[What follows is the text of a letter from Dr Jim Swire that was published in The Herald on this date in 1998:]
Mr [Philip] Mulvey's letter, Getting to the truth about the Lockerbie disaster (December 30 ), raises important issues. We look hard and often at Langley (the CIA). They are heavily involved in linking the hard-won evidence from the crash site to ''items only available to Libya''.
Vincent Cannistraro, the head of Reagan's CIA unit charged with convincing the American public of Libya's total involvement in any terrorist outrage, was also put in charge of the CIA's input to the Lockerbie investigation.
The question of the baggage belonging to McKee and Gannon may well be crucial to understanding the motives for a major cover-up by US authorities. The removal of their possessions and the activities of ''American agents'' with their white helicopter(s) were a factor which helped draw Tam Dalyell, MP, into this tragedy in the first place.
Mr Mulvey may also be aware of the strange case of Police Surgeon David Fieldhouse. He found, and certified death in, a number of bodies before the site was fully organised and before the helicopters had left.
Later it transpired that among the bodies he found were those of McKee and Gannon. His meticulous records show one more body in that immediate area which was never recorded in the police data. Were there in fact 271 killed, not 270, and if so who was the missing person? The discrepancy has never been explained.
It would seem likely that the answer to this mystery could indeed only come from Langley, that both Dr Fieldhouse and the police got their counts correct, and that those in the ''unmarked helicopters'' removed one body, as well perhaps as other ''evidential material''.
One would have thought that the Crown Office would have done everything possible to provide an answer to this part of the riddle, which occurred on their patch. It might well be crucial to understanding the American actions.
[Philip Mulvey’s letter contains the following:]
With respect to Mr Dalyell, Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter died in the crash and who speaks for the victims' relatives, and your front-page report, may I suggest that people trying to get to the truth are facing the wrong way? (...)
They should ask why, in the aftermath of the crash, when a ban on all but military helicopters was imposed, was an - unmarked - white civilian helicopter able to hop from field to field looking for a specific piece of luggage? And why, when Pan Am was trying to be as unhelpful as possible to the press, were there so many of its ''staff'' in Lockerbie, wearing company baseball hats, who seemed to know little about the company - and less about planes?
Please be assured I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor an Internet anorak - just a reporter who seems to be putting the two and two together that others are starting to do as well.
[What follows comes from the obituary of Philip Mulvey published in The Herald on 5 September 2002:]
Scottish journalism has lost a unique talent with the tragically early death of Phil Mulvey at 45. (...)
In 1978 he moved to the Aberdeen Evening Express, then regarded by Fleet Street as one of the best training grounds in the UK for talent. By1984 he was off again, this time to achieve his schoolboy ambition of working on the Daily Record.
He shone there, but was particularly remembered for his superb coverage of the Lockerbie disaster inquiry. His skill at taking such a complex issue and turning it into a ''good read'' without deviating from the facts was hugely admired by all, including the advocates and families of the victims.