Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The dodgy timer fragment sees the light of day

It was (apparently) on this date in 1989 that Dr Thomas Hayes of the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment (RARDE) discovered amongst Lockerbie debris a fragment of circuit board embedded in a shirt collar. This became PT35(b) -- the notorious dodgy timer fragment. The story of the discovery and how it was recorded is narrated an article headed Page 51 and its Environs on Caustic Logic’s blog The Lockerbie Divide. The dialogue between Caustic Logic and Rolfe in the comments following the blogpost is also a mine of information.

1 comment:

  1. Baffled person here.

    The photograph of the shirt collar with the timer fragment and other recovered items seems to date back to May 1989, unless there have been extraordinarily complicated shenanigans to falsify the provenance. While I can't say for sure that Dr. Hayes wasn't lying, my inclination is to believe him. He was into cherry-picking results and twisting his interpretations to suit the prosecution, not planting physical evidence. It's also very difficult to construct a scenario where the timer fragment was retrospectively added to the haul from the shirt collar, and end up with the notes in the condition and order they appear in.

    On the other hand, the appearance and dating of the notes suggests quite compellingly that pages 50 and 51 were both later interpolations into the sequence (regardless of the renumbering, which may be unconnected). Reading these notes, the impression that nothing was examined on Friday 12th May and that the main sequence of examination was picked up again on Monday 15th is overwhelming.

    I totally don't get it.