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

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Old 5th October 2009, 02:43 AM   #1
Caustic Logic
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Pan Am 103: Unaccompanied bag from Malta: Evidence?

Just when you all thought maybe the Pan Am 103 crap had gone away. ...

Collectively, the evidence used to convict Abdelbaset Al Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am 103 indicates a Libyan-made bomb, placed by a Libyan intel operative, into a specially packed bag in Malta onto an Air Malta flight, tagged to be transferred unaccompanied onto Pan Am 103 to blow up right around the Scottish coastline. Mostly this is based on circumstantial clues – the clothing, app. near the bomb, labeled as from Malta, and later the timer fragment, which was found to so boldly point to Libya. Eventually some testimony was bought/mangled to support the middle link of a loose bag from Malta traceable to Libyan super-spook al Megrahi.

But this wasn’t (AFAIK) pursued until after they had some evidence for the bag itself. In between the Maltese clothing and Libyan timer app. near the bomb, and the fields of southern Scotland, there might have been, and probably should have been, nothing but speculation. As we’re told, Frankfurt airport routinely destroyed its luggage records after a short period of, as I recall, one week. Even in the case of Pan Am 103, which had been loaded with passengers and luggage partially at that airport and was all over the news well within 24 hours for having blow the heck up.

Not that it mattered; apparently, no attempt was even made to even look at such records in the first months after the incident. Details are hazy but puzzling. However, by luck and fate an anomalous copy did surface, fairly early in the (looong) investigation, and it showed just the bag that the other points could lean against to strengthen the case that emerged. Briefly, the source for this is Mrs. Bogomira Erac, a computer programmer and baggage handler/tracker employed at Frankfurt Airport and on duty on Dec 21 1988 as part of PA 103’s load passed through. Normally the computer files were wiped and paper records destroyed, she says, but on a whim she personally kept a copy of the records pertaining to Flight 103, sat on it a few months, then reported it to her supervisor.

It then made its way to the Lockerbie investigation in August 1989, where it changed the picture. “That was a key part of the investigation, which allowed us to link a bag from Malta to Frankfurt, through London and then obviously on to Lockerbie,” FBI SCOTBOM chief Richard Marquise has said. (see video, below). These coded numbers on paper, produced by a programmer after some programming and politicking time had elapsed, with no backing records, merged with the Maltese clothing scraps to point to Malta and beyond – ominously - to Libya.

I’m not sure yet what to make of what this evidence really means and would like to hash it out some. For starters, in another thread, Rolfe pointed out that the coverage this issue was given in BBC’s 2008 Conspiracy Files episode was badly slanted. I agree, and have a detailed critique, but the OP is long enough. Suffice to say, they give Erac and Marquise the floor, and include no counter-claims or questions, of which there are plenty, and seem to present as unchallenged fact that “the bag had traveled unaccompanied.”
Link to watch - starts about 5:00 in

While another program, Channel 4’s Dispatches from December 1998, indicates a perfectly opposite slant. “The indictment stands or falls on the fact that the suitcase began it lethal journey at Malta,” the narrator says near the beginning. “For us too it seems the logical place to start.” The video has a great section on all these baggage issues, starting about 1/3 through. I don’t think it actually mentions Erac’s records at all, and gives Marquise no time, and includes almost strictly counter-arguments, including by Prof. Robert Black, a key party in stablishing the trial to begin with.
Link to watch

As we start from these videos, and expand to other sources, related issues that will and should connect in will include; Air Malta’s counter-claims, evidence, the lawsuit and Denis Phipps; the suspects’ own influence at Luqa airport, “taggs,” etc.; evidence handling/planting thoughts and theories; the technical aspects of Erac’s records, timeline analysis re: trays and bins and what was really where when, the alleged lack of any other traces of this data; the reported security breach at Heathrow, general observations.
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Old 5th October 2009, 04:54 AM   #2
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You can download the Dispatches program from the MEBO website by following this link which makes it easier to view rather than watching it streamed.

It's in Apple Quicktime format (mp4) and is about 40MB in size.

There is no evidence that any unaccompanied bags were loaded at Malta.

None, zero, zip. In fact there is reason to believe that no such bags were loaded at Malta given that Air Malta sued Granada TV for libel over a documentary that showed the bag being loaded at Malta, Granada settled out of court in 1993.

The Frankfurt baggage printout shows a bag being transferred from the Malta flight to the Frankfurt Pan Am flight. Thats all it shows. A baggage handler could well have added the bag at Frankfurt airport to the place the Air Malta bags were unloaded to.

On top of that all we know of here is an unaccompanied bag. This bag could have been a luminous orange rucksack, a canvas duffelbag, a carpetbag, there is no description of it anywhere by baggage handlers, nothing at all to suggest that it was "the" brown Samsonite suitcase that is believed to have held the bomb. To assume that this one unaccompanied bag was both loaded at Malta AND was the primary suitcase is a hell of a leap. One that's not backed with any evidence.
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Old 5th October 2009, 07:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
The Frankfurt baggage printout shows a bag being transferred from the Malta flight to the Frankfurt Pan Am flight. Thats all it shows. A baggage handler could well have added the bag at Frankfurt airport to the place the Air Malta bags were unloaded to.

What Ambrosia said, but more than that. It appears there was no positive evidence the item of luggage in question came from KA180 or was even tagged as coming from KA180. Paul Foot goes into some detail about this. The point was that the bag in question had been coded by the coding station that had been dealing with the KA180 baggage.

The argument is quite compicated, involving the time the coding of the Malta bags finished, and an illegible work-sheet where a time could have been either 10 past or 16 minutes past the hour. The bottom line was that the mystery bag could have come from a number of different places, and Foot mentions Damascus and Warsaw in this context.

As I understand it, the decision that the bag was unaccompanied rested on the fact that no passenger from KA180 transferred to PA103A. Therefore if a bag did that, it was unaccompanied. However, I'm not sure the possibility that it was an accompanied bag from somewhere else that had just taken a slightly circuitous route through the airport was definitely discounted.

The luggage system at Frankfurt seems to have been a bit chaotic, geared entirely to sorting the bags to their correct destination without any attention being paid to where they came from or whose they were. I have also read that there was quite a few unaccompanied bags on PA103.

Mrs. Erac's story is very peculiar. She says on the BBC programme that she was about to destroy the printout, but then kept it "in memory of the people that had died on that flight". Other places she's credited with having realised it might have evidental value, and keeping it for that reason on her own initiative. However, nobody seems to have even tried to retain or acquire these reconrds in an official capacity, and she went on holiday and didn't volunteer the information until much later.

It certainly doesn't seem to have surfaced until after the charred clothes recovered from the crash had already been identified as being of Maltese origin. Thanks in no small part to the babygro having a label saying "Made in Malta" still legible. My impression is that they went through the printout not to see what was there, but to torture the information to try to substantiate the assertion that a bag had travelled through from Malta unaccompanied. And that the timing of the coding of the KA180 bags in relation to the "mystery item" allowed them to do that.

I have no idea why the fact that the clothes were bought in Malta a month earlier (or even two weeks earlier) should lead to the assumption that the bomb was loaded at Malta. Almost the reverse - for terrorists who were globetrotting a fair bit anyway, purchasing the clothes near to the airport they intended to load the bomb seems pretty silly.

To summarise what we do know.

1. The baggage security at Luqa was surprisingly good. Bags were counted three times and tallied to the number of passengers on the plane. 55 people travelled on that flight, and 55 bags were triple-counted on to it.

2. None of these 55 passengers was booked to transfer to PA103A.

3. All the bags were claimed at the other end - nobody reported any missing luggage. So the possibility that a genuine bag was taken off the flight to substitute the bomb suitcase seems to fall.

4. The manager in charge of the system was very confident in court that nothing could have got past, and only said, "well, you can never be 100% sure about anything" when pressed hard about it.

5. The case against Megrahi, who was in Luqa airport that morning, was based on his having an accomplice with an air-side pass, namely Fhimah, to get the bomb suitcase onto the plane. However, all the evidence against Fhimah was thrown out, it was never shown that he was even at the airport that morning, and no other possible accomplice was ever named.

We really have no clue how Megrahi could possibly have got the suitcase on board at Malta, unaided. In fact we don't really see how it could have been done by anyone, aided or unaided. And we know of no suggestion of anyone else being present at Malta that morning who might have been shipping a bomb.

And yet the judges decided that somehow, the suitcase "must" have gone on there, somehow. Based, apparently, on the ambiguous record of the Frankfurt baggage system.

To me, it looks like "we've decided Megrahi did it, and since he was at Luqa airport that morning, he must have managed to get the thing on board somehow even if it seems on the face of it to be impossible."

So if we assume that the bag didn't in fact come from Malta but was either smuggled on at Frankfurt (possibly using the same coding station that dealt with the KA180), or might have been interlined from somewhere else, where does that get us?

Should Mrs. Erac's role be looked at with more suspicion? Why did nobody get an instruction to Frankfurt within a day or to of the crash that all baggage records for that flight (or even that day) should be kept? Records were apparently destroyed after a week, which would seem long enough for someone a bit higher up the food chain than Mrs. Erac to decide that lot ought to be kept.

It's another very peculiar circumstance, but is there any more to it than incompetence, and then over-narrow analysis of the contents of the printout to try to prove a pre-determined conclusion?

Rolfe.
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Old 5th October 2009, 01:56 PM   #4
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
You can download the Dispatches program from the MEBO website by following this link which makes it easier to view rather than watching it streamed.
Unfortunately that didn't work for me an my Mac. Just got a frozen computer for ten minutes till it finished loading a page of gibberish.

Quote:
There is no evidence that any unaccompanied bags were loaded at Malta.

None, zero, zip. In fact there is reason to believe that no such bags were loaded at Malta given that Air Malta sued Granada TV for libel over a documentary that showed the bag being loaded at Malta, Granada settled out of court in 1993.
That's true from what I've read. However, to someone though who believed the official version and the printout (as interpreted), such a bag had to be loaded there, or materialized before frankfurt. The arguments about a small airport being less permeable make sense but aren't totally convincing IMO. And I'd like to see a primary news source from the time, but it seems clear Granada was sued for stating this fact as fact, and settled, which is a sign, but not the clearest. There are different reasons to settle out of court - just look at Libya's admission of 'responsibility' but not guilt, settled out of court as it were to end sanctions.

I'll come back to the details of the printout and/or other records in a bit.
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Old 5th October 2009, 02:41 PM   #5
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What Ambrosia said, but more than that. It appears there was no positive evidence the item of luggage in question came from KA180 or was even tagged as coming from KA180. Paul Foot goes into some detail about this. The point was that the bag in question had been coded by the coding station that had been dealing with the KA180 baggage.

The argument is quite compicated, involving the time the coding of the Malta bags finished, and an illegible work-sheet where a time could have been either 10 past or 16 minutes past the hour. The bottom line was that the mystery bag could have come from a number of different places, and Foot mentions Damascus and Warsaw in this context.
I was reading, I think defense protests and questioning from the trial where these were the main questions. Glad you're just enough ahead of me... Damascus we know. Warsaw... like the Pact? I still have not bought his big article, could but will wait til after payday. It's actually that tight ATM.

Quote:
As I understand it, the decision that the bag was unaccompanied rested on the fact that no passenger from KA180 transferred to PA103A. Therefore if a bag did that, it was unaccompanied. However, I'm not sure the possibility that it was an accompanied bag from somewhere else that had just taken a slightly circuitous route through the airport was definitely discounted.
Exactly. People are kept better track of I should think, and none boarded from that flight. So if a bag shows up as having done so, it's either alone or some mix-up, or perhaps a purposeful mix-up.

Quote:
The luggage system at Frankfurt seems to have been a bit chaotic, geared entirely to sorting the bags to their correct destination without any attention being paid to where they came from or whose they were. I have also read that there was quite a few unaccompanied bags on PA103.
Huh! But if so, they didn't all have Maltese clothes...

Quote:
Mrs. Erac's story is very peculiar. She says on the BBC programme that she was about to destroy the printout, but then kept it "in memory of the people that had died on that flight". Other places she's credited with having realised it might have evidental value, and keeping it for that reason on her own initiative. However, nobody seems to have even tried to retain or acquire these reconrds in an official capacity, and she went on holiday and didn't volunteer the information until much later.

It certainly doesn't seem to have surfaced until after the charred clothes recovered from the crash had already been identified as being of Maltese origin. Thanks in no small part to the babygro having a label saying "Made in Malta" still legible. My impression is that they went through the printout not to see what was there, but to torture the information to try to substantiate the assertion that a bag had travelled through from Malta unaccompanied. And that the timing of the coding of the KA180 bags in relation to the "mystery item" allowed them to do that.
Yes. Maybe. Te lack of interest in records is troubling. Did investigators actually look at their records once and found totally different info, but when this paperwork surfaced, suddenly the other data never existed and this only a luck copy? That would be a cover-up that would require a few collaborators to keep quiet, plus some others to do the torture. It seems entirely possible. It could well be simpler/more honest than that, or a bit more complex, but not too much...

Quote:
I have no idea why the fact that the clothes were bought in Malta a month earlier (or even two weeks earlier) should lead to the assumption that the bomb was loaded at Malta. Almost the reverse - for terrorists who were globetrotting a fair bit anyway, purchasing the clothes near to the airport they intended to load the bomb seems pretty silly.
As does using your precise timer to blow it up where all these silly clues could be found and traced back. If Libya did this, they were trying to implicate themselves, and should we be playing into the schemes of terrorists like that?

Quote:
To summarise what we do know.

1. The baggage security at Luqa was surprisingly good. Bags were counted three times and tallied to the number of passengers on the plane. 55 people travelled on that flight, and 55 bags were triple-counted on to it.
39 people, 59 bags, IIRC.

Quote:
2. None of these 55 passengers was booked to transfer to PA103A.

3. All the bags were claimed at the other end - nobody reported any missing luggage. So the possibility that a genuine bag was taken off the flight to substitute the bomb suitcase seems to fall.

4. The manager in charge of the system was very confident in court that nothing could have got past, and only said, "well, you can never be 100% sure about anything" when pressed hard about it.
I do find these arguments perhaps specious, re: Phipps and the "small neighborhood airport" notion. Are small towns less crime prone? Depends. The suspects are alleged to have had ins at this airport. But anyway, 100% argument or no, it's a claim and makes sense.

Quote:
So if we assume that the bag didn't in fact come from Malta ... Should Mrs. Erac's role be looked at with more suspicion? ... It's another very peculiar circumstance, but is there any more to it than incompetence, and then over-narrow analysis of the contents of the printout to try to prove a pre-determined conclusion?
These are about the questions I'd like to answer. Suspicion must be engaged now, along with suspicion of our suspicions, coz we are investigoogling.
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Old 5th October 2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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So here is a secondary source refection of theprimary paperwork, from the Court's Verdict, 2001:
link
Quote:
[30] Mrs Bogomira Erac, a computer programmer employed at the airport, was on duty on 21 December 1988. She heard of the loss of PA103 during the evening of that day and realised that PA103A had departed during her period on duty. She was interested in the amount of baggage on the Frankfurt flight, and on the following morning she decided to take a printout of the information as to baggage held on the computer in case it should contain any useful information. She did not at once identify any such information, but retained the printout, which later was given to investigators. The printout is production 1060, and includes the following entry:
-
Container no.
Flight no.
Counter no.
Time leave store
Time at gate
B8849
F1042
S0009+Z1307
TO
HS33+Z1517
B044+Z1523

The document itself contains no column headings, and those set out above are derived from the evidence showing how the printout is to be interpreted, by reference to the codes in operation at the time. The document therefore bears to record that an item coded at station 206 at 1307 was transferred and delivered to the appropriate gate to be loaded on board PA103A.

[31] The documentary evidence as a whole therefore clearly gives rise to the inference that an item which came in on KM180 was transferred to and left on PA103A.
(info reorganized by me)
Container no. B8849
Flight no. F1042
Counter no. S0009+Z1307
Time leave store HS33+Z1517
Time at gate B044+Z1523

What does that mean? This is the route of the set bag? I don't know the codes here except that Z is prob Zulu time, which is a few hours behind local Frankfurt time.

Same page also has (as point 29) supplementary evidence from Joachim Koscha, who was one of the managers of the baggage system at Frankfurt. This I haven't looked at yet. But there's what Erac's paperwork shows.
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Old 6th October 2009, 01:22 AM   #7
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Okay, well it's supposed to indicate, as the court put it, that "an item coded at station 206 at 1307 was transferred and delivered to the appropriate gate to be loaded on board PA103A." Being a feeder flight for the fatal flight (physically different planes, but same/connected flight numbers) this must be what she calls F1042. F might mean feeder, or something in German, and I guess it's been decided elsewhere 1042 does in fact mean PA103A, a Boeing 727 with 89 passengers, 47 of whom transferred in London to the fatal flight. "Counter no." is attached to 1307, so apparently refers to when the item was coded. "HS33" is a store number? A store is? "BO44" is a gate, where the item arrived at Z1523, I guess, and the gate F1042 was loading from at the same time.

Anyone who knows any of the little answers above, feel free. Otherwise, I'll guess I have that part of the accepted evidence down and move on to point 29:
Quote:
The evidence of Joachim Koscha, who was one of the managers of the baggage system at Frankfurt in 1988, taken with production 1068, shows that flight KM180 reached its parking position at 1248 on 21 December 1988. Since it was not a PanAm flight it was unloaded by employees of the airport authority. According to the record, it was unloading between 1248 and 1300. Andreas Schreiner was in charge of monitoring the arrival of baggage at V3 on 21 December 1988. He made the following record on a document called the interline writer's sheet (production 1092):
-
<snip - makes no sense to me and too long>
That bears to record one wagon of baggage from KM180, in position at 1248, arriving at V3 at 1301. Mr Schreiner's evidence was that coding would generally begin three to five minutes after the arrival of the baggage at V3. Mr Schreiner also said that luggage was always delivered from one flight only. Mr Schreiner and Mr Koscha further identified production 1061 as a work sheet completed by a coder to record baggage with which he dealt. The name of the coder in question was Koca, who was not called as a witness. The relevant part of production 1061 is as follows:
-
Intestell 206
Flug Nr. KM180
Kodierzeit
Beginn 1304
Ende 1310
Cont. Nr. --
Wag. 1
Kodierer Name Koca

That record bears to show that one wagon of baggage from KM180 was coded at station 206 in V3 between 1304 and 1310. It was suggested that the figure for the completion of coding might be 1316, but Mr Schreiner preferred the reading 1310, which is more consistent with what can be seen on the document. There is also documentary evidence (production 1062) that the aircraft used for PA103A arrived from Vienna (as flight PA124) and was placed at position 44, from which it left for London at 1653.
I'm not sure why container no. is blank or how significant that is. As per the highlighted part, the accepted coding time is six minutes, and would be twelve if we take the 0 as a 6. I'm not sure which makes more sense. By 1310/16 then, this item was coded, but no earlier than 1304. Erac's records show a bag being checked at 1307, so that's a fit for when KM180's bags were being coded. Give or take clock discrepancies on one end or the other. Her records show this was at container no. B8849, Koscha's doesn't say where. That's a maybe fit so far. It was kept at a store, HS33 for two hours until moved at 1517 to gate B044 and loaded for the 1653 departure. Six hours then, this item was in the system at FA.

Also, it seems odd that Koscha and Koca are such similar names. One was called as a witness, the other not. It's probably nothing.

But anyway, records are apparently there and indicate a possible connection, but there seem to be some conclusions leapt to, and there are strong counter-points to consider...

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Old 6th October 2009, 02:48 AM   #8
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Here's an interesting passage from The Trail of the Octopus.

Quote:
Apart from the inherent improbability that trained intelligence agents would simply add an armed suitcase bomb tagged for New York-JFK to a pile of international luggage waiting to be loaded in Luqa and then trust to luck that, unescorted, the bomb would get through the baggage-handling and security arrangements of two other major airports and be loaded aboard the target aircraft before the timer triggered an explosion, there remained the problem with the provenance and reliability of the Frankfurt baggage-list that was said to have identified the suitcase in the first place.

Apart from the inherent improbability that the Lockerbie investigators never thought to ask for it, that it was left to a clerk to print out a copy on her own initiative before the computer wiped the record, only to return weeks later from holiday to find that still no one ad asked for it, and that the BKA, after being given the list, sat on it for months before passing it along to the Scottish police, there remained the problem of the FBI teletype which left open the possibility that no such bag from Malta was ever loaded on Flight 103.

According to this five-page document, sent from the US Embassy in Bonn to the FBI director on 23 October 1989, 'From the information available from the Frankfurt airport records, there is no concrete indication that any piece of baggage was unloaded from Air Malta 180, sent through the luggage routing system at Frankfurt airport and then loaded on board Pan Am 103.'

The baggage computer entry 'does not indicate the origin of the bag which was sent for loading on board Pan Am 103. Nor does it indicate that the bag was actually loaded on Pan Am 103. It indicates only that a bag of unknown origin was sent from Coding Station 206 at 1:07 p.m. to a position from which it was supposed to be loaded on Pan Am 103.'

The handwritten record kept at Coding Station 206 was no more explicit. According to the teletype, 'the handwritten duty sheet indicates only that the luggage was unloaded from Air Malta 180. There is no indication how much baggage was unloaded or where the luggage was sent.' On the agent's reading of the evidence, 'there remains the possibility that no luggage was transferred from Air Malta 180 to Pan Am 103 and that a piece of luggage was simply introduced at Coding Station 206.'

The teletype also disclosed that, on a guided tour of the baggage area in September 1989, Detective Inspector Watson McAteer and FBI Special Agent Lawrence G. Whitaker had actually seen this happen. They had 'observed an individual approach Coding Station 206 with a single piece of luggage, place the luggage in a luggage container, encode a destination into the computer and leave without making any notation on a duty sheet'. From this they concluded that a rogue suitcase could have been 'sent to Pan Am 103 either before or after the unloading of Air Malta 180'.

Although one government-inspired commentator tried later to dismiss the FBI teletype as 'an early memo ... that sketched one possible scenario, as of October 1989', and which subsequent everlts had rendered 'irrelevant' and 'pointless', it was less easy to reject the categorical denials by Air Malta, the airport staff at Luqa, the Maltese police and the Maltese government that any unaccompanied bag had been sent to Frankfurt on 21 December 1988, or, indeed, that any Maltese connection with the Lockerbie bombing had been established at all, other than that the clothing in the suitcase bomb had apparently originated on the island.

The plot thickens.

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Last edited by Rolfe; 6th October 2009 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 6th October 2009, 03:22 AM   #9
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you can make a plausible case for the bag to be introduced at Frankfurt. You can equaly make a plausible case for the bag being introduced at Heathrow.

Quote:
The Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands has heard witnesses questioning baggage handling procedures at Heathrow Airport.

...

The special court at Camp Zeist was told on Thursday that baggage was sometimes left unattended because of workload and during refurbishment.

One witness, a former Pan Am employee, admitted that anyone wearing a uniform and a pass could have been in the area and would not necessarily have been challenged.
[link]

There is no case at all for a Malta ingestion, I am still stunned that the Zeist trial judges took this view.
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Old 6th October 2009, 05:19 AM   #10
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I'm trying to do the devil's advocate thing here, folks, but it's gettin' hard. Cain't I gets a little help? Judges and police and FBIs believed this stuff and passed out indictments and convictions over it, and no one at this forum can stand up for it and explain what we're missing here?

To clarify from above, 39 passengers 55 bags. All accounted for unless Air Malta are liars.

Quote:
Apart from the inherent improbability that trained intelligence agents would simply add an armed suitcase bomb tagged for New York-JFK to a pile of international luggage waiting to be loaded in Luqa and then trust to luck that, unescorted, the bomb would get through the baggage-handling and security arrangements of two other major airports and be loaded aboard the target aircraft before the timer triggered an explosion,
IMO apart from that we need consider nothing else, but it's good that we're more rigorous than that. Great excerpt, I'd missed it only searching for Erac by name.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia
There is no case at all for a Malta ingestion, I am still stunned that the Zeist trial judges took this view.
Here's another one, on what they did and didn't accept.
from point 28:
Quote:
There was evidence from two witnesses, Roland O'Neill, the load master for PA103A, and Monika Diegmuller, a check-in supervisor, that there was a reconciliation of interline passengers and baggage, but there was overwhelming evidence to the contrary and their evidence on this point is not acceptable. The evidence that there was no reconciliation came from Herbert Leuniger, PanAm's director at Frankfurt, and Wolf Krommes, a duty station manager with PanAm.
They may have had good grounds here, there may be politics. But two people said there was a check and no bags came on unaccompanied.
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Old 6th October 2009, 05:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
There is no case at all for a Malta ingestion, I am still stunned that the Zeist trial judges took this view.

Me too. It's jaw-dropping. If you read the judgement, there are some aspects where they present what seems to me to be a rather slanted take on the evidence, making it look better than it really is for the prosecution.

The Malta ingestion theory is not one of them. It's perfectly clear from the actual Court judgement that there's no case at all for a Malta ingestion. They actually say that "this is a major difficulty for the prosecution". And then they go on to declare that it must have been introduced at Malta after all.

It seems they have decided that the contents of Mrs. Erac's printout prove conclusively that a bag must have been introduced at Malta. I simply cannot see how the evidence on that printout, taken together with the ancillary evidence of the worksheets and so on, can possibly bear that interpretation. They may suggest that it might have been introduced there, but by no stretch of the imagination do they constitute conclusive proof. The bag could have been routed through that coding station from another flight. Or it could have been slipped into the system right there by a terrorist working under cover. If it was routed from another flight, there's no real reason to suppose it had anything to do with the bomb - it could have been a completely innocent piece of luggage.

None of these possibilities was given serious consideration. Instead, the judges ruled that it was the bomb, and that it must have come on KM180, despite the complete absence of any evidence of shenenigans associated with KM180, and in fact the great difficulty of seeing how any shenanigans could have been pulled at that end.

Frankly, it seems to me that their logic actually went, well, we know Megrahi did it, and we know Megrahi was at Luqa airport that morning, so it must have gone on at Malta. (Even if the alleged accomplice was nowhere near the place, no other potential accomplice was identified, we all agree it couldn't be done without an accomplice, and in fact all the evidence from the Malta end indicates it wasn't done.)

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
you can make a plausible case for the bag to be introduced at Frankfurt. You can equaly make a plausible case for the bag being introduced at Heathrow.

[link]

Hmmm, I don't entirely agree. I think there's a paradox here. Most of the prominent CTs have the bomb being introduced at Frankfurt, usually by way of infiltration of the existing drug-smuggling system, and substituting the bomb bag for a case of drugs, knowing that the identified drugs shipments were being given the nod through security.

However, there are quite a lot of things wrong with this scenario, starting with the apparent fact that the drugs were actually on the plane, and found in a field. Also, while it's clear the Frankfurt baggage system could have been infiltrated, we have no evidence (apart from that stray luggage tray mentioned above, which could have been perfectly legit) of anything untoward happening at Frankfurt.

In contrast the evidence for something having been introduced at Heathrow is much stronger, unless Mr. Bedford is a fantasist of the first water, and Mr. Manly hallucinated the sawn-off padlock.

This has a bearing on the nature of the device used. If the standard-issue Jibril ordnance was the culprit, it would have had to have been introduced at Heathrow. If it was introduced at Frankfurt, something more sophisticated would have been needed, to prevent detonation on the first leg of the flight. A timer of the MST-13 type would therefore make sense.

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Old 6th October 2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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Paul Foot's account of the Frankfurt baggage evidence and the Erac printout is probably the clearest of any available. This is the relevant extract from the Private Eye report. (I hope this extract encourages people to shell out for the whole thing; it really is very well written and presented indeed.)

Originally Posted by Paul Foot
For if the bomb suitcase did not go on the flight from Malta, then that was the end of the prosecution case. The connection of the bomb to Malta was an absolutely necessary condition for the entire prosecution.

There was however some evidence that an unaccompanied bag from the flight from Malta was loaded at Frankfurt onto Pan Am 103A to Heathrow. This evidence was seized on by the prosecution, and became the lynch-pin of their case.

It depended on two pieces of paper. The first was a worksheet of the operator who coded the baggage from the Malta flight into the computerised baggage system at Frankfurt. This man’s name was Koca. He was crucial to the prosecution case, and was listed as a prosecution witness, but was not called to give evidence. No explanation for Koca’s mysterious absence from the witness box was offered by the prosecution.

Koca’s worksheet showed that he started coding the bags from the Malta flight at 13.04 on the afternoon of 21 December 1988. The time he finished coding the bags was, and still is, a mystery. Mr Koca’s handwriting was so vague that the finishing time could have been 13.10 or 13.16. The difference between the two turned out to be crucial since the entire supposition that a bag from Malta went on the flight to Heathrow depended on the coincidence in time between Mr Koca’s worksheet and a print-out from the computerised records at Frankfurt airport.

This was printed out on the day after the Lockerbie bombing by Bogomir Erac, who was in charge of the software for the baggage system at Frankfurt. She recovered the print-out in case it revealed anything interesting about the luggage loaded on to flight 103A to Heathrow, which linked to the separate and doomed flight 103.

Mr Campbell for the prosecution explained: “The printout shows that at 13.07 on 21 December 1988, tray number 8849 was coded in at a coding station with reference number S0009. The interpretation document shows that reference number S0009 means coding station 206. Each tray holds one piece of luggage. From that it may therefore be concluded that a bag from KM 180 (the Maltese flight) was transferred as an interline bag from KM 180 through the computerised baggage system to Pan Am 103A. As all the passengers recovered their luggage and none were booked for onward travel to the United States, it may be concluded that the bag was an unaccompanied bag.”

Note that the assumption the mystery bag 8849 was unaccompanied was based on the assumption that it had come in on KA180 - and as all bags from KA180 were picked up by their owners, and nobody on that flight reported any missing luggage, then it must have been unaccompanied. However, if it actually came from a different flight, it could easily have been normal accompanied luggage.

Originally Posted by Paul Foot
Perhaps naturally, Mr Campbell did not emphasise that his conclusion, so vital to his case, depended entirely on the coincidence in timing between the bags from Malta being coded at station 206 in between 13.04 and 13.10 or 13.16 and a bag for Pan Am 103A being coded at the same station at 13.07. This was the coincidence in timing that convinced not only the prosecution in 2000, but the Dumfries and Galloway police, the CIA and the Sunday Times eleven years earlier so soon after the bombing.

There were clothes in the bomb suitcase that had been bought in Malta – and here, apparently, was proof on a computer at Frankfurt that an unaccompanied bag from a flight from Malta had been transferred at Frankfurt on to a feeder flight to the plane that ended up in pieces round Lockerbie.

There were however huge holes in the coincidence that depended upon such split-second timing. Mr Taylor for Megrahi emphasised the point that no one could say what kind of bag had gone on 103A at Frankfurt, or even whether it was a bag at all. It could have been a wine crate or a set of golf clubs. Nothing in the computer system described the bag on tray number 8849.

The only proof that it had come from Malta was the time it was encoded – 13.07. The whole proposition, said Taylor, depended “on your Lordships accepting a degree of accuracy in relation to documentation, time recording and work practices, none of which are warranted”. The whole theory depended on the exact and coincidental accuracy of the computer clock at Frankfurt airport and the watches of the coders from which they took the times they entered on their worksheets. The picture was made all the more confusing by the absence of Mr Koca – the witness who was directly involved.

Mr Taylor spent much of 12 January 2001, the second day of his four-day submissions, showing in the most meticulous detail how the timings on the coders’ worksheets could go wrong, or how the computer clock could slip out of line with the coders’ watches. Staff at Frankfurt airport in December 1988 were under great pressure to shift luggage fast, and the coders were far more interested in the destination of luggage than in where it had come from. Even the slightest discrepancy in time, he argued, could ruin the coincidence on which the prosecution relied, and could jeopardise the possibility that a bag from the Maltese flight went on to 103A.

Methodically, Mr Taylor examined both possible end-times for the coding of bags from the Maltese flight. If the endtime was 13.10, he said, and the coder’s watch or clock was “fast by one or more minute, then the encoding for KM 180 will have concluded by the time the entry was made”. If, on the other hand, the end-time was 13.16 this left a gaping hole in time when other bags may have been encoded through the same station that did not come from Malta at all.

Indeed, another flight, from Damascus, had arrived at Frankfurt at almost the same time as the Malta flight. Most of the bags from Damascus had gone to coding stations 202 and 207. And one-and-a-half wagons of luggage from that flight could not be accounted for. “It seems a not unreasonable inference,” concluded Mr Taylor, “that some of this baggage, even if only half a wagon, was encoded at station 206 between 13.04 and 13.16.” In other words, if the coding of bags from Malta was finished at 13.10, it took only a tiny discrepancy in clocks and watches to ensure that all the bags had been coded by the time the suspect bag went through the system. If it did not end until 13.16 there was every likelihood that other bags from other flights were being coded, any one of which could have ended up on flight 103A. To back up this reasoning, Mr Taylor referred again and again to the voluminous evidence of baggage handlers and supervisors at Frankfurt airport to the effect that mistakes, especially small mistakes in timings of the type that would have destroyed the prosecution case, were commonplace.

The mention of Damascus is interesting here, because Damascus runs all through The Trail of the Octopus. It's the centre for the sanctioned drug-running operation it is claimed was infiltrated by the bombers to get the bomb on board without security inspection (known drug-running suitcases being ignored by prior arrangement).

It still seems unlikely to me that any terrorist would launch an unaccompanied bag so far up the line, to take its chances on three flights and three sets of security inspections. However, if such a scenario is being considered, the possibility that some other incoming flight to Frankfurt (or even to Heathrow) was involved also needs to be considered. I don't think it ever was. First it was, look at Frankfurt because the PFLP-GC is based there, then it was, look at Malta because of these clothes. But by that criterion it could have come in from anywhere, and nobody seems to have looked.

Originally Posted by Paul Foot
Even if such an interline bag from Malta had got through the coding station at Frankfurt, it would have been x-rayed by staff who were on special alert for explosive devices packed in electronic equipment. The man running the x-ray machine was Kurt Maier. He was ill, so his evidence was given to the court through his statements. These confirmed, as did his colleagues that a) he was a careful operator and b) that on 21 December 1988 he had been warned to look out for electronic devices such as Toshiba cassette recorders.

His equipment could identify recorders and any explosive packed into them. He x-rayed all the interline baggage which was loaded on Pan Am103A, but did not see anything remarkable enough to make him stop the machine and call his supervisor. So even if a bag that apparently never left Malta arrived in Frankfurt and was coded into a station for Pan Am 103A to London, it would still have had to pass the vigilant eye of an x-ray specialist at Frankfurt who had recently been instructed of the dangers of explosives packed in Toshiba cassette recorders.

The Court judgement holds that Maier was untrained and wouldn't have known what to look for. It's not clear that the actual evidence bears this out. Foot seems to imply that he would have pulled anything that appeared to be a radio-cassette recorder out to be hand-searched, if he'd seen such a thing. He wouldn't have needed to know what Semtex looked like on an x-ray to do that.

If the thing went on at Frankfurt (or went through Frankfurt), the theories that involve inside help to circumvent security (whether the help thought the bag was heroin or know it was more than that) seem to have more inherent plausibility.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th October 2009, 04:00 PM   #13
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Something else I don't get about all this. This account has Mr. Taylor, Megrahi's advocate, doing a very good job on that evidence. And yet there has been enormous (and apparently entirely justified) criticism of the defence on many other points, where they either ignored Megrahi's instructions, failed to lead evidence that would have been favourable to him, or ignored lines of argument that would have undermined the prosecution's case. Here's the latest installment, published only a couple of days ago.

Very strange.

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Old 6th October 2009, 04:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If you read the judgement, there are some aspects where they present what seems to me to be a rather slanted take on the evidence, making it look better than it really is for the prosecution.

The Malta ingestion theory is not one of them. It's perfectly clear from the actual Court judgement that there's no case at all for a Malta ingestion. They actually say that "this is a major difficulty for the prosecution". And then they go on to declare that it must have been introduced at Malta after all.
Decoded: "be aware we are bailing you people out here."

Quote:
It seems they have decided that the contents of Mrs. Erac's printout prove conclusively that a bag must have been introduced at Malta. I simply cannot see how the evidence on that printout, taken together with the ancillary evidence of the worksheets and so on, can possibly bear that interpretation. They may suggest that it might have been introduced there, but by no stretch of the imagination do they constitute conclusive proof.
I can say, if I felt the other evidence was fairly tight and i genuinely expected this bag made such a journey, I'd presume the link from KM180 to PA103A. It's doesn't seem an outlandish possibility that that cart wound up at just the right station at the right time. But with questions over the timer fragment's handling and alleged logic of deployment, given the ambiguities in Gauci's testimony, the known fabrications of Giaka (which wound up essentially true anyway to the judges), and the logic again of trying to sneak the bomb in this way, and indeed, the jaw just drops that they found this leap self-evident.

Quote:
The bag could have been routed through that coding station from another flight. Or it could have been slipped into the system right there by a terrorist working under cover. If it was routed from another flight, there's no real reason to suppose it had anything to do with the bomb - it could have been a completely innocent piece of luggage.

None of these possibilities was given serious consideration. Instead, the judges ruled that it was the bomb, and that it must have come on KM180, despite the complete absence of any evidence of shenenigans associated with KM180, and in fact the great difficulty of seeing how any shenanigans could have been pulled at that end.
I disagree with emphasizing could, until I know way more than I ever will. But otherwise agreed. Also I'm agreed Heathrow has a stronger case, and Frankfurt may have been fingered to distract from that. Ex, didn't Juval Aviv make the case it was the PFLPG folks who did it, which is consistent with their bombs loaded at Heathrow, but then insists it was loaded in Frankfurt? Maybe I have that wrong.

Anyway, it seems the "grave damage to the Scottish justice system" so feared if this case ever unraveled, was done long ago. It's just not widely known yet. Better to get it out in the open and work through it than to keep it wept under the rug.
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Old 6th October 2009, 05:37 PM   #15
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Uh, on the subject of Jibril getting the bomb on at Frankfurt, see my post in the timer thread.

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Old 6th October 2009, 11:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by me
By 1310/16 then, this item was coded, but no earlier than 1304. Erac's records show a bag being checked at 1307, so that's a fit for when KM180's bags were being coded. Give or take clock discrepancies on one end or the other. Her records show this was at container no. B8849 station 206, Koscha's Koca's doesn't say where. That's a maybe fit so far. It was kept at a store, HS33 for two hours until moved at 1517 to gate B044 and loaded for the 1653 departure.
corrections. And again, that's just what the paperwork was read as showing.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Paul Foot's account of the Frankfurt baggage evidence and the Erac printout is probably the clearest of any available. This is the relevant extract from the Private Eye report. (I hope this extract encourages people to shell out for the whole thing; it really is very well written and presented indeed.)
You could get better about dropping teasers rather than whole chapter-things. It's great stuff, now I finally get to understand the red tarpaulin story, and see what Dr Fieldhouse looks like, etc. Realy helps get a handle on the thing. To nitpick, it is sort of a collection of articles more than a connected book, but then that makes it easier to research, going bit-by-bit, as we're doing here.

And so sticking to this bit, and Foot's contribution, well, there it is. Dunn about the Maier story, if it's true or not, but does argue against frankfurt ingestion, bag from Malta or no. The rest, good.

Quote:
Something else I don't get about all this. This account has Mr. Taylor, Megrahi's advocate, doing a very good job on that evidence. And yet there has been enormous (and apparently entirely justified) criticism of the defence on many other points, where they either ignored Megrahi's instructions, failed to lead evidence that would have been favourable to him, or ignored lines of argument that would have undermined the prosecution's case. Here's the latest installment, published only a couple of days ago.
Great! I was waiting for that stuff, got it now, will read later. http://www.megrahimystory.net/
Indeed, Taylor goes into great detail as I've already seen and Foot confirms. It's a pretty good spot to build reasonable doubt on top of. But we've seen the stubborn power of conviction where they were inclined to downplay doubts and make the possible connection definite. Doing so after these elaborate efforts to remind them what they were ignoring, man... nothing could convince these guys. They even held onto Giaka's evidence after being forced to officially rule it out.

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Old 7th October 2009, 02:16 PM   #17
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I've been re-reading the OP here, and I think CL brought up a number of issues we haven't really touched on yet. (Time to get back to the actual evidence, away from suggestions that the entire suitcase and its contents were fabricated!)

Is there really any evidence to support the suggestion that the bomb went on at Luqa?

Is there any significance to Fhimah's diary entry about luggage "tags" or "taggs"?

What about Megrahi being in Luqa airport that day on a "coded" passport and not giving any explanation?

What about the story of the way round the security at Luqa (by going through the ladies' toilets?) and could Megrahi have done that without an accomplice?

Why was the Air Malta checkin girl not asked at the trial whether she'd seen Fhimah at the airport that day?

Enquiring minds want to know.

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Old 7th October 2009, 04:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I've been re-reading the OP here, and I think CL brought up a number of issues we haven't really touched on yet. (Time to get back to the actual evidence, away from suggestions that the entire suitcase and its contents were fabricated!)

Is there really any evidence to support the suggestion that the bomb went on at Luqa?

Is there any significance to Fhimah's diary entry about luggage "tags" or "taggs"?
That was the point I was about to come back to. As an enticement to anyone who might step in and try debunking, there is this curious evidence against the second accused, Fhimah. He was found not guilty, but there is the danging diary entries:
Quote:
[84] We deal first with the second accused. The principal piece of evidence against him comes from two entries in his 1988 diary. This was recovered in April 1991 from the offices of Medtours, a company which had been set up by the second accused and Mr Vassallo. At the back of the diary there were two pages of numbered notes. The fourteenth item on one page is translated as “Take/collect tags from the airport (Abdulbaset/Abdussalam)”. The word ‘tags’ was written in English, the remainder in Arabic. On the diary page for 15 December there was an entry, preceded by an asterisk, “Take taggs from Air Malta”, and at the end of that entry in a different coloured ink “OK”. Again the word ‘taggs’ (sic) was in English. The Crown maintained that the inference to be drawn from these entries was that the second accused had obtained Air Malta interline tags for the first accused, and that as an airline employee he must have known that the only purpose for which they would be required was to enable an unaccompanied bag to be placed on an aircraft.
http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/library...ejudgement.pdf

Why else would this guy be writing about picking up tags? If you think this is a strong point, speak on up and support it. For a sneak peak at the rebuttal you'll get, check Dispatches, about 1/3 through. In short - he worked in the airline/travel business and had different business with luggage tags. Discount the other possibilities and get us all to where the Crown was when they decided "the inference to be drawn" that "as an airline employee he must have known that the only purpose for which they would be required was to enable an unaccompanied bag to be placed on an aircraft." Worth a try, eh?

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Old 7th October 2009, 05:52 PM   #19
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I hadn't seen the Dispatches programme before. My God, who hasn't made a documentary about this?

It's far more informative about Thurman, Bollier and the fragment though.

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Old 7th October 2009, 06:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Unfortunately that didn't work for me an my Mac. Just got a frozen computer for ten minutes till it finished loading a page of gibberish.
You need to option-click on the link to force it to download instead of displaying in a browser window -- ouch! Right-click or control-click will give you a contextual menu with a choice to "download" or "save linked file", depending on the browser.

HTH.
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Old 7th October 2009, 10:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by leonAzul View Post
You need to option-click on the link to force it to download instead of displaying in a browser window -- ouch! Right-click or control-click will give you a contextual menu with a choice to "download" or "save linked file", depending on the browser.

HTH.

Pretty sure that's the second thing I did and downloaded a txt file full of gibberish as well. I'll find it or not, not much use to have my own copies anyway unless I'm going to import and edit them into my own video, which I'd do except the time/benefit/possible trouble ratio isn't quite right.
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Old 8th October 2009, 11:11 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Pretty sure that's the second thing I did and downloaded a txt file full of gibberish as well. I'll find it or not, not much use to have my own copies anyway unless I'm going to import and edit them into my own video, which I'd do except the time/benefit/possible trouble ratio isn't quite right.
Strange,it works here. I can temporarily put it on my FTP server,so it should always download correctly.
(But it has awfull quality...)
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Old 9th October 2009, 01:37 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Strange,it works here. I can temporarily put it on my FTP server,so it should always download correctly.
(But it has awfull quality...)
You are the unchallenged royal sovereign of downloading and uploading things. All I probably have to do is reset my crackers or what it is, but I seen it already. I'm letting it go...

So on Fhimah and his "Taggs," the folks at Dispatches readthe diaryi in question and found the counter-claim seemed borne out: he was talking about taking some sample tags to a new printer on Malta, presumably an english speaking one.

On another issue, what the records of the airport show - another correction to what's above - somehow I didn't see Koca's paperwork clearly listing "206" as the "Intestell," so that's why no one else had made a deal about his final station left blank. It wasn't, and it does link up pretty well with Erac's printout. You can call it ambiguous all you want, but I'll be darned if 206 at 1304-1310-16 is pretty close to 206 at 1307. Either one of these is false, or there's a pretty major time error, or greater uncertainty about how many things were going on at 206, or we have a pretty compelling possible link.

On that, I have my doubts about the authenticity of the half touching 103A. I just finished a blog post about it: the main thing I've latched on, since I just noticed it and find it interesting, is how she's given different stories about how she got this paper:

Quote:
VERSION ONE: GATHERING EVIDENCE
...
Having “realised that PA103A had departed during her period on duty,” the Court summarized therein, Erac “was interested in the amount of baggage on the Frankfurt flight, and on the following morning she decided to take a printout of the information as to baggage held on the computer.” She was looking for "any useful information," but "did not at once identify any.” She could not likely know what this data did or didn’t say without other data sources, and she did not hand it over to those who could put it in context, so its vital clues lingered unrealized.

...Paul Foot...:
“This was printed out on the day after the Lockerbie bombing by Bogomir Erac, who was in charge of the software for the baggage system at Frankfurt. She recovered the print-out in case it revealed anything interesting about the luggage loaded on to flight 103A to Heathrow, which linked to the separate and doomed flight 103.”
... Richard Marquise; “more for curiosity than anything else, she kept it in her desk for about three weeks. She was later asked by her supervisor to look for baggage records in the computer, but they were purged every week.” ...
A week should have been plenty time to retrieve thiis valuable info, or for the airport to realize they could keep a copy for thos flight or this day, IN CASE anyone came asking. The supervisor only asks two weeks after it was all erased, except the luck copy that breaks the case... hmmm....

Quote:
VERSION TWO: OUT OF MEMORY
The Conspiracy Files. 2008 ... “We usually destroyed all the printouts. And I was just about ready to do that with this one,” the “diligent” Mrs. Erac told the camera ... Had she simply forgotten that she had specifically printed this one for factual reference? But of course she didn’t clear out this deadwood; “on the spur of the moment, I just picked it up and put it on the table,” perhaps remembering why it existed. She then decided to hold onto it for sentimental reasons “in memory of the people who were on the plane." With moist eyes scanning towards Gott in Himmel she recalls this, “and then I threw it in my locker.”

In this version, it wasn’t until much later that she changed gears on the issue; “the weeks went by and to Bogomira’s surprise, no one came to ask for the printout,” the video’s narration runs. “Realizing it could be useful, she eventually went to her supervisor.” Having reversed the initiative for the meeting from that reported above, Erac next has the supervisor protesting “but the baggage list doesn’t exist anymore!” When she handed it over, “he was very, very surprised.”
I'd be as surprised if the truth is much like what we've been told here. Either time. So is this just fading memory? I suspect so. Memory of actual events though, or of which story she told before?

I have one big question I'd like to pose to any experts here: precisely which records tracking the baggage were these that got deleted, in both bits and pulp? Because some records - like the Koca and Schreiner logs showing where KM180's bags went, had no strange back story. They were simply kept because that's what logs are for. Why the different policy re: what was loaded to PA103A?

ETA: Rolfe did already say above:
Quote:
Mrs. Erac's story is very peculiar. She says on the BBC programme that she was about to destroy the printout, but then kept it "in memory of the people that had died on that flight". Other places she's credited with having realised it might have evidental value, and keeping it for that reason on her own initiative. However, nobody seems to have even tried to retain or acquire these reconrds in an official capacity, and she went on holiday and didn't volunteer the information until much later.
So after looking at a few sources and discovering these patterns myself, this is an excellent summation of the main problems. These points scream to me plant, backdated, cover-up, etc., more than ambiguous, out-of-synch, uncertain. But then, the screaming option isn't always the right one.

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Old 9th October 2009, 06:00 AM   #24
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I'm not sure who it is who thinks that Lockerbie is near the coast, but it isn't. It's quite a way inland. I think that's important, because it shows how very far off-beam anyone was who was trrying to lose the evidence in Davy Jones's Locker.

Rolfe.

ETA: It's not all that far from the Solway Firth, I suppose, but as the plane was flying, it would have been over land for a good long way past Lockerbie before it crossed the coastline.
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Old 9th October 2009, 07:00 AM   #25
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One point which is worth emphasising here is the role of baggage container AVE4041. It was established quite quickly that this was the container the bomb suitcase had been in - I think the first bits of the container were brought in on Christmas Eve. It was then possible to determine the source of the bags that had gone into that container.

Bedford's evidence was obviously crucial here, though I'm not sure when it was taken, or what hard-copy records existed of which baggage container held what. Anyway, it was established that no luggage checked in by passengers who began their journeys at Heathrow had been in that container. That seems to me to the the source of the very early claims that "the suitcase almost certainly did not originate at Heathrow". I imagine that was a big relief to the investigators. The Brits didn't much like the idea that the principal airport of the UK might have let something like that past its security.

Bedford testified that he had put about five interline bags into AVE4041 earlier in the afternoon, before PA103A landed from Frankfurt. These were cases belonging to people who were transferring on to PA103 at Heathrow from earlier flights operated by airlines other than Pan Am. I don't know which airports these originated from.

Then we have the saga of the "Bedford suitcase", or rather suitcases, because there were two. They materialised inside the container while he was on his break, and one of them was a brown Samsonite hardshell - the only positive sighting of a brown Samsonite hardshell in the entire story apart from the actual bomb suitcase. Kamboj said he had put them there after x-raying them - or that was what Bedford said, but Kamboj (initially at least) denied any memory of this.

After that, the container was taken out to where PA103A had just landed, and filled up with bags from that plane.

So I see why they were concentrating on Frankfurt, because most of the bags in AVE4041 were from Frankfurt. Another thing that got them concentrating on Frankfurt was that the pattern of damage to the baggage container suggested that the bomb suitcase had not been on the floor of the container, but most probably in the second layer from the bottom. It was assumed that the first bags loaded, the interline ones and the two mystery items, would have been on the bottom layer.

And for another thing, the activities of Jibril's group in Frankfurt were known about, and the connection was seen as irresistible in the early stages. Except, were they remembering that with the technology Jibril had been using, anything loaded at Frankfurt would have exploded over France?

Nevertheless, there were these few bags interlined at Heathrow, and the two mystery suitcases, one of which matched the description of the bomb suitcase. They seem to have been dismissed on the grounds that as they were loaded first, they would have been on the bottom layer, and the explosion was one layer up. However, the initial position of the "Bedford suitcase" placed it very near the position of the explosion, and the question was asked, why hadn't it been identified in the wreckage? The other cases surrounding the bomb suitcase were identified from the pattern of damage, and their owners known.

At this point the judges seem to have handwaved the whole thing away. Well, maybe the cases were rearranged in the container when the Frankfurt baggage was being loaded, ended up at the other end from the bomb suitcase, and as it suffered no blast damage, simply didn't come to the attention of the investigators.



Wait a minute! First, the Bedford suitcase couldn't have been the exploding one, because it was in the bottom layer, and the explosion was one layer up. But second, maybe the suitcases were rearranged while the PA103A baggage was being transferred.



One thing that struck me was that John Bedford described how he loaded the interline baggage. He put the cases on their spines, with the handles pointing inwards. He said that was his usual practice. However, all other discussion about the container seems to have been assuming that the cases were all laid flat.

I've never seen this discussed, but the implication that the interline bags must have been rearranged by the handlers dealing with PA103A seem inescapable. If the cases would eventually lie flat, why didn't Bedford lay them that way to start with? No idea, but he didn't. (OK, maybe it was to allow the tags to be checked more easily if necessary, as these would be round the handles.) They must have been laid flat at a later stage, presumably when the Frankfurt baggage was being added.

So which is more likley? That the brown Samsonite hardshell "Bedford" suitcase was taken right to the other end of the container, maybe several layers up, and another very similar brown Samsonite hardshell from Frankfurt (which just happened to contain 450g of Semtex) was placed very close to where it had been, but on the second layer - or that the Bedford suitcase was laid down pretty much where it had been all along, but on top of one of the Frankfurt bags, when the container was being packed and the interline cases positioned flat instead of on their spines?

But everybody seems awfully keen on handwaving this away, and instead finding reasons to believe the bomb came through from Frankfurt.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th October 2009, 01:16 PM   #26
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Interesting stuff above, Rolfe. I haven't looked at the evidence and stories from Heathrow much, and now it's Friday, which means no time today. It adds to the questions worth considering, on top of the Frankfurt ones. We have paperwork showing KM180 arrives, not destroyed. We have papers showing its luggage taken to 206, on file. And the data showing where 103A's luggage came from, destroyed, purged, only the one unofficial copy from Erac' locker and on her word as to how it was printed. If Frankfurt is a distraction, as may be, this is part of the suspicion inducement, cause it looks suspicious.
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Old 9th October 2009, 02:59 PM   #27
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It's not that surprising that Frankfurt would routinely dump its luggage transfer computer records, in 1988. Compare the post below (different thread), which completey fizzled out when it was pointed out that this happened in the 1980s.

Originally Posted by kallsop View Post
Govt-Funded Research Unit Destroyed Original Climate Data

"In mid-August the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) disclosed that it had destroyed the raw data for its global surface temperature data set because of an alleged lack of storage space."

As we all know, a couple of USB flash drives would have busted the storage budget wide open LOL. What do you think - incompetence, or destroying inconvenient data?

We're so used to gigabytes and terabytes of storage space, we forget what it was like in the dark ages. And this was ephemeral trivia, not research data. Paper (which is quite possibly all they had at Luqa in 1988) would have had a better chance of surviving, as it's cheap and not really reusable. The computer system at Frankfurt wouldn't have been designed to keep data, and it would be dumped to reuse the storage discs.

That's not the unlikely bit. The rest of it is the unlikely bit.

Were printouts made routinely, for all flights? And Mrs. Erac simply kept this one when she realised its connotations? That behaviour isn't all that unlikely, actually. It was her personal connection to the tragedy. (I've still got the lab report I wrote on the blood sample from the Thames whale!) So she might have kept it without thinking much about evidential value.

Or were the records not normally printed out at all? Obviously the facility existed to do a printout, so it must have been something that was done from time to time, but maybe only in special circumstances, maybe trying to trace lost bags. So maybe Mrs. Erac made the printout specifically because of the fate of PA103, but again for sentimental reasons. It's still quite feasible. People do these things.

This would at least explain why she sat on the thing for so long. If she hadn't been thinking about its evidential value, she wouldn't necessarily have gone running to the bosses at once, or even thought much about it when nobody came looking for it. She hersalf may not really remember whether she printed it off or just saved an existing printout, it's been 20 years for goodness sake.

She might also not remember her motivation. But note that the version we have from her own lips is the "in memory of" version. I wonder whether the other versions were assumptions? I mean, if you were writing this up, and hadn't heard a reason stated, you'd be pretty likely to assume she'd kept it as possible evidence. Even Paul Foot, who's usually very accurate, might have assumed that.

What I'm really saying is that if she was actually thinking about evidence, then it's very difficult to understand why she didn't volunteer the information sooner. However, if it was just a sentimental moment, the keeping of a memento that connected her to a huge international event, maybe not so much.

The harder part to understand is the attitude of the Frankfurt authorities. Possibly. Maid of the Seas went down on the evening of 21st December. The first bit of blast-damaged baggage container was found on 24th December - three days gone already. How long did it take them to figure out that that container was mainly filled by bags from Frankfurt? Might have taken another 4 days to make that connection - especially at Christmas, with staff who might need to be questioned possibly on holiday. So it could easily have been a week before the spotlight began to shine directly on Frankfurt.

Before then, was there any blanket instruction to any airport that might have sent a feeder flight in the general direction of Heathrow on 21st December to save all records? Maybe there should have been, but I've not heard of anything. Failing that, it would require an local initiative to secure the evidence. You'd think any airport management might have had that much sense. Especially if they knew that the principal feeder flight had indeed taken off from their turf. On the other hand, I can imagine some management types who might prefer just to keep quiet. Who really wants evidence to be found that their security let a bomb through?

So I could sort of believe Bogomira's story. She's not thinking about evidence, just about a memento. She went off on holiday. Did she half-forget she had it? Supervisor is asked about luggage records, but after the crucial seven days. Oh dear, very sorry officer, we don't keep these records. Secretly quite relieved, because he doesn't really want his airport dragged into this mess any deeper than it already is, and he'd prefer nobody got the chance to trawl the data just in case. So he doesn't go and ask any of his staff to check if anything still exists.

But the printout is lying in Bogomira's locker, and she comes across it, and belatedly, the penny drops. The Lockerbie disaster has been big big news, and looks like being bigger. By this time newspapers were talking about the PFLP-GC in this context, and hence about Frankfurt. She realises this might be real evidence, and takes it to her supervisor. OK, it just about flies.

I still find the lax attitude to securing and acquiring the Frankfurt baggage records on the part of the investigation team very surprising. And the idea that nobody at the airport was concerned enough to assist the investigation by making sure these records were retained is also a bit of a stretch.

I also find the fact that the Frankfurt police sat on the printout for a while before passing it on to the Lockerbie enquiry to be very strange. Maybe the strangest thing of all about this. This was the time when the investigation was mainly pursuing a case against Jibril's group, based in Frankfurt, and the Frankfurt police knew that. Why not hand this evidence over quickly?

However, is the "it was planted!" theory any less strange? I'm not sure. This was a computer printout, the raw data for which no longer existed. And yet, the printout exists, though hidden. Are we proposing that Bogomira never saved it at all, but (presumably at the instigation of someone involved in the Lockerbie enquiry) volunteered weeks or months later to recreate a completely convincing printout, but incorporating this one extra bag record? I'd say it's impossible. The printout had a lot of information on it, and that was inevitably going to be checked against other records. If you look at the chunk of Paul Foot I posted above, you'll see reference to other flights, and other stray bags, all apparently taken from that printout, and cross-referenced to the hand-written worksheets. I don't see how it could have been fabricated convincingly.

Or do we believe Bogomira did save the printout, for evidence or for sentiment, and was persuaded somehow to falsify it before she handed it in? Why and how, for goodness sake! Or did it all happen just as she said, but somebody else (again, someone with detailed knowledge of the Frankfurt baggage system) managed to interpolate an extra bag record at a later stage? Again, who and how? Re-type all the data, add a line, then make a new printout so similar to the original that Bogomira doesn't notice the switch? And anyway, this doesn't answer any of the anomalies. We still have Bogomira saving and concealing a printout, and the authorities not pursuing the information as hard as we'd have thought they should. We've just added an extra layer of improbability.

Sorry, I'm struggling. Trying to construct a narrative to make that printout fishy is harder than making the timer fragment planted, by a fair bit. It's a weird sequence of events, but it's not that incredible if you factor in a sentimental Bogomira and a few managers who don't want to look too hard for evidence that might implicate their place of business in a huge security lapse. I'd want to see a narrative that explains how the printout could be faked or manipulated, that's at least as internally consistent as that, before I went down that particular rabbit hole.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th October 2009, 04:38 PM   #28
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This is the interesting part of all this. I'm damn sure Megrahi didn't smuggle that suitcase on to KA180 at Malta, and neither did anyone else. Once you realise that, the whole investigation opens up. Where did it enter the system? Who put it there? How did they circumvent security? What sort of a device was it?

Did the bomb have any connection at all to the other weirdness surrounding that flight like dead CIA officers and American officials searching the ground, and evidence being interfered with and stuff being removed and possibly a missing body, and a drug-smuggling operation and heroin found on the ground and needles (or flechettes) all over the place, and people cancelling off the flight and Pik Botha getting there early enough to catch PA101 but Bernt Carlsson being delayed so that he caught PA103?

I have, right now, no idea.

What I can see, though, is a lot of misdirection. Most of it called Bollier and de Braeckeleer, but not all.

It's a classic twoofer tactic to look at an anomaly, or a coincidence, or something that in hindsight seems a bit strange, and insist that there's something sinister behind it. Right now, over in 9/11, a couple of twoofers are insisting that because Atta's bag didn't catch his connecting flight with him (a flight he had to sprint to catch), and so was found at the airport with lots of interesting contents, it's all "too convenient", and must point to fabricated evidence.

Uh, no. To make a case for fabricated evidence, you have to show a narrative that includes the how, why, when and who of that fabrication, which is internally consistent and at least as credible as the Official Version you're trying to question. I can't do that with Bogomira's printout. It's an odd story, but reasonably credible when you get down to details and motivations. Trying to figure out a way that printout could have been fabricated doesn't yield anything close to that credible. In fact, it dosn't yield anything credible at all, as far as I can see.

This is good. The more baseless speculation and doubt we can put to bed, the more we know which bits of the evidence we can rely on. And the more reliable evidence we have, the easier it will be to spot the real weak spots. Just as realising that Longtabber was full of it and there was no reason to question the Official Story as regards the bomb suitcase and its position made it easier to figure out what the bomb could have been, realising that Bogomira is probably on the level makes it easier to figure out where the mystery baggage item fits in, and gives us confidence that the printout evidence can be relied on when figuring out what, if anything, actually did happen at Frankfurt.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th October 2009, 06:06 PM   #29
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Here, if anyone wants something a bit more meaty than countering RedIbis on luggage transfers.

Bollier's web site has a directory of images, here.

http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/jpg/

It seems to include a number of diagrams claiming that the mystery baggage item at Frankfurt was actually an unaccompanied bag belonging to an airline pilot that was routed from Berlin-Tegel on to PA103A.

Here's the Erac printout.

http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/jpg/shed-1.jpg

And here are the diagrams claiming that the bag belonged to John Hubbard, pilot.

http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/jpg/gate.jpg
http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/jpg/gate44-41.gif
http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/jpg/gate44.gif
http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch/jpg/pa637.jpg

I have no idea how he worked that out or even where he got half his material from. I'm inclined to take this with a huge health warning, because we've seen him come out with wild claims that are complete rubbish, on absolutely nothing but a wild hunch. However, exploring his claims usually seems to get us somewhere, and make things clearer, even if the end result doesn't substantiate what he was suggesting.

It's way past my bed time, but if anyone else wants to have a go at this, feel free.

(I do suspect, though, that if the identity of that bag could be proved in this way, this would be part of the appeal, and yet there has been not a syllable leaked to that effect.)

Rolfe.
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Old 9th October 2009, 10:01 PM   #30
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Sorry I know it's rude to run ahead of past point, but the line is so long, sorry... quickly, awesome stuff! Trial-related primary source images... data... I will get back to it. But before I forget how I've got it in me brain now

We have handwritten standard log book entry stuff for the bags coming in and where they're routed to. numbers written in columns, signatures, 0s that could be 6s, stuff to look at and learn from. But on the other end, where stuff is loaded to leave the Airport all around the world, they don't have people keeping the same logs? It's important to know what they have and where WITHIN the airport something's going, but once its put on a plane, sorry sir, your bag could have been routed to a dozend different gates, a hundred different flights, to anywhere around half the world. ??? They rely instead on a system purged every week, with printouts either done only on a whim or routine but quickly destroyed? And this fast-moving, ephemeral, crucial system (at least in this case) wasn't even asked after until it should have all been emptied?

I went onto other points there, but the main thig is the alleged difference in records keeping. I've heard it said they focused on where luggage was going to, or somethig, but can anyone help me see how this WAS ther policy, or how it would make sense?

In short. I want to see the interline writer's sheet or equivalent, signed, for gate B044, 1523-ish time frame, when PA102A was loaded. Or a darn good reason this does not exist. I know I'll look dumb if it's well-known and I'm fuming about it but oh well.

ETA: And I'm not fuming at you obv, Rolfe, even though it is almost you and me talking here.

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Old 10th October 2009, 01:28 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by forum
Rolfe has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.
Well, scratch that then. You got some hard choices to make now, or no more PMs.

So i checked the list of images - mostly half the alphabet (??) but found copies of the actual paperwork I was referring to above. These are listed as shed 1, shed 34, and worksheet. shed 34 demo seems to be a re-working of worksheet. Some of the links were labeled gate 44, and I gulped hard before cliicking. These are made-up diagram pictures, not original documents. So AFAIK my questions above still stand. Wasn't someone there keeping a log?

The interesting graphic here lists 111 pcs baggage loaded to 103A, including ten unaccompanied bags, with origins indicated, and NONE from KM180. I wonder where they got this data?

Originally Posted by Rolfe
However, is the "it was planted!" theory any less strange? I'm not sure. This was a computer printout, the raw data for which no longer existed. And yet, the printout exists, though hidden. Are we proposing that Bogomira never saved it at all, but (presumably at the instigation of someone involved in the Lockerbie enquiry) volunteered weeks or months later to recreate a completely convincing printout, but incorporating this one extra bag record? I'd say it's impossible. The printout had a lot of information on it, and that was inevitably going to be checked against other records. If you look at the chunk of Paul Foot I posted above, you'll see reference to other flights, and other stray bags, all apparently taken from that printout, and cross-referenced to the hand-written worksheets. I don't see how it could have been fabricated convincingly.
...

Sorry, I'm struggling. Trying to construct a narrative to make that printout fishy is harder than making the timer fragment planted, by a fair bit. It's a weird sequence of events, but it's not that incredible if you factor in a sentimental Bogomira and a few managers who don't want to look too hard for evidence that might implicate their place of business in a huge security lapse. I'd want to see a narrative that explains how the printout could be faked or manipulated, that's at least as internally consistent as that, before I went down that particular rabbit hole.
I don't have a narrative handy that covers everything, but my first thought was this was just a piece of paper with numbers printed on it. Perhaps the real records were saved and then the system wiped. I'm thinking Bogomira, maybe the supervisor, one probably the main contact, the other an accomplice. Maybe a meeting on the night of the 21st with some national security attache at the embassy to set it up? Then the system is blanked, and the airpot is so embarrassed at this lapse they make up some story about this being routine. Gate 44's paperwork is disappeared, leaving NO RECORD until a few months have passed, and an analyst has had time to find the point that will fit with the other data and give them a plausible (but not too perfect) link to a Maltese Flight. It's printed up. Someone in the police seeds this in with a backstory of delays. That they admit to waiting months smells of taking some blame and some heat off the Airport people, sharing the load as it were.

These are just some possible connective tissue I'm thinking of as I go. My CT mode is finally in 4th gear on this. It may not make sense, upon closer inspection of the intricacies, but I'm just ignorant enough to see it all too clearly for now.

In the process: first hard links to what happened are removed from view. This could cover up almost anything. Later, once you've decided where you want the uprooted blame to go (Libya was app. decided by mid-89) you can get this rolling. If you do it sloppy enough, it can be picked apart for years until it's ready to die and allow round two to commence. There is little love these days for Iran and Syria.

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Old 10th October 2009, 05:50 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
This is the interesting part of all this. I'm damn sure Megrahi didn't smuggle that suitcase on to KA180 at Malta, and neither did anyone else.
Sorry,but how the hell you can dismiss it OUTRIGHT??? This is just and only your opinion and not a fact. That is fail of a post.

Airports have various security and some were easier to penetrate then others. We have poster (IIRC in original thread) who said that security was quite bad.

So far nobody had proved that Malta was not an entry point. Evidence against Megrahi maybe weak,but counterevidence is lacking as well maybe even more.

You need far more work to be done to say something like this,just to say OT is not correct.

However what I would think is possible,that terrorists missed actual target.(It was here already mentioned) It would fit quite well into whole thing...

(I am computer maniac,student of IT. I have small knowledge of said event and associated CT.)

I think you have jumped the shark.(If I used correct phrase...)
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Old 10th October 2009, 07:42 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Sorry,but how the hell you can dismiss it OUTRIGHT??? This is just and only your opinion and not a fact. That is fail of a post.

Airports have various security and some were easier to penetrate then others. We have poster (IIRC in original thread) who said that security was quite bad.

So far nobody had proved that Malta was not an entry point. Evidence against Megrahi maybe weak,but counterevidence is lacking as well maybe even more.

You need far more work to be done to say something like this,just to say OT is not correct.

However what I would think is possible,that terrorists missed actual target.(It was here already mentioned) It would fit quite well into whole thing...

(I am computer maniac,student of IT. I have small knowledge of said event and associated CT.)

I think you have jumped the shark.(If I used correct phrase...)

If you note what I said, I said "I'm damn sure". That's the conclusion I've come to from looking at the evidence. It doesn't mean I couldn't be persuaded otherwise, by someone who has access to evidence I haven't seen, or has a plausible theory that didn't occur to me. However, at the moment it's my default position. You're entirely free to disagree with me, and attempt to persuade me otherwise.

There was a poster who said that security for hand luggage was lax. That doesn't surprise me in the 1980s, when most of the security concern was to guard against unaccompanied bags. We hadn't seen the suicide bombers on planes at that time.

However, the PA103 story requires an unaccompanied suitcase in the hold of KA180. The evidence presented in court revealed nothing indicative of an unccompanied bag on that flight. It revealed no evident mechanism whereby Megrahi could have got one on. And it revealed that security for checked baggage was tight, and would have been difficult to penetrate. And it's an incontrovertible fact that the prosecution tried its damndest to crack that aspect of the case. It failed.

This is in contrast to some pretty solid evidence of a big hole in the security at Heathrow, and of a very suspicious bag exactly where it oughtn't to have been, and evidence of bags flying all over the place at Frankfurt with a clear opportunity for something to be put through a coding station there as if it had come from a connecting flight.

The court themselves said, in the verdict, that they had no clue how the bag had got on at Luqa, but on the basis of the Frankfurt baggage records (which we're now examining) they declared that, somehow, it must have happened.

Can you do better than the court?

Rolfe.
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Old 10th October 2009, 12:21 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Well, scratch that then. You got some hard choices to make now, or no more PMs.

OK, I cleared a space!

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
So i checked the list of images - mostly half the alphabet (??) but found copies of the actual paperwork I was referring to above. These are listed as shed 1, shed 34, and worksheet. shed 34 demo seems to be a re-working of worksheet. Some of the links were labeled gate 44, and I gulped hard before cliicking. These are made-up diagram pictures, not original documents. So AFAIK my questions above still stand. Wasn't someone there keeping a log?

The interesting graphic here lists 111 pcs baggage loaded to 103A, including ten unaccompanied bags, with origins indicated, and NONE from KM180. I wonder where they got this data?

Me too. I don't even know right now where he got the name John Hubbard. Did Mr. Hubbard report a vanished bag after the crash? Or does Bollier hypothesise that it was spotted as mis-routed and re-routed correctly? This is complete news to me. Given that Megrahi's advocate seems to have gone over that printout with a fine tooth comb and he didn't mention any of this, I'm sceptical. It's interesting, but I also recall that this is Bollier talking, and Bollier is the source of It's Brown!! There are saw-marks on the edge! Feraday changed a label from 1990 to 1989! The polaroid originally showed the Toshiba fragment, not the timer fragment! and so on, including the Lumpert story which lacks any corroborating evidence.

I'd still like to know where he got his data.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I don't have a narrative handy that covers everything, but my first thought was this was just a piece of paper with numbers printed on it. Perhaps the real records were saved and then the system wiped. I'm thinking Bogomira, maybe the supervisor, one probably the main contact, the other an accomplice. Maybe a meeting on the night of the 21st with some national security attache at the embassy to set it up? Then the system is blanked, and the airpot is so embarrassed at this lapse they make up some story about this being routine. Gate 44's paperwork is disappeared, leaving NO RECORD until a few months have passed, and an analyst has had time to find the point that will fit with the other data and give them a plausible (but not too perfect) link to a Maltese Flight. It's printed up. Someone in the police seeds this in with a backstory of delays. That they admit to waiting months smells of taking some blame and some heat off the Airport people, sharing the load as it were.

These are just some possible connective tissue I'm thinking of as I go. My CT mode is finally in 4th gear on this. It may not make sense, upon closer inspection of the intricacies, but I'm just ignorant enough to see it all too clearly for now.

In the process: first hard links to what happened are removed from view. This could cover up almost anything. Later, once you've decided where you want the uprooted blame to go (Libya was app. decided by mid-89) you can get this rolling. If you do it sloppy enough, it can be picked apart for years until it's ready to die and allow round two to commence. There is little love these days for Iran and Syria.

This is a bit twoofer-ish for me. It's a piece of paper with some numbers on it, but it seems to be true that it's impossible to make sense of it without other data. Once everything is put together, the routes become clearer. You couldn't just make up random numbers, they'd have to correlate with the other stuff - which does seem to have been kept. Or you'd have to forge these handwritten worksheets as well. This is sounding pretty improbable to me.

I acknowledge there is evidence of stuff happening on the ground in Scotland on the night of the 21st. The probable reason for that is the CIA officers on the plane, and not wanting the contents of their luggage to fall into the wrong hands. But that's a lot different from deciding to manipulate evidence to show what they wanted it to show at that stage. Seems highly unlikely to me.

If you're going to suggest any sort of manipulation here, I can think of only one plausible scenario. The records were purged, for some reason nobody saved the data. However, the hand-written work records were saved because the paper was still there. Then somebody decided that they wanted to implicate Malta, because the clothes in the suitcase had come from there. So they managed to fabricate a plausible printout, working backwards from the handwritten records, including a bag to PA103A from the station dealing with KA180, smack in the middle of the relevant period.

Then they needed someone to give it provenance, and somehow blackmailed or bribed Bogomira to say she'd saved the printout. Maybe they even got her to produce the fake printout, using her specialist knowledge. Sounds quite far-fetched to me, not least because of the risk Bogomira would go straight to the newspapers with the story. Unless someone had something pretty heavy to blackmail her with.

It's fiction. It's a lot less likely than the Offical Version. Not least because while I can understand the investigators leaping on an apparent Malta connection when they thought they saw one in front of them, it's a lot less easy to see what might be gained from manufacturing a false Malta connection at that stage.

It's an odd story. That's the trouble with this incident, it's swarming with odd stories. But they're not all going to be false, in the end. Strange coincidence or not, I'm on balance inclined to believe Bogomira.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th October 2009, 12:28 AM   #35
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Me too. I don't even know right now where he got the name John Hubbard. ...
I'd still like to know where he got his data.
Don't hold your breath waiting to find that out.

Quote:
This is a bit twoofer-ish for me.
It's a bit out there for me too. I do like visiting twooferland, so long as I'm not forced to stay too long. But actually, just remember this is not dice-rolling grade chances we're dealing with here, where there are set odds and limited variables, and something is either likely or not. The unlikely can be become entirely likely, probable, real, if the will and means exist. It's all in the risks and payoffs, and these can be calculated and managed.

Quote:
It's a piece of paper with some numbers on it, but it seems to be true that it's impossible to make sense of it without other data. Once everything is put together, the routes become clearer. You couldn't just make up random numbers, they'd have to correlate with the other stuff - which does seem to have been kept. Or you'd have to forge these handwritten worksheets as well. This is sounding pretty improbable to me.
In my tentative narrative, they (whoever exactly that is) would have the full real data and would seek to change almost nothing about it before releasin it as evidence. Two things could be done this way, with no one else able to verify or ID the changes: shift blame away from where it really lies, and to put it where they wanted it to go.

Quote:
I acknowledge there is evidence of stuff happening on the ground in Scotland on the night of the 21st. The probable reason for that is the CIA officers on the plane, and not wanting the contents of their luggage to fall into the wrong hands. But that's a lot different from deciding to manipulate evidence to show what they wanted it to show at that stage. Seems highly unlikely to me.
Agreed that's a lot to ask for just hours, unless of course they knew ahead of time... :
BUT, to know they wanted Franfurt's baggage records offline before pesky uncontrolled German police looked at it, that could be decided only on suspicions, as a precaution. So far that's all I've alleged for the first day.

Quote:
If you're going to suggest any sort of manipulation here, I can think of only one plausible scenario. The records were purged, for some reason nobody saved the data. However, the hand-written work records were saved because the paper was still there. Then somebody decided that they wanted to implicate Malta, because the clothes in the suitcase had come from there. So they managed to fabricate a plausible printout, working backwards from the handwritten records, including a bag to PA103A from the station dealing with KA180, smack in the middle of the relevant period.

Then they needed someone to give it provenance, and somehow blackmailed or bribed Bogomira to say she'd saved the printout. Maybe they even got her to produce the fake printout, using her specialist knowledge. Sounds quite far-fetched to me, not least because of the risk Bogomira would go straight to the newspapers with the story. Unless someone had something pretty heavy to blackmail her with.
On the reason: it's just official policy, remember? It took a week to do it and no one came to look or anything in that time.
On working backwards: this part makes your version less plausible than mine, in that regard.
On provenance: Odd they also selected a programer responsible for the data system itself, the kind of person who COULD, of all people, blank the home system while slipping you a disc, when some lower clerk could as easily have done. Some random pleeb who happens to work near these papers could as easily be believed as stashing a keepsake copy without understanding its value as evidence to hand over right away.
On blackmail: Punishments and rewards, emphasis on the latter, should have been used. Along with assurances that the Libyans really were guilty, they just covered up this link and a fake story was needed to prosecution the real terrorists. This would fall flat of course if she was the one who snagged the data for them and cleared the drive herself.

The big danger in this scenario is she might make her own copy of the discs(s) for later blackmail of her own. Who can really say what rules even apply in such a game?

Quote:
It's fiction. It's a lot less likely than the Offical Version. Not least because while I can understand the investigators leaping on an apparent Malta connection when they thought they saw one in front of them, it's a lot less easy to see what might be gained from manufacturing a false Malta connection at that stage.
What stage? I don't know when this data really was known to whom, but somehow I suspect it was on paper as we've seen it before handed to SCOTBOM in August. By that time the Mebo chip was being looked at and photographed, no turning back there short of never finalizing an ID. Whatever oteher substantial clues. And since the US was already War Gaming Iraq conflict scenarios and snubbing its diplomats, threatening sanctions, etc. by 1989 and we already have the high-politics "who besides the PFLPGC/Syria/Iran COULD we blame?" Even back in 89, Libya would figure high, right?

Quote:
It's an odd story. That's the trouble with this incident, it's swarming with odd stories. But they're not all going to be false, in the end. Strange coincidence or not, I'm on balance inclined to believe Bogomira.
And I'm just agnostic but suspicious on her story, and it's given us a great pro-con dynamic. Very useful.

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Old 11th October 2009, 01:01 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Originally Posted by Rolfe
This is the interesting part of all this. I'm damn sure Megrahi didn't smuggle that suitcase on to KA180 at Malta, and neither did anyone else.
Sorry,but how the hell you can dismiss it OUTRIGHT??? This is just and only your opinion and not a fact. That is fail of a post.
As a non-native English speaker I'll cut you some slack here. FYI "I'm damn sure" is a statement of personal belief, as is basically everything anyone states as fact. She stated her belief, which has been well illustrated elsewhere as being entirely supported as a sane belief. Like "that is a fail of a post." A statement of belief that I, for one, don't buy. Therefore not fact. Even if you say it as such.

Now that I've confused you, thanks for popping in here, chum!

Quote:
Airports have various security and some were easier to penetrate then others. We have poster (IIRC in original thread) who said that security was quite bad.

So far nobody had proved that Malta was not an entry point. Evidence against Megrahi maybe weak,but counterevidence is lacking as well maybe even more.
I agree and have gone on record here that the arguments against Malta ingestion are inconclusive, and perhaps specious. But... There is case made, with specifics of how things were counted and verified, and how small and controlled operations were, as evidence against the bag going on there, and certainly no proof to the contrary. You can't make a good decision based on 'some airports have bad security' and a faint reliance on the official story as a baseline. This will just bias you to presume security at Malta HAD to be bad, since the bag came from there, and so on. This wouls make you like an averaage news consumer, or as some say, a "sheeple," or singular "sheeperson," "sherson," or "peep."

I'm only being a little smart-ass here. Nothing personal.

Quote:
However what I would think is possible,that terrorists missed actual target.(It was here already mentioned) It would fit quite well into whole thing...
I don't know about the wrong plane story. It appealed to me for a moment because it was new. Then I realized it had problems and didn't answer any questions or add much to anything. I'd have to go back to it, maybe I didn't grasp it right.

Quote:
I think you have jumped the shark.(If I used correct phrase...)
In this context, I take that would mean the CTs were running out of steam/appeal/ideas and start resorting to increasingly bold and absurd claims just to stir momentary attention. As usually a sign of fading popularity/currency, it's clearly not applicable in this case

(types me, based on my beliefs)

But seriously, don't let me chase you off! There are just no people here trying to counter these beliefs, which should scare you off, but please don't let it! Actually, here you could take Rolfe's side and help tear up this planted printout theory I'm proposing. Could be fun.

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Old 11th October 2009, 03:48 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
As a non-native English speaker I'll cut you some slack here. FYI "I'm damn sure" is a statement of personal belief, as is basically everything anyone states as fact. She stated her belief, which has been well illustrated elsewhere as being entirely supported as a sane belief. Like "that is a fail of a post." A statement of belief that I, for one, don't buy. Therefore not fact. Even if you say it as such.

Now that I've confused you, thanks for popping in here, chum!
Good clarification,not confusion. It originaly looked to me too Cter...(and I am sure you have seen too many CTs as well)

I just lack based upon discussion such believe. (But my own impression of go v is quite different - simply too incopetent to do this,but you'd need to watch Czech rep to see why...)
Quote:
I agree and have gone on record here that the arguments against Malta ingestion are inconclusive, and perhaps specious. But... There is case made, with specifics of how things were counted and verified, and how small and controlled operations were, as evidence against the bag going on there, and certainly no proof to the contrary. You can't make a good decision based on 'some airports have bad security' and a faint reliance on the official story as a baseline. This will just bias you to presume security at Malta HAD to be bad, since the bag came from there, and so on. This wouls make you like an averaage news consumer, or as some say, a "sheeple," or singular "sheeperson," "sherson," or "peep."
I used reverse from what you posted in quote.(Some reported that they had interesting experience at the time of event,so it made some sense that terrorists used that airport. As for bag-handling I saw interesting thread in 911CT section,something about Atta's late baggage.

And you are correct that had I used easy way "Gov reported they had this breach,so they must have bad security",I would fall into logical error.
Quote:
I don't know about the wrong plane story. It appealed to me for a moment because it was new. Then I realized it had problems and didn't answer any questions or add much to anything. I'd have to go back to it, maybe I didn't grasp it right.
It made sense to me as the set time would make sense there.(It would be by that time far over water even if delayed and had american soldiers - good target)
Quote:
In this context, I take that would mean the CTs were running out of steam/appeal/ideas and start resorting to increasingly bold and absurd claims just to stir momentary attention. As usually a sign of fading popularity/currency, it's clearly not applicable in this case

(types me, based on my beliefs)

But seriously, don't let me chase you off! There are just no people here trying to counter these beliefs, which should scare you off, but please don't let it! Actually, here you could take Rolfe's side and help tear up this planted printout theory I'm proposing. Could be fun.
And unfortunately I have little aplicable experience,so I usually read and watch for any broken logic.(And misunderstood Rolfe's post.)
You'll see me around when I can provide some info.

As for planted printout.:If they had other airports data,conspiracy would grow too big.(Aka 911CT)

Anyway to make at least partial conclusion we'd need how good was security at other involved airports and what were their procedures about bags like this..

Second my another theory is that two groups colaborated - like Jibril and Lebanon,which could make certain strange things explainable. Like malta's shopper,Frankfurt's issue with breakin,...

Last:I waste too much time already and I got too many things to do,so I usually reserve reading to train and then some quick posts(they can be quite large). i know some things about electronics(but no match to Dan O.) and quite a lot of about computers(and I am improving),so I doubt I'll be able to add much.

Klimax out.
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Old 11th October 2009, 04:07 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post

So far nobody had proved that Malta was not an entry point.
From a purely legal point of view it would be the prosecution that needs to prove that Malta was the entry point. This they failed to do. Meanwhile there is strong evidence that Malta wasn't the point of 'ingestion' (posts passim in a number of threads).
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Old 11th October 2009, 05:13 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
From a purely legal point of view it would be the prosecution that needs to prove that Malta was the entry point. This they failed to do. Meanwhile there is strong evidence that Malta wasn't the point of 'ingestion' (posts passim in a number of threads).
I suppose the thing is,that there are two possible entry points. But how does the security differ? i suspect that malta wasn't that much source of problems,so they might not be under such pressure to guard against entry of explosives in bags and if they were not at that time known for problems,then other airports would skip luggages from it. So far however too much "might",unless somebody from airports,preffererebly of that time does input.

I'll quickly return to theory of two groups/two bags. One signed in malta would have electronic timer(and/or any other trigger) and small,low powered radio transmitter. Second bag somehow entering second airport(Frankfurt) has reciever and bomb itself.

If Longtabber is right (his experties is at this time however suspect)then this could explain survival of fragment and possible casing and since reciever would be in direct contact with semtex,it would be destroyed or too small pieces would remain. IIRC it could acount for some more discrepancies.

But what I don't recall and cannot check right now,how strong were transmitters at that time for given power and how well would get signal to reciever.(It must not trigger on false signals and pick up correct signal with unkown strength,unless perp would place bag close enough to transmitter and could guarantee that it is in planned distance)
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Old 12th October 2009, 12:14 AM   #40
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
I suppose the thing is,that there are two possible entry points.
All we can really say is the bomb was loaded onto Maid of the Seas at Heathrow (unless it was on there before, who knows). Before that it could have many entry points. AFAIK the only reason to suspect it came in on the feeder from Frankfurt is the paper suggesting a bag from Air Malta KM180, plus the Maltese clothes. So just on the official line, we have Luqa, Frankfurt, AND Heathrow as possible entry points. Aside from Luqa via Frankfurt we have elsewhere via Frankfurt and elsewhere via elsewhere, depending how many other flights fed into PA103.

Quote:
But how does the security differ? ... So far however too much "might",unless somebody from airports,preffererebly of that time does input.
Exactly. All I can say is all are theoretically impermeable. I've heard of more breaches for Heathrow and Frankfurt than at Luqa, but then I've read more revisionist stuff dedicated to denying the official story. Until we can know more about a chaotic and shifting thing like security in these airports at this time, we can't say for sure.

Quote:
i suspect that malta wasn't that much source of problems,so they might not be under such pressure to guard against entry of explosives in bags and if they were not at that time known for problems,then other airports would skip luggages from it.
Depends. It's a small airport but one that connects North Africa, especially Libya, with Europe, so it might have extra reason to be vigilant. But then again, that might have seemed more a theoretical problem than a practical one, so again who can say?

Quote:
I'll quickly return to theory of two groups/two bags. One signed in malta would have electronic timer(and/or any other trigger) and small,low powered radio transmitter. Second bag somehow entering second airport(Frankfurt) has reciever and bomb itself.

If Longtabber is right (his experties is at this time however suspect)then this could explain survival of fragment and possible casing and since reciever would be in direct contact with semtex,it would be destroyed or too small pieces would remain. IIRC it could acount for some more discrepancies.

But what I don't recall and cannot check right now,how strong were transmitters at that time for given power and how well would get signal to reciever.(It must not trigger on false signals and pick up correct signal with unkown strength,unless perp would place bag close enough to transmitter and could guarantee that it is in planned distance)
Interesting theory. Again, the kind that's appealing for novelty, but I'm not enthused somehow, and don't have time to go over it for logic and such. I wish I had more time for all of this, to do it better. But this is life and I'm lucky to have any time afforded me.
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