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Old 14th March 2013, 05:43 AM   #1001
Buncrana
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I'm searching the transcripts at the moment without luck, but wasn't there also the suggestion made at Zeist that perhaps the suitcase Bedford saw, which he thought was a 'brown or maroon Samsonite-type', could actually have been a blue suitcase with a maroon trim?

That is, the suitcase Bedford saw was actually Matthew Gannon's blue softshell with the maroon trim.

However, this suggestion that Bedford was mistaken was dismissed once the damage exhibited on Gannon's case was examined and concluded to be inconsistent with a bag that would have been underneath the suitcase that contained the bomb.

Clearly implying that some thought had been given by the investigation to the configuration of the suitcases in 4041 - including crucially what was on the bottom layer. Obviously this was prior to the assertion, despite evidence to the contrary, that Coyles blue tourister was supposedly this bag below the bomb, and Bedford's samsonite was moved into obscurity.
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Old 14th March 2013, 08:37 AM   #1002
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Here's the bit you're looking for. It's in Taylor's closing speech for the defence. Start on page 9851. The bit you're referring to is page 9857. He's referring to Bedford's evidence, where he was taken through his FAI evidence.

Quote:
Question: Can we look a little further down on that page, please. Do you see, just below the letter “D” the question: With regard to the suitcase that you saw lying down flat to the left side of the container, I would like you to think back as best you can. Could that suitcase have been a blue suitcase with a maroon or brown trim? And your answer was: I couldn’t say.
Answer: Yes, sir.
Question: Then the question continued: You don’t know whether it was or not? No, sir. But it could have been. It could have been.
Yes, sir.
Now, Your Lordships will bear in mind that that passage came in re-examination, and Your Lordships will bear in mind the context of that re-examination.
The description put to Bedford at the Fatal Accident Inquiry and referred to in his trial re-examination appears likely to be of the case referred to in Production 181, 4.2.17, pages 45, 46, [9858] and photograph 80, which we heard about on day 15 from Hayes at 2435, line 17, to 2436, line 15.
The distribution of the explosion damage is “rather peripheral” and there is no suggestion that this case was in contact with or in very close proximity to the improvised explosive device case.
And the final point: Which case is in a condition which is undoubtedly consistent with having been situated below the improvised explosive device case other than the American Tourister?
Production 181, 38, day 15, Hayes, 2416, lines 11 to 15.
The severe overall damage to the identified component parts is consistent with this suitcase having been located in contact with the suitcase which contained the improvised explosive device at the moment of explosion.

This is basically Taylor swallowing the prosecution's bait, hook line sinker and rowboat. He's trying to make the case for the Bedford suitcase being the bomb, but he freely gives away the ground of the Coyle case being under the bomb, that is, allows the possibility that the Bedford case was moved.

This entire part of the speech is muddled in the extreme. He doesn't know whether he wants to say the Coyle case was put on the bottom and the Bedford case replaced on top, or whether the Bedford case was not replaced but simply moved a few inches to the left (as MacMillan appears to have been the first to suggest, give the man a coconut).

Just reading it makes me weep. I have heard severe and stinging criticism of Taylor from a number of quarters, not just in relation to his lamentable performance at Zeist (from which he made enough money for any of us to retire on comfortably for the rest of our days), but as regards the decision to appoint him in the first place. It was regarded as inexplicable, as he was not perceived as having the intellectual capability to handle the case. And how right these critics were!

In this case, yes, there is the glimmer of an idea that the case below the bomb must have been blown to bits, so it wasn't the Gannon case (which he presumes Hardie was referring to in the Dumfries examination). However he doesn't continue the train of logic.

I get the feeling that only occasional piecemeal connections were made between individual pieces of luggage and their position in the container. I don't see any sign of anyone trying to construct a Grand Unified Theory.

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Old 14th March 2013, 09:42 AM   #1003
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One thing to remember is that the witnesses only know about what they said and were asked in the witness box. They don't know what the lawyers are going to twist that into when they sum up.

So far as I know, nobody was asked straight out, is it your opinion that the blue Tourister was above or below the bomb suitcase. We have Hayes the terminally vague being asked whether the condition of PI/911 might possibly be consistent with its having been blasted downwards on to the top of the Tourister, which was itself supported by the base of the container. He sort of accedes, though apparently reluctantly or dubiously.

The people at RARDE seem to have assumed the Tourister was on top of the bomb, right from 1989 or 1990. Or the cops did. Whoever was feeding Leppard certainly thought so. I wonder if any of them, including Hayes, actually realised that the case was going to turn on an assertion that it had been below the bomb? And what they would have said if anyone had asked them if that was a tenable position, based on the entirety of the forensic evidence?

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Old 18th March 2013, 05:27 PM   #1004
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[quote=Taylor, Zeist] “My submission is that all of the above render the choice of Heathrow a much more likely one [than Malta]. And when that possibility is considered, one finds that there is a compelling body of evidence that points to Heathrow as being the point of ingestion.” [day 82 p 9862] [\QUOTE]


Excellent summing up by Taylor. Pity his argument was founded on all the wrong and speculative evidence he and the defence team had allowed the court to consider. A speculative scenario that basically allowed the judges to construe all the evidence in the manner they deemed would allow a guilty verdict.

You know, I'd be more inclined to accept, albeit with reservations, the possibility that sheer incompetence by just about all of the chief investigators involved here might explain a lot, were it not for the seemingly absolute determination to not explore the possibility that the bag was introduced at Heathrow.

By the end of the first week of 1989 even the Germans (how much could they know about loading of bags and height of explosion...and so on) were confident enough to conclude the bag, if not on the floor, was certainly on the bottom layer of luggage.

The AAIB estimates are also initially estimating the explosion at point that indicates, on your average large suitcase, around where a two suitcases would meet flush with each other.

Hayes sketches out damage to the suitcase described to have been sitting upright and directly behind the explosion. Those who witnessed the reconstruction of the loading of 4041 in Jan 89 would have had a good indication as to what bags should be loaded and how they were positioned. Hayes sketch shows explosive forces impacting McKee's grey hardshell right along is bottom corner - therefore from something if not on the floor, then on the lowest level of suitcases.

But not a thought of this potential Heathrow dilemma has crossed the minds of any of the UK investigators? Even with the odd appearance of one, perhaps two suitcases spoken of by Bedford? Who on earth is heading this end of the enquiry, frank spencer?!

Well not quite obviously. Someone possessing far more cunning than that innocent buffoon.

So now the Scottish police responsible for the initial investigation, and the crown office who brought the case to court at Zeist, know full well that there is irrefutable evidence that, not only Megrahi did not load a bomb at Malta, but it was loaded right under everyones nose at Heathrow.

So, when the establishment and judicary are simply not willing to contemplate the consequences of this particular miscarriage being exposed, where does one go from this apparent impasse?

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Old 19th March 2013, 04:33 AM   #1005
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It was a bloody terrible summing up by Taylor. Gibberish, gibberish, witter, witter, non-sequitur, then "true statement". You gotta show your working, as they say, and his working was crap.

I've been trying to contemplate a scenario where this was simply mega-incompetence, although it's pretty strained. It comes down to the dissemination of the crucial parts of Bedford's evidence into the inquiry as a whole - or the lack of such dissemination. Who was the gate-keeper?

The German investigators knew about the Bedford suitcase, because they were supplied with original-text copies of all the Heathrow statements. They had these translated into German, and then someone went through them all and prepared a German-language precis of what each witness had said. Reading that was the first place I noticed Bedford's statement that he had loaded the cases left to right as they arrived. I need to go check the date on that document - I don't know how long it took them to get all that done and then analyse the information it contained.

I do know it was October before Helge Tepp approached the Lockerbie inquiry and said, hey guys what did that brown Samsonite Bedford saw at Heathrow turn out to be? This was well after the row they had about the airport of introduction, relating to the operation of the Khreesat bombs, which happened in May. I suspect they didn't know about the Bedford case then, or they would have raised it in that context. Once the BKA had been severely put in their place on that subject in May, was anyone going to listen to a re-approach on the same matter in October?

Harry Bell gave Helge Tepp the brush-off in November - in effect he fobbed him off with a non-answer. However, this was by then past the crucial September date when they became convinced of a Malta loading. I think after they saw tray 8849 and KM180 and Tony Gauci's purchase leger, there was no hope of anyone retracing their steps to consider Heathrow.

It's likely though that the point of no return for the Heathrow loading was a lot earlier than that. They should have followed up the goings-on in the interline shed pretty much immediately - certainly during January. The further they got from that point, the harder it would be to go back and admit there was a lead they neglected and frankly they'd been plumb wrong.

On 16th February Paul Channon told the press the bomb came from Frankfurt. On 28th March John Orr told a joint case conference that "on the balance of probabilities" the bomb had come in on the feeder flight. It seems to have been a fixed idea as early as that, and it would have been difficult even then to say, look at Bedford's evidence why don't you?

We know Orr was convinced of a Frankfurt loading before any of the Heathrow witnesses were even interviewed, by the end of 1988. I think he didn't know at first that there had been any Heathrow interline luggage in AVE4041, and thought it only contained Frankfurt luggage. He was probably pretty pleased by that because it narrowed things down very conveniently, and removed culpability from British soil, and removed a very big reason for turning the case over to the Met.

That wasn't an unreasonable position at the time, given what he knew. He should have revised that position drastically the minute he heard about Bedford's evidence. He didn't. So my question is, what happened to Bedford's evidence and who knew?

Bedford was interviewed by Adrian Dixon about four times during January, and supplementary interviews with Kamboj and Parmar were carried out to corroborate his account (of course in Kamboj's case it didn't corroborate). However Dixon was only the note-taker, and had nothing to do with the case. His job was just to get the statements and send them to Lockerbie, just as was done with Manly at the end of the month. I don't think Dixon even thought about the implications of the evidence he was hearing. Not his job. Those uppity Jocks had told the Met to eff off, after all.

The statements were just raw data arriving at Lockerbie to be processed. We know how that was done as regards the Manly statement, because Patrick Shearer told Jim Swire in an email. Manly was interviewed on 31st January. "Mr Manly's statement was passed to the police incident room at Lockerbie and was registered on the HOLMES system on 2 February 1989. This statement and those from other witnesses identified At Heathrow were considered by enquiry officers at the time in the context of a range of emerging strands of evidence."

Of course Bedford's statements should have been part of these emerging strands of evidence, but there's no sign that they were. This is all that Shearer says about it. We know Manly was never even re-interviewed, so it seems his statement was just entered into Holmes and forgotten.

The thing is, the detectives weren't running around with full-text copies of all the statements. (Though I have seen detectives do exactly that in other cases, but obviously they weren't in this one.) There must have been some sort of summary document where someone pulled out the salient points of the statements, for convenience. Just like the Germans had. But, I suspect, a lot shorter.

Who produced this summary, and what were his criteria about what he should be including in it? I think that might be the question to ask someone.

I had been envisaging Orr or someone senior looking at the full contents of Bedford's statements and actively deciding to suppress the information. I don't know if that's credible, though. I'm wondering, is it possible that a low-rank officer was asked to go through the statements and pull out the important information - and that he was told the information wanted was the position and layout of the interline luggage, no more than that?

If Orr was already convinced of a Frankfurt loading by late December, before he found out about the Heathrow interline luggage, he may already have been in "rule-out" mode. "Oh, there were a few cases already in there? Can you go through the statements and give me a report on exactly where these cases were placed?" And PC McPlod has done exactly that, and no more?

So the detectives were only told about a row at the back and two flat at the front. And RARDE were only told that as well, if even that. So nothing to cause any particular suspicion about that left-hand one at the front. While in Frankfurt we have this terrorist gang making bombs to target aircraft....

So the mood music becomes more and more pro-Frankfurt. Hayes's original estimate of the explosion height was 18 inches, and then 14 inches. And these German cops are -ing annoying. Just tell them it's all their fault and make sure they know it.

At some point the full content of Bedford's evidence must have become known. He gave the statement about the case actually being maroon in February 1990. Was that a preliminary statement in respect of the up-coming FAI? They certainly knew about it by the time of the FAI itself, in October 1990.

I just wonder, was there a point when anyone thought, "oh crap, that was the bomb and we missed it and we can't go back there now!" It's possible there wasn't, if the revelation didn't occur until after September 1989, and everyone was so buoyed up by how extremely clever they had been to track down Tony Gauci and get a description of one of the terrorists from him, and a lot of them had spent weeks and months digging at Luqa airport.

Well, it's an odd-numbered day....

Rolfe.
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Old 19th March 2013, 06:14 PM   #1006
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It's tomorrow - I can do a scenario where it was all a huge conspiracy to avoid a catastrophic fall in the BAA share price, later....

I did a new, short-form explanation, journalists for the use of, when it comes to that. The idea is to explain it to people who already have some familiarity with the case, and avoiding the minutely detailed proofs of certain things like the Coyle case being above the bomb.

I'm trying for something that really gets it across in a way that people understand it. To get a reaction, you have to be kidding me! That's a scoop and I want to scoop it! All constructive input gratefully accepted.

www.vetpath.co.uk/lockerbie/error.pdf

Rolfe.
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Old 20th March 2013, 05:58 AM   #1007
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That’s an excellent summation Rolfe!

Particularly striking was in turning the argument on its head, and asking the reader to imagine that the bomb was alleged to have been introduced at Heathrow. If one supposes the prosecutions argument at Zeist was presented to oppose this, it would be laughed out of court, and rightly so. As if it were needed, it once again really does illustrate the perverse conclusion reached by the judges at Zeist.


Now, something has been bothering me since I read this post by Little Swan (709, 7th Jan)

Originally Posted by Little Swan
There is an interesting part about Lockerbie in Alexander Beveridge, Forensic Investigation of Explosions, 2nd ed. Evidence of Explosive Damage to Materials and Structures, section 8.9.4. Pam Am Flight PA103..... page 343-347. It's about a polymeric material found in one of the pits (craters) in the so called extrusion that connects the floor panel with the sloped overhang:

" The solvent washings of the dark polymeric material recovered from one of the pits was analyzed using a combination of FTIR and XRD, which identified the black deposit as graphite bound by a resin coplymer, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).... The material could have been derived from the suitcase or container in which the explosive divice was concealed"

Does anyone know if Samsonite 4000's are made of ABS?


Well, that’s an interesting analysis made reference to, and a question, especially in light of the fact that this point seems quite specific about the condition and particles found on the ‘extrusion that connect the floor panel with the sloped overhang’ of AVE4041 which deserves some consideration.


Now, here’s what Hayes told the Zeist court under questioning of Richard Keen for the defence in relation to the primary suitcase’s composition:

Originally Posted by Zeist Transcripts, p733
Q I wonder if I could take you, please, to the beginning of section 4, which deals with
damaged luggage. Do you have that?
A I do, sir. [2336]

Q Is that headed “Examination of Damaged Luggage,” and is 4.1 the primary IED suitcase?
A Yes, sir, it is.

Q Does the report begin by describing the control sample suitcase?
A It does, sir.

Q would you read, please, the first part of that.
A “The following item was used as a control sample to assist in identifying fragments believed to have originated from the primary (IED) suitcase, DC/90 (Sample Silhouette 4000 antique copper 26-inch suitcase with wheels).” And the description goes: “This is a proprietary hardshell suitcase which was submitted as a control sample for examination for reference purposes and is shown in photographs 44 and 45.”

Q Could we have photograph 44, please, on the screen.
Do we there see the control sample suitcase in the photograph?
A Yes, sir, we do.

Q If we move on to 45, is that a photograph showing the inside of the suitcase?
A Yes, it is, sir. [2337]

Q Would you read on, please, from the report.
A “The suitcase measured 660 millimetres (26 inches) in length by 560 millimetres (22 inches) overall width by 225 millimetres (8.9 inches) deep, and was essentially constructed from rigid grey acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastics with the base and lid coated with an exterior surface layer of copper bronze-coloured plastics having a simulated leather surface finish. The base and lid were each strengthened with a circumferential metallic
black painted magnesium alloy metal frame which retained a rigid hinged handle, a central combination lock and hasp, recessed left-hand and right-hand lockable lift levers and catches, an address window, a retractable pull strap, and upper and lower brown plastics single-track shock-absorbing bumper strips.”


Well, well. So, on Mr Beveridge’s examination, and keeping in mind that a blue soft shell would I presume leave no such residue, then there seems to be evidence of traces of the primary suitcase on the luggage container spar that joins the floor section to the overhang.

Obviously, it could be argued on behalf of the official version that, ‘well the bomb blew up on the second layer and some deposits blasted through the blue tourister on the base and left remnants on this area’.

The problem being with this scenario, as we well know now, this position and argument collapses when taken with the evidence of Sidhu. Therefore, if the bags were not moved, and the brown Samsonite witnessed by Bedford remained where loaded, and blew up 38mins after 103 took to the air, then this would also explain quite rationally how traces of that suitcase’s composition might be found on portions of the container spar.

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Old 20th March 2013, 06:30 AM   #1008
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The little snagette there is that the ABS was recovered from the horizontal strut, not the floor of the container. It was always the forensic assessment that there was nothing between the bomb suitcase and the horizontal strut, and that applies to all positions 1, 2 and 3.

If they had found the same ABS on the floor of the container, surely even Hayes and Feraday wouldn't have been so brain-dead as to go on believing the bomb suitcase had been on the second layer? I don't think there's any record of anything being recovered from the floor panel itself - of course the bit that would have been the most interesting is actually missing.

What is mildly surprising if this is looked at as a settled forensic theory that the Coyle case was on the bottom, is the lack of any of that blue stuff on the floor, as it seems to have deposited itself on other objects very readily. However, we have to bear in mind that the forensics people never said the Coyle case was on the floor. Nobody asked them where they thought the Coyle case had been placed. If they had been asked, they would surely have concluded it was above the bomb - again, they weren't that brain-dead. Indeed, someone was telling Leppard in 1990 that the Coyle case was above the bomb. So, since they never claimed the Coyle case was on the bottom, it would be unreasonable to criticise them for not having remarked on the absence of blue foamy stuff on the floor panel.

All that happened here was that Hayes was allowed to describe his suitcase collection in court without any interpretation being offered at all, then when it came to PI/911, he was asked, so could that have been blasted downwards on to the Coyle case on the bottom, and he rather dubiously acceded. It's perfectly possible he was thinking, but you cretin, the bits of Coyle case all over the other stuff prove it was on top. But this is Hayes we're talking about. The chances of him volunteering that when he wasn't asked that are approximately absolute zero.

If they ever swabbed the floor panel, I don't know about it. Might be an interesting exercise to try to find that out, in due course.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th March 2013, 10:24 AM   #1009
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's tomorrow - I can do a scenario where it was all a huge conspiracy to avoid a catastrophic fall in the BAA share price, later....

I did a new, short-form explanation, journalists for the use of, when it comes to that. The idea is to explain it to people who already have some familiarity with the case, and avoiding the minutely detailed proofs of certain things like the Coyle case being above the bomb.

I'm trying for something that really gets it across in a way that people understand it. To get a reaction, you have to be kidding me! That's a scoop and I want to scoop it! All constructive input gratefully accepted.

www.vetpath.co.uk/lockerbie/error.pdf

Rolfe.
Why don't you sent it to Helge Tepp? I think he still lives in Meckenheim.
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Old 20th March 2013, 11:49 AM   #1010
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I'd need an address....

Actually there are quite a few people that or something like it could be sent to, once it's polished for maximum impact. People are having ideas.

The first place will be the Justice Committee, and I won't send it to anyone else till they have it, but that could be next week. That puts it in the public domain, then if they put it on the parliament's web site, all that needs to be sent is a link.

There's a lot of water flowed down the Rhine since 1988 though. Like 1989....

What I need now is to know if people not very familiar with Lockerbie can follow it.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th March 2013, 01:12 PM   #1011
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Quote:
I'd need an address....
I think I have it, and also his email address.

Quote:
People are having ideas.
Yes. it's a very good idea.

It seems you're not a big fan of mr. Bollier. Neither am I.

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Old 20th March 2013, 01:51 PM   #1012
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You know what he did 24 years and 2 months ago, to the day, of course?

Rolfe.
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Old 20th March 2013, 02:01 PM   #1013
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Oh yes, high treason. He's a rat. All he cares about is money.

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Old 20th March 2013, 02:48 PM   #1014
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Quote:
" The solvent washings of the dark polymeric material recovered from one of the pits was analyzed using a combination of FTIR and XRD, which identified the black deposit as graphite bound by a resin coplymer, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).... The material could have been derived from the suitcase or container in which the explosive divice was concealed"

Does anyone know if Samsonite 4000's are made of ABS?
Well, the suitcase was made of ABS laminated ABS, but also the Toshiba was made of ABS.

The brown laminate was 0.29 mm thick.

Beveridge is the editor of the book, but the excerpt was written by Maurice Baker from FEL. It appears strange to me that Hayes & Co didn't refer to these results in the joint report.

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Old 20th March 2013, 03:10 PM   #1015
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I think there may be rather a lot of results Hayes & Co didn't refer to in documents we know about....

Rolfe.
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Old 20th March 2013, 03:28 PM   #1016
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Uhmm....., Yes...............what is in the eight boxes on John Ashtons ceiling?

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Old 20th March 2013, 03:50 PM   #1017
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He lives nearer to you than to me....

No, seriously, there's a big issue with non-disclosure in this case, and I don't necessarily believe everything has been handed over even yet. Nevertheless, the evidence needed to show conclusively that the Bedford suitcase reconciles to the bomb was in the hands of the defence at the time of the original trial, and they didn't realise it. The way that lot played out I diagnose stupidity, all the way down.

They could have done something to manufacture a second secondary suitcase, if they'd realised they needed one. I almost think they didn't realise. The lack of perception and insight in that joint report is astounding.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th March 2013, 05:02 PM   #1018
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

What I need now is to know if people not very familiar with Lockerbie can follow it.

Rolfe.

It might be worth having an appendix of who folks are. Perhaps a cast list at the beginning? Bag handlers, suitcase owners, forensics, etc

Y'know, something that interested people can refer to and say, "Whut? You ARE kidding me?"
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Old 21st March 2013, 03:41 AM   #1019
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Hmm, I don't really want it any longer, or to attach lists or anything. If the problem is that the dramatis personae are insufficiently well delineated, maybe I need a few extra words when each one is first mentioned to make it clear who they are?

I don't think we need to know anything more about the passengers than that they were passengers.

Could you folow it as it stood?

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Old 21st March 2013, 03:44 AM   #1020
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Lookie here. I was browsing the early pages of this thread, and I happened to come across this picture of the floor of the baggage container that Caustic Logic posted more than three years ago. This isn't one from the Joint Forensic Report and it's better than the ones there I think.



That gives the relative measurements better, though it still seems to lack a scale. I think the split is too far to the left to be the right-hand side edge of the bomb bag, but I'm not sure. It would depend how jumbled this stuff got, if the flight was really bumpy.

Given what we're virtually 100% sure about, in relation to the way the bomb suitcase was positioned, how do we explain that pattern of damage?

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Old 21st March 2013, 04:56 PM   #1021
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Hmm, I don't really want it any longer, or to attach lists or anything. If the problem is that the dramatis personae are insufficiently well delineated, maybe I need a few extra words when each one is first mentioned to make it clear who they are?

I don't think we need to know anything more about the passengers than that they were passengers.

Could you folow it as it stood?

Rolfe.

I could, yes, but I have been following the Lockerbie threads here for a couple of years.

You're right about the passengers, I was thinking more of the baggage guys, for example, as it was only quite recently that it dawned on me they weren't all working for the same company. Probably unnecessary info, I s'pose.
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Old 21st March 2013, 05:50 PM   #1022
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It's a difficult balancing act. It's probably impossible to explain it succinctly for someone who has no familiarity at all with the case. However, you shouldn't have to be a certified expert to follow it. I probably need a couple of volunteers to read it, who are only slightly acquainted with the case.

I've marginally changed it, and replaced the image of the container floor.

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Old 23rd March 2013, 11:26 AM   #1023
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I keep coming back to that eye-in-the-sky view of the container floor. I don't know if anyone ever put the control Samsonite Silhouette on that reconstructed floor to see how it would fit. I would certainly like to see that.

I said in the article that none of the forensic scientists' statements about what they could divine from the condition of the floor was self-evident, and I stick to that. It's like Mystic Meg reading a palm. Indents caused by another suitcase being blasted down on it. Really? For sure? No pitting on the part of the floor that was recovered - which wasn't the part nearest the explosion and which was undoubtedly protected by things like a tweed jacket and other items of clothing, which we know were recovered with only partial damage. Not enough damage if the suitcase had been "in contact with" the floor - but it isn't in contact with the floor in position 3.

This is not my area of expertise, but the minute I saw PD/889 I could see that the blast had come at it more or less at floor level, just as Hayes showed in his diagram. The minute I saw the lining panel from the hinge end of Mr. Carlsson's case I realised that wouldn't have got like that if there had been another suitcase at floor level protecting it from the blast. If the forensics scientists had said that in court, everyone would have been able to follow their thinking. Not so with what they said about the container floor.

No, I am not an expert on this, but if they had been promoting position 3, and had pointed to that split in the aluminium and declared that that had been where the right-hand edge of the suitcase had been sitting when the bomb went off, I'd have nodded sagely and agreed with them.

It's 2 to 4 inches further to the right than I would have expected. It may suggest that the bomb suitcase was further into the overhang than I thought it was. I thought four inches, maybe six. The position of the split suggests eight inches into the overhang, which would suggest the case had been flung further to the side than I thought.

It's far from impossible though. I find it a lot harder to envisage how that split happened as a result of an explosion in the overhang impacting down on another packed case, as well as the contents of the bomb suitcase itself. And if the bomb suitcase was indeed in position 3, as seems pretty much certain to me, then why would the floor split 2 or even 4 inches to the left of where the edge of the suitcase was sitting?

LittleSwan didn't really respond to this idea earlier, but it's a thought that keeps niggling at me. They thought the split had been caused by the floor dishing out and hitting the airframe itself, but it's hard to see. The only picture I can find of the inside of the hold is this one.



These ribs run at right angles to the split in the container floor. It's perfectly possible I'm missing something here. There are sort of rail things visible further away, presumably tracks to wheel the containers in, which are missing where the actual explosion happened. Maybe the split was caused by the floor hitting one of these. I haven't seen enough detail to know whether that fits.

Why was it not the edge of the Samsonite though, just a couple of inches out from the position we thought it was?

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 11:49 AM   #1024
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Quote:
Maybe the split was caused by the floor hitting one of these. I haven't seen enough detail to know whether that fits.
I think it fits. The split is app. 33cm from the strut. The gap between the rail closest to the fuselage and the floor is app. 30 cm.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 03:02 PM   #1025
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33cm? I thought it was more than that, but I was just measuring the photograph, I haven't seen any measurements taken from the real thing.

So where was the side of the bomb suitcase, on the reconstructed floor? The left-hand edge of the dished area?

Rolfe.
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Old 14th February 2014, 03:11 AM   #1026
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Well, that went quiet very suddenly, just a week before I started to write the book as it happens. There's been a lot of wrangling and bickering over on the thread about the Malta/Frankfurt routing, which would be better buried, and in any case the place for discussion of the Heathrow loading and the suitcase jigsaw is here.

In October I spent several hours with a documentary film crew (well, the producer and a cameraman, plus another interviewee) trying to explain the suitcase jigsaw on camera, and why it showed the Bedford suitcase was the bomb. I was told it had come out well, and it was originally supposed to have been broadcast on 15th December. Then it was bumped to 22nd December, but that didn't happen either. (Sadly, that was the day the producer died of liver cancer.)

The problems were down to Iran not liking some of what was being said in the film. On one hand this was odd because everybody and his budgie has been blaming Iran for the atrocity for 25 years, and the planet is lousy with documentaries and articles alleging exactly that. On the other hand the current political situation with the USA making belligerent noises at Iran is possibly making them nervous.

Anyway, this blog post says the documentary will now be broadcast on either 25th February or 5th March, and repeated thereafter. It'll be interesting (or perhaps embarrassing) to see how it turned out.

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Old 14th February 2014, 05:13 AM   #1027
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, that went quiet very suddenly, just a week before I started to write the book as it happens. There's been a lot of wrangling and bickering over on the thread about the Malta/Frankfurt routing, which would be better buried, and in any case the place for discussion of the Heathrow loading and the suitcase jigsaw is here.

In October I spent several hours with a documentary film crew (well, the producer and a cameraman, plus another interviewee) trying to explain the suitcase jigsaw on camera, and why it showed the Bedford suitcase was the bomb. I was told it had come out well, and it was originally supposed to have been broadcast on 15th December. Then it was bumped to 22nd December, but that didn't happen either. (Sadly, that was the day the producer died of liver cancer.)

The problems were down to Iran not liking some of what was being said in the film. On one hand this was odd because everybody and his budgie has been blaming Iran for the atrocity for 25 years, and the planet is lousy with documentaries and articles alleging exactly that. On the other hand the current political situation with the USA making belligerent noises at Iran is possibly making them nervous.

Anyway, this blog post says the documentary will now be broadcast on either 25th February or 5th March, and repeated thereafter. It'll be interesting (or perhaps embarrassing) to see how it turned out.

Rolfe.
Where will it be broadcast, and will it be available in the US?
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Old 14th February 2014, 05:19 AM   #1028
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It's on Aljazeera, and I gather there is some sort of problem with people in the USA being able to access Aljazeera English. The computer geeks probably have some solution to this.

I just have to type "Aljazeera English" into Google and it takes me right there. I believe the channel is even available free to air in some of the city areas.

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Old 14th February 2014, 05:25 AM   #1029
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's on Aljazeera, and I gather there is some sort of problem with people in the USA being able to access Aljazeera English. The computer geeks probably have some solution to this.

I just have to type "Aljazeera English" into Google and it takes me right there. I believe the channel is even available free to air in some of the city areas.

Rolfe.
Not at all, the denizens of the Great Satan have their very own Al Jazeera Channel although I don't know if it will be showing your Lockerbie interview
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Old 14th February 2014, 05:47 AM   #1030
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's on Aljazeera, and I gather there is some sort of problem with people in the USA being able to access Aljazeera English. The computer geeks probably have some solution to this.

I just have to type "Aljazeera English" into Google and it takes me right there. I believe the channel is even available free to air in some of the city areas.

Rolfe.
It's on Freesat too.
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Old 19th February 2014, 03:00 AM   #1031
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This exercise is turning into an interesting demonstration of what happens when you try to change the minds of the authorities about such a big issue. The various debunker cohorts often taunt CTers, saying things like, have you reported this to the police, have you taken this to the authorities? The implication being that if the CTers' theories were correct, then the authorities would be only too happy to accept their reasoning instantly, and perform a u-turn on their previous position.

I think we all know that would never happen, even if the CTers were demonstrably correct, and this is panning out exactly as anticipated. In November 2012 (ironically on 9/11 - 9th November) a report detailing our findings which raise serious concerns about the Lockerbie investigation and verdict was passed to the police. This was followed up in March 2013 with additional material which blew a complete hole in the Malta ingestion theory - essentially the evidence teased out in this thread during February 2013.

The names on the submissions are too eminent to be ignored, including as they do the emeritus professor of Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh, a retired senior police officer and the father of one of the victims. (I suspect the whole thing would simply have hit the round filing cabinet without the support of these people.) So they are basically treading water. As far as I could make out, the original Senior Investigating Officer was indulging in cargo cult investigation - going through the motions of looking at particular points without actually taking on board what was being alleged. He retired in October 2013, and we were only told who the new SIO is last week. The new guy doesn't appear to have done anything, and is fobbing off inquiries.

This was laid before the Justice Committee of the Scottish parliament yesterday, with the deliberations reported here.

http://www.holyrood.com/2014/02/msps...ry-on-megrahi/?

Quote:
Independent MSP John Finnie said: “I think all of this is [an] extremely dismissive approach by the authorities to the Justice for Megrahi committee and I would suggest by default to this committee, which has an important oversight role. I think the timing of that letter is entirely cynical. What we’ve seen is procrastination and obstruction and I would ask whose interests are served by that.”

Convener of the committee, SNP MSP Christine Grahame, added: “I am very cross about this. You [John Finnie] talk about procrastination and obstruction. I call it long grass. If there is any strategy here with regard to the whole Megrahi issue it seems to me to kick things into the long grass, wear people out, hope that those who are pursuing this fall off their perches, and it all goes away.”

The response is to some extent political, though it doesn't divide along party lines entirely as you'd expect. I think they're right, the authorities are hoping that they can resist the pressure until we give up. The information is public, of course, but without anyone pushing for action it becomes a curiosity. Everybody "knows" Megrahi didn't do it, but life goes on, the conviction stands, and everyone can avoid doing what they really don't want to do and that is get back to looking for the people who really did it.

We'll see who rusts first.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th February 2014, 03:16 AM   #1032
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In other news, the ZDF German documentary Todesflug Pan Am 103 is being broadcast at the moment. I haven't seen it, not having access to German TV, although I thought Childlike Empress said she was looking out for it. I think I'm in it, I ought to be in it, I did some filming for it last October at the same time as the Aljazeera filming, but I've heard no more since.

This should be a translation of an article about the programme.

https://translate.google.co.uk/trans...n-Iran.html%3F

As usual, it goes on and on about how it was really Iran that carried out (or rather commissioned) the atrocity. That may very well be correct, seems quite likely to me, but it's way beyond my pay grade. I really wish the journos would take a step back and simply show that the evidence proves the bomb went on board at Heathrow, and how conclusive that is. If that was hammered home, one could then demand an investigation into what really happened, wherever it might lead.

But that's too simple. They have to have this "Iran did it" narrative. And in doing that they allow the Heathrow evidence to be sidestepped, with the authorities simply taking the line that the idea that Iran was responsible is a conspiracy theory, now go away oiks.

I hope Aljazeera show their film as announced, but I won't believe that until I'm actually watching it.

Rolfe.
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Old 24th February 2014, 03:38 AM   #1033
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I still don't know whether the documentary is to be shown tomorrow or not, as I can't figure out how to check the Aljazeera English schedule in advance of the current day. I haven't heard any further updates.

At least they haven't completely binned the whole thing and still seem to be making an effort to show it, though.

Rolfe.
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Old 24th February 2014, 03:35 PM   #1034
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
In other news, the ZDF German documentary Todesflug Pan Am 103 is being broadcast at the moment. I haven't seen it, not having access to German TV, although I thought Childlike Empress said she was looking out for it. I think I'm in it, I ought to be in it, I did some filming for it last October at the same time as the Aljazeera filming, but I've heard no more since.

I just found this post by scanning AAH.

I DID check their website and youtube once or twice for the Swiss broadcast, but without success. It seems, and says so in the linked article, that it was broadcasted on arte on Feb 18, 22h. You can watch stuff on arte for seven days after broaadcast, at least if you have a German or French IP (arte is a co-produced station of German and French public TV).

I found the thing and it's online until tomorrow 22h CET (21937 views online so far). Will watch if I find the time. Here is the link. If it doesn't stream for you bloody foreigners, you can go to proxfree, choose a German "IP Adress Location" in the drop-down menu, plug the link into the textbox and try that.
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Old 24th February 2014, 05:13 PM   #1035
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Thanks very much for that, CH. I've just watched it through - the regular link worked fine. My German is a bit rudimentary, but I got the gist.

I see I hit the cutting-room floor. I'm not really surprised, because the short segment Chris filmed with me for this production didn't say any more than John said. As far as I recall, he didn't have me go into any real detail about the suitcase jigsaw. (He had me change my pullover for the ZDF shoot, because he wanted them to look like two different interviews.)

John's position is now anomalous. For 20 years he believed the bomb went on at Frankfurt, in Khaled Jaafar's luggage. He wrote two books saying so - rather more obliquely in the second one. However, he has seen my suitcase jigsaw - he provided some of the evidence it's based on - and he now believes me. He knows the bomb went on at Heathrow, and he said so on camera in the film.

However, what they filmed with him was only about the break-in, and the Iranair presence at Terminal 3. The suitcase jigsaw didn't get a mention. Indeed, the ZDF producers probably didn't really know about it, because while Chris had read the typescript of my book, they hadn't, and all this was filmed two months before it was published, while it was being type-set.

So really, although they said "John Ashton believes the bomb went on board at Heathrow," they didn't adequately explain why, and they glossed over that part to fixate, once more, on Khaled Jaafar. Guys, if the bomb was in Khaled Jaafar's luggage it was not introduced at Heathrow, that's axiomatic. John has accepted it was introduced at Heathrow, but this production wasn't giving up on Jaafar so easily.

They made a good circumstantial case for Iran as the instigator and the PFLP-GC as Iran's agent. They shredded the Gauci identification. (Richard Marquise was absolutely fisked.) They explained about the tinning issue (although they used that bloody BBC "reconstruction" of the finding of the fragment which is totally wrong). They interviewed Lumpert, which was fascinating, because he again repeated the stuff about having scratched an "M" on the prototype circuit board which I am 100% sure is a lie. Probably solicited by Bollier, who is up to something fishy.

What they didn't do was tackle the "how was the bomb put on the plane" properly. It was all left a bit in the air between John's assertion of London, and all the fussing about Jaafar and his luggage. It did have some really interesting stuff though, and I'd kill for a subtitled version.

Good to see Till Nowak's great animation getting another airing. And indeed I think he added an extra bit. I would kill to have him animate the suitcase jigsaw, but he's too expensive. Chris said he was going to try to get it animated for the Aljazeera film but I don't know if that came off. Tueday's schedule for Aljazeera English is now up and there's no sign of the bloody thing.

Why are Iran having kittens about the Aljazeera film when they don't appear to have batted an eyelid at the ZDF one? The ZDF one came straight out and accused Iran too. But it's only the Aljazeera one they're blocking. Peculiar. I don't think Chris is right about Abu Talb in London, but this carry-on is making me reconsider that assessment.

Rolfe.
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Old 28th February 2014, 11:20 AM   #1036
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why are Iran having kittens about the Aljazeera film when they don't appear to have batted an eyelid at the ZDF one? The ZDF one came straight out and accused Iran too. But it's only the Aljazeera one they're blocking. Peculiar.

Possibly because they didn't think there was anything they could do to stop ZDF, but they think they have some leverage with Al Jazeera. Also, ZDF might be dismissed as "Western propaganda"; Al Jazeera, not so much. Finally, a documentary in English is likely to reach a far larger audience than a documentary in German, for obvious reasons. Could be any or all of these.
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Old 1st March 2014, 01:16 PM   #1037
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Iran is used to being accused of naughty things by Germans, it seems. Remind me to one day tell you about the angry letters the Iranian ambassador to Germany, Alireza Sheikh Attar, regularly writes to a German human rights NGO...
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Old 2nd March 2014, 04:28 PM   #1038
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I think the difference was that Aljazeera made the mistake of showing their film to Iran and asking for comment. Presumably ZDF didn't. And of course it's a lot easier for Iran to put pressure on Aljazeera than on ZDF. They could close Aljazeera's Tehran office for a start.

It's still a little odd though. Accusations like the ones in the ZDF film are in a majority of all the films made about Lockerbie. It's really common knowledge. Most people who know little about the case know about IR655 and the Vincennes and how 2+2 usually adds up to 4. I'm surprised Iran has come over so sensitive about Aljazeera saying what pretty much everyone on the face of the planet who isn't a hardcore Libya guilter has already said, many times.

Rolfe.
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Old 4th March 2014, 05:24 PM   #1039
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Just read the Al Jazeera English schedules for 5th March, the second of the two dates proposed as likely for the documentary to be broadcast. No mention of it at all.

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Old 6th March 2014, 03:41 AM   #1040
Rolfe
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Well, this isn't very informative, but it suggests progress.

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It also suggests that they've changed the title, from "If not Megrahi, then who?" to "Lockerbie: what really happened?".

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