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Tags Lockerbie bombing , Pan Am 103

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Old 4th December 2012, 05:30 AM   #961
Buncrana
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I’ve never really fully engaged with this particular area of the Lockerbie investigation quite as much as the other areas. Being a bit of a self-admitted tech-dummy meant I’ve neglected the, shall I say unusual, issues around the MST Timer. However, to say I was astonished when the SCCRC upheld the provenance of RARDE’s examinations and photographs that led to the fragments identification would be a massive understatement!

The anomalies around the labelling, of just as it happens the most critical bag of evidence in the whole investigation - although I appreciate due to the overwhelming task involved, some other alterations were likely also made to other discoveries of materials found at the time with no bearing on the case - but nevertheless, due to the manner of the alteration of the label, raises some initial suspicions. Furthermore, the patently obvious interpolation of the very key pages that dealt with this piece of evidence merely adds weight to any initial suspicion. Hayes’ evasiveness under questioning at Zeist, again, reinforces those niggling doubts.

And perhaps worst of all is that we’re led to believe that while the Rarde folks are dashing half-way around the world chasing down other, far smaller, fragments of PCB’s and electronics thought to have some association with the explosive device, the fact this great huge great clue sat there unremarked from May until September, and then brought to everyone else’s attention only in Jan 1990, is, by any rationality, quite incomprehensible.

And now, while the substance of the fragment matched the MST in every respect, its form indicated it was quite different from the batch the investigation claimed it originated from and indeed seemed to be, by any standards, an extremely irregular composition. This aspect was withheld from the court.

Do I think it fell out of the sky with everything else on PA103? No. The inconsistencies surrounding its discovery, the unexplained alteration of notes relating to when it was teased out of the shirt collar and subsequent nonchalance by all as it sat there for 9 months, is teetering on this parallel universe the investigation seemed to inhabit when confronted with massive freaking clues.

Still, that ‘red circle’ photo, with the several bits of radio and speaker, and the lone piece of the timer that was recovered with only bit of recognizable number ‘1’ emblazoned on that blasted fragment.

As much as it pains me, I think there may be some traction in Edwin’s claims about hanky-panky with this fragment and perhaps there lies some connection in all this to the Lumpert affidavit asserting a ‘brown’ prototype (or non-useable) circuit board was acquired by investigators in June 1989. Lumpert’s statement asserts,
Originally Posted by Lumpert
“…I stole the third hand-manufactured MST-13 timer PC-board consisting of eight layers of fiber-glass from MEBO Ltd. and gave it without permission on June 22, 1989, to a person officially investigating in the Lockerbie case”.
Would the ninth layer be the alloy coating that might ordinarily be expected? Without this layer, or with the incorrect processes carried out, the board would remain as an inoperable ‘pure tin’ composition?

Mebo’s contentions have always, albeit at times erratically, that the MST supplied to Libya were based on ‘green PCB’s’ and the board presented by the investigators originated from the faulty discarded MST board Lumpert stole and handed to ‘someone in the investigation’ in 1989. At Zeist in 2001 it was revealed that Swiss Police Commissioner Peter Fluckiger had indeed visited Mebo in June 1989. In 2007 Lumpert’s statement goes on to claim,
Quote:
“It did not escape me that the MST-13 fragment shown [at the Lockerbie trial] on the police photograph No. PT/35(b) came from the nonoperational MST-13 prototype PC-board that I had stolen".

I could be completely wrong of course (just as the SCCRC say I am, although they didn't spot the problems at Heathrow either!) but if this fragment did fall from the sky over Lockerbie that night, then it was inside the brown Samsonite loaded at Heathrow. Which clearly doesn’t make one jot of sense in terms of the timing of the explosion, since this fits quite neatly with Khreesat’s devices that had no requirement for an MST timer. Nor does it alter the evidence supporting the bombs insertion at Heathrow itself which now seems completely incontrovertible.

Did Khreesat, along with making the "medicine stronger" as the BKA had overheard him tell Damascus, also alter the timing mechanism or modify an MST and then incorporate it into his own device during him time in Neuss? Or, did he or Abu Elias or whoever put the suitcase together with the bomb, just chuck this modified, but inoperable (for whatever reason), PCB in amongst the Maltese clothing as yet another distraction if recovered and identified after 103 had come down? Seems a stretch really, and what would be the motivations other than false direction? Using a Khreesat device, in any circumstance from virtually any airport, will not guarantee the aircraft is going to be over water and render evidence scarce.

On balance, I still say that I find it quite implausible for this thing to be a component of the bomb-suitcase for the numerous reasons stated, and with the error strewn chain and recording of this particular piece of evidence, not to mention the individuals involved, I still have lots of sympathy with those who claim that the fragment is nothing but a big dirty ‘plant!’

Last edited by Buncrana; 4th December 2012 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:55 AM   #962
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The thing about the SCCRC is that, although they are independent, they aren't unbiassed. They are the establishment, and their bias is to believe the establishment line unless there is damn good reason to reject it. Which they had to do over the date of the clothes purchase. In particular, they're very much "see no evil" in the matter of possible investigator or prosecutorial misconduct. It was just an oversight that nobody asked the right person about the date the Christmas lights were switched on, you see. As Hans Kochler said, "they blamed it all on a Maltese shopkeeper".

The PT/35b area is different. That absolutely implies investigator misconduct if you question the official story. I have some doubts as to how motivated they were to question it. They were shaping up to grant Megrahi a second appeal over the matter of the clothes purchase anyway.

There are two ways to approach an investigation like this. One is to demand rigorous proof of everything the accused party (by this I mean the investigators) claims in his defence. Like seeing an actual photographic negative, checking that the fragment can actually be seen on the negative, and checking that the negative is in the place it should be in the roll of film. The other is to invite the accused to offer an explanation of the matter, then say, "thanks for clearing that up for us, old boy", without delving any deeper into the facts.

We see an example of that with the DSTL's rebuttal to the BBC. The BBC asked for an explanation of the tinning discrepancy, and the DSTL said, look, Feraday's notes talk about a thin layer of alloy being applied over the tin coating by a process of dipping or rolling, and they also mention that the coating of DP/100 was pure tin. So the MEBO boards "came in a variety of configurations", so the discrepancy is irrelevant.

That is horse feathers. The only MEBO/Thuring board that was actually analysed was DP/347a, and that had an alloy coating. DP/100 was never analysed - Feraday assumed in one note that its coating was tin, apparently because the fragment had a tin coating, but dropped that assumption once he had the analytical results from DP/347a. And the "dipping or rolling" thing was speculation, similar to Rosemary Wilkinson's speculation about vaporising alloy. There is no metallurgical evidence showing anything but alloy coating on the Thuring boards.

This does tell us, though, that the DSTL is prepared to serve up half-baked excuses if it thinks it can get away with them. It may have done that to the SCCRC, and got away with it.

I thought for a while that the 15th September Feraday memo was the line in the sand for the introduction of the fragment, and rejected George Thomson's assertion that January was the real line. I think now that George may be right. The memo doesn't sketch the fragment, and anyway, it could easily have been tampered with or re-written. And who can say that the polaroids it refers to were originally of PT/35b at all? If Feraday didn't send the actual fragment to Scotland until January, then I think it's possible a memo relating to a different fragment might have been co-opted and Williamson might not even realise by 2000. So if the photo isn't absolutely vouched for, then I'm with George, now. January is definitely possible (though before the 10th).

It would make sense. In September they go to Malta, and over the autumn they become more and more certain the bomb travelled on KM180. This completely kills any thoughts of a Khreesat device, really, though I see no acknowledgement of that on the part of the investigators.

I might speculate that the US contingent, who wanted it to be Libya all along, and may have commissioned Bollier's catch-letter to that purpose, see another chance to steer everything back to Libya by providing a clue which would both implicate a different sort of timer that could have travelled from Malta, and implicate Libya. Whether this had anything to do with Saddam Hussain or Kuwait at that stage I have no idea. Late 1989, say November/December, would be the right time for that.

It's the sheer enormity of what they would have had to convince Hayes and Feraday to do that boggles my mind. Also, I bear in mind that Khreesat was a Jordanian CIA asset, and I don't know what to make of that part.

But that timing fits. Introduction in the spring doesn't, because it's very difficult to see how the fragment was associated with both the Maltese clothes and the black Toshiba radio at that stage, unless the entire thing was a pre-determined wholesale planting exercise. Which I know some people suspect, but I'd really rather not go there unless there's nowhere else to go.

I don't know what to make of Lumpert, but I suspect that his 2007 affidavit about brown boards and so on was made up under pressure from Edwin. He originally said the items given to the STASI had green Thuring boards just like the Libyan ones. The thing is, we know that MEBO had several of the original Thuring boards left over from the order they supplied to Libya, so if the visit in 1989 was trying to get an example to use as planted evidence, why not just use one of the real thing? That would have had an alloy coating and been undetectable. The tin coating suggests the fragment didn't come from MEBO.

There's all sorts of possibilities, including Khreesat or Dalkamoni or Elias laying an improbably detailed red herring trail to Libya and Malta. None of them look like the double helix to me though.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2012, 05:49 PM   #963
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Hi Bunntamas! Nice to hear from you again.

Well, the plot thickens just about where I thought it was going to thicken. Baz has read bits of the SCCRC report I haven't, and he says the developed films at RARDE were all cut into individual negatives and stored in individual "sheaths". I don't have time to read all that till after Christmas, but it definitely sounds as if the negative of 117 could have been substituted.

That method of archiving is seriously bad practice. When I was doing forensic work in the days before digital cameras, I was always told NEVER to cut up a film as it destroyed the provenance and could make it impossible to prove a photo hadn't been put in retrospectively. I suppose it all fits with the loose-leaf notes.

I'm coming back to George's theory that the fragment just wasn't there before January 1990. It explains why nobody paid any attention to it before then, and it's exactly the right time for such a clue to appear if it's fabrication was prompted by a need to provide evidence of a non-barometric trigger device to explain a three-flight hop from Malta.

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Old 13th December 2012, 03:42 PM   #964
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

I thought for a while that the 15th September Feraday memo was the line in the sand for the introduction of the fragment, and rejected George Thomson's assertion that January was the real line. I think now that George may be right. The memo doesn't sketch the fragment, and anyway, it could easily have been tampered with or re-written.
the memo



It points at the Pt/35b fragment as it describes the curved edge of the fragment as being 0.6" diameter. Same dimensions as described in Williamsons September 1990 memo.

Unlike Hayes notes or the evidence labels showing clear alterations, it's not been altered, though it might well have been written much later than it's date claims it was.

ETA: - scratch that! The 3rd September memo states:

Quote:
The fragment has a curved edge of .6 centimetres in diameter.
(my bold)

Which is a curious mistake. /ETA

there's a whole piece on bolliers website that outlines their theory that this was fabricated. It comes down to evidence label DP 137 being altered from a date of 15th Sep 1990 to 10th Sep 1989. While their assertion of what the date was altered to might well be in correct on the day, the label pertaining to this memo was definitely altered from 1990 to 1989.

What makes me go eh?! about this is:

This memo is dated Sep 1989, in it Williamson describes the fragment, and states that accompanying this memo there are Polaroid photos. Which implies that up to that point this fragment had not been photographed in any detail.

From it's time of alleged discovery in a bundle of other charred clothdebris that was according to Hayes first looked at in 12 May 1989 there is not one single photograph taken of this fragment. Certainly none in the official record. No sketching of this fragment in Hayes notes of the time.

The aircraft investigators had the cause of the disaster pegged as a bomb very early on, searchers were instructed to look for charred, potentially bomb damaged items as a priority, some circuit board is teased out of obviously charred clothing in May 1989 and then forgotten about entirely until it becomes the focus of the investigation in late 1989/1990.

It could be that the altered label was innocent, perhaps whoever wrote it (likely Williamson himself) was writing the label in 1990 to catch up on necessary paperwork, though why wasn't the change initialed, or simply a whole new label written out correctly?

How can the investigation that knew a bomb had brought down 103 by January 1989, leave a stonking great clue untouched in a store for 5-8 months.

What brought this fragment to light in 1989/1990, why did it get brought up again within the investigation when it did?

The official narrative is that it caught Williamsons eye in Sep 1989, he gets it pictured, fires off this memo, then spends 6 months with Scots investigators trying to ID it. He finally gives up and in June 1990 involves the US. Thurman gets a photo of the fragment as has it IDed within 4 days flat.

(Only we now know that he doesn't. The identification is incorrect, while it certainly looks like a Mebo timer, it's not a Mebo timer, it's something else, not only that but they knew at the time, or at the very least had all the information they needed to know at the time, that the fragment used pure tin and Mebo timers were tin/lead.)

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Old 13th December 2012, 04:47 PM   #965
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm coming back to George's theory that the fragment just wasn't there before January 1990.
I wasn't aware of George's theory - so I went and (re)watched the 2 Al Jazeera docs in which George details evidence pertaining to this theory.

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
- Lockerbie: The Pan Am Bomber

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I AGREE
- Lockerbie: Case Closed

[Pics here are snapped from these 2 docs]

i) The Grey Slalom shirt from which the Pt/35b fragment was obtained according to Hayes in May 1989, is in a different state in 2 photos. First photo is evidence # pk/1978 which is a police evidence picture showing the front of the shirt laid out with a breast pocket facing the camera. the 2nd is the German police photo of the same shirt.



The alteration of this shirt fragment has not been recorded in the police files, at all.

ii) the label PI 995 was altered. this is the evidence label that corresponds to the bundle of charred slalom shirt and the PT/35b fragment. From cloth to debris.



Zeist trial judges concluded that there was nothing sinister about this label change.

George claims that the order of the signatures on this evidence label is more sinister, and that the fact that the 'accepting' officers signature is overwritten by that of the officer who is supposed to have signed this label when the item was first found and bagged proves that the label was written after the find at some later date. According to the doc an SCCRC commissioned expert advised the SCCRC that the signature has not been over written. Approximately 873 evidence labels were signed off retrospectively.

Hayes notes on the examination of PI995 are on page 51 of his file, subsequent pages in this file were renumbered. Hayes could not explain why at court. The court accepted this was nothing sinister and accepted Hayes assertion that he examined PI995 and discovered the fragment on 12 May 1989.

George claims to have documentary evidence proving that according to German police files and a letter from the US DoJ to Swiss authorities, that the examination of PI995 and discovery of Pt35/b took place on January 22nd 1990 [26:20 - 27:01 - Lockerbie: The Pan Am Bomber]

If that's correct then Williamson has faked his 89 memo detailing the fragment and has some questions to answer.

In his sep 3rd memo going into detail about the fragment and the scots efforts to identify it he says that on the 16th January 1990 he and Feraday visited Meckenheim and looked at a lot of recovered items from the Autumn Leaves raid. If George is correct then they didn't know about Pt/35b then.

However the sep rd memo details the first actual forensic tests on the fragment to be carried out were by John French of Ceiba Geigy plc to identify the resin used in the board, that test took place on February 8th 1990, after George's asserted 22nd January date of discovery. further Williamson describes how photographing of pt35/b was carried out on 12th Feb 1990, again that date corresponds with the 22nd January found date.

I'd have thought that proper photographing of the fragment would have taken place fairly soon after it's discovery. Certainly the 2-3 weeks or so between George's claimed find date of 22nd Jan and this date is much more plausible than it sitting in a box at Rarde for many months before seeing the glare of a camera flash.

A number of enquires and tests are detailed in the 3rd Sep memo and all of them with the exception of the first mentioned visit to view Autumn leaves items take place after 22nd January 1990.

If George is right about the date, (has anyone seen the evidence he has pertaining to the German and US files and the 22nd Jan date?) then Williamson joins Hayes and Feraday as being implicated in covering up *something* about Pt/35b.
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Old 13th December 2012, 05:33 PM   #966
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am breaking up this into a couple of posts to reduce walloftextfatigue[tm]

George has more to say on the grey Slalom shirt, and Tony Gauci.

Gaucis original statement lists the clothing bought by the mystery shopper. It doesn't include a shirt, at all. Gauci is first interviewed 1st September 1989.

In a later interview in January 1990 he states that "that man didn't buy any shirts for sure"

10th September 1990 in another statement he claims "the man who bought the clothing also bought a beige slalom shirt and a blue and white striped shirt"

In the original handwritten statement the word beige is crossed out, it doesn't appear in the computerised version of the statement fed into HOLMES. The crossing out is initialed by one of the interviewing officers. but .. in the Maltese police copy the word beige is not crossed out.

original handwritten statement.

text version from HOLMES

Maltese copy of the statement, without crossings out.

In order for the shirt to match it needs to be grey.

Also in evidence to Zeist Gauci says he sold a shirt to the shopper that was 16 1/2" collar size, or a size 42.

George tracks down a witness who was involved with the manufacture of these shirts. Also a witness who supplied shirts to Mary's House(Tony's shop) Both of whom state that the shirt pictured in the photo PK/1978 was a childs size shirt and that they are sure about this because of the size of the breast pocket. Both of these witnesses were interviewed by police in 1990, both of them say that they told the police that it was a boys size shirt, neither of these witness statements makes it to trial. [Lockerbie:The Pan Am Bomber 30:25 - 35:04]
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Old 13th December 2012, 06:05 PM   #967
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
i) The Grey Slalom shirt from which the Pt/35b fragment was obtained according to Hayes in May 1989, is in a different state in 2 photos. First photo is evidence # pk/1978 which is a police evidence picture showing the front of the shirt laid out with a breast pocket facing the camera. the 2nd is the German police photo of the same shirt.

http://i.imgur.com/0vLGWl.png http://i.imgur.com/MNPOJl.png

The alteration of this shirt fragment has not been recorded in the police files, at all.
Ambrosia, I'm not seeing the shirt alteration, the quality and state of folding appear to be the major differences between the photos. Maybe a minor quibble, because I think the evidence strongly points to the fragment itself not being a Mebo timer because of the lack of lead.
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Old 13th December 2012, 06:26 PM   #968
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So to summarise all of that.

I am with George Thomson. The evidence I have seen fits much more closely I think with a date of discovery for the fragment of January 1990. I'm not sure sure about 22nd January. In Marquise's book he tells of a conference on January 10th 1990. At that conference Marquise is taken aside and informed of the recent discovery of a new chip that turned out to be pt/35b.

It seems to be a case of pick who you want to believe and go with their story.

Hayes says May 1989. His notes are renumbered, there are no photos taken or sketches made of this fragment in any kind of detail until much later, and he has prior form.

Thomson says 22nd Jan 1990, based on documents he has from German police and a letter from the US DoJ to Swiss authorities.

Marquise says the fragment was spoken about to him in a quiet private conversation on January 10th 1990, he quips that Scots insistance on IDing it cost the investigation 6 months.

the raft of testing that Scots investigators went through to try an ID PT/35b points more I think to a Jan 1990 discovery of the fragment. Though it might have been a 're-discovery' of something they'd had lying in a store room for many months and Hayes dates might be correct, I just don't believe him.

I get back to the thought that something doesn't fit. Still no twin helter skelters.
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Old 13th December 2012, 06:27 PM   #969
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Ambrosia, I'm not seeing the shirt alteration, the quality and state of folding appear to be the major differences between the photos. Maybe a minor quibble, because I think the evidence strongly points to the fragment itself not being a Mebo timer because of the lack of lead.
Follow the outline of the shirt in the 2nd photo on the right hand side where the pocket is. In the highlighted square.

Compare that outline with the one in the first photo. There's a bit missing. Quite a large bit.
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Old 13th December 2012, 06:33 PM   #970
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Follow the outline of the shirt in the 2nd photo on the right hand side where the pocket is. In the highlighted square.

Compare that outline with the one in the first photo. There's a bit missing. Quite a large bit.
I saw that, and figured it was possible that in one photo there was additional back of the pocket material folded out in one photo and tucked in on another.
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Old 14th December 2012, 04:37 AM   #971
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Ambrosia (and LSSBB), I'm so glad to see you. I think there's a lot to be discovered about this evidence, and it's difficult to get motivated is nobody else is interested. Ambrosia, great start!

I have met George, once in the summer, when he gave me the evidence about the baggage transfers which included the crucial Henderson report and Sidhu's statements. He said at the time he was more interested in the clothes than the luggage. I didn't get into detail with him then about the clothes evidence because I didn't really see there was any justification for believing that photograph 116 shows the shirt collar before Hayes dissected it, and I thought that if the SCCRC said photograph 117 was taken in May 1989 we had to accept that unless there was serious grounds for doubting it.

Now that I realise the developed film was cut into individual negatives, and Baz is going on rather a lot about the grounds for saying 117 was taken in May 1989 being absolutely spurious, then obviously the whole can of worms needs to be re-opened. I have been in recent email contact with George, and we plan to meet again early in the New Year. I have said to him that as far as I am concerned the Bedford suitcase was the bomb, done and dusted, which rather raises the question of the apparently incriminatory evidence. Was it all just coincidental, clothes bought in Malta and a luggage transfer tray looking as if it was carrying something from Malta and a scrap of fibreglass that looked just like a bit of MST-13 but wasn't....?

This is of course the part of the discussion that belongs in this sub-forum. How much of the misdirection was simple incompetence, and how much was deliberately engineered? If there was deliberate engineering up to and including fabrication and tampering with evidence, when did it start? We know that evidence for the Heathrow introduction was deliberately suppressed as early as January 1989, which is a bit of a shocker.

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Old 14th December 2012, 08:53 AM   #972
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I saw that, and figured it was possible that in one photo there was additional back of the pocket material folded out in one photo and tucked in on another.
I think it's unlikely that you'd tuck bits of shirt away out of sight if the photo you are taking is meant to show the recovered item of evidence in it's full detail.

Just went to look at the original PK 1978 pic and there is a piece of fabric separated from the shirt also included which appears to match the 'missing piece' - it's hard to tell as the copy of the german pic is so poor.

I've played with it in photoshop a little, cut out the piece and stuck it in where it appears to go in the German photo, it doesn't quite fit, though looks very similar.



You can see the original piece I moved still in the bottom right of the pic.

It's close enough I think to explain the change of outline, though there are still a bunch more questions about this shirt to answer.
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Old 14th December 2012, 10:03 AM   #973
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

This is of course the part of the discussion that belongs in this sub-forum. How much of the misdirection was simple incompetence, and how much was deliberately engineered? If there was deliberate engineering up to and including fabrication and tampering with evidence, when did it start? We know that evidence for the Heathrow introduction was deliberately suppressed as early as January 1989, which is a bit of a shocker.
I think that the Heathrow evidence being suppressed isn't so shocking. The country was closing in on a recession, I can see political motivations coming to bear to keep some things quiet to try to stop the aviation industry from declining sharply. Heathrow is THE main airport for the UK and even in 1988 was of huge importance, if it comes to light that anyone can waltz into Heathrow, plant a case in a luggage container and vanish, that'll make a serious dent in Heathrows and the UKs bottom line. This is Thatcher we are talking about. Throw in perhaps a little jingoistic rivalry between the UK and Germany ... Somehow later of course they contrive to pin the crap airport security on Malta, little airport, some backwater little island, that actually had security that put Heathrow to shame.

We know that Hayes notes were renumbered and his testimony at court does nothing to dissuade a reasonable observer that page 51 detailing his investigation of the shirt was inserted at a later date.

[could someone have known about the role he had in the Maguire case and blackmailed him into making alterations?]

Whenever Hayes did examine that evidence bag it must have been sometime in 1989.

Hayes left RARDE in 1989, right around the time a public enquiry was launched into the Maguire Seven and his role in that debacle.

Hayes tells Zeist
Originally Posted by Hayes testimony
The exact date of my leaving is a little circumspect, but I believe it was in 1990.

[...]

"KEEN. Dr Hayes, you told us in your earlier evidence that you were head of the Forensics explosives laboratory at RARDE until 1989? And your change of career from forensic scientist to chiropodist would appear to coincide in point of time with the decision of the Home Secretary to appoint Sir John May to inquire into the trial of those known as the Maguire Seven. Is that true?

HAYES. I believe so. I don't recall clearly."
In Swires, "The People That Moved The World" book he takes the view that Hayes didn't want to tell the court he left in 1989 because that was when the enquiry re: The Maguire Seven was launched, at the conclusion of which Hayes was unemployable as a scientist. Sir John May is absolutely scathing in his remarks about Hayes and the other 2 RARDE scientists implicated.

I think it's possible that Hayes did some work for RARDE after he left. I think that's why he recalls a leaving date of "in 1990" I think it's plausible that Hayes wrote up pg 51 detailing the examination of PI 995 in late 89 perhaps even January 1990.

Do we know his exact leaving date??

May was appointed as chair of the enquiry into the Maguire Seven in October 1989, shortly after the Guildford Four had been released.

If we take Georges view that PT35/b wasn't found until January 1990, Hayes no longer works there so getting him to write up his pg 51 and doctor his notes isn't as easy as it might have been, certainly not impossible.
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Old 14th December 2012, 10:16 AM   #974
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Ambrosia, the timings you relate open up even more questions.

Sometimes you can get quite a long way by examining the actions of the investigators and/or the prosecutors, and comparing what they actually did with what a normal, honest investigation or prosecution would obviously have done. (For example, a normal investigation would have followed up the Bedford suitcase and investigated a possible terrorist infiltration at Heathrow. A normal prosecution would have called Sidhu to the witness box - even if they then tried to get him to change his story - and would have admitted the evidence Henderson compiled as regards the transfer baggage items.) In this case, how would a normal, honest investigation have treated PT/35b?

It's almost beyond belief that it wouldn't have been seen as very significant from the minute it was prised out of the shirt collar in May. Even if Hayes had become distracted by the fragments of paper at the time, subsequent searches specifically looking for PCB fragments in relation to the radio would have turned it up.

Supposing it had somehow been overlooked at that time, despite sitting there looking as suspicious as hell, we're then invited to believe that Feraday did indeed spot it in September, and definitely did realise its potential significance at that time. Then what? He sends some hurriedly-taken Polaroids to Williamson.

That's all.

Why the hurry with the Polaroids? What else does he do then? Nothing. No better photos are taken, and no further attempt made to investigate the thing. And, apparently, the fragment itself stays at RARDE. Williamson is supposed to be getting the SCRO to have a look at the Polaroids, but no evidence of them actually doing that has been produced.

Why is that bloody memo even an exhibit? What does it show? Nothing at all, except to give the impression the fragment was there at the time. Which, if we believe page 51 and photograph 117, was already proved. The very fact that such an insignificant memo was given an exhibit number at all suggests they were all very conscious of the need to demonstrate the provenance of the fragment. However, the insignificance of the memo is itself very telling. It shows that this is all there is, before January. There's no record at RARDE of any further investigation (apart from these doodles of Feraday's which Edwin has on his web site, and which could have been produced at any time). There's no record of the SCRO having looked at any Polaroids in September, as far as I know.

Despite the memo saying this could be very important, and despite the hurried Polaroids, it appears Feraday didn't send Williamson the fragment itself in September. When did he send it? There appears to be no record of that, which is very odd, because most of these exhibits have a provenance trail attached which says when they were taken from Lockerbie to RARDE and back up. Why hasn't someone produced a log book noting when the thing was actually sent to Scotland?

I thought 10th January was the red-line date, because of Marquise saying he was told about it on that date. I didn't realise George was going for the 22nd. I'm not sure how he explains Marquise's version, saying he was told about it on the 10th. However, it's another oddity. If the Scottish police had actually had the thing for some time, why is Marquise taken aside and merely told about it verbally?

I also noticed that the Henderson memo doesn't describe any testing at all being carried out before the beginning of February, and that the photography was done on 12th February. That is indeed inconsistent with an early January handover and fits with George's date of the 22nd.

I'm with George because of the narrative. Because, if the thing had really been there earlier, people would have done things they simply didn't do. The problem is, we have three things to explain if the 22nd is the actual date of introduction.
  • Hayes's page 51 dated 12th May 1989
  • Feraday's "lads and lassies" memo dated 15th September
  • Marquise's account of being told about the existence of the fragment on 10th January 1990
Your mission, should you choose to accept it....

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Old 14th December 2012, 01:22 PM   #975
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
I think that the Heathrow evidence being suppressed isn't so shocking. The country was closing in on a recession, I can see political motivations coming to bear to keep some things quiet to try to stop the aviation industry from declining sharply. Heathrow is THE main airport for the UK and even in 1988 was of huge importance, if it comes to light that anyone can waltz into Heathrow, plant a case in a luggage container and vanish, that'll make a serious dent in Heathrows and the UKs bottom line. This is Thatcher we are talking about. Throw in perhaps a little jingoistic rivalry between the UK and Germany ... Somehow later of course they contrive to pin the crap airport security on Malta, little airport, some backwater little island, that actually had security that put Heathrow to shame.

That's true, and it's my primary hypothesis right enough. Plus the fact that BAA was one of Thatcher's flagship privatisations a couple of years earlier. I'm still utterly shocked that any policeman would do what seems to have been done though, for these reasons or others. This was the worst terrorist atrocity anyone had ever seen, at the time. They have a fortuitous lead right at the beginning that looks like the key to solving the modus operandi and nailing the bastards. And they ignore it on the orders of politicians?

But the other half of that is that if this had not happened, then none of the rest of it could have happened. If the investigation had concluded the bomb had been introduced at Heathrow, would a fragment of MST-13 have made any sense? I think it's possible they might have got the real bombers if they'd investigated the goings-on at Heathrow when the trail was still fresh, and then what, for the fabricators?

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
We know that Hayes notes were renumbered and his testimony at court does nothing to dissuade a reasonable observer that page 51 detailing his investigation of the shirt was inserted at a later date.

[could someone have known about the role he had in the Maguire case and blackmailed him into making alterations?]

Whenever Hayes did examine that evidence bag it must have been sometime in 1989.

Hayes left RARDE in 1989, right around the time a public enquiry was launched into the Maguire Seven and his role in that debacle.

Hayes tells Zeist

In Swires, "The People That Moved The World" book he takes the view that Hayes didn't want to tell the court he left in 1989 because that was when the enquiry re: The Maguire Seven was launched, at the conclusion of which Hayes was unemployable as a scientist. Sir John May is absolutely scathing in his remarks about Hayes and the other 2 RARDE scientists implicated.

I think it's possible that Hayes did some work for RARDE after he left. I think that's why he recalls a leaving date of "in 1990" I think it's plausible that Hayes wrote up pg 51 detailing the examination of PI 995 in late 89 perhaps even January 1990.

Do we know his exact leaving date??

May was appointed as chair of the enquiry into the Maguire Seven in October 1989, shortly after the Guildford Four had been released.

If we take Georges view that PT35/b wasn't found until January 1990, Hayes no longer works there so getting him to write up his pg 51 and doctor his notes isn't as easy as it might have been, certainly not impossible.

Leppard tells how Hayes remained working on the case in a consultant capacity during 1990, after having left their actual employment, I think in September 1989. So I don't see any difficulty with getting him to fake the new page 51 in January of 1990. It's even possible this was why he was retained unofficially even after he had had to be let go on the back of May.

People's handwriting changes with time, but eight months isn't that long. Also, Baz says that forensic examination of the new page 52 shows the imprint of some writing that is not the new page 51. Given that the pages were loose, I don't think that proves anything either way, but it certainly doesn't prove the new page 51 was contemporaneous.

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Old 14th December 2012, 01:37 PM   #976
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I suppose the questions about the May 1989 evidence include whether existing evidence was modified to include the fragment, or whether the entire shirt collar and contents were fabricated.

I've often wondered why Hayes didn't just remove and discard a page, and replace it with the new one, so keeping the numbering correct. If there had been a description of the collar without the circuit board, that would have been easy. Although all the question marks over the shirt suggest the whole thing might have been fabricated, I'm not sure - and you yourself seem to have solved the mystery as regards the photo discrepancy.

I seem to remember that Caustic Logic showed that the dates on the pages also suggested an interpolation, but I can't remember the details. George was going to send me the entire file of Hayes's notes but he hasn't done it yet.

I still think it's possible that the evidence was legit apart from the PCB fragment, which was retrospectively added. It would be interesting to trace earlier references to the scrap of the radio manual - if that's discussed in the intervening period, it would suggest only the fragment was added. I'm not sure if George has any evidence on this.

It's the photo that's the real time-stamp. Baz says we need to read chapter 7 of the SCCRC report, and we'll see that the provenance of the negative is totally flaky. I don't have time to do that before Christmas, but right now I'll take his word for it. If that was slid in at a later date and all the material is still available (as it seems to be), it might actually be possible to prove this, for example by checking the negatives on either side in the numbering on the film to see whether they match and whether it can be proved they are all from the same actual roll of film. If that could be proved, then paydirt.

I don't think these guys really believed there would be a trial at the time they were doing all this. And I don't think they were all that good at it, or at least all that careful. The renumbered pages rather speaks to that. They may have undertaken some further covering up either in the run-up to the trial or when they knew the SCCRC were going to be coming to call. And if they did, they may have left traces. And traces can be spotted. Remember Hillsborough.

The bottom line though, is that this is all quite possible, given the will to do it.

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Old 14th December 2012, 02:26 PM   #977
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The September memo is harder to explain. I think there must have been a reason for that appearing at that time, rather than it just having been made up de novo and parachuted in there.

For a long time I believed it must be real, partly because I thought if it wasn't it implicated Williamson, and I'm not keen on implicating more conspirators than need be in this hypothesis, and partly because I thought the fragment itself must have been set to Lockerbie soon after that and there would be evidence of that. This last was wrong, of course. And if the fragment really didn't materialise until January, the memo has to be some sort of fake.

George thinks it's a real memo, but referring to a different fragment. I haven't heard him go through his reasoning in detail. I note the memo says clearly that the fragment referred to is green, so that has to be taken into account. However, the diameter thing is weird. Is the curvature of that edge really as sharp as 0.6 inches? I guess I need to find out what George is really thinking about this detail. It would certainly make sense to co-opt a memo that was really sent, which Williamson might not really remember a few years later.

On the other hand, the description is close enough that the availability of a memo like this, ready to be co-opted, seems about as big a coincidence as tray 8849 pointing to Malta. I wonder if there was a different memo, and it was switched for a newly-written one? Williamson would keep his mouth shut, or may not even have realised. Or again, he may have been complicit all along.

I'd like to see some evidence of someone in the SCRO or somewhere actually looking at some Polaroids in September, I really would. None of the things that should have happened if that memo is genuine actually seem to have happened.

I'm just trying this out, I suppose. If we go for a January 1990 introduction, how do we explain that memo? I've never really thought this through before.

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Old 14th December 2012, 02:38 PM   #978
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Lastly, Marquise on 10th January. He names (presumably Stuart) Henderson as his informant. It sounds like a real conversation, in a corner of the conference room at a break. (While others are busy whispering about the Khreesat interview, in the garden. Bet that was cold.) I don't think Marquise was ever party to any fabrication as such, though bribery is another matter. I don't think he'd be so keen to shoot his mouth off on the internet if he was actually complicit in fabrication.

If the shirt collar hadn't actually been dissected on that date, that would put Henderson right in there - planting a little bit of retrospective provenance when the conspiracy wasn't yet quite ready with the evidence.

I'm not sure I'm convincing myself with this. But these are the three pre-22nd-January appearances of the fragment that we know about, that have to be explained if George is right. Any thoughts? Why don't we simply have the log book entries saying when it was transferred from Fort Halstead to Lockerbie?

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Old 14th December 2012, 04:05 PM   #979
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's true, and it's my primary hypothesis right enough. Plus the fact that BAA was one of Thatcher's flagship privatisations a couple of years earlier. I'm still utterly shocked that any policeman would do what seems to have been done though, for these reasons or others. This was the worst terrorist atrocity anyone had ever seen, at the time. They have a fortuitous lead right at the beginning that looks like the key to solving the modus operandi and nailing the bastards. And they ignore it on the orders of politicians?
The whole thing is political. I remember the first evidence I read on the Lockerbie investigations was Dr. Hans Köchlers report.

Originally Posted by report of Dr. Köchler to the UN
7. It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial that − as an apparent result of political interests and considerations − efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the Court. One of the most obvious cases in point was that of the former Libyan double agent, Abdul Majid Giaka, and the CIA cables related to him. Some of the cables were finally released after much insistence from the part of the defense, some were never made available. The Court was apparently content with this situation, which is hard to understand for an independent observer. It may never be fully known up to which extent relevant information was hidden from the Court. The most serious case, however, is related to the special defense launched by defense attorneys Taylor and Keen. It was officially stated by the Lord Advocate that substantial new information had been received from an unnamed foreign government relating to the defense case. The content of this information was never revealed, the requested specific documents were never provided by a foreign government. The alternative theory of the defense − leading to conclusions contradictory to those of the prosecution − was never seriously investigated. Amid shrouds of secrecy and "national security" considerations, that avenue was never seriously pursued − although it was officially declared as being of major importance for the defense case. This is totally incomprehensible to any rational observer. By not having pursued thoroughly and carefully an alternative theory, the Court seems to have accepted that the whole legal process was seriously flawed in regard to the requirements of objectivity and due process.

8. As a result of this situation, the undersigned has reached the conclusion that foreign governments or (secret) governmental agencies may have been allowed, albeit indirectly, to determine, to a considerable extent, which evidence was made available to the Court.

9. In the analysis of the undersigned, the strategy of the defense team by suddenly dropping its "special defense" and canceling the appearance of almost all defense witnesses (in spite of the defense's ambitious announcements made earlier during the trial) is totally incomprehensible; it puts into question the credibility of the defense's actions and motives. In spite of repeated requests of the undersigned, the defense lawyers were not available for comment on this particular matter.
He mentions how political, and how politically influenced the whole Zeist trial is, repeatedly in his report.

PA 103 has several VIPs on board. For the US it's almost a disaster for national security as one of the now deceased passengers is McKee. A high ranking official in US intelligence, carrying who knows what secrets in his luggage. His case was found, with a hole cut into the side of it, the contents replaced, which was noted in trial evidence during the questioning of Hayes of all people. US intelligence people hauled ass double quick time and got their people on the scene asap to manage the potential nightmare situation of their confidential documents being scattered all over the place for anyone to happen upon. McKee was involved allegedly in a "drugs for hostages" type of operation, we know that Iran Contra happened and the US traded arms for hostages.

the middle East has been a tinderbox for decades, we have hostage taking in Lebanon, Iran screaming for bloody revenge over the Vincennes disaster, we've just seen the Iran Iraq war finish and we armed Saddam for much of that, there have been warships patrolling Gulf waters for a long time to protect the wests interests (oil)

I think the quieting of Heathrow evidence, the way that the defense team at trial were not able to proceed as they wanted, the dropping of their special defense, the spiriting away of Khreesat was all at the behest of politics. Very high ranking politicians/intelligence people. Lets not forget George Bush the 1st had just got the US presidency and he's a former CIA head. He was elected in November 1988, inaugurated in January 1989, and of course had been US VP for both of Reagans terms in office. Reagan and Thatcher of the "special bloody relationship"

I think the US was calling the shots, that a very few high up police officials were told that they couldn't investigate there for "national security" reasons, and that the majority of the rank and file did the best job they could with no knowledge of that and thought they were investigating where the evidence led them.

I can see a decision being taken from high up politicians/intelligence that however atrocious the Lockerbie bombing was, and however terrible the loss of innocent life. It might be better to 'take the hit' so to speak if it was a revenge attack from Iran to stop lots of worse stuff happening down the road. Needs of the many kind of thing.

I hate that line of thought and don't agree with it, but I can see it being plausible.

If it is the case that the investigation was blocked/subverted by high ranking politicians/intelligence people we might never find out what actually happened until a pile of documents are unsealed in a hundred years from now.
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Old 14th December 2012, 05:18 PM   #980
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Sometimes you can get quite a long way by examining the actions of the investigators and/or the prosecutors, and comparing what they actually did with what a normal, honest investigation or prosecution would obviously have done. [...] In this case, how would a normal, honest investigation have treated PT/35b?
OK I can't remember for the life of me where or I'd source/link it but the investigators early on were told to look for charred obviously bomb damaged items, and also bits of circuit board. Air Accident investigation had the crash nailed as a bomb in the cargo hold really early on in it's investigation. December 25th 1988 Tom Thurman (yes THAT Tom Thurman) is in a field in Lockerbie looking at explosively damaged debris from PA 103.

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
[20:05 - 23:30] AirCrash Investigations - Lockerbie

4 days after the crash they knew it was brought down by a bomb.

So if I am an investigator working on Lockerbie, and I am instructed to take extra special note of items charred/blast damaged. If I am told to look out for pieces of circuit board, then were I to happen upon PI 995 and PT/35b then I am taking what I've found directly, myself, to the boss and telling him what I've discovered.

Quote:
Supposing it had somehow been overlooked at that time, despite sitting there looking as suspicious as hell, we're then invited to believe that Feraday did indeed spot it in September, and definitely did realise its potential significance at that time. Then what? He sends some hurriedly-taken Polaroids to Williamson.

That's all.

Why the hurry with the Polaroids? What else does he do then? Nothing. No better photos are taken, and no further attempt made to investigate the thing. And, apparently, the fragment itself stays at RARDE. Williamson is supposed to be getting the SCRO to have a look at the Polaroids, but no evidence of them actually doing that has been produced.
It's staggering that according to Williamson's own memo on sep 3rd where he outlines steps taken to ID Pt/35b that the very first date mentioned is 16th January 1990, and the first date where the fragment gets analysed at all is 8th February 1990.

He supposedly has the fragment in his possession in mid September, writes a memo saying "this is really really important - we must find out what this is" and no testing is done on this, according to the records, until February the following year!?! - 147 days later! That's 5 months!

If you're an investigator, and you have an important thing you need to identify, you sure as hell don't sit on it for 5 months. I'd have sent that memo or one like it, and got my "electronics guy" to go figure it out, and I'd have been on his back constantly.

Quote:
I thought 10th January was the red-line date, because of Marquise saying he was told about it on that date. I didn't realise George was going for the 22nd. I'm not sure how he explains Marquise's version, saying he was told about it on the 10th. However, it's another oddity. If the Scottish police had actually had the thing for some time, why is Marquise taken aside and merely told about it verbally?
I think Marquise is a buffoon. A buffoon with an apt name. All this time later he remains adamant, at least toward anyone who points a camera at him, that the investigation was sound and they got the right man. What kind of investigator is unable to step back, and take a rational look at the big picture and what it's saying?

I read his book as one that's going back and crossing t's and dotting i's. A collection of jot and tittle.

It's big on bluster and short on substance. I'd be entirely unsurprised to learn that his 10th January meeting where he learns about Scottish efforts to identify PT/35b actually was on some other date, at some other meeting.

This meeting was off the record, and the only evidence we have for it is Marquise's say so. Hearsay. From someone who appears to care more about how he appears than at getting at the truth.

I think he knows the official version is horribly flawed but will never say as much.

Quote:
. The problem is, we have three things to explain if the 22nd is the actual date of introduction.
  • Hayes's page 51 dated 12th May 1989
  • Feraday's "lads and lassies" memo dated 15th September
  • Marquise's account of being told about the existence of the fragment on 10th January 1990
Your mission, should you choose to accept it....
Hayes pg 51 is an interpolation. They had Hayes by the short and curlys. If he was indeed kept on in an unofficial capacity in 1990 then I think he examined PI 995 in early 1990 and not before. He did what he was told so that he lived the quiet uneventful ife of a chiropodist, rather than the quiet slightly more eventful life as an inmate.

Feradays mid sept Lads and Lassies memo was made up to show provenance of the fragment. It's likely written much later than it is dated. The freaking evidence label pertaining to it was originally dated 1990.

Marquise is mistakenly remembering dates. What other evidence, aside from the hearsay in his scotbom book is there that this meeting ever took place?

I'll dig around soon and see what else I can find to support my opinion. Has anyone ever spoken to Henderson or Kelso and asked about this meeting?

George states he has documentary evidence to support his 22nd January claim. The late January date fits the narrative. Scots investigators did everything they could to identify PT35/b from January to June of 1990 before admitting, grudging defeat. I can sympathise with a police force, in whose patch a major incident has happened, and wanting to be the ones who cracked the case, a force who has had to deal with US intelligence being foisted upon them from day 1, being denied access to things like Khreesat and all the rest of it. Their insistence to source PT/35b themselves is understandable and also fits with the narrative, if we assume the fragment actually turned up in 1990.
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Old 14th December 2012, 05:28 PM   #981
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Cross-posting....

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
The whole thing is political. I remember the first evidence I read on the Lockerbie investigations was Dr. Hans Köchlers report.

He mentions how political, and how politically influenced the whole Zeist trial is, repeatedly in his report.

PA 103 has several VIPs on board. For the US it's almost a disaster for national security as one of the now deceased passengers is McKee. A high ranking official in US intelligence, carrying who knows what secrets in his luggage. His case was found, with a hole cut into the side of it, the contents replaced, which was noted in trial evidence during the questioning of Hayes of all people. US intelligence people hauled ass double quick time and got their people on the scene asap to manage the potential nightmare situation of their confidential documents being scattered all over the place for anyone to happen upon. McKee was involved allegedly in a "drugs for hostages" type of operation, we know that Iran Contra happened and the US traded arms for hostages.

the middle East has been a tinderbox for decades, we have hostage taking in Lebanon, Iran screaming for bloody revenge over the Vincennes disaster, we've just seen the Iran Iraq war finish and we armed Saddam for much of that, there have been warships patrolling Gulf waters for a long time to protect the wests interests (oil)

I think the quieting of Heathrow evidence, the way that the defense team at trial were not able to proceed as they wanted, the dropping of their special defense, the spiriting away of Khreesat was all at the behest of politics. Very high ranking politicians/intelligence people. Lets not forget George Bush the 1st had just got the US presidency and he's a former CIA head. He was elected in November 1988, inaugurated in January 1989, and of course had been US VP for both of Reagans terms in office. Reagan and Thatcher of the "special bloody relationship"

I think the US was calling the shots, that a very few high up police officials were told that they couldn't investigate there for "national security" reasons, and that the majority of the rank and file did the best job they could with no knowledge of that and thought they were investigating where the evidence led them.

I can see a decision being taken from high up politicians/intelligence that however atrocious the Lockerbie bombing was, and however terrible the loss of innocent life. It might be better to 'take the hit' so to speak if it was a revenge attack from Iran to stop lots of worse stuff happening down the road. Needs of the many kind of thing.

I hate that line of thought and don't agree with it, but I can see it being plausible.

If it is the case that the investigation was blocked/subverted by high ranking politicians/intelligence people we might never find out what actually happened until a pile of documents are unsealed in a hundred years from now.

There are a lot of complex thoughts in there.

At the very basic level, what prompted the ignoring of the Heathrow evidence from the minute it was available - actually, arguably before that? I could imagine a narrative where the word went out from Thatcher right at the start that she didn't care what they found so long as Heathrow wasn't held responsible. That's a position that can be taken without having any idea whether Heathrow was involved at all.

Why would the Americans issue an edict that evidence at Heathrow should be ignored, early enough for it to be acted on at the beginning of January 1989? The edict would have had to have been issued even before the people issuing it were aware of any evidence pointing to Heathrow!

Do you give credence to the "Faustian bargain" theory? There are a number of people advancing LIHOP type theories in this, but to be honest I'll only go there if there is some pretty compelling evidence and so far I haven't seen any.

I think there are a lot of nuances to this, and that different players were acting for different reasons. And yes there has been cover-up, but there's also a hell of a lot more available. Nobody imagined the internet when this first kicked off, but happening just as the net was being born has resulted in a whole lot of people having access to a whole lot of stuff they would previously have had to acquire on paper and would never have thought of it.

We've cracked the first problem. What was the actual modus operandi. The bomb was in a suitcase snuck into the container while Bedford was on his break. Who snuck it there is the third or the fourth problem.

The second problem, as I see it, is where the spurious evidence used to support the wrong modus operandi came from. If any of it was actually fabricated, that tells us a lot. It tells us the red herring was made of aniseed, and it tells us these pieces of evidence can be discounted when looking for the actual perpetrator.

I think only after one has disentangled the red herrings and dragged them from the depths of the blind alley to be seen for what they are, will it be possible to get any serious idea of who actually did this. So, PT/35b. Any more thoughts?

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Old 14th December 2012, 05:52 PM   #982
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
George thinks it's a real memo, but referring to a different fragment.
Well there is one other potential fragment he could be referring to.

AG/145. Caustic Logic has a blog post he wrote shortly after the first al jazeera doc was released in Jun 2011 that shows the other fragments.

They don't match the 0.6" diameter curve description in this memo. PT/35b does - it's tiny, it's longest straight edge is about 1cm.

I'd love to hear Georges reasons for thinking this memo describes another fragment.
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Old 14th December 2012, 06:04 PM   #983
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
OK I can't remember for the life of me where or I'd source/link it but the investigators early on were told to look for charred obviously bomb damaged items, and also bits of circuit board. Air Accident investigation had the crash nailed as a bomb in the cargo hold really early on in it's investigation. December 25th 1988 Tom Thurman (yes THAT Tom Thurman) is in a field in Lockerbie looking at explosively damaged debris from PA 103.

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
[20:05 - 23:30] AirCrash Investigations - Lockerbie

4 days after the crash they knew it was brought down by a bomb.

So if I am an investigator working on Lockerbie, and I am instructed to take extra special note of items charred/blast damaged. If I am told to look out for pieces of circuit board, then were I to happen upon PI 995 and PT/35b then I am taking what I've found directly, myself, to the boss and telling him what I've discovered.

Yes, Thurman. Unlike his English counterparts, he's quite the show-off. And he seems to have said more than he should during some of his self-promoting interviews, I think. Compare his account of how long it took him to match the fragment to the MST-13 timer, and Marquise's, for example. If there was some sort of LIHOP and the US authorities determined to plant evidence right at the start to send the investigation the way they wanted it to go, he is in exactly the right place. That could certainly explain the chip Claiden found, for example.

I'm only saying, "if".

Who was Hayes's boss? Hayes, I think. Next up would have been the senior Scottish cops. If you look at how he and Feraday dealt with other stuff though, they were quite hands-on. Indian Head. Feraday trawled round a lot of places trying to match the Claiden chip, and actually went to Japan to the Toshiba HQ. Why no sign of anything being done with PT/35b?

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
It's staggering that according to Williamson's own memo on sep 3rd where he outlines steps taken to ID Pt/35b that the very first date mentioned is 16th January 1990, and the first date where the fragment gets analysed at all is 8th February 1990.

You're right, he mentions going to Germany in the quest for an explanation of the fragment. That's before the 22nd. Unless he's lying, George's date is too late, and if they had it early enough to plan a trip to Germany on the 16th, then Marquise is probably telling the truth. Why would Williamson lie about this for the sake of a few days?

I suppose it's possible they spent the first three or four weeks just trying to match the fragment to other items found, or connected with the case.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
He supposedly has the fragment in his possession in mid September, writes a memo saying "this is really really important - we must find out what this is" and no testing is done on this, according to the records, until February the following year!?! - 147 days later! That's 5 months!

Not quite. It was Feraday who wrote the "lads and lassies" memo saying it was really important. But he only sent Polaroids to Williamson at the time. John Ashton says the fragment itself didn't go north until January. That's quite independent from anything George is saying. The question really just seems to come down to, was it sent in early January, and Marquise was telling the truth, or is George's evidence (which I haven't seen) for the 22nd reliable?

It's Feraday who ignored the thing for (another) four months after sending the memo saying it was really important. Not Williamson. I'd dearly love to see some evidence showing what Williamson did about the Polaroids though. (Except I think they didn't exist then.)

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
If you're an investigator, and you have an important thing you need to identify, you sure as hell don't sit on it for 5 months. I'd have sent that memo or one like it, and got my "electronics guy" to go figure it out, and I'd have been on his back constantly.

You'd think so, wouldn't you.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
I think Marquise is a buffoon. A buffoon with an apt name. All this time later he remains adamant, at least toward anyone who points a camera at him, that the investigation was sound and they got the right man. What kind of investigator is unable to step back, and take a rational look at the big picture and what it's saying?

I read his book as one that's going back and crossing t's and dotting i's. A collection of jot and tittle.

It's big on bluster and short on substance. I'd be entirely unsurprised to learn that his 10th January meeting where he learns about Scottish efforts to identify PT/35b actually was on some other date, at some other meeting.

This meeting was off the record, and the only evidence we have for it is Marquise's say so. Hearsay. From someone who appears to care more about how he appears than at getting at the truth.

I think he knows the official version is horribly flawed but will never say as much.

But having said that, if Williamson and Feraday really arranged a visit to Meckenheim in connection with the fragment on 16th January, Marquise is probably telling the truth about this.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Hayes pg 51 is an interpolation. They had Hayes by the short and curlys. If he was indeed kept on in an unofficial capacity in 1990 then I think he examined PI 995 in early 1990 and not before. He did what he was told so that he lived the quiet uneventful ife of a chiropodist, rather than the quiet slightly more eventful life as an inmate.
Feradays mid sept Lads and Lassies memo was made up to show provenance of the fragment. It's likely written much later than it is dated. The freaking evidence label pertaining to it was originally dated 1990.[/quote]


Possibly. I wonder why they hit on the memo, rather than something more substantial, like some suggestion they actually investigated the thing?

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Marquise is mistakenly remembering dates. What other evidence, aside from the hearsay in his scotbom book is there that this meeting ever took place?

I'll dig around soon and see what else I can find to support my opinion. Has anyone ever spoken to Henderson or Kelso and asked about this meeting?

Except, as I said, if they had it on the 16th, Marquise may be quite correct. And as regards Henderson - have you seen the end of the Tegenlicht documentary? Lockerbie Revisited, I think. Gideon Levy. Frankly, I'm not gagging to be in the same room as Stuart Henderson any time soon.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
George states he has documentary evidence to support his 22nd January claim. The late January date fits the narrative. Scots investigators did everything they could to identify PT35/b from January to June of 1990 before admitting, grudging defeat. I can sympathise with a police force, in whose patch a major incident has happened, and wanting to be the ones who cracked the case, a force who has had to deal with US intelligence being foisted upon them from day 1, being denied access to things like Khreesat and all the rest of it. Their insistence to source PT/35b themselves is understandable and also fits with the narrative, if we assume the fragment actually turned up in 1990.

I don't know the nature of George's evidence for the 22nd. George is inclined to be a bit too ready to jump to conclusions with that sort of thing. Take your bit of shirt for example. That doesn't mean he's wrong, but it has to be looked at critically. I think early January would fit almost as well, though I'm surprised they didn't photograph it sooner. It's possible they were simply trying to match it with other debris first, and only decided they had to have the photos when they realised they would have to do some destructive testing on it.

I'll have to see if I can get John to tell me what his evidence is for the January handover. If was his letting this slip than made me realise George could well be right, and that if we were getting suspicious about the May date all over again we should probably get suspicious about the lads and lassies memo too.

Rolfe.
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Old 14th December 2012, 06:22 PM   #984
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Well there is one other potential fragment he could be referring to.

AG/145. Caustic Logic has a blog post he wrote shortly after the first al jazeera doc was released in Jun 2011 that shows the other fragments.

They don't match the 0.6" diameter curve description in this memo. PT/35b does - it's tiny, it's longest straight edge is about 1cm.

I'd love to hear Georges reasons for thinking this memo describes another fragment.

I think you're right, I'm sure he mentioned PT/30. Is it possible there was a original memo about PT/30, which was later re-written to make it seem to be about PT/35b?

Thanks for reminding me about the blog post.

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Old 14th December 2012, 06:34 PM   #985
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why would the Americans issue an edict that evidence at Heathrow should be ignored, early enough for it to be acted on at the beginning of January 1989? The edict would have had to have been issued even before the people issuing it were aware of any evidence pointing to Heathrow!
I can imagine Thatcher saying something along the lines of. "You will not pin this on Heathrow unless the evidence is overwhelming and there is no other place to go, the economic damage alone would be incredible" I can also see UK investigators believing that Heathrow security was top drawer and it "must" have come from somewhere else and leaning towards investigating Frankfurt first. There was that, eventually discredited, security alert regarding a Pan Am plane from Frankfurt being targetted. the German police were not forthcoming with their files and such, until one of their own was blown up, "they must be covering something up" and then by the time investigators might have looked objectively at Heathrow there was the evidence pointing towards an interlined bag from Frankfurt being in the right place for the bomb and them chasing a Frankfurt origin, which evolved later into Malta.

I don't think that the US squashed Heathrow break-in stuff. I think that was "our" doing.

I think the US knew immediately that they had a big problem potentially (McKees case) and pulled strings, invoked that relationship, and got their people on the scene and involved, ostensibly to provide expertise and assistance, but actually to clear up their mess.

Quote:
Do you give credence to the "Faustian bargain" theory? There are a number of people advancing LIHOP type theories in this, but to be honest I'll only go there if there is some pretty compelling evidence and so far I haven't seen any.
A deal with the devil. The idea that we let Iranians have 103 but no more as a revenge for Vincennes?

Yes. It's a compelling theory that makes a kind of sense. Then I think about it more and my blood runs cold. I have it under the "possible" heading. There is precious little evidence I have seen that supports it though. what evidence there is is mostly interviews with US intelligence agents, or the writings of Lester Coleman.

Quote:
I think there are a lot of nuances to this, and that different players were acting for different reasons.
I'd certainly agree with that.

Quote:
So, PT/35b. Any more thoughts?
Not right now.

I keep leaving Lockerbie alone, hoping that I'll have some Eureka moment about it when my mind isn't thinking about it, so far no such luck.

I still think it was planted/fabricated. That Hayes and Feraday were complicit in this, and that PT/35b is of US origin. That the whole idea of pinning Lockerbie on Libya comes from the US.

The only thing that I can point to that makes me think that the fragment was a US invention is Tom Thurmans insanely fast identification of it via 'Orkin' whoever he is.

That's another one of those "does not make sense" points to me.
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Old 14th December 2012, 07:11 PM   #986
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You're right, he mentions going to Germany in the quest for an explanation of the fragment. That's before the 22nd. Unless he's lying, George's date is too late, and if they had it early enough to plan a trip to Germany on the 16th, then Marquise is probably telling the truth. Why would Williamson lie about this for the sake of a few days?
My take on this is that Georges date might still be correct. He claims to have docs from 2 sources both stating 22nd January. Which is pretty compelling if it checks out.

I can imagine a scenario where Feraday is invited to go look through what the Germans have from autumn leaves and jumps at the chance, though it might not have been to do with a newly discovered chip fragment he wants to identify. It could simply have been a trip to "come and see what we have" that Williamson tacked on to make his list of things we did to try and ID this longer. If we are saying that the lad lassies memo and the evidence label aren't kosher then we have Williamson (he signed that label) being economical with the truth already, why stop there.

The chip isn't tested according to the 3rd Sep memo until Feb 8th 1990.

That's the first date we know for certain the Scots police have this chip.

That date tallies with Georges 22nd January.

George could well be wrong, Marquise's memory might not be so faulty, it might have emerged in December 89 or the first week of Jan 1990. The evidence we have, discounting the earlier Williamson memo, and Hayes notes, and Marquise's tale has an earliest possible discovery date of a week or two prior to Feb 8th 1990.

One pause for thought I do have is that if the Williamson Lads and Lassies memo was fabricated to provide some provenance for this fragment, why not make up some other testing/research or something to show they were doing some investigating between september 89 and January 1990.

the fact that there is nothing at all about it in the record and a records fabricator might well have wanted to add something into this timeframe to sound more convincing makes me think perhaps it was genuine. maybe.
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Old 15th December 2012, 01:00 PM   #987
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Well, lookie here.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.co.uk/...25956831208439

Originally Posted by Baz
I did not dwell too much on the "Lads and Lasses" memo but to me this stinks. According to the SCCRC (chapter 8 sections 9-11) DI Williamson admitted (or claimed) he was mistaken in thinking Feraday's memo of the 15th September 1989 referred to PT/30. I think it pretty clear he made no such mistake. The SCCRC claim the "Lads and Lasses" memo (as it now exists) is genuine because it refers to green circuit board and accurately plots the curvature of PT35b. To me that is precisely why it is a fake. I would of course presume that the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary would concur in the claim that Williamson was mistaken when clearly he was not.

Baz is mistaken about a number of things in that post, but if he's not mistaken about that, then wow. Don't you just love it when something you predicted might be the case if your theory was correct, turns out to be true?

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Old 15th December 2012, 02:39 PM   #988
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just went and looked up PT/30 cos I can't remember all of the evidence numbers so wanted to be sure I was thinking of the right bit.

Found a Lockerbie Divide blog post that talks about it all - thought I'd link it as it's relevant to this discussion.

For some reason I thought Williamson was the author of the Lads & Lassies memo. He was the recipient, Feraday wrote it, obviously.

PT/30 would have had a green surface, but that had been removed in the blast so you could, at a stretch, call PT/30 a "Fragment of green circuit board" and the "diameter of.." bit might have been written in later, though it'd be easier to rewrite the thing from scratch MOD form 4A is probably not in short supply.

Feraday took over from Hayes after Hayes left RARDE (?) - can we pin down Hayes leaving date at all? It'd be interesting to know whether Hayes was still in the employ of RARDE on 15th September 1989. If he'd left by then and Feraday had recently inherited all of his notes. Then it's possible that as Feraday is the one who's most obsessed with circuitry fragments, upon reading Hayes notes he then 'rediscovers' PT/35b upon Hayes departure.

Come to think of it perhaps it was Hayes departure that prompted the rediscovery of PT/35b , or maybe this would have been the most opportune time to have introduced it into the evidence?

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Old 31st December 2012, 06:35 AM   #989
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Sorry I let this lie at the time, Ambrosia. Christmas can certainly eat into your schedule!

I don't see how the "lads and lassies" memo as we have it could possibly have been referring to PT/30. I haven't had a chance to read chapters 7 and 8 of the SCCRC report yet, but as far as I can make out from what Baz said, the connection to PT/30 comes from Williamson himself. He claims, it seems, that he has no recollection of investigating PT/35b in September 1989 because he was mistakenly under the impression that the memo from Feraday was referring to PT/30.

WTF?

It would appear that there is no evidence of the SCRO people (the "lads and lassies", I presume) looking at any polaroids of PT/35b in September 1989. I wonder if there is evidence of them looking at polaroids of PT/30? The memo is just weird. It comes out of nowhere, and goes nowhere. Not only have we no idea what prompted Feraday to write it, we have no evidence that anything at all was done as a result of the memo, despite the (alleged) photographs and despite the "potentially most important" comment.

My hypothesis is that there was no fragment before January 1990. That they required some backdating evidence to conceal this late introduction of a fabricated clue. So Hayes wrote the new page 51 (and made a pig's ear of interpolating it), and a photograph was taken which could be substituted for an original (now destroyed) "photograph 117" to fix the thing as supposedly being documented the previous May. If in fact the critical manipulation was the substitution of the photograph, that might explain why the interpolation of the notes page worked relatively poorly.

I don't quite know what to make of the other things in the photo. Was the entire production made up from scratch? Or were other elements already in the chain of evidence? The photograph seems to show the wad of paper before it was teased out, so if there is evidence that these scraps of manual page were separated and read back in May, that's odd. Caustic Logic was very good on this aspect. I wish he hadn't wandered off.

I think someone at some point has had the spiffing wheeze to co-opt the 15th September memo, which did exist and had really been sent to Williamson, and pretend it was about PT/35b and not PT/30. The idea being to show, look, it did exist, we were investgating it, really we were. It might have been better if they'd left this alone and just said unfortunately the thing lay overlooked in the files from May till January, but that could have seemed implausible, and sometimes people can't resist embellishing a story.

It really is strange the way that inconsequential memo that resulted in no action became a production in its own right. Is this normal behaviour? But someone seems to have thought it was important, and retrieved it from Williamson, and given it its own number and so on. I'm not sure how easy it would have been to destroy that memo and substitute a new one Feraday wrote for the purpose referring to PT/35b, it would depend on how and where it was stored. But I don't imagine it would have been impossible for an insider to accomplish.

So, Williamson has some memory of the original memo, and can attest to its existence. Why didn't he do anything as a result of the memo? Er, um, I dunno, I thought that was about PT/30. Was he bamboozled, and really thought he'd been mistaken, or did he realise there had been a substitution and decide to be a good little cop and not blow the whistle on anyone? I'd go for the latter, I suppose.

So no, I don't think anything really happened in September 1989. Except that Hayes left, but went on working on the case in 1990 on a consultancy basis. Which would allow him to have done his bit and written the new page 51.

This is speculative, of course, but Occam is feeling fairly comfortable about it I think. I need to see what evidence George has as regards the 22nd January introduction.

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 08:03 AM   #990
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Sorry I let this lie at the time, Ambrosia. Christmas can certainly eat into your schedule!
tell me about it.

Quote:
I don't see how the "lads and lassies" memo as we have it could possibly have been referring to PT/30. [...] He claims, it seems, that he has no recollection of investigating PT/35b in September 1989 because he was mistakenly under the impression that the memo from Feraday was referring to PT/30.
It's a stretch to put it mildly that you can mix up PT/30 with PT/35b.

I still think he has no recollection of investigating Pt/35b in 89 cos they didn't have it until 1990.

That said I can imagine that if you are in the middle of a high profile investigation that there are a lot of different aspects of the case you are concerned with and lots of different things demanding your attention. I can imagine that it's possible to mix up something like that, that running such an investigation is chaotic. It *must* be obvious though that a fragment of circuit that's NOT from the radio would be a hugely important piece of evidence and would stand out a lot more in the investigation.

I've never run anything like that so I have no idea how organised or not it might be.

Quote:
I don't quite know what to make of the other things in the photo. Was the entire production made up from scratch? Or were other elements already in the chain of evidence?
How much do we know about the other elements in the photo? I might try doing some digging for references to the radio manual fragments this week.

Quote:
I need to see what evidence George has as regards the 22nd January introduction.
Yes.

Just to speculate a little here.

If we assume that we have evidence that proves a January 1990 date for Pt/35b this means that the Feraday lads/lassies memo is faked. The photo showing the contents of the bag is faked, and also Hayes notes.

What does that mean for a conspiracy? i.e. who is "in on it" - presumably Hayes, Feraday and Williamson. anyone else?

Circa 1990 what other evidence is pointing at Libyan involvement, what kind of stories has Giaka told by this time that might motivate a less than straight investigator to invent something to make sure that they nailed the right man?

If they have a lot of other evidence by about November 1989 (Giaka or other witness testimony) but aren't sure that it's enough to get a conviction then there is motive to 'help things along' perhaps.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 11:19 AM   #991
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
It's a stretch to put it mildly that you can mix up PT/30 with PT/35b.

It's an even bigger stretch to imagine that Feraday just fortuitously wrote a memo about PT/30 in September 1989 that was sufficiently close to how PT/35b turned out that it could simply be appropriated - with or without a little "modification".

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
I still think he has no recollection of investigating Pt/35b in 89 cos they didn't have it until 1990.

And that's why I think it's entirely possible Williamson might not be complicit. Or at least not explicitly at the time - if anything, he merely didn't challenge the assertion that this was indeed the memo he received in 1989.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
That said I can imagine that if you are in the middle of a high profile investigation that there are a lot of different aspects of the case you are concerned with and lots of different things demanding your attention. I can imagine that it's possible to mix up something like that, that running such an investigation is chaotic. It *must* be obvious though that a fragment of circuit that's NOT from the radio would be a hugely important piece of evidence and would stand out a lot more in the investigation.

I've never run anything like that so I have no idea how organised or not it might be.

I think, for the grunts, it's very compartmentalised. They concentrate on their own assigned segment, and don't have much overview of the case as a whole. The SIO and his inner circle have that, and to a large extent control the narrative.

I think it's possible Williamson was confused about what that memo was originally about, but like a good cop he didn't delve into it was went along with the narrative as it was presented to him.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
How much do we know about the other elements in the photo? I might try doing some digging for references to the radio manual fragments this week.

I think that's important, at least as regards the manual scrap. The collar itself and the bits of radio wouldn't necessarily change much and could be added to a composite picture any time. As Dan O. pointed out, the manual scrap appears to have been photographed before being teased out into its five leaves.

I imagine it would be possible to fake that up some way, as there's not much detail in the scrap. It could be recreated, or they could just use the top leaf. On the other hand, given that Hayes's notes suggest he teased the scrap out at the time he extracted it from the collar, it wasn't necessary to do that. They could have made the photo showing the separated leaves and nobody would have had any reason to quibble.

It's possible someone had the clever idea that it could be "proved" the montage wasn't a later creation by showing the paper scrap in its original state. However, I'm not convinced they would have thought of that if the leaves had been separated months previously. Certainly nobody has tried to make that argument as far as I know. My gut feeling is that the photo was taken during the actual dissection of the collar as described by Hayes on page 51.

This would mean that the manual fragment was also introduced for the first time along with the PCB fragment. However, I have a feeling that these fragments are discussed in earlier documents. Caustic Logic had a handle on this, but he, like Dan O. has left the building. It's an important point and I don't quite know where to find the answer.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Just to speculate a little here.

If we assume that we have evidence that proves a January 1990 date for Pt/35b this means that the Feraday lads/lassies memo is faked. The photo showing the contents of the bag is faked, and also Hayes notes.

What does that mean for a conspiracy? i.e. who is "in on it" - presumably Hayes, Feraday and Williamson. anyone else?

For the scenario as we describe with a January 1990 introduction, Hayes and Feraday for sure. Hayes I have little trouble with, assuming Thurman had some way to bring up the subject and get him onside. I'm less sure about Feraday's behaviour in this context. If he knew the PCB fragment was a fake, would he not have been more circumspect commenting on the metallurgical analysis in 1991?

There are definite question marks over this theory which we really need to think more deeply about.

As I said above, Williamson needn't have been in on this when it was actually done.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
Circa 1990 what other evidence is pointing at Libyan involvement, what kind of stories has Giaka told by this time that might motivate a less than straight investigator to invent something to make sure that they nailed the right man?

If they have a lot of other evidence by about November 1989 (Giaka or other witness testimony) but aren't sure that it's enough to get a conviction then there is motive to 'help things along' perhaps.

They didn't have anything of any significance from Giaka until July of 1991, when they appear to have told him what they needed him to say and he said it. He merely produced that little vingette about having seen Megrahi and Fhimah with a brown hardshell suitcase at Luqa on 20th December 1988.

They had Gauci's assessment of the clothes purchaser as Libyan, and the radio having been sold to Libya in bulk, and the catch-letter from Ebola. Also at one point the "Professor" Mobi Goben (I think that's right) was erroneously believed to be Libyan.

I think the bigger imperative in late 1989 was to establish a detonation method that didn't involve one of Khreesat's barometric devices. Which of course an MST-13 timer would provide. It's possible that the Libyan connection was a secondary consideration at the time, but nevertheless highly convenient.

On the other hand that brings us to the question of Megrahi's implication. Allegedly they didn't know he had been at the airport when KM180 took off when they got Gauci to pick him out of that photospread. Or the Scottish cops didn't. But they only glommed on to him because the CIA handed over these photos to them. I don't know how much the CIA knew, or how long they had known it for. I think this may be quite crucial, but I don't know how we could find out.

It seems very unlikely to me that the plan to frame Megrahi in person started very early, because in that case I can't understand why they would have allowed Bell & Co to contaminate Tony's memory for so long before introducing Megrahi's pictures. On the other hand there's something weird going on.

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 11:56 AM   #992
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
They had Gauci's assessment of the clothes purchaser as Libyan, and the radio having been sold to Libya in bulk, and the catch-letter from Ebola. Also at one point the "Professor" Mobi Goben (I think that's right) was erroneously believed to be Libyan.

I think the bigger imperative in late 1989 was to establish a detonation method that didn't involve one of Khreesat's barometric devices. Which of course an MST-13 timer would provide. It's possible that the Libyan connection was a secondary consideration at the time, but nevertheless highly convenient.
Quick thought for the moment.

If we are hypothesising that MST-13 was planted, and that it was introduced into evidence in 1990. It must have been done so to implicate Libya. It was thought to be a 20 unit production run of a timer only sold to Libya.

I have a sneaky feeling that Gauci didn't actually mention Libya until 1990, I'll need to rewatch the al Jazeera docs to check that. I recall George(?) implying that a sentence in one of his statements "he spoke Libyan to me" was added after the fact.

We have then the source of the radio cassette player, and the catch-letter (Caustic Logic blog page on this here) Bollier claims to have been approached by a CIA man and urged to write a letter implicating Libya 4 weeks after the bombing (January 1989)

I recall Reagan blaming Libya almost as soon as the plane came down.

I suppose Libya might have just been about the only other plausible source for such terrorists if you wanted to avoid the middle east entirely.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 12:40 PM   #993
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I think there was an immediate assumption or perhaps hope on the part of US authorities that Libya was behind it. I don't know how sincere that was. They were certainly expecting Iran to do something, after the IR655 incident. Nevertheless you're right about Reagan publicly going off on one against Libya on about day four and threatening to bomb the country in retaliation.

However, the circumstantial or even assumptive evidence pointing to the PFLP-GC was initially overwhelming. Even that 31st December 1988 article gives a (rather inaccurate) summary of how the Khreesat devices worked. I think that simply swept the Libya assumption to the side at the time. I wonder if the catch-letter was some sort of attempt by somebody to keep the Libya theory in the frame at that stage?

Then we should bear in mind Paul Foot's story about the phone call between Bush and Thatcher in mid-March 1989 during which the decision was taken to rein back the imminent indictments against the PFLP-GC and go all vague and ambiguous about culpability.

I'm afraid George is wrong about the "Libyan" part being an interpolation into Tony's statement. One sentence is an interpolation into the hand-written document, but there's no reason to believe it's not a contemporaneous addition. The thing is that this is not the only reference to the purchaser being Libyan in the hand-written statement. A few lines further down there's another occurrence of the word which is clearly original. (This is what worries me about George. I don't think he questions his ideas hard enough.)

George also has doubts about how spontaneous the Gauci interview dated 1st September really was. I can't honestly get my head round this. The whole clothing thing is as suspicious as hell, but I can't see how it could possibly have been faked. And if it was scripted, why the burly six-foot 50-year-old dark-skinned purchaser?

I think we only solved level 1 of this conundrum. Sigh.

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Old 27th January 2013, 03:47 PM   #994
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The SCCRC report really throws out some fascinating stuff. I make just a small apology for the block quote. It's page 188 of 802 in this here document( page 200 or so in Adobe Acrobat )


" 8.146 According to Mr Gilchrist’s Crown precognition it was as a result of the US authorities’ belief that the marking read M580 and the view of the Scottish police that it read MEBQ that it took some time before the marking was correctly identified as MEBO.

He believed that it was the British Security Service who suggested that MEBO be investigated, and thereafter Mr Gilchrist met Swiss officials in Berne on 13 September 1990 and obtained further information about MEBO.

This led to the issuing by the Lord Advocate of a Commission Rogatoire to the relevant authorities in Switzerland to allow formal enquiries to be made with MEBO.


8.147 Mr Gilchrist’s account is reflected in protectively marked materials. In a fax dated 28 August 1990 (classified document 989, see appendix of protectively marked materials), the Security Service queried how clear the designation was on the timer and asked whether, rather than reading “M580”, the designation might comprise the letters “MEBO”.
It was suggested that if that were the case it might relate to Meister and Bollier of Zurich, described as “a company known to be involved with others in the provision of electronic devices to Libya.”

In a subsequent fax dated 31 August 1990 (classified document 997, see appendix of protectively marked materials) reference is made to Mr Thurman having re-examined the timer and, although he thought it possible that the third character was a “B”, he doubted this.

The fax also states that Mr Thurman was “clearly aware of Meister and Bollier and made a cryptic reference to the company already being of great interest to the investigation.” It is in this document that the suggestion is made to the police by a member of the Security Service that enquiries be carried out regarding MEBO."



So, the FBI know MEBO is of interest, but aren't willing to accept a clue with MEBO stamped on it? And it's the British secret service who 'make the link' to Libya? Uh-uh. yup, okay.
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Old 27th January 2013, 05:18 PM   #995
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If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you....

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