Saturday, 14 September 2013

Adequately Explained by Stupidity?: Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies

[This is the title of a book by Dr Morag Kerr which is scheduled for publication in December 2013.  It can be ordered through the website of the publisher Troubador Publishing Ltd, where the book is described as follows:]

Tunnel vision or organised cover-up? How the Lockerbie investigation got the wrong man. 

Twenty-five years after Maid of the Seas crashed on the town of Lockerbie, this groundbreaking book introduces [an entirely] new perspective on the controversial investigation and subsequent conviction. Concentrating almost entirely on the transfer baggage evidence, it exposes shocking deficiencies in both the police inquiry and the forensic investigation, which led the hunt in entirely the wrong direction. 

Cleverly constructed to lead the reader through the complexities of the case, the book provides insights which will be new to even the most seasoned Lockerbie pundit, while remaining accessible to those with little or no previous familiarity with the subject. The reader will see all the main aspects of the official account of the Lockerbie disaster comprehensively destroyed. 

This is the first book about Lockerbie to deal rigorously with the detail of the transfer baggage evidence. Morag G Kerr has been given access to reports, statements and photographs not previously available to the general public, and has analysed the information with forensic rigour. This analysis proves conclusively that the bomb that brought down the plane was introduced at Heathrow airport and not at Malta as claimed.  

*Published on the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster, which happened on 21st December 1988. 
*Morag has been Secretary Depute of 'Justice for Megrahi' since 2010, and is the author of the widely-acclaimed pamphlet Lockerbie: Fact and Fiction
*On 23rd December 1988, Morag was driving on the A74. This was the stimulus for her research into the subject.

'A remarkable piece of work, comprehensive in its analysis of the evidence and what was missed or hidden and why.' -- James Robertson The Professor of Truth 

‘The final chapter draws all the threads together and fully exposes the stupidity which may (or may not) be a sufficient explanation for the debacle.' -- Professor Robert Black

About the Author
Morag G Kerr was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1953. She qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1976 (Glasgow University) and continued post-graduate study in biochemistry. Morag was awarded a PhD in 1985, and specialised in clinical pathology and laboratory medicine. She is the Secretary Depute of "Justice for Megrahi".


  1. This book is nothing less than a work of genius. Amongst many other features studied, it conclusively demonstrates via a highly detailed and scholarly analysis of the evidence relating to the luggage carried on Pan Am 103 how horrifically bungled the Lockerbie investigation was. Its implications are truly shocking.

  2. Two little points. One, I would be extremely grateful if people would refrain from ordering from Amazon if at all possible. Amazon don't actually allow the author to make any money from the books they sell, which is why they can offer the low prices you often see. The Troubador web page is here.

    I believe it will be available on that page well before it is available from Amazon anyway. And I actually get some money from sales from that source. It's not that I'm trying to make a fortune from this, but I do have expenses to cover.

    Second, someone slipped up with the blurb, I don't know how. It should read, "Twenty-five years after Maid of the Seas crashed on the town of Lockerbie, this groundbreaking book introduces an entirely new perspective on the controversial investigation and subsequent conviction."

    Some idiot changed "an entirely new perspective" to "a shocking new perspective" which is slightly over-egging the cake, but mainly it's extremely infelicitous as the word "shocking" also appears in the next sentence.

    I don't suppose I'll ever get Amazon to change it, but I'm on a crusade to get it fixed where I can.

    It would be nice, pretty please, if this blog post could fix the error in the text, and link to the Troubador page instead of to those sharks at Amazon.

  3. Thanks. I'd still feel a lot happier if all references and links to Amazon were removed. The book will not be available from them until the end of December anyway, whereas Troubador will be supplying it weeks before that.

    Also, the same text is on the Troubador page - it's boilerplate, and it originates with Troubador, so there's no need to refer to Amazon at all who have simply copied it. Amazon don't pay taxes (certainly they have been heavily criticised in the press for tax avoidance) and they squeeze the people who actually produce the books out of all their profit, and they rely on this pervasive meme that they are the default go-to place for books.

    It's impractical not to place the book with Amazon, though some people take a principled stand and don't, I know. However, the fact remains that people go there. I just think if we can avoid sending people there on purpose when we don't have to, it helps authors and publishers and booksellers generally.

  4. Your wish is my command, Rolfe.

  5. Ooh, thank you Prof.

    I really struggled with the decision to allow the book to go on the Amazon web site, knowing that if the bulk of the sales occur through Amazon I will be left with a humungous loss at the end of the day. However, since it can't be denied that Amazon have succeeded in positioning themselves as the default place to buy books, and my primary aim is to sell the damn copies, it wasn't something I could realistically omit.

    If Amazon sells some books that wouldn't otherwise have been sold, then it's all good. However, insofar as I have any influence over where to steer purchasers, the Troubador web site is the place to go.

    Troubador, via their subsidiary Matador, have been extremely helpful in getting the book up and running. It could not possibly have made it into print by the 25th anniversary any other way. I'm certainly paying them for it, but they give good value for money.

    Of course the book will be cheaper to buy from Amazon (eventually, when they finally make it available), but people can find that out for themselves if they're so inclined. And as I said, Troubador have undertaken to make it available on their web site the minute they have taken delivery of the printed copies. Amazon will wait till 21st December.

  6. I echo the sentiments above and congratulate Morag on the book after her tireless and dedicated work on the subject.

    The book provides an excellent, while also disturbing, exposé of the whole investigative travesty from Malta to Frankfurt to London and Lockerbie. Morag's accumulative analysis of the luggage that should have been in AVE4041, the bags that did actually make it into the container, and those that weren't for one reason or another, are clear, concise and ultimately devastating to the whole debacle that was the investigation.

  7. Congratulations!

    I visited the Troubadour-site, but of course it is not in stock yet. Will keep an eye on that.

    In Danish, the expression a "morakker" is used about somebody working unusually hard.

    Still, it is regarded as a mild derogatory term, as it is used by those who aren't too pleased with this energy.

    That could be less energetic colleagues may see it as an underlining of their maybe too relaxed working spirit.

    And it could be people on the other side of the table, who face a harder opponent than a lazy one would have been.

    Dr. Moraq, keep up your morakker status.

  8. I haven't actually seen the proofs yet. The sudden appearance of publicity seems to be connected to the front cover having been produced.

    Do you like it?

  9. I like the cover. It is a very striking image and a welcome change from the usual "cockpit at Tundergarth" picture.

  10. Hah! My original idea was to take my lead from John's previous book and use an image of an important piece of wreckage evidence on the cover. I had thought of a picture of the reconstructed, blast-damaged floor of the baggage container. However the publisher vetoed that as being too obscure - he didn't think you could immediately grasp what the book was about from that image. I think he was underestimating the audience, but he laid a whole lot of guff on me about wanting to promote the book with a cover that would really sell.

    So what did he suggest? The "cockpit at Tundergarth" picture. I threw a bit of a strop, because the very power of the picture has led to overexposure. I counted about seven books, two pamphlets and two theatre programmes using it. To me, it now says that the contents have nothing new to contribute to the debate.

    In the end I took myself off and commissioned that image from a digital artist who already had a computer animation of the break-up of the plane he had made for a TV documentary five years ago. Amazingly, rather than just produce a generic animation of a plane exploding, he had actually animated what really happened according to the AAIB report.

    So, it's a unique image, and it's MINE. I hope it turns out to be worth it!

  11. For sure, if the intention was to simply boost sales, a picture of your lovely self would have been the obvious choice!

  12. Flattery will get you everywhere! The marketing people want a photo. I haven't yet given them one. They may have to come round and take it for themselves.

    I really should give credit to the digital artist who created the cover image, Till Nowak of FrameboX. Great work.

  13. Troubador web page is now fixed.

    I don't suppose there's any hope of getting Amazon to fix theirs. I've been trying for years to get them to fix their page for another of my books where they have invented a co-author who doesn't exist, but they just ignore me. Not only that, a new page that has appeared relating to a different edition of the same book has my actual name wrong. Do they care? Not on a bet.

  14. > Do they care? Not on a bet.

    Adequately explained by profitability.

    Hiring people to deal with requests like yours? Sorry, you will have to belong to at least as "significant minority".

    As if anyone didn't know all that already.

    That is one reason why I keep an eye on the services I use, and don't mind paying a few $ more for something I like better. Most people are like this, the problem is to be informed.

    But sometimes you don't even get the choice.

    Can't recall if I mentioned the case where Danish part-time cigar dealer sent money to a German supplier, equivalent to about 26,000 USD.

    But the money never arrived. The transfer went through SWIFT - and trade with Cuba is banned by USA (but neither by Denmark nor Germany).

    The money were confiscated by the US, and they stay there.
    There should be enough for an NSA salary for a several months.

    Can't be true? Must be more to the story than that?
    Googling for
    swift cigars danish german
    will answer that question.

    One article is this:

    - - -

    Consumers need to act.

    I can't stop using SWIFT but I will look for books elsewhere than Amazon first, until you report that they have fixed your issue. (I am sure that this will scare the sh, eh, living daylights, out of them!)

    It may please you slightly that Troubadour tops Amazon in Google on

    "adequately explained by stupidity" Lockerbie

    So looking forward to getting your book from there.

    That is, if the money will not be confiscated somewhere in the VISA-system, because the book was flagged as a publication supporting a convicted terrorist.

    I think we are getting closer to that day. Another view - just like for the one I have on the handling of Lockerbie case - where I'd prefer to turn out to be wrong.

  15. Many congratulations Rolfe. This is wonderful news. The work you have put in is quite astonishing.

    Delighted for you. I shall be buying from Troubador in case you find out otherwise. ; )

    A few relatives will also be getting the book for Christmas!

    My new wish, once the book comes out, is for Linklater to interview you and to see him get Rolfed!

    Well done indeed.