Thursday, 22 January 2015

Lockerbie chat on Independence Live

This evening’s Skype chat between David McGowran and me is archived here. It was intended to be a video chat, but the technology let us down and it is audio only.

Dr Ludwig de Braeckeleer contributed a reference to an article published today on the website of The Guardian. I had not in fact seen it, but have now had a chance to read it. Absolutely fascinating: Cooperation between British spies and Gaddafi’s Libya revealed in official papers

Dr De Braeckeleer also mentioned the recent death of the Argentinian investigating judge Alberto Nisman. How does that relate to Lockerbie? Here is an excerpt from an article published today on the website of The Christian Science Monitor:

"Mr Nisman had been obsessively on the trail of the perpetrators of the July 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires for the past decade. He was tasked with the investigation by Nestor Kirchner, the former president and deceased husband of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Nisman died at home on Sunday night, shortly before he was to expound publicly on a political bombshell he laid on Argentina's public earlier this month, namely that President Kirchner had promised to cover up Iran's involvement in the 1994 terrorist attack, the worst in Argentina's history, in which 85 people died. (...)

"Mr Nisman took over in 2005.

"By 2006, he was claiming that senior Iranian officials were involved in the attack, including the country's former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. His key witness? Abolghasem Mesbahi, an alleged former Iranian intelligence officer, who has made a career of leveling accusations against Iran since his defection in 1996. He claimed that former President Carlos Menem was paid about $10 million to hide Iran's involvement.

"Mr Mesbahi has also insisted that Iran was behind the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, instead of Muammar Qaddafi's Libya. A Libyan intelligence agent was ultimately found guilty of murder by a special tribunal; Mr Qaddafi's regime paid substantial reparations over the attack."


  1. Pity about that guy David Howard butting in, who always spams Lockerbie discussions with "Google The FBI uses polygraphs to eliminate suspects". He's not even talking about the scam Juval Aviv pulled on O'Neil and Tuzcu. It's something to do with a conspiracy theory about why the plane was blown up in order to murder Charles McKee.

    No polygraphs were used in the Lockerbie investigation and no polygraph evidence was presented at the trial. There's simply no relevance at all. And as you so rightly observed Professor, they're woo-woo nonsense and not admissible in a Scottish court anyway. It's pure irrelevant spam, obliquely pushing a similar conspiracy theory to Lester Coleman's Trail of the Octopus. It's just a shame he got it into a serious discussion about the case.

  2. But, back to serious matters, that was great. Terrific overview of the case and where we are now. Even being nice to the Crown Office at the beginning. Unfortunately only about 16 people were listening live. A few more may access the archived version, but it's disappointing.

  3. That Guardian article is fascinating. Didn't sup with a sufficiently long spoon, indeed. And then all the ersatz whining about the evil Scottish government letting the evil bomber go home, as if that wasn't what they themselves had been trying to arrange for a couple of years.

    Disappointing to see the article state categorically that Gaddafi was responsible for Lockerbie, but I suppose it's inevitable. Journalists just don't want to know, as you said.

  4. I think your point about the press apathy was sad. I wish I'd discovered what I now know about the luggage arrangement a lot sooner, partly that it would have helped Megrahi before he died, but also because it has come too late to attract press interest.

    I think I assumed that categorical proof that gave Megrahi a cast-iron alibi would always be something the press would be interested in. It's not so long ago that the case was almost permanently in the news. But at some point, perhaps it was Megrahi's death, it stopped being newsworthy. It doesn't seem to matter how earth-shattering the development, they've decided the public aren't interested and they certainly aren't going to bother trying to create interest.

    Too bad for truth and justice and all that.

  5. This thread is probably just going to be me rabbiting on, apologies to all bored readers.

    A couple of small errata. You got the timings reversed. It was 7 to 10 minutes or so to reach the height that would trigger the capacitor to start charging, and another 30 minutes for the capacitor to run before it detonated the bomb, not the other way round. (I know it was a slip of the tongue, because adding 7 minutes to a delay that was already 30 minutes would be pointless, it's adding 30 minutes on to the original 7 that's useful, as it gets the plane up to cruising altitude and well away from the airport.)

    Also, I have figured out the positions of approximately 14 of the items of luggage in AVE4041, not the whole 65. That's the 14 at the bottom of the container, where the bomb was. The items higher up are more difficult to impossible to place, because they suffered little or no blast damage. It doesn't really matter where the more distant items were in any case. It's the ones adjacent to the explosion that can be placed with certainty or near-certainty, and these are the ones that demonstrate that the explosion happened inside the case Bedford saw.

  6. f.y.i. A polygraph was used in the Lockerbie investigation. Herr Bollier was polygraphed by the FBI and his strange tale passed muster. I think it is significant Majid Giaka wasn't polygraphed.