date the Germans handed it over.

Yes, the film concentrated on very particular aspects of the case, but that was what it was about - the examination of the minutiae of the evidence. And it did it very well. I was very interested to get a look at the entire photospread, and indeed Megrahi's picture does look different from the others.

I think there's a lot to indicate that Tony was very much motivated to help these policemen, money or not. It's interesting that his immediate boast was that he's "a very important person in Scotland". He wouldn't have been very important if he hadn't made the "right" identification. His fixation on the Abu Talb photo is interesting in that context, because that was from a newspaper with the word "Bomber" flashed across the corner. When he was shown Talb's photo in a photospread he didn't pick it though. Then he's shown this other spread, and there's this one picture which stands out because of a different quality (and I think slightly different dimensions), and the cops are tensing up and looking at each other and holding their breath every time he looks at it....

I need to watch it again.

Rolfe.
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Old 16th June 2011, 03:15 AM   #420
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Just for the record, the apparent actual photo spread shown to Tony on Feb 15, from the new video. Too large to post as an image here. Had to assemble it from a few screen grabs for best resolution, and did a slight sharpening as well.
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Old 16th June 2011, 04:23 AM   #421
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Oh, well done. Goodness, if you showed that to anyone and asked which was likely to be the picture of the suspect, I think they'd get it.

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Old 16th June 2011, 05:08 AM   #422
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, well done. Goodness, if you showed that to anyone and asked which was likely to be the picture of the suspect, I think they'd get it.

Rolfe.
We can't rule out that it's just the knowledge of which photo matters. But I had the same impression, or one to the same effect. For one, it's the smallest photo, and stands out there. It's degraded, but so are the others. The one next to it is just scratched. And second smallest in that row, giving it a slight bullet shape sort of "pointing" to him.

Second, follow the 'fros. Only a few have remotely the right hair and the right contrast to stand out. When I squint and focus on the dark patches that I know are hair (filtering out the upper right corner), it seems to form a sort of arrow this time, again, pointing to Megrahi.

Huh?

What did you mean?

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Old 16th June 2011, 08:32 AM   #423
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I think you let your imagination run away with you on that last bit.

But mainly I note that the picture that's supposed to be Megrahi is quite clearly a different size from the others (why couldn't they have blown it up or shrunk the others?) and quite clearly the poorest, most grainy quality. Especially the fold across the middle.

I admit Tony was never the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the possibility that they included this photo (in spite of it being so bad) BECAUSE it was the one they were interseted in, might cross the dimmest mind when looking at that array.

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Old 16th June 2011, 12:42 PM   #424
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You know, it could be interesting to try this fun game at home. Show the entire photospread to people who know nothing at all about the case, and ask them one of two questions.
  • Which picture do you think stands out as different from the rest?
  • If you had to guess, which picture do you think is most likely to be the suspect?
I'd take a moderate bet that number 8 would get a very high proportion of the votes to both questions, especially the first. It might be necessary to add that the suspect is not in custody to be a completely comparable test though.

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Old 16th June 2011, 04:13 PM   #425
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I've re-written the article on the identification process to include the photospread. As always, comments welcome.

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 03:32 PM   #426
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Tap, tap.... Is this thing on?

Remember Paul Foot said the tip-off that alerted the investigation to Megrahi as a possible suspect came from Edwin. The Scottish investigators said the info came from the FBI. Richard, however, who is of course "the FBI", has an interesting story.

The first mention of Megrahi's name in his book is during an account of a meeting with the CIA in London in early December 1990, when his was just one of a number of names provided, along with the information about the 7th December visit to Malta. At that time they did not have a photo of him to show to Tony Gauci.

The subsequent events are recounted in a disjointed manner and out of sequence. However Marquise indicates that they did get hold of an undated photo of him (presumably the Czech photo) and had arranged to show this to Tony on 15th February 1991. He doesn't say when they got it, or how, and he doesn't mention the staple-photo.

He also recounts the arrangements to interview Edwin, in Washington, at the same time, 12th to 15th February. With a polygraph, the unreconstructed woo. The polygrapher decides Edwin is telling the truth. Why am I not surprised about that. After the end of the interview process, Marquise recounts that Edwin was shown "the drawing" of the clothes purchaser, and he volunteered that this image (which he had been shown before but in a bad photocopy which is why he hadn't recognised it) "resembled a man he knew as Abdel Baset Ali al Megrahi".

After that, Marquise phoned Henderson to tell him that Edwin had recognised Tony's image as Megrahi, at which point Henderson told him that Tony had identified Megrahi as the clothes purchaser (from the Czech photo) earlier that day. The Scottish team was already "having a celebratory drink" about it.

This does not fit with what Bell said about asking Edwin which was the better likeness of the two photos. Which would have had to have happened before the 15th anyway. It does fit to some extent with what Edwin told Caustic Logic (sorry can't find the exact post) which was that he was shown an exact tracing of Megrahi's passport photo.

Marquise is really annoying. Bits of that book are almost as if he'd had a lot of facts and snippets on index cards, and just arranged them in what looked like the best order, and called it a book. He seems to introduce Megrahi as a new player at least three times. No editor named. I'm beginning to wonder if it's just another piece of vanity publishing, like Crawford, except he's not quite so illiterate so you don't realise so quickly.

Anyway, this all sounds really fishy. How would it be possible to recognise Megrahi from the artist's impression? If Edwin thought he was being shown a tracing of Megrahi's passport photo, wouldn't it have been the photofit he'd have been referring to? How could you recognise Megrahi from either image, really?

Somebody is playing silly buggers, but I'm damned if I know who and how.

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 05:30 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

Of course the original of the Czech photo has never been made available. I genuinely wonder what it would look like, if it was ever recognisable as the man himself.

Rolfe.

This photo has always bugged me. Until I started reading a couple of the threads here I'd always assumed that the picture bore a resemblance to Megrahi at some point in his life.
It doesn't look like Megrahi at all, but it must be him, otherwise he'd have said so.
It looks, to me, the most like the original artist sketch ( a handy aide-memoir for Mr Gauci )which is like no sketch of a 50+yrs male you're ever likely to see.

The police were definitely playing silly buggers with this.


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Old 24th June 2011, 02:59 AM   #428
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Welcome to the forum, CTB!

I queried with people in JFM whether it was possible that picture wasn't even of Megrahi, but it was pointed out that Megrahi himself was closely involved in every aspect of the second appeal and there doesn't seem to be any record of him saying the picture wasn't of him. Some people here have claimed to see a resemblance, but I can't see it myself. I've even tried changing the aspect ratio to see if a likeness emerges, and it doesn't seem to. To be quite honest if that was his regular passport photo I'm surprised they allowed him to travel on it! It's also mildly strange that a better print has never emerged.

The oddity is that Megrahi is someone who doesn't seem to have changed much as he aged through his twenties and thirties, or even his forties. Apart from a photo taken at Zeist where he was wearing Arab dress and a little black cap, I've been able to recognise him in every picture I've seen of him, from his Cardiff student ID card even to the recent ones of him while he was on chemotherapy. And I've never clapped eyes on him in my life. But that single weird photo that was shown to Tony, I can't make that Megrahi any way I look at it.

This strange and contradictory tale of what was shown to Edwin and when and why is also peculiar. Bell at one point (11th February I think) spoke of needing to find out which of the two photos they had was the best likeness, and asking Edwin. But it's unclear that Edwin was asked because that note is made on 11th February and Edwin was in Washington being polygraphed from 12th to 15th February. (And Sheriff Mowatt was issuing the findings of the FAI on 14th February, it was all go that week....)

Richard says nothing about showing anything to Edwin until the formal interviewing is over, and then it's Tony construct (or one of them) he is shown, not either of the photographs. I think the claim to recognise either of these constructs as Megrahi is ludicrous, quite honestly, but that's what Richard claims Edwin did.

Edwin claims the drawing he saw was an exact tracing of a photgraph of Megrahi. Which makes my head hurt, but it certainly fits better with Richard's version than with Harry Bell's.

I'm sure there's some dirty dealing going on here, if we could only figure out what.

Rolfe.
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Old 24th June 2011, 03:14 AM   #429
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I noticed something else in Richard's book, regarding the staple-Abdusamad photo.

Pete2 pointed out that the investigators didn't have the Abdusamad passport until Megrahi brought it to Zeist with him. And it would seem not even then, because Richard is still dementing on in November 1999 about not having conclusive proof that Megrahi was Abdusamad. This would presumably mean they had not seen the Abdusamad passport photo at that point, because that would have settled it. It's the same bloody photo as the one they had been using since November 1991 to identify Megrahi to the world.

However, in his book Richard mentions seeing the Abdusamad passport on-screen during the Salinger interview of November 1991 - he notes the stamp recording a visit to Malta in December 1988. What's that all about? If Megahi was denying being Abdusamad at that point, why would he be waving Abdusamad's passport around? Especially as it had a recognisable (if old) photo of himself in it? (I've only seen occasional clips from that interview, shown to prove that Megrahi told lies to Salinger, therefore he must be a mass murderer. Never the whole thing.)

It would be interesting to know if the passport photo was ever visible onscreen. If so, that should have clinched it forever. Here was Abdusamad's passport, and the photo in it was another print of the same photo they'd just used to identify Megrahi in the indictment papers....

I'd still dearly love to know where that staple photo materialised from, and when.

Rolfe.
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Old 24th June 2011, 03:21 AM   #430
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The timeline is a little odd too. The way Richard tells it, Megrahi's name first came up through intelligence channels, dating back to Giaka first mentioning him as a JSO officer before the bombing. They were interested in him because he had visited Malta on 7th December, the day they had decided the clothes were bought.

Why did they decide the clothes were bought on 7th December and not 23rd November? Apparently, because Megrahi was in Malta that day.

I don't think Richard is telling this straight. Again, somebody is playing silly buggers. I have a suspicion it was the CIA, feeding the FBI the information it wanted them to have to point them in the direction it wanted them to go. Baer has hinted as much. UNfortunately I don't see any sign of anyone in the CIA writing indiscreet memoirs.

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Old 24th June 2011, 09:30 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Welcome to the forum, CTB!


Edwin claims the drawing he saw was an exact tracing of a photgraph of Megrahi.
Rolfe.

Thanks for the welcome, Rolfe!

yes, Mr Bollier's way with English sure is exasperating. I think what he's saying here is photocopy. I don't know 'bout Schwitzer-Deutsch, but photocopy in German is Fotokopie. As with lots of new-fangled inventions the pronunciation ends up the same with the spelling suiting the lay of the land. Eddie's got some interesting and relevant stuff to say, but it's not easy picking out the bits that are helpful.

The staples of the 'staple' photo are kinda weird. It looks like he's sitting underneath a giant staple in a wall. Perhaps it's just an effect of the souped-up contrast, but the toppermost frizzy bit of his barnet seems to be in front of the staple. I'm just going to have to assume that it's a scan of some, hitherto, unknown to me document.

I could go with the questionable/isn't him photo as pretty much anything can happen to scaling on a photocopier if you're not careful, or have a crap photocopier. In this case it's 'plumped' him, but the nose still looks wrong. ( and his top-lip and his left ear, but hey, it does fit with the 'resembles, but not really' line Gauci pretty much maintained throughout.)

The Polis seemed to have just stopped short of directly telling Gauci which one to pick. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they were not aware of sub/un concious signals they were probably sending Gauci's direction. Tony earns his dosh, and the boys go for a well earned drink.

I've never met any D&G police, but assume they're much like Stratchclyde or Lothian & Borders. An attitude I've come across ( from ex members of the force, speaking of their days ) on more than one occasion is of single-minded pursuit. If they've gone to all that bother to pin someone for something then that person is guilty regardless, it's the bloody lawyers that stuff it up. It's not exactly 'bent' but could explain the feel of someone playing silly buggers.

Organisations like the CIA and FBI, I would imagine, are purposely set up along the lines of making sure the left and right hands are unaware of each other. Transparency is not part of the remit. It's only when the organisation itself takes a hit that it forms what looks like a united front. Sharing info and getting the story straight, as seen in the Lockerbie investigation, then proves to be bloody tricky. External scrutiny is never really expected.

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Old 25th June 2011, 12:39 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Thanks for the welcome, Rolfe!

yes, Mr Bollier's way with English sure is exasperating. I think what he's saying here is photocopy. I don't know 'bout Schwitzer-Deutsch, but photocopy in German is Fotokopie. As with lots of new-fangled inventions the pronunciation ends up the same with the spelling suiting the lay of the land. Eddie's got some interesting and relevant stuff to say, but it's not easy picking out the bits that are helpful.

That's a point. The post was written in English, because it was a direct reply to a question from Caustic Logic, so we don't know what the German word was he was thinking of. I never quite know what to think about Edwin's English. His history makes it terribly unlikely he wouldn't have good English, but he's incomprehensible.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The staples of the 'staple' photo are kinda weird. It looks like he's sitting underneath a giant staple in a wall. Perhaps it's just an effect of the souped-up contrast, but the toppermost frizzy bit of his barnet seems to be in front of the staple. I'm just going to have to assume that it's a scan of some, hitherto, unknown to me document.

There's a matching picture of Fhimah - same background, same size, same staple. I wonder if they're file copies of some sort of identity document, with the pictures stapled to the filing cards. I'd have said passport, except that doesn't seem to have been Megrahi's passport photo. I wonder how old the picture is. In sequence, it doesn't seem that much older than the student ID picture.

I need to read up more about the visit to the passport office in Tripoli someone was describing, in 1991. You'd think they'd have got copies of both suspects' passport photos then. But why didn't they get Abdusamad's passport photo then too? But if they had that staple-photo in February, they didn't get it there.

Sorry, I'm not making much sense here.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
I could go with the questionable/isn't him photo as pretty much anything can happen to scaling on a photocopier if you're not careful, or have a crap photocopier. In this case it's 'plumped' him, but the nose still looks wrong. ( and his top-lip and his left ear, but hey, it does fit with the 'resembles, but not really' line Gauci pretty much maintained throughout.)

That's why I tried stretching and squeezing it on the computer, but I couldn't make it look like Megrahi to my eyes.

Thinking again about the passport office visit, surely they got copies of both suspects' passport photos then? But if they did, and that was Megrahi's own passport photo, it's odd we've never seen a better copy. I suppose it's possible that the pair of staple photos are from the passport office, but that would suggest Megrahi just used the same photo in both his own and the Abdusamad passport, and it was quite an old photo, and if so where the hell did the Czech photo come from?

There may be a simple explanation for all this but I wish I knew what it was.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The Polis seemed to have just stopped short of directly telling Gauci which one to pick. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they were not aware of sub/un concious signals they were probably sending Gauci's direction. Tony earns his dosh, and the boys go for a well earned drink.

Maybe they weren't, but it was something that was known about, if not then, then soon after. But from Crawford's description of his own reactions, Tony would have had to be pond life not to pick up on his signals.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
I've never met any D&G police, but assume they're much like Stratchclyde or Lothian & Borders. An attitude I've come across ( from ex members of the force, speaking of their days ) on more than one occasion is of single-minded pursuit. If they've gone to all that bother to pin someone for something then that person is guilty regardless, it's the bloody lawyers that stuff it up. It's not exactly 'bent' but could explain the feel of someone playing silly buggers.

I have heard that Megrahi himself is quite incandescent with rage against Harry Bell, whom he believes railroaded him. I think that's part of the attitude you mention. But the Scottish police weren't really running the inquiry. They were operating it under Scots law, but the FBI and behind them the CIA were pulling the strings. How much the inquiry was manipulated to go after the suspects the CIA wanted to be blamed, I'm not sure.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Organisations like the CIA and FBI, I would imagine, are purposely set up along the lines of making sure the left and right hands are unaware of each other. Transparency is not part of the remit. It's only when the organisation itself takes a hit that it forms what looks like a united front. Sharing info and getting the story straight, as seen in the Lockerbie investigation, then proves to be bloody tricky. External scrutiny is never really expected.

It's been said several times that the CIA only passes to the FBI what it deems prudent. Because the FBI want stuff that will stand up in court, and the CIA don't especially want to release secret-type material. I could easily imagine the CIA administering a drip-feed of information and clues that would eventually lead in the direction they had chosen.

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Old 25th June 2011, 12:42 PM   #433
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Here's the entire conversation between Caustic Logic, Edwin Bollier and myself, this time with the German left in:

pete said...

What's baffling me is that, according to the records, the Americans had two different photographs of Megrahi, and got Edwin Bollier to pick out the best likeness:

Quote:
Memo M2618 from SIO to WMFO (11/2/91): "?It would be very much appreciated if
the Quantico team could introduce as early as possible the photographs of the Libyans to
Bollier. It is imperative to determine which photograph of Abdelbaset is the best
reproduction of how he looked in December 1988 before the photograph selection is
shown to Gauci. Is it the one with the collar and tie or the one with the open neck
shirt?...I would wish to avoid misleading the witness Gauci during the photograph
viewing, if at all possible. It would avoid the impossible situation of showing two photos
of the same suspect?"

Extract from DCI Bell Diary (11/2/91): "Attended US Embassy with McAdam. Met
with SA Reid who produced a number of photos?Two photos of Abdelbaset one with
collar/tie, one with open shirt. Point: Bollier in his statement picks out photo 18 stating it
is Baset. We must confim the ID and use this to show witness in spread."
So what was the other photo, and was it really a worse likeness than the Czech photo?

Where's Bollier when you need him?

Herr Bollier:
als Sie in Februar 1991 in Amerika waren, DCI Bells Tagebuch zufolge, hat man Ihnen einige Fotos gezeigt, in der Hoffnung dass Sie in der Lage wäre, sie zu identifizeren.

Herr Bell schrieb dass die Amerikaner Sie zwei Fotos von Megrahi gezeigt hatten, und dass Sie haben einer der Fotos, "nummer 18", in dem er einen Anzug und einer Krawatte trug, als gute Abbild von Megrahi ausgewählt. Könnten Sie für uns das zweite Foto beschreiben? Es wundert mich, dass es ein schlechteres Bild gab als das Foto, das man im 15.2.91-Fotoschau verwendet hat.

ebol said...

Attn. pete
MISSION LOCKERBIE:

Bei meinem Besuch bei FBI in Washington 1991, wurden mir im Laufe meiner Befragungen ein Porträt- Photo von Abdelbaset Al Megrahi gezeigt.( No.?) Ich erkannte Al Megrahi zweifelsfrei. Parallel dazu wurde mir ein Robotphoto (No.?) gezeigt, welches nahezu 100% dem ersten Porträt glich !

Ich war erstaunt und sagte zu meinen USA-Begleter, FBI Attache Rober Fanning, dass das Robotbild praktisch gleich nachgezeichnet war wie das original Photo-Bild...
Ich wollte hören was er dazu sagte.

Er durfte aber keine Antwort geben; also habe ich mich entschlossen nicht zuviel anzunehmen und gab an, das Robotbild entspricht etwa 50% des original Porträts.
Der Interviewer meinte nicht mehr in % ?... Darauf erhöte ich, selbst überzeugt, auf 70%. Der Interviewer sagte o.k. und trug auf einem vorgeschriebenen FBI-Dokument mit angeheftetem Robotbild, 70% ein.

Ob das Robotbild dem, bekannten veröffentlichten FBI "artist rendition" entsprochen hatte, bezweifle ich ! Nach meiner Erinnerung war das Robotphoto-Bild perfekter nach dem Bild von mr.
Al Megrahi,s nachgezeichnet.

pete said...

Edwin's reply:

During my visit to the FBI in Washington in 1991 a portrait photograph of Abdelbasset Al Megrahi was shown to me in the course of my questioning. I recognised Al Megrahi without a doubt. Parallel to that I was shown an identikit picture which was almost a 100% match for the first portrait!

I was astonished, and said to my American handler, FBI Attache Robert Fanning, that the identikit picture was practically a tracing of the original photograph...I wanted to hear what he said to that.

He could not answer; therefore I decided not to assume too much, and stated that the identikit picture was a 50% match for the original picture. The interviewer said, no more that that, as a percentage? On this I increased, being convinced myself, to 70%. The interviewer said ok and entered "70%" on a preprinted FBI document with attached identikit picture.

Whether the identikit picture did correspond to any known published FBI "artist rendition", I doubt it! By my recollection the identikit picture was a perfect tracing of the picture of Mr Al Megrahi.


Herr Bollier,

Nur um ganz deutlich zu sein:
In dem Artikel "Gauci and the Czech Photo" auf diesem Blog, gibt es mehrere Fotos, darunter eine Künstler-Skizze und ein Robotphoto. Können Sie sagen, ob Sie unter ihnen die in Washington gezeigtene Bilder erkennen?

ebol said...

Attn. pete

Die Fotos, das Robotbild und die Zeichnung vom 13.9.89, habe ich vor dem Besuch bei FBI (1991) bereits bei Swiss Police gesehen. Die Foto von Al Megrahi auf dem Ausweis der University of Wales habe ich erstmals dieses Jahr auf DIVIDE gesehen.

Beim FBI habe ich eine gute Porträt Foto von Al Megrahi gesehen und gleichzeitig eine perfekte Zeichnung (nicht Robotfoto). Ich habe zuvor die Zeichnung falsch als Robotfoto bezeichnet. Die Zeichnung von Al Megrahi entsprach fast 100% der Foto Abbildung. Diese Zeichnung habe ich später nicht bei Scottish Police und nicht bei Swiss Police in den Fotobücher gesehen.

Das Polizei-Dokument, welches ich bei FBI (1991) unterschreiben musste, war bis auf die Zahl 70%, mit einem Text ausgefüllt gewesen.
Die Zeichnung, in Postkarten Grösse, wurde zusammen mit der Foto an das Protokoll angeklammert.

by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd, Switzerland, 14.Dec.2010


(Translation, added later: ) Before my visit to the FBI in 1991 I had already seen the photos, the photofit and the drawing of 13.9.89 with the Swiss police. I first saw the University of Wales pass photo this year on DIVIDE.

At the FBI I saw a good portrait photo of Al Megrahi, and at the same time a perfect tracing (not photofit). I have previously described this drawing wrongly as a photofit. The tracing of Al Megrahi corresponded almost 100% to the photographic image. I did not see this tracing later in photospreads with the Scottish police or the Swiss police.

The police-document I had to sign at the FBI was already filled in with text as far as the figure 70%. The tracing, in postcard size, was clipped to it, along with the photograph.

December 13, 2010 5:17 PM
Caustic Logic said...

Ebol, translated:
During my visit to the FBI in Wahington in 1991 a portrait photograph of Abdelbasset Al Megrahi was shown to me in the course of my questioning. I recognised Al Megrahi without a doubt. Parallel to that I was shown an identikit picture which was almost a 100% match for the first portrait!

The photo was the one discussed here, the "Czech photo," correct? This "identikit" image sounds like the "photofit" or "composite face" image? Robotphoto? I'm confused what it is you're saying was such a suspicious match.

Trans:
Das Foto war das, das hier, das " besprochen wurde; Tschechisches Foto, " korrekt? Dieses " identikit" Bild klingt wie das " photofit" oder " zusammengesetztes face" Bild? Robotphoto? I' m verwirrte, was es you' ist; ReSprechen war solch ein misstrauisches Gleiches.

ebol said...

Attn. Gaustic Logic

The photo was the one discussed here, the "Czech photo," correct? No, the "Czech photo" has nothing to do with the drawing in the FBI. The FBI was signed artist rendition of a photograph of Al Megrahi. Passport Porträt
The Czech photo I have only seen on their website DIVIDE.*

best Edwin Bollier

* Bollier in fact posted the 'czech photo' on his own site in 2009, identifying it correctly as Megrahi's passport photograph, so I don't know what he's on about here.

Last edited by pete2; 25th June 2011 at 12:47 PM. Reason: to remove unintentional smiley
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Old 26th June 2011, 01:45 PM   #434
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"It's been said several times that the CIA only passes to the FBI what it deems prudent. Because the FBI want stuff that will stand up in court, and the CIA don't especially want to release secret-type material. I could easily imagine the CIA administering a drip-feed of information and clues that would eventually lead in the direction they had chosen. "

---Rolfe----

This is something I could believe.

What I was driving at, though, was that within 'services' like the CIA, MI6, JSO, etc, that it's deliberately organised so that any agent in the field does not have the full picture. They investigate and report. Thus making it fairly straightforward to let anyone who steps out of line relatively easy to discredit and/or accuse of unpatriotic and dangersous activity. Ms Lindauer could be an example.

Thanks to Pete2 for the previous post. That's sort of clearer about what Mr Bollier says he saw first time round.

If I've got this right, Mr Bollier is shown a proper photograph of Mr Megrahi by the FBI in 1991.

He then says the next photo is nearly 100% a drawing of the first photo ( which I assume is the one he has just seen ) Then Mr Bollier keeps revising, to one of his interviewers, his %age accuracy until it reaches something acceptable. This is then clipped into a file with the FBI and Mr.Bollier claims never to have seen the image again.

Mr Bollier then says that he'd already seen all the images in 1989, in Switzerland.

To me, all this is a sidetrack. Regardless of personal disquiet over the machinations of secret government orgs I'd be damned surprised if the DOJ did not have a photo of JSO officials, especially if those officials are suspected of sanctions busting.

What I think is happening here is a go at corroboration of evidence, which has to be sought if the case is being progressed under Scots' Law.

I could have the wrong end of the stick entirely. Mr Bollier is in 'salesman' mode a lot of the time. Like any salesman I've ever met, a few clear sentences will never do if there's a hundred bamboozlers that can be used instead and he might sometimes forget which deal exactly that he has settled on. I do think it is worth trying to cut through it.

None of which gets us past the fact that not one of the photos Mr Gauci was shown comes close to matching the clothes-buyer that, we are told, he remembers.


CTB
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Old 26th June 2011, 02:34 PM   #435
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I'm very grateful to Pete for posting that. I agree with CTB's last point that no matter what went on at the Bollier end, the identification has to stand or fall on its own merits - and it quite obviously falls on its face. I kind of like my little illustrated article demonstrating that.

However, I'm curious as to what the investigators were up to. I think they were manipulating like mad, to get Gauci to pick the right person from a photospread. And so I want to know what that second photo was, that they had, and they needed to know which was the better likeness, and then suddenly they don't have it at all, they never had it, so they have to go with this unrecognisable smear (that just happens to look a bit like the photofit). And then a photo which seems to be the other one, in living colour, pops up out of nowhere a few months later.

It's a mystery, and mysteries give me a headache.

Rolfe.
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Old 26th June 2011, 02:38 PM   #436
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As regards what investigators know, that's a fact. It was said by someone that probably only John Orr actually knew all the information that was coming in. A cop would be given a job to do, but he wouldn't necessarily know why, or how it fitted into the rest of what was going on.

A little example. John Crawford helpfully describes in his memoir investigating the group of passengers labelled the "first fifteen", to see if anyone could have been an unwitting mule, or somehow connected with terrorism. We know from elsewhere that the "first fifteen" were all the passengers who interlined directly into Heathrow from various other airlines. It is quite clear from what Crawford writes that he wasn't told that.

It very much gives the lie to the idea that the investigators, at a lower level, could see how the case was progressing and how leads were turning out and how the pattern of the evidence fit together. They couldn't know. They were only told what they were told, and what their superiors wanted them to know.

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Old 28th June 2011, 05:30 AM   #437
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
However, I'm curious as to what the investigators were up to. I think they were manipulating like mad, to get Gauci to pick the right person from a photospread.
Rolfe.

The investigators know that Tony's description over-estimates their favoured suspect by many years. I think they choose the crappy looking photo because it's crappy and old looking. They're trying to nudge him, without explicitly telling him, into thinking " well, of course all these men are too young, but if I add, say, 20 years... "

The easiest photo to do that with is one that looks easily like it's been around for 20 years.

Of course they do end up having to verbally prompt him about adding the years.

CTB
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Old 28th June 2011, 05:46 AM   #438
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The investigators know that Tony's description over-estimates their favoured suspect by many years. I think they choose the crappy looking photo because it's crappy and old looking. They're trying to nudge him, without explicitly telling him, into thinking " well, of course all these men are too young, but if I add, say, 20 years... "

The easiest photo to do that with is one that looks easily like it's been around for 20 years.

Of course they do end up having to verbally prompt him about adding the years.

CTB
Really good point well made. Now that we see the spread, it's also the smallest photo, even if my arrow notion didn't stand out to Tony like it did to me. The whole thing was already skewed as hell in a dozen ways, and we're past the point of coincidences from sloppiness.

Sorry, not my most brilliant post and I should nod off now. But I'll take the chance also to say welcome, CTB, and thanks for your contributions to this historic discussion.
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Old 28th June 2011, 07:30 AM   #439
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I'm also curious about that odd highlight on the left-hand side. It's not there in the copy I swiped from the Valentine expert witness report, and I thought it might be an artefact of the copy shown on TV. However I'm reading Ashton and Ferguson at the moment, and the highlight is there in the photo as they reproduce it.

If what was shown to Tony had that highlight - God help us all!

Rolfe.
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Old 30th June 2011, 06:29 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm also curious about that odd highlight on the left-hand side. It's not there in the copy I swiped from the Valentine expert witness report, and I thought it might be an artefact of the copy shown on TV. However I'm reading Ashton and Ferguson at the moment, and the highlight is there in the photo as they reproduce it.

If what was shown to Tony had that highlight - God help us all!

Rolfe.
I hadn't noticed the highlight until you pointed it out. I'll go with printing anomaly for now, thanks.

I've just read through the Valentine report and was entirely floored by Mr Gauci's ID of Mr Megrahi in court. I'm fine with the standard OP of it being a way to determine if a witness is willing to give evidence against the accused, but
how on earth is it acceptable, just before that ID, to show Mr Gauci a magazine article about the trial which has a picture of Mr Megrahi in it?

I mean, fer effsake.

The judges are okay with this?

A CT on drinking water rides into view ( on the back of a Unicorn, natch.)


CTB


ps apologies if this has been discussed already ( the magazine, not the unicorn ) but I haven't got to Mr Gauci's testimony in the trial transcripts yet.

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